Meet Hewan - He is all Heart


Q: When did you start and what made you start cycling.

A: I got my first two wheeled bike aged six but had the obligatory 3 wheelers before that. I would say that it was my dad who got me into cycling and I still have the Elswick Stag bicycle that he bought for me as a teenager.

Q: We know you have had some heart issues can you tell us what they were.

A: In 2017 I suffered a major heart attack whilst out on the bike. I sat on the side of the road knowing that something was seriously wrong but didn't know what. Luckily a fellow cyclist recognised that I was in some distress and after stopping for a chat, called for an ambulance. It turns that his swift actions saved my life. I had a blockage of the left ventricle, often referred to as the widow maker. I had a stent inserted and the rest as they say, is history. Check out that ride including the one in the back of the ambulance courtesy of strava.

Q: Has cycling helped with your convalescence

A: I was a keen cyclist before my MI and wanted to continue but feared that the damage to my heart may have curtailed this. After getting the nod from my cardiologist, I started cycling to and from my cardiac rehabilitation appointments in Windsor, remembering to keep my heart rate below 126bpm. Towards the end of my rehab I was allowed to go to 140bpm. I rode the bike back from Windsor that day holding my heart rate at the higher number. I can vividly remember the emotion that came over me. The tranquilty of being on the bike and the time for quiet contemplation, the sound of the Jubilee and the birds and the wheels over the ground and the thought that I may never have had any of this again left me welling up. Although my MI was brought on by a bike ride I was assured by my cardiologist that my heart had managed to keep going for the length of time that it did, due to my good level of fitness which since returning to cycling, has improved to a level which is better now than prior to my heart attack.

Q: What sort of riding do you enjoy

A: I'm a roadie, sometimes a commuter, but I'm a roadie!

Q: Is cycling the only sport you do

A: Currently yes.

Q: How often do you ride

A: I like to ride every day, even if it's only a few miles.

Q: Other than cycling what are your other hobbies

A: I have a keen interest in F1 and play a couple of musical instruments and even graded on the flugel horn.

Q: What is your most memorable ride

A: Wow! A bit unfair to ask me to give one. Can I give three?

1. A reliability ride that I did as a youth. It was from Sheffield to Spilsby (close to Skegness) I remember that i was getting over a bad cold and that Malcolm Elliot was on the ride too. I spent almost the entire ride in the back of the broom wagon. Memorable!

2. March 18th 2017........ Memorable!

3. My first mountain; Monte Baldo. Done solo last year in Italy. Memorable!

Q: Why did you join MDCC

A: My better half Debbie made me. Good decision.

Q: Does anyone else in the family cycle

A: Debbie does, but only once every two years. She won't cycle on the road and it normally takes me two years to convince her to try it again.

Q: If you could have any bike what would it be

A: Went on holiday. Hired a bike. It was a Cannondale. It felt like home. I bought two!  However I have a good friend in Sheffield who owns an independent bike shop; JF Wilson and I've always fancied one of his handmade built to measure machines......One day.

Q: Do you have any cycling events planned for 2019

A: No not yet but I have a trip to Lanzarote coming up and I normally get out for some solo stuff out there.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone who has similar health issues.

A: Get any chest pains checked out immediately. Some people have heart attacks that last for days. The longer it lasts the more damage that is done to the heart muscle.