A West Kelowna resident is riding his bike across B.C. to raise money for a local charity.
Sam Biffart, 23, set out from Victoria on June 5 and aims to reach the Alberta border on June 21. He's raising money for Kelowna's Third Space Charity, which focuses on mental health.
On Saturday, he met with Castanet News for an interview on a rest day.
“I came up with the idea of doing B.C. Trek last year and when I thought about a charity ... I instantly thought of mental health because that’s very personal to me," he said, explaining he has dealt with OCD tendencies and social anxiety.
"When I heard about Third Space and their whole mission, which is young people and counselling, I thought it was just bang on for what I would want to do."
Covering over 100 kilometres a day on his trek across B.C., you'd think Biffart was an experienced long-distance cyclist, but he’s only been riding for less than two years. He’s the kind of guy who’s always ready for the next big challenge.
“How can I challenge myself next?” Biffart asked himself. “So I kind of went from doing a 40k to a 100k to a 160k ride, and kind of was like what’s the next big thing? And that turned out to be BC Trek.”
Biffart is sticking mostly to the Trans Canada trail, which includes the KVR trail through Summerland, Naramata and Myra Bellevue Park. Mother Nature has not made it easy, but raising money for mental health has helped him to continue pushing himself towards the finish line.
“Because of all the flooding last year, it’s definitely added a fair bit of backtracking. I think so far I’m probably about 150 kilometres over my first estimate of how long this is going to be just because I think six or seven times I’ve got going and the trails been washed out, so it means I've got to backtrack 10 or 20k which just adds up quite a bit, but it’s all a part of the adventure for sure,” he said.
Having travelled over a third of his venture, Biffart has raised over $10,000 for Third Space Charity, with his goal being $15,000.