Wellandport man back to biking for a cause

·2 min read

After COVID-19 related cancellations in 2020, Mathew Bradbury is back biking again, this time for seniors mental health.

In 2019, Bradbury and his team rode in the Ride For Refuge event in an attempt to help raise money to support orphans suffering from HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

This year, on April 25, the Wellandport man will be riding in the COVID-friendly version of the Paris To Ancaster (P2A) race, called the "Not The Paris to Ancaster" race.

Starting in 1994, the P2A is an annual event that sees riders race from Paris, Ontario to Ancaster, Ontario in an attempt to raise funds for different causes associated with the rider or their teams.

This year however, the P2A has moved to an online and individualized format, offering riders a chance to join an online virtual bike race from home on April 24, and/or the opportunity to sign up to be informed of one of eight possible routes that they’re encouraged to bike alone on the 25th.

Though registration is now closed, donations for riders and their causes are still open.

Bradbury will be riding for his team, Seniors Mental Health, this year, which is affiliated with St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton. Bradbury rides in honour of his late mother, Beth, who he said received excellent care from St. Joseph’s when she was in need.

Bradbury, who has been providing care to those in need in their 80s, said that he witnessed his family members grow older and require mobility devices and external care, but still, seeing it happen to his mother was “not something that I saw coming.”

It was in 1993 that Bradbury began specifically helping seniors by installing mobility devices and making other home improvements. He said his experience with helping those struggling physically made him aware of how important it was to address the physical as part of mental health.

He recalled trying to help her mother, who was struggling with depression related to her inability to be active. This is something that he said ties into the lives of a lot of people during COVID-19, especially seniors.

The Wellandport resident, who is also a bike trainer, said “I've seen seniors be impacted with mental health dynamics and they responded well when they were able to ride their bike, when they were able to get regular exercise.”

“The story is really about how, being a family member, I witnessed and was part of a care circle for my mom who received really good support,” he said.

He said the goal of his ride is to put the spotlight on St. Joseph's for the care it provided his mother along with raising $2,500 through his planned 75-kilometre "remote ride" on April 25.

Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News