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, for an afternoon interview and a break 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 the world, is fuelled by a determination to raise awareness around 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, hence why I am riding this ride for the purpose of helping inspire people that suffer from mental health illness of any different kind,” said Phillips.

Phillips 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’m going to do the world,” said Phillips. “I really love challenges, maybe that stems from my hockey career…”

Phillips’ message to those who might be suffering from mental health issues is to not be afraid to reach out.

“Anybody who is suffering. Reach out. 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 (CMHA) Shuswap-Revelstoke’s Ride Don’t Hide event on Saturday, June 23. Registration for that 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

EDITORIAL: Revisiting alcohol consumption

A proposal to allow alcohol consumption in some public spaces in Penticton deserves consideration

Okanagan Skaha School District to reopen playgrounds

Facilities will reopen to the public on June 1

Gas prices rising across the Okanagan, Shuswap

Prices at some gas stations in the Okanagan sit around 115 cents a litre

Be prepared for high water, says RDOS

Higher than average water detected around the Ashnola Rover and Similkameen River

Poll: Should Penticton allow drinks on the beach?

Legally drinking in some Penticton parks and beaches could become a reality as early as June 5

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Parts of the TCT through Princeton will open to motorized vehicles Monday

Parts of the KVR trail through Princeton will open for motorized vehicles… Continue reading

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

North Okanagan farmers’ markets excited to welcome artisans back amid COVID-19

Provincial health officer announced non-food items to return to markets this weekend

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Mother duck and babies rescued from Highway 97 in Lake Country

The mother and nine ducklings were taken to Duck Lake

Chef brings farm-to-table approach to new Shuswap restaurant

Darren Bezanson opening Bistro 1460 at Hilltop Inn

Most Read