Monday, July 27, 2009

Into Ottawa

July 26
Last, last-minute changes to the route kept us on our toes, er, wheels all day. Not being from around these parts it's a little difficult to assess the suitability of roads for riders, especially a group. And for this segment did we ever have riders. Let's see, there were nine in all; Pat, Ted, Mike and George from Ottawa, Rob, Laura, and Tavis from Port Perry, Lindsay and Mel - ten actually, as Julie would join us enroute. And of course extra support drivers - Deb and Shawn and Bernie. We even had our own papparazzi - Kaila came out with Bernie.(the photos today are compiments of Kaila). Advice from our local riders provided a quiet and scenic route, so we all met at the curling club in Prescott, checked the map and were off.

We've been conditioned now to expect a few bike issues with each ride. Today was no exception. There were four flats amongst the all the bikes. With our experienced and prepared riders it wasn't a problem - kept the support vehichles hopping, though. Waiting for Mel's bikes in Ottawa was a tune up compliments of Micheal at Euro-Sports.

The last portion of the day's ride lead the bikers along the Rideau Canal into downtown Ottawa so I just pulled the RV up alongside the sidewalk in front of our hotel -the Chateau Laurier. Many thanks to Deneen Perrin for the gracious hospitality.

We hung around a bit as each of the riders arrived and de-biked, and as usual whenever the RV is stopped, passersby came up to us to ask about The Ride for Mental Health. We received several donations right on the spot. I had a conversation with an individual who thanked us for bringing awareness to mental health issues. Turns out he is a researcher working on developing new medications to help people dealing with Depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Medication plays an important part in the recovery of individuals living with mental illness, in fact, research shows that 80% of individuals with a diagnosable mental illness and who receive treatment, experience recovery. That is the good news. The sad news is that it is estimated that the majority of people experiencing mental health issues do not seek treatment. Stigma is reported to be the the greatest barrier to getting help. We can all do our part to reduce the myths and misperceptions around mental illnes that lead to stigma and discrimination. Awareness works.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing day!
    Good luck with the rest of the ride!

    Laura Thompson