There aren’t many things Scott Vanderveer enjoys more than riding his motorbike.
“Riding a bike, to me, it calms the brain,” Vanderveer said. “It’s a quiet peace.”
Now he’s hitting the road from his home in Strathmore, Alta., to find that peace as part of a big crowd.
Vanderveer is joining hundreds of other motorbike riders taking to Canada’s highways for “The Rolling Barrage” http://www.therollingbarrage.com/
“This ride goes coast to coast to raise awareness, to raise money to help veterans and first responders — police, fire, ambulance,” Vanderveer said. “To recognize that a lot of us need help.”
Vanderveer struggles with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“Being around crowds, you’re on edge all the time,” he said. “When it gets that bad you need help, you really do.”
Vanderveer’s problems surfaced after years of serving Canada, starting as a soldier.
“We went to Cyprus [on] a U.N. peacekeeping tour,” he said. “Along with serving 15 years in the military, I did 14 years with a couple of different volunteer fire departments.”
The pressures of working in both of those environments contributed to Vanderveer’s PTSD.
“You’re dealing with things and situations that the average person never even wants to see,” he said. “And it takes a toll.”
Vanderveer rode coast to coast, from St. John’s, NL. to Victoria, B.C., on the first “Rolling Barrage” in 2017.
He was along for part of the ride last year, as he will be again this year, joining the group for the trip from Saskatoon to Okotoks, Alta., on Sunday, Aug 18.
“To raise awareness that when we’re hurting [we need] to reach out,” Vanderveer said. “To spread the word that we’re not alone — you need help, ask.”