An Olympic medallist touring Canada on a bicycle to raise awareness about mental health started her Newfoundland leg of the journey on Monday.

"Some days I'm utterly exhausted, and other days, like today, I just felt like a kid on a bike," Clara Hughes, an Olympic speed skater and cyclist, said Monday.

Hughes started her cross-country Clara's Big Ride in March, and has been speaking in communities across Canada in an effort to rid the country of the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Hughes met with fans, after cycling from Stephenville to Corner Brook.

"We were riding fast and it was beautiful, and someone said it's cold, it's not spring yet, but today was one of the most beautiful days on the bike we've had," Hughes said. 

Clara Hughes Corner Brook

Six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes started the Newfoundland leg of her cross-country trek on Monday, with a stop in Corner Brook. (CBC)

Caroline Mosher got to meet her idol Hughes and get her autograph. Mosher said the cause hits home for her.

"Suffering from depression and having someone else know how you feel … she just brings so much awareness to it," said Mosher. "I hope people learn from this."

Hughes said hearing from people like Mosher is the big motivation behind the tour.

"If I can be a stimulus for people to talk and share, I'm so happy about that," she said.

The six-time Olympic medalist will continue her tour to central Newfoundland Tuesday, and hopes to be in St. John's by Sunday.