Scottsdale man, 77, rides bicycle 24 miles to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Mar 17, 2021, 4:25 AM
Nelson Strasser (Courtesy photo)...
Nelson Strasser (Courtesy photo)
(Courtesy photo)

PHOENIX — A 77-year-old Scottsdale man rode his bicycle 24 miles to get his shot at receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Nelson Strasser told KTAR News 92.3 FM Gaydos and Chad the only appointment he could book in mid-January was at 2:45 a.m., so he decided to take matters into his own hands — and feet.

“I couldn’t do that,” Strasser said. “I figured I’d start out at about 7 in the morning, get there at about 10 and then throw myself on their mercy.”

His journey in hopes of receiving a shot didn’t come without a roadblock.

Strasser got a flat tire on his crosstown ride to State Farm Stadium in Glendale.

Strasser eventually made it to the site, where he was greeted by volunteers who said he was the first person to show up on a bicycle to receive the vaccination.

He was still without an appointment, but after talking with personnel at State Farm Stadium, his journey came to a climax.

Strasser received his first dose of the vaccine later that day and made the return trek to Scottsdale.

“I was just doing what I had to do,” Strasser said.

Strasser’s story caught the attention of Gov. Doug Ducey, who applauded the 77-year-old in a tweet Monday.

“Incredible to see Nelson’s enthusiasm about getting vaccinated,” Ducey said in the tweet. “Couldn’t be more proud of Arizonans’ dedication to staying safe.”

Strasser has now received both vaccine doses — although his journey for the second dose wasn’t as time consuming.

A friend Strasser plays pickleball with convinced him to ride in his car out to Glendale.

Strasser is among one of more than 1 million people in Arizona who are fully vaccinated as of Tuesday.

For details about statewide COVID-19 vaccine availability, the ADHS website has a vaccine-finder page with a map of locations and information about registration and eligibility.

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Scottsdale man, 77, rides bicycle 24 miles to receive COVID-19 vaccine