The Minds Over Mountains tour stops in Golden on June 19. Keri Sculland/Star Photo

Minds Over Mountains pedals hundreds of kilometres for mental health

Cyclists will be pedalling their way through the mountains for a cause that affects children across the world, making a stop in Golden en route.

The Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Foundation (CASA) hosts the 2018 Minds over Mountains tour, a cycling expedition that travels from Kaslo to Jasper via Revelstoke.

“Annually we do this bike ride, and we have a different route every year,” said CASA Foundation board director Ken Boutillier.

Cyclists range in age from the founder of the ride who is in his 70s, his wife’s grandson, who is 13. The founder’s wife is also one of the original cyclists from the first tour. There will be around 25 riders that will make the 650 km bike ride.

“We get the full gamut. We’ve got people from every walk of life. People who are quiet about coming on the tour because they are dealing with perhaps a loss in their immediate family and they want to do it as symbolism, and other people that are very outgoing and think the best thing we can do is put children’s mental health on the front burner,” Boutillier said.

The ride began many years ago in support of a different charity, and a few riders branched off, deciding to support CASA.

Riding through the mountains provides an extra challenge for the cyclists, requiring extra mental and physical stamina.

“We could do these routes on our flat prairies, and there wouldn’t really be a challenge. We’re lucky to be alive and living in Canada,” said CASA Foundation executive director Nadine Samycia. “Just to be able to offer that challenge to these cyclists, it really lets them relate to these family’s challenges every single day. Some days, you just want to give up, but they know these families can’t give up.”

The trip from Revelstoke to Golden will be the longest day of the tour. Cyclists will stop to “replenish their electrolytes” at the Whitetooth Brewery on Tuesday, June 19 between 3 to 6 p.m., before heading out to dinner. People from the community are invited to enjoy a few beers or non-alcoholic beverages at the brewery to greet the riders and learn more about their stories.

Samycia and Boutillier will both participate in the ride in their own ways. Samycia will ride in the vehicle, providing support to riders along the way, and Boutillier will take part in the pedal. They have both participated in the ride before, and encourage people from the community to join them at the brewery to support CASA and mental health services.

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