He thought about quitting many times. When Andreas was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, it took him some time to learn how to deal with it. He didn’t want to become a burden for his family and friends. When he started road biking again, not listening to the advice of his doctors, Andreas noticed how this helped him gain control of his body again.
Ever since, sport has been one of the main aspects of his life. Besi, as his friends call him, set a new record for the Mallorca Marathon M312, cycled 3,835 km through Canada and was part of a professional ironman team. Recently, he and a group of friends cycled from Frankfurt to Barcelona. We sat down with Besi, talked about his motivation and how he wants to help and inspire others with his projects.
Hi Besi! Despite your sickness, you beat professional cyclists and proof the incredible with your projects. How do you do it?
After my diagnosis, I had two choices: The easier one was to give up and don’t expect anything from life. The second was to fight and find my own way to deal with my sickness.
I noticed how my muscles would become stiffer and I had many more health problems, when I didn’t do sports. It is my motivation to stay active and independent as long as possible and to need the least help possible from others. My projects are the side product of that.
In 2013, you realised your first big project and cycled from Whitehorse to Vancouver, Canada. What is the intention of your projects?
On my road bike, I rode 3,835 km through the Rocky Mountains. I wanted to inspire and give hope to other people with MS or other sicknesses and handicaps. I wanted to show, that it is possible to live a joyful life, even with a strong illness or pain.
Who were the people that joined you this summer, on your road bike tour from Frankfurt to Barcelona?
We had many riders with different sicknesses on the team, as well as completely healthy people and a professional triathlete, Meike Krebs. Not everyone did all the stages, but that wasn’t important. In the beginning, we all didn’t know each other. On the road, we became friends and the team spirit was incredible.
Do you have any other projects planned? Where is it possible to sign up?
First, I didn’t want to do another project, all organization had been debilitating for me. But then we became such a great team and many people wrote to me, how I inspire and change their life with my projects. So I decided to do another project in 2016. We’ll ride from Frankfurt to St. Tropez this time. The route will be on my website this november, you can sign up for it next march. If someone would like to contribute without riding themselves, they can do so by donating money, gas or equipment. We are happy about every bit of help.
Thank you Besi, all the best for the future!
A team of the national German TV station ARD accompanied Besi and his team from Frankfurt to Barcelona and produced a documentary worth watching, even if you don’t understand everything: