Ever wonder what it would be like to have MS? This bike does just that
Ever wonder what it would be like to have MS? Look no further
For most people, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) isn’t a problem that they have to face in their daily life. Maybe they will see someone raising money for research, or maybe they will hear about someone who has MS, but it isn’t something that many people really understand.
MS is a disorder that manifests itself in different ways for different people, but many people suffer from pains, dizziness, lack of balance, and difficulty walking. From the outside, someone who suffers from MS will look like any other healthy person, so it can be hard to understand what exactly they are going through. And while I’m sure no one would say that anyone else needs to actually feel their pain, making it a reality in our lives can raise awareness, and hopefully a few bucks, for research.
A company in Australia set out to design a bike that simulates the difficulties of someone who suffers from MS. The team took a normal bike frame and really “MSed” it up. For some people, using a normal bike is hard enough. I think most of us can agree that riding through a busy city or a rocky mountain side is no small feat, but this team wanted to add some flare to the traditional bike. While is it not intended for off-roading, or really “roading” at all, they have made some minor adjustments, and created an MS-like bike. They changed the normal bike seat for a BMX seat, making it utterly uncomfortable to sit on. For those of you who have ventured into a spin class, think second-day sore butt. The handlebar has small balls under the tape to make holding on a pain, but at the same time absolutely necessary, because the bike frame is bent and the wheel is wobbly. One of these things by itself is enough to annoy most people, but put them together and we have a plentitude of painful, problematic, and positively uncomfortable riding. Or, for someone who has MS, Tuesday.
While I’m sure they enjoy watching people try, and eventually fail, to ride this bike, the team’s real goal is to bring some light to MS and show people how difficult it really is to life with (although this doesn’t actually compare to what it is like living with the disease). MS is a disease that affects about 2.5 million people, and while there are ways to control its symptoms, it currently has no cure. There are some programs that can help to reduce the effects of MS, which train brain plasticity and have been shown to improve cognitive function, which can help those who suffer from MS.
Molly is a writer specialized in health and psychology. She is passionate about neuroscience and how the brain works, and is constantly looking for new content from interesting sources. Molly is happy to give or take advice, and is always working to educate and inspire.