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Clara's Big Ride for mental-health awareness reaches Duncan

Clara Hughes enjoys a treat during the Northwest Territories portion of Clara’s Big Ride. - courtesy Clara
Clara Hughes enjoys a treat during the Northwest Territories portion of Clara’s Big Ride.
— image credit: courtesy Clara's Big Ride

Multi-Olympic medalist Clara Hughes pedals into Duncan Friday during her national ride promoting mental-health awareness.

The cyclist and speed skater, who has had issues with depression, stops Clara's Big Ride — sponsored by Bell Let's Talk — at downtown's U-Fix It Bike Works and Artsworks, 51 Trunk Rd., at around 1 p.m.

Big Ride spokeswoman Jenny Duncan said the goal of six-time medallist Hughes' 12,000-kilometre ride is raising awareness of mental health issues in local towns.

"Clara does suffer from depression, that's why this ride is so important to her — so people talk about (their health issues) and ask for help."

Clara's Big Ride started March 14 in Toronto. It ends July 1, Canada Day at Ottawa's Parliament grounds.

To David Ehle of Canadian Mental Health Cowichan, the Order of Canada holder's ride is a chance for local folks to "stand up against the stigma of mental illness."

"It's an invisible disability, and everything we can do to bring people out into the public is welcome."

CMHC is staging a June 22 local 26-kilometre awareness-raising. It runs from Glenora Trailhead Park to the Kinsol trestle, and back. Call 250-746-5521.

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