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, ending in Victoria

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich roads doused in more than 300 tonnes of salt during snowstorm

Crews cleared roads around the clock during the mid-January storm

Hydro pole fire closes portion of Metchosin Road in Colwood

Motorists are advised to avoid the area of Metchosin Road near Royal Bay

Funds raised through off-road cycling event will help improve Central Saanich bike trails

Tripleshot Cycling Club presents $3,000 cheque to Nature Trails Society

‘We thought it was an earthquake,’ homeowners okay after tree falls

Mature tree falls on roof of Victoria Avenue house

VIDEO: The Victoria byelection leads a selection of today’s news stories

A selection of Greater Victoria top stories for Jan. 17

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

POLL: Has the recent snow had an impact on your daily life?

Old Man Winter had Greater Victoria in his icy grip this week.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read