Wheeling for mental wellness: Cyclist rides across Canada for a cause

Ryan Phillips is in Calgary in the midst of a cross-country ride to highlight mental health, as he and some of his family members struggle with various diagnoses.

He cycles between 100 and 130 km each ride during his initiative that began in Victoria, B.C. about two months ago.

The former hockey playe,r who played in the Western Hockey League and Central Hockey League, says he struggles with bipolar disorder and depression. His 19-year-old daughter is also being treated for schizophrenia in the United States where she lives and he says she is the reason his wheels are in motion.

“I want my daughter to see her old man, her dad, as the kind of guy that stands up for something.”

Funds raised on his GoFundMe page support his ‘Spin the Globe‘ campaign and he says he’ll also donate to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

“This isn’t about me, this isn’t ‘Ryan’s Ride,’” said Phillips. “This isn’t Ryan dipping two wheels in the west and getting over the east as unscathed as possible. This is about raising as much awareness to the people that are suffering like I was.”

He hopes to reach New Brunswick by August.

The Vancouver-raised cyclist has toured through Southeast Asia where he advocated against human trafficking. He presented on the topic at TEDx Stanley Park in 2016. He’s also promised to continue to cycle for causes as much as he can.