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Wednesday May 7th, 2014

Posted at 2:00pm

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On June 22nd, thousands of Canadians will cycle in Ride Don’t Hide, benefitting the Canadian Mental Health Association, and earlier today, the local campaign was kicked off with a call to cyclists across the province to join the movement that’s sweeping the nation.

Canadian Mental Health Association’s across Canada has pledged to recruit more than 4,500 cyclists and over a dozen schools to ride for mental health. Cyclists in 19 communities across four provinces will join the third annual Ride Don’t Hide community bike ride in celebration and support of mental health.

In Windsor, cyclists have the option of a 10, 20 or 50 km route starting from Devonshire/Riverside Drive and heading west along the river.

“We are very excited to be holding this event in Windsor-Essex for the first time,” says Kim Willis, Senior Manager, Fund Development and Community Engagement, CMHA-WECB. “With one in five Canadians dealing with a mental illness during their lifetime, events like Ride Don’t Hide allow us to come together as a group to address the stigma.”

The Ride Don’t Hide movement began with Michael Schratter, a Vancouver school teacher living with bipolar disorder, who spent almost a year and a half cycling 40,000 km around the globe. Armed with only his bike, a knapsack and the determination to realize his dream of raising awareness and empowering those who experience mental illness, his story inspired millions of people and raised $100,000 for CMHA.

The third annual Ride Don’t Hide community bike ride continues to inspire and aims to raise $800,000 across Canada.

“With some 4,500 Canadians expected to participate on June 22, Ride Don’t Hide is poised to become the largest mental health advocacy event in Canadian history,” says Schratter. ”Never in a thousand years could I have expected that it would become what it is today.”

Ride Don’t Hide is open to cyclists of all ages and skill levels. Registration is $35 for youth and adults or $30 if you register by April 30th and free for children 12 and under. More information can be found online here.

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