Ryan Phillips stopped in Salmon Arm Thursday, June 6, to talk about his ride around the globe to raise awareness around mental health and the importance of reaching out for help. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Former B.C. hockey player now biking the globe for mental health

Ryan Phillips stops in Salmon Arm during journey to raise awareness

Ryan Phillips has definitely chosen to ride instead of hide.

The Lower Mainland resident rode into Salmon Arm Thursday, June 7, and took a break for an afternoon interview before returning to his cross-country bicycle trek the following morning.

A former professional hockey player who played a season with the Vernon Vipers (1995/96), Phillips’ current journey, across not just Canada but around the world, is fuelled by a determination to raise awareness about mental health.

“I suffered from bipolar which is a debilitating disease. Recently I’ve gone to medication and my life has taken a turn for the absolute better. (That’s why) why I am riding this ride, for the purpose of helping inspire people who suffer from mental health illness of any different kind,” said Phillips.

He said his ride began at the Terry Fox monument in Victoria. As of Friday, he had logged approximately 750 kilometres, choosing to ride through Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon before stopping in Salmon Arm.

“We took the long way, but it’s OK. It made me strengthen my legs a little bit,” laughed Phillips. “You really get to see B.C. in all its beauty.”

Read more: Getting ready for Ride Don’t Hide

Read more: In photos: Lunch launch to Ride Don’t Hide

Read more: Ride Don’t Hide

The idea to ride around the world was inspired by Phillips’ recent journey through Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

“That was really cool and I knew at that point, if I was going to do a ride, I wanted to do it for a purpose and as soon as I got back to Canada (I said) ‘I’m going to do the world,’” said Phillips. “I really love challenges. Maybe that stems from my hockey career.”

Phillips’ message to those suffer with mental health issues is to not be afraid to reach out.

“Anybody who is suffering—reach out,” he said. “There is help. If I can do it, you can do it.”

Phillips noted Salmon Arm residents can do their own riding for mental health awareness in the annual Canadian Mental Health Association Shuswap-Revelstoke’s Ride Don’t Hide event Saturday, June 23.

Registration for the event, to be held at the Little Mountain Sports Complex and park, is already underway. More information can be found at the CMHA website.

Those wanting to learn more about Phillips’ journey can find him at spintheglobe.ca, or on his spin-the-globe gofundme page, where he is raising funds for his ride.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Charges laid in 2019 single-vehicle crash in Surrey that killed 19-year-old man

Dilpreet Sandhu, 19, faces eight charges in deadly crash at intersection of 122 Street and 78 Avenue

Surrey Mounties seize guns, drugs and cash from Guildford residence

One man was arrested but no charges have been laid as investigation continues

After delay, ‘Metro Vancouver’s Largest Indoor Amusement Park’ set to open in Surrey

At Central City Fun Park, ‘things will be a little different than what we had originally planned’

Clover Valley Beer Festival cancelled

Cloverdale beer fest falls victim to COVID-19

‘I’m confident that we’ll somehow make it happen,’ says Surrey Eagles owner as BCHL mulls plans to return

Junior ‘A’ hockey league pondering different return-to-play scenarios for 2020-‘21 season

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Maple Ridge woman fights WorkSafe BC over police widow’s pension

Dalila Vroom says husband, Const. Rob Vroom, died as a result of PTSD from time with Abbotsford PD

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

Sex offender Danny Depew sentenced in Abbotsford to 2.5 more years

Depew still has child-luring charges before the courts in Ontario

Help the ‘Cloverdale Reporter’ continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Golden Ears park expected to be busy the first camping weekend of season

Campgrounds expected to be full or close to full

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Abbotsford Airshow launching virtual Aerospace Camp

Online S.T.E.M. open to students aged 10 to 15, starts later this summer

Most Read