We are very fortunate to get a lot of email from happy Seven riders. Each one is humbling in its way. Each one is appreciated. But we got this photo and note from Pat McCann last week, and it left us all a little speechless:
In December of 2006 I took delivery of my custom built Seven Aerios. I was very proud and excited to own such a bike. At the age of 58 I had ridden over 6000 miles the summer before and was a decent enough rider to enter some races. I felt my new bike would be a real asset.
Living in upstate N.Y. and not wanting to wait until spring to ride, we went to visit my wife’s family in S.C.. We arrived Jan.16th ’07 and on Jan. 17th at 7 am I suffered a massive heart attack. It was the worst of the worst. Every inch of my body was racked with pain. My chest felt as if I had cinder blocks being pressed on me. Even the tips of my ears hurt, and I was suddenly sweating. My wife is a nurse and, although unable to believe what appeared to be happening, rushed me to the hospital 1 mile away.
How could I be having heart attack? Never smoked, never gets drunk, eats low fat, exercises like crazy…my cholesterol was 150. This just can’t be happening.
As I lay on the bed in the emergency room surrounded by nurses and technicians the heart monitor was faced away from me at the foot of my bed. Their eyes were bugging out as they looked at the monitor, but worst of all I looked across them all and I saw Brenda (my wife) standing back reading the monitor, tears running down her face. I knew it was bad. Later she would tell me that from across the room she could see my heart throwing PVCs off the chart.
I was then rushed to Carolinas Hospital’s cardiac unit in Florence SC. As they wheeled me in from the ambulance to the hospital I was in horrible pain and freezing cold (temp out side about 70 degrees). Suddenly, as I lay flat on my back, I looked past my feet and everything appeared to be backlit by a bright light. The noise of the hospital and noise from my gurney disappeared, the pain was gone, I was warm, and was looking down at my feet from a 45 degree angle. I knew I was dying and remember thinking, “oh this is going to be nice”.
Just then my wife put her hand on my arm as we were rushing through the hospital to the OR and said “don’t worry honey you’re going to be alright.” I must have looked at her face streaming with tears and said “no, I can’t go yet!” It was as if I was slammed back down on the gurney. The pain was back; the cold was back; the noise was back.
As they wheeled me into the OR I noticed on the beam holding the tv monitor (you can watch them catheterize you) the word MAVIC. It was actually MAVIG, but you know where I’m going. I said MAVIC? That’s the type of wheel I have on my brand new Seven that I came down here to ride. One of the cardiologists said “you have a Seven? I always wanted one.” My sarcastic wife who felt I spent too much money on the bike said, “Make us an offer. He’s not going to need it.”
Little did she know.
The doctor came out and told Brenda that I had a 100% blockage of the L.A.D.. She said, “That’s the Widow Maker. Why is he still alive?” The doctor said “Does he exercise a lot?”
“All the time” she said. The doctor said, “Because of that he has built up so much collateral circulation, that’s what saved him. However he was over 2.5 hours without blood to the apex of the heart, so he has lost about 1/3 of his heart.”
I remember trying to swing my leg over my new bike when I got out of the hospital and couldn’t do it. I remember looking at the computer mileage set at 0. I would lay on the couch and cry. I put the Seven on a trainer and watch old TdF videos. I could only ride 8 minutes, and I’d have to lay back on that couch.
The bike was always there. It was my therapy, both physical and mental. I eventually got outside and rode a little more each week. There are lots more stories since 2007 until now, but I’ll spare you. I rode my Seven every day that I could. I love that bike. To say we’ve been through a lot together would be an understatement.
But this part I want to tell you. Last summer, 2014, I was riding up a very steep and long hill in upstate NY. I looked down at my computer to watch it turn over to 20,000 miles. This time they were tears of joy.