A Kelowna man is preparing to embark on a cycle journey that will see him ascend nearly the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest twice.
He’s doing it in support of community mental health programs.
Sam Biffart, 23, wants to raise $15,000 for Third Space Charity, which provides free, support care counselling to young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 in the Okanagan region.
He will set out on his gravel bike on June 5 from Victoria, on a ride across B.C., covering more than 1,500 kilometres and 15,500 metres of climbing.
“I love adventuring and riding my bike, and after a year of thinking about and planning this trip, I’m excited to finally get it started,” says Sam. “Myself and many people in my life have struggled with mental health, so it was really important to me that I make this ride a way to raise awareness of the issue while also raising money to help more people get the support they need.”
He’s calling his ride BC Trek and Biffart’s sponsors include Inovv8 Digital Solutions, Janzen Insurance, Momentum Realty Inc, Smith Creek Cycle, Kinetic Evolution and Tool Shed Brewing.
The pandemic has been especially hard on the mental health of young Canadians. Statistics Canada reported that from September to December of 2020, one in five Canadians over 18 screened positive for symptoms of depression, anxiety or PTSD. Those 18 to 24 were most likely to report symptoms, and 68% of those who screened positive for a disorder said their mental health had worsened since the start of the pandemic.
To stay updated on Sam’s trip, follow him on Instagram, Strava, and Facebook under the handle @sambiffart.
You can donate to Third Space Charity here.