Martin Bauman sat to chat for a few minutes while his bicycle was being worked on in Velorution bike shop on Old Garden River Road. What he came to talk about was his journey and the reason for it: the illness of depression.
“It doesn’t discriminate – young or old – any of us,” he said speaking about his cause.
He is cycling across Canada for the Mood Disorder Society of Canada and the Waterloo branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, to raise awareness about depression and mood disorders, get people talking about them and hopes to reduce the stigma that goes along with it.
“It made it important to me to get out and spread the word and break down stigma,” he said.
“I lost a cousin to suicide when I was 10 – from that early age I realized the toll that could take on a family. Then seeing my Dad go through a bout of depression…” made the issue closer to home.
He has even felt it himself at the early age of 13 and 14: “being worthy of other people’s love,” was something he was coping with.
The idea for the ride was planted in his mind back in October of last year, a particularly cold day, and it was for a cause called the Ride for Refuge. He talked to a man there that was doing the ride because it was such a worthy cause when he could have been warm at home.
This started the idea for Bauman that it is possible to just get on a bike, make a journey, pick a cause and stick to it.
He’s been riding since June 1st from Vancouver and hopes to make it to St. John’s, Newfoundland, by August 31st.
He says he plans on checking out Rotaryfest while he is here, before he makes his next voyage to Ottawa.
He says his daily companions are trail mix, bananas, bagels and pepperettes.
“Nothing has put a dent in my schedule so far.”
He takes a break every week or 10 days for rest.
“The bike has held up really well.”
He says he considered himself a cyclist, just not one that would go long journeys. Well he has sure proven that wrong.
Good luck Martin!
Follow him on twitter at Martin_Bauman or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to lend support. He is taking donations for both causes: The Mood Disorder Society of Canada and CMHA-Waterloo. Look for Martin’s Ride.