Former trucker tackles 10,000-mile motorcycle ride as part of MS fundraiser

Former trucker tackles 10,000-mile motorcycle ride as part of MS fundraiser
Shawn Kitchen, an endurance motorcyclist and former truck driver, will attempt to ride more than 10,000 miles in a lap around the continental U.S. in a 16-day period to raise funds for MS News and Views. (Courtesy: Transflo)

TAMPA, Fla. — Transflo and Geotab is sponsoring Shawn Kitchen in this year’s MS 5000 fundraiser. Kitchen, an endurance motorcyclist and former truck driver, will attempt to ride more than 10,000 miles across the continental U.S. in a 16-day period this month.

Proceeds from MS 5000 benefit MS Views and News, a nonprofit and 501(c)(3) dedicated to providing information and resources to those who’ve been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), a degenerative neurological disorder affecting more than 1 million people in the U.S.

The MS 5000 fundraiser is organized each year by Paul Pelland, an endurance motorcyclist who was diagnosed with MS in 2003. Since then, he has been trying to ride 1 million miles on his motorcycle to raise awareness and funds for MS support. As part of the MS 5000, riders individually compete for and earn points by driving long distances on their bikes, and raising donations, between Sept. 1 and Oct. 20.

Sponsor Decals
Shawn Kitchen’s 2016 Honda Goldwing sports sponsor stickers for his MS 5000 fundraising ride. (Courtesy: Transflo)

Kitchen, with his 2016 Honda Goldwing, won the competition last year, earning the most points and raising the most money. Transflo’s title sponsorship, in conjunction with Geotab, of Kitchen’s 2021 ride will fund expenses such as fuel and lodging for Kitchen’s 16-day trip. Individual donations raised by Kitchen will be given directly to MS 5000.

“I owe a huge amount of thanks to Transflo and Geotab,” Kitchen said. “Without their involvement, I wouldn’t even be able to attempt this endurance ride and the fundraising opportunity it presents for MS 5000 and MS Views and News. The older I get, the more I’ve come to realize that our lives are best lived in service of other people. Riding my motorcycle reached a new level of enjoyment when I started doing it to benefit others.”

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Meeting Paul Pelland gave Kitchen a first-hand look at how MS affects the human body.

“I saw the things that people have to give up in their lives because MS strips them of their physical ability to do it,” Kitchen noted. “But I’ve watched Paul ride, and I’ve seen how it’s been a form of therapy for him. He’s trying to do something big for the cause of MS, and he inspired me to do something big, too, and to become an advocate for him.”

Kitchen drove a truck professionally for 16 years, operating across various segments — long-haul and regional dry van, tanker, flatbed, and local pickup and delivery. He then transitioned to various other roles, including driver trainer, recruiter and safety manager, at multiple fleets. He’s now director of operations True Load Tim, a startup that aims to document and reduce time drivers spend detained at shipper and receiver facilities.

“Transflo is proud to sponsor Shawn’s attempt to visit the four corners of the United States as part of his fundraising ride for MS,” said Don Mitchell, director of marketing for Transflo. “MS Views and News provides direct service and support for those who have been diagnosed with MS, with a special emphasis on those in rural parts of the country. We wish Shawn a safe, fun, and successful journey.”

In addition, in honor of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, Sept. 12-18, Transflo is offering a free version of Transflo Mobile+ to drivers across North America, Mitchell said.

To follow Kitchen’s ride live, click here. Donations to MS 5000 can be made here.

The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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