Michael Schratter (centre) with Conrad

Michael Schratter (centre) with Conrad

Riding to raise awareness

mental health awareness

Mental health crusader Michael Schratter kicked off the Canadian home stretch of his Ride Don’t Hide world-wide bicycle trip Aug. 16 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

The Vernon native, now a Vancouver school teacher and newspaper columnist, has been biking since Aug. 1, 2010, crossing six continents and 30 countries, clocking more than 30,000 kilometres. He is riding to raise awareness about the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness.

Schratter, who has had a mental illness himself, is also raising money for the Canadian Mental Health Association and has raised more than $30,000 of his $40,000 goal.

He started in Vancouver and rode through the U.S., Mexico and South America, flying to Australia and cycling through Eastern Asia before flying to cycle in Europe and North Africa. He paid his own expenses for the trip.

The final challenge will be the 10,000 kilometres across Canada. He expects to be in Vernon in October. For more information see www.ridedonthide.com.