Surrey man rides BMX bike across Canada after conquering addiction
'It's always been a dream of mine to be the guy to see if he can get it done'
A B.C. man is embarking on one immense journey after successfully conquering another: overcoming addiction.
Surrey resident Matthew Fee intends to travel more than 6,000 kilometres by BMX bike, from Halifax, N.S. to the B.C. Legislature in Victoria.
"As far as I can tell there's no real documented trip of a cross-Canada ride by BMX bike," Fee said.
"It's always been a dream of mine to be the guy to see if he can get it done."
Fee, 33, said he was 8 years old and still living in Terrace, B.C., when he first formulated the idea. Now, as an adult, he's preparing to bring his idea to fruition.
He said his journey is intended to call attention to what can be done when you overcome an addiction, and to raise awareness around the various treatment options available.
"At a very young age, life got to me," said Fee, detailing instances of abuse in his childhood that fuelled his addiction later in life. He said he became a very sad, lonely person who suffered from extreme anxiety.
After being subsumed in addiction for several years, Fee eventually turned to the John Volken Academy, a long-term addiction recovery program. He says the Surrey-based institution helped him turn a corner. Treatment experts helped him identify underlying issues that drove his substance-use issues.
"We got down to the core issues of what was going on with me," Fee said.
"I learned how to not feel alone in a room full of people. It was a strange thing because I've never experienced that before."
Fee now lives and works at the academy. He chose Halifax as the starting point of his journey because he's "always wanted to see the city."
Shortly after his recovery, Fee decided to act on his long-held dream of biking across the country. He said the goal shepherded him through his tribulations.
"In my darkest days ... there was always that feeling that maybe one day, something could happen where I follow my dreams and do something spectacular."
With files from Daybreak North