Meet Aaron Edge: Portland Store Sales Associate, Ride Leader, and photographer. A body of Aaron's work will be showcased at our Portland store's Bike MS kickoff party, benefiting the National MS Society's Oregon chapter. We sat down with Aaron to learn more about his work inside and outside the bike industry, his ride must-haves, and connections to the MS community.
How long have you been riding bikes?
I grew up riding BMX bikes, and as an adult, I've been riding since 2005.
You're a strong advocate for the Bike MS ride. What's your connection to this event?
I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in March of 2013, though my pain started the summer before...I just wasn't sure what it was. It took a month of tests to be sure.
What's your longest ride since being diagnosed?
I've ridden the Seattle to Portland ride (204 miles) in a single day, two separate years.
So many of these photos capture brief, personal glimpses of cycling. Do you bring a camera along on your rides?
Only on the safer rides do I bring my Canon EOS 60D. If I feel as though the conditions are too rough and that a crash is imminent, it's iPhone only.
What bike do you ride most often?
My Cannondale CAAD12 disc. The new 105 hydraulic disc braking is quite amazing, and super affordable. It's great to be able to ride one of our bikes that always attracts attention, and I love getting questions about it from customers on our shop rides.
What would you recommend, bikewise, for riders experiencing nerve pain?
For me it's electronic shifting. It's made all the difference, without it I'd only ride half the miles I put in. Most of my MS-related pain is in my hands, and shifting/braking all day is super tough. My Di2 and eTap bikes have made it easier to manage my pain.
You put in plenty of miles every week, commuting and leading three shop rides. Any nutrition recommendations to share?
I don't add anything to my water, and I try to bring real foods on my rides. The less processed foods for me, the better, though there are some incredible companies making perfect packaged grub for rides and runs. In order to keep my sugar and salt intake high enough (and to avoid cramps) for long cardio days, I take electrolyte and sodium capsules every few hours.
What's your favorite thing about working in the bike industry?
Helping others to learn about cycling, sharing your stories and hearing theirs. There's so much we can learn from each other. Bike technology keeps advancing, and I get to see so much of it up close and personal...it's constantly blowing my mind!
Are there any companies in the industry offering you extra support?
Indeed, the following companies have been so gracious in making sure I'm in the proper clothing and using the best products: Castelli, Assos, 361°, Hifi, Velocio and Moth Attack. Look into them, you'll be pleased with what you find.
Aaron Edge has been creating art and taking photographs since the mid '80s. He attended Virginia Commonwealth University for fine art, and The Art Institute of Philadelphia for graphic design. Aaron has art directed for publications, record labels, small design firms (including The Willamette Week, The Stranger, iRocketshop, VegNews, Southern Lord Records, Rise Records) and has designed at Wieden+Kennedy. This show is made up of 72 separate 4x6 postcards, showcasing the artist's interest in grainy, high contrast black and white imagery. Each piece will be sold for $10, with proceeds given to the Bike MS Oregon chapter. The postcards can be framed or sent via USPS Mail, as a message that MS awareness is on our minds and in our hearts. Aaron was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in March of 2013, and since then he has struggled with his creativity and mobility. This is his first solo art show in over 20 years.
Join us as we celebrate the wonderful community of Bike MS riders, staff, volunteers, and friends on May 10th at our Portland Store! Want to ride with Aaron on Sundays, Wednesdays, or Fridays? Our events calendar can be found here.