Back in the bike saddle again for Port Coquitlam man
Thirty-five years ago Norm Nelson left his bike behind when he got his first car.
Now, because of a stubborn streak, the Port Coquitlam crane operator is back in the saddle again.
The 55-year-old is joining his Weatherhaven workmates on the 200 km Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer June 16-17 because they thought he was too old to do it.
"It was a challenge more than anything else," says Nelson, who said getting back on two wheels was tough at first but he was inspired by his mom who fought and won a battle against leukemia. She died last year but of other unrelated ailments after a long life.
He wears a tattoo on his arm, newly inked, that reads "Suck it up, Buttercup," one of his mom's favourite sayings.
Recently, Nelson had to "suck it up" when he punctured a lung during a fall helping a friend move. After a week of hospital bed rest and a week of dry land training, he got back on his $10 used bike that Cap's Westwood Cycle helped him refurbish.
"I have a stubborn streak," he admitted,"I'm going to do it no matter what."
After six months of training, Nelson expects he'll have no trouble completing the ride and will get support from family and friends at checkpoints along the route to Seattle.
As for his mom, she'll be on his mind with her tell tale phrase "suck it up, Buttercup!" if he ever dares to complain about tiredness or saddle sores.
• Norm Nelson has raised about $2,500 towards his team's goal of $58,100. For more information, visit http://va12.conquercancer.ca.