Nathan Clement during his stop in Castlegar. Photo: Connor Trembley

Nathan Clement during his stop in Castlegar. Photo: Connor Trembley

Former paralympian embarks on bike trip across British Columbia

Nathan Clement hopes the trip will inspire others with disabilities to follow their dreams

Former paralympian Nathan Clement is biking across British Columbia to show those living with disabilities that anything can be accomplished in life if they put their heart, mind and soul into it.

Clement suffered a stroke at the age of two and a half, which made him lose mobility in his left arm and leg.

Defying all the odds, Clement began swimming at an early age to help regain much of the strength he had lost after the stroke. Through hard work and determination, Clement quickly climbed up the ranks to earn a top seven spot in the 50-metre butterfly during the 2016 summer paralympics in Rio de Jenairo.

After retiring from competitive swimming, Clement wanted to plan out a new adventure and mapped out an over 1000-kilometre cycling trip from Fernie to his hometown in West Vancouver.

Clement said this trip is a test to see how far he can push his biking skills down the road.

“I travelled across the world for a while and after visiting numerous countries, I thought to myself and said ‘wow, these places are so beautiful that I’d like to bike through them one day’. Then finally it popped that I’d love to cycle the world,” said Clement.

“Right now, this trip will be a warm up to see how my body handles travelling day after day on the road. It’s also an incredible opportunity to see parts of the province I’ve never seen before.”

Clement started out on the trip about a week ago and has been following portions of The Great Trail to help him finish his first segment of the trip.

The route took him on a 1000-metre ascent up the Early Gray Pass from Kimberley to Crawford Bay and along Highway 3A from Balfour to Castlegar.

Clements notes the start of the trip wasn’t the easiest.

“At the start of my trip, I came across a massive washout area,” said Clement.

“As a result, I had to pull and carry my bike for five kilometres up a mountain pass in 35 degrees Celcius. That killed me on my first day and I had to stop short of where I was trying to get to.”

Despite the setbacks, Dave Clement, Nathan’s dad, has been helping him to to overcome obstacles by driving behind him along portions of the trip.

“It’s really nice to have that support, especially since it’s my first time doing something as long and grueling as this,” said Clement.

“My dad has also been honking his horn to help motivate me to keep going.”

After cycling through Castlegar, Nathan biked the Columbia and Western Trail to Christina Lake and then followed the Kettle Valley Rail Trail from Midway to Penticton.

Nathan hopes to now travel west to Princeton and follow roads around the Coquihalla back into Vancouver.

Nathan is currently a student at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and plans to go into sport broadcasting after his studies.


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Regional and local governments will eventually be required by the province to follow the BC Energy Step Code, which aims to reduce greenhouse gases from buildings. Some governments, now including the RDCK, have decided to phase it in voluntarily ahead of provincial deadlines. File photo
VIDEO: RDCK adopts Step 1 of provincial home energy efficiency plan

New buildings must comply with first level of the BC Energy Step Code

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 70 new cases overnight

The total number of cases in the region is now at 1,426

A big portion of the funding is anticipated to be used in 2021. File photo
Village of Nakusp receives $692,000 in COVID-19 relief funding

The money will partly be used to help sustain and clean municipal facilities

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

RCMP pictured at a motor vehicle incident during snowy conditions. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Fruitvale woman charged with impaired driving in 2019 crash that killed 2 teens

A 15-year-old boy and 18-year-old woman, both from Fruitvale, died in the crash that sent the vehicle into the river

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

FILE – A paramedic holds a test tube containing a blood sample during an antibody testing program at the Hollymore Ambulance Hub, in Birmingham, England, on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Simon Dawson/Pool via AP)
Want to know if you’ve had COVID-19? LifeLabs is offering an antibody test

Test costs $75 and is available in B.C. and Ontario

The grey region of this chart shows the growth of untraced infection, due to lack of information on potential sources. With added staff and reorganization, the gap is stabilized, Dr. Bonnie Henry says. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 tracing to keep up with surging cases

People now notified of test results by text message

COVID-19 signage outside the Queen Victoria Hospital in Revelstoke. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
UPDATE: 22 COVID cases in 14 days in Revelstoke

Interior Health is calling the increasing number of cases a community cluster

People wear face masks as they pose next to a Christmas display in Montreal, Sunday, November 22, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
How to tell family their Christmas gathering is too risky and you’re not going

Dr. Hurst says it’s best to frame the conversation from a place of care, stressing safety precautions.

Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix.”
Free ‘Hollywood Suite’ movies in December include ‘Keanussance’ titles starring Keanu Reeves

Also featured is the Israeli-made ‘Valley of Tears,’ a 10-part war drama

FILE - This May 4, 2020, file photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer's COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  Pfizer announced Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, more results in its ongoing coronavirus vaccine study that suggest the shots are 95% effective a month after the first dose. (Courtesy of University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP, File)
VIDEO: B.C. planning for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the first weeks of 2021

The question of who will get the vaccine first relies on Canada’s ethical framework

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Canada can make vaccines, just not the ones leading the COVID-19 race

Canada has spent more than $1 billion to pre-order seven different developing COVID-19 vaccines

Most Read