Starting on May 1 in Halifax, Mat Fee has ridden about 7,200 km, meeting with people along the way and sharing stories of strength a recovery as he travelled. (Cycling for Sobriety/Facebook)

Island man wraps up coast-to-coast BMX ride in support of addiction recovery

Mat Fee started his journey on May 1 in Halifax

A coast to coast BMXing journey has almost wrapped up for Mat Fee, who’s been riding since May, as he finishes his final leg of the trip in Victoria on Tuesday, ending at the Legislature building just after noon.

Fee, born in Duncan, set out on the Canada-wide trip in support of the John Volken Academy – a therapeutic recovery community with locations in Seattle, Vancouver and Phoenix – where Fee learned coping tools to overcome his own addiction.

Fee told Black Press Media the end of the trip has been exciting but also bittersweet, as he tries to figure out what to do with his life next after six months away from home.

Fee has ridden about 7,200 km since starting on May 1 in Halifax, meeting with people along the way and sharing stories of strength and recovery as he travelled.

“I’m starting to wrap my mind around what the heck I just did,” he says. “So, that’s pretty crazy.”

RELATED: Cycling for Sobriety: Vancouver Island man rides BMX across Canada

Documenting along the way on social media, Fee shared the ups and downs of his trip and his relationship with recovery, inspiring hundreds. While Fee says it was hard to always be strong enough to stand up and fight the stigma that goes hand-in-hand with addiction, he tried to be open and honest about all the bumps in the road.

“I’ve always struggled with self-doubt … so I’ve really learned I can basically do anything that I want to if I put my mind to it and focus,” he says, adding that is the same message he wants to instill in anyone struggling.

Fee says that as a child he was sexually abused. Too young to comprehend what had happened, he blocked out the memories.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Oak Bay High raises more than $76,000 for Tour de Rock

“I ended up falling in love with drugs and alcohol and that became my life,” he told Black Press Media in June.

Trying various treatment centres, it wasn’t until the seventh time he found a way back to himself at the John Volken Academy.

Before finding the academy, Fee describes a labyrinth of walls with constant, overpowering anxiety that made his life “hell.” During his two years at the academy, Fee recalls writing a letter that changed everything as he began to realize the importance of human connection.

Fee says that while he’s not sure what will come next, he’s already thinking about setting out on another coast to coast trip, this time in the U.S. For now, Fee is focused on getting home and is looking forward to reuniting with his electric guitar and playing heavy metal music as a form of meditation.

“I’m going to turn my guitar amp as loud as it’ll go and I’ll probably play for about five hours straight,” he says with a laugh. “Everyone is going to hate me in the building, but it’s okay.”

For more information on the John Volken Academy visit volken.org.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Green leader sees red over NDP Island ‘misinformation’ campaign

Elizabeth May: “We didn’t think that smears and attacks would be sufficient to erode the leads we had”

Island police haul attempted murder fugitive back from France

Sebastien Normandin, 49, charged with attempts to hit former girlfriend with car

Bear sightings spike in the mid-Island

Fruit trees number one food attractant, as bruin reports double

Commercial fisheries off-loading business booming in Port Hardy

Off-loading facilities pack, ice, and load in totes the fish that are caught by commercial fishermen

Four days of mediation fail to break four-month strike in the woods

Steelworkers union says Western Forest Products refuses to budge from ‘unreasonable concessions’

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

Estheticians can’t be forced to wax male genitals, B.C. tribunal rules

Langley transgender woman Jessica Yaniv was ordered to pay three salon owners $2,000 each

Two youth arrested in UBC carjacking at gunpoint, after being spotted in stolen Kia

‘A great deal of credit is due the alert person who called us,’ said North Vancouver Sgt. Peter DeVries

Open house for Royal Beach tonight

The third open house to gather public input on Royal Beach takes… Continue reading

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

Windstorm knocks out power for 10,000 in north and central B.C.

Power slowly being restored, BC Hydro says

Esquimalt chicken pox case inspires Island reminder

Island Health reminds parents to make sure children are up to date with chickenpox vaccine

Comox Valley leapfrogs Campbell River as an Island overdose hotspot

Rate drops in Campbell River, but not for its southern neighbours

Islanders remember noted Wei Wai Kum First Nation artist Mulidzas

Community reflects on the impact of one of its best after Curtis Wilson’s sudden death this weekend

Most Read