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Riding after heart surgery

Trish Albert

Last year I got myocarditis after a contracting a Coxsackie virus. It is no relation to a coronavirus; they are enteroviruses. I was not sure what would happen, but it was more than I expected. Part of my heart’s plumbing failed and would need to be replaced. COVID-19 caused many delays, but I finally had open heart surgery in early October. Recovery was worse than expected as I had some complications that are not uncommon. I walked and slept a lot the first month. Getting back on the bike or even the trainer was too hard.

By 6 weeks post op I was able to spin at sloth pace on the Silver Comet for an hour. Knowing that I would mentally not be able to do this forever, I put out the call to see what ebikes bikes were available. There are not many in the US market that would fit me and certainly not many bikes available right now. I wound up with a Specialized e-gravel bike. It’s a game changer! I’ve been able to keep up with my friends and in the case of TURBO even out climb them on the hills! Yes, the bike has a TURBO mode. It’s a class 3, so there is no “push a button and go.” You have to put the work in, and the bike will assist you up to 28 mph. I’ve managed to push it past there a couple of times on the flats. (Hey, I am a track racer!) There are a few e-bike races in the Southeast, but most are for mountain bikes. While one is in my future, it’s gravel and road for now. I’ve reached out to a few gravel race promoters and have had one invite me and my e-bike to their series as their goals are for everyone to have fun and see more women and juniors racing. If I feel the situation is safe, I plan to do a few of them. E-bike racing will be a bit different, but I am excited to see where it goes! I am also hopeful that this fall we will be able to race cyclocross. I am the reigning state Women’s 1/2/3 champion and would love to show of my Sorella Cycling State Champion jersey a few times!

Our sponsor Atlanta Cycling now owns Peachtree Bikes, and you can get Specialized there! Very exciting!