Iliajah Pidskalny is cycling from Saskatoon to Vancouver to raise awareness of the opioid epidemic

Iliajah Pidskalny is turning winter biking into frost-tipped philanthropy.

Riding his bike 1,600 kilometres from Saskatoon to Vancouver, in the middle of winter, Pidskalny hopes to raise $ 20,000.

Cycle to Stop The Harm is the title of the crusade and he hopes to arrive in Vancouver by January 30, 2021.

He cycles about 100 kilometres a day and sleeps in a tent wherever he can set it up safely.

All the fundraising proceeds go to the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC) and (hopefully) Moms Stop The Harm (MSTH).

“Bringing awareness to the overdose crisis will hopefully shed light on a lot of other big issues,” said Pidskalny, a recent University of Saskatchewan graduate, in an interview with CTV News. “The numbers are high."

Pidskalny said his goal on the trip is to highlight the value of taking an "empathetic, human rights approach to drug policies", in order to help shed light on the socioeconomic and psychological factor that often leads people to drugs and crime. He said he's hopeful that taking a human rights approach to the opioid epidemic will help prevent drug overdoses, crime, homelessness and suicide.

More information about Pidskalny's journey is available on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.