Hand-Biker Challenges Us To Get Outdoors

Paraplegic Italian is traveling Route 66 by hand-bike for sport.

Friday, May 22nd 2009, 12:15 pm

By: News On 6


Chris Howell, NewsOn6.com

TULSA, OK -- Route 66 attracts people from all over the world, but there's an inspirational story behind one of the travelers heading down the Mother Road this spring.

"My name is Norberto DeAngelis, I come from Parma, Italy," he told us.

Norberto pedaled his bicycle, by hand, through Tulsa on Thursday.

Norberto is hand-biking the length of Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles and has been on the road for a month.

"I do I think about 50-40 miles per day," Norberto said, his English much better than my Italian. "Depends the traffic, depends the hill, depends the weather.  My arms are good now, my arms feel good, I hope so."

They better feel good to make it the rest of the 2,448 miles of Route 66. 

But Norberto loves a challenge.  He was a professional athlete in Italy, playing American football, before he was paralyzed while working with poor people in Africa.

"I remember nothing about my accident because I stay in coma for some time, maybe two months," he said.

He's not a big fan of Tulsa, but only because of its topography.  "It's very hard because there is too much hill and I don't like the town," he said.

He wants to inspire people on his epic journey, inspire them to get outside and enjoy life.

"If someone, someone, someone disabled people see me maybe they improve his life because I need a sport, I want a sport, I want to do sport and I like if other people take this example to stay out of their home, no more and..." he paused, looking for the term in English.

"Just go outside and do it," we offered.

"Exactly!" Norberto said, beaming.

To see more on Norberto's trip and hear his inspirational message, visit his web site.

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