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

Former Comox hospital turning into Vancouver Island’s first ‘dementia village’

Island Health inks deal to transform St. Joseph’s Hospital into groundbreaking $52.6 million facility

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Three people facing mischief charges after protests at Premier John Horgan’s home

Special prosecutor was appointed to avoid real or perceived undue influence

Eight people arrested on Pandora Avenue after enforcement order issued

Those living in homeless camps were given until May 20 to move indoors

Vancouver Island churches embrace technology to cope with pandemic

Technology helping faith communities connect

Ferry sailings scheduled once again at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay terminal

BC Ferries announces that resumption of service June 3 includes four daily round trips

‘A bottomless well of love for people and communities’

Parksville Qualicum Beach News editor JR Rardon dies at age 61

Dump truck in Nanaimo snags power lines, snaps hydro pole, crashes

No injuries in incident Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

No one injured in suspicious Victoria boat fire, say investigators

Victoria police and fire personnel called to blaze on waters near Selkirk Trestle May 22

Victoria dealer sells Batmobile replica at Arizona auction

Tim Quocksister sells Batmobile replica for $165,000 US at auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Most Read