As his moniker suggests, multiple sclerosis (MS) patient Paul Pelland is in it for the long haul. Known as “Longhaulpaul,” Pelland recently set a world motorcycling endurance record — his third — on a dynamometer while raising $18,500 for MS research and patient support.
Pelland rode his Yamaha Star Venture for 24 hours straight — no stops — for the education and information site MS Views and News and its Ride to Reach Rural America, an initiative created with Pelland to reach MS patients in remote and rural areas.
Pelland’s feat took place March 29-30 at a Gardner, Massachusetts facility. The roughly 1,674-mile ride used a dynamometer, a stationary testing platform used in motorsports that allows a vehicle to drive or ride at high speeds while being tested or tuned.
The “Nonstop to Nowhere” event was shown live on Facebook in a telethon-style broadcast. Pelland was nothing if not entertaining: his bike’s engine revving at 90 mph, he took donors’ calls, sang and played guitar, ate a variety of bugs, got his hair washed and nails painted, and had a razor shave. The 24-hour nonstop on the platform was a world record, according to a press release.
The event included $3,600 in raffled prizes. At the conclusion, Pelland and his team noshed on barbecue with 50 supporters.
The expedition was part of Pelland’s six-year quest to ride 1 million miles for MS. Traversing the nation while sharing his story, Pelland so far has logged almost 360,000 miles and raised $150,000 for charity. He’s shared his story with more than 250 audiences.
“I recalculated my life’s road by deciding to share and chronicle my life’s journey, the difficult challenges I have faced and how I overcame them, my lifelong passion of long-distance motorcycling, and for the first time, openly discussing and dealing with everyday challenges brought on by having the often disabling diagnosis of multiple sclerosis,” Pelland said on his website.
Beyond raising funds and awareness, his hope, he said, is to inspire others facing life challenges.
Last year, Yamaha Motors USA became a ride sponsor.