Our cycling family just about lost a good one a few weeks ago. Geoff Fenelon of Rockford, IL (nicknamed “The Doctor” by his close friends) has been a long time Moots owner, good friend and riding pal to many in the Rockford area as well as here in his adopted home away from home of Steamboat. Over the last year he had mentioned to me he really felt like ”old age” had caught up with him and he felt slow and under powered. His friends noticed that when the group ride really put the hammer down, the usually at the front “Dr.” was dangling off the back. Not normal for Geoff. Now we all know getting older, things start to happen to our bodies and our limitations grow just a bit. But this was more than just that.
Geoff had been to the doctor and had normal physicals and checked out fine. On he rode, still chalking it up to getting just a bit slower with age. Geoff has a long history of being way above the normal physically fit American. He Nordic skis at a very high level (think Birkebeiner) he cross country runs, tele skis and can kill it on the bike any day, any time.
Well, he was out a few weeks ago with the “Terrible Tuesday” ride in Rockford and from all accounts Geoff blacked out on the bike and crashed. He crossed 4 lanes of traffic and ended up in the ditch after a very hard impact. In the crash he broke; ribs, collar bone and sustained a concussion. What happened? Geoff had suffered a heart attack while riding and the impact of the fall was so hard, it restarted his heart on the site. His Garmin file shows exactly the point that his heart stopped and then started again. He was rushed to the ER and tests were run. As he was admitted the staff cut his entire Moots kit off of him, which really got Geoff mad. Zippers people!
We all know how this cycling family takes care of its own at times and this is where the story gets really good. The staff was moments away from discharging Geoff, when a good cycling buddy (who happens to be a cardiologist) got word Geoff was in the hospital. He rolls through to see Geoff and wish him well. He looks over the charts and asks where the EKG test results are? None had been run. The cardiologist friend steps in and takes over the case, has the tests run and finds that Geoff is running on about 30% of his heart capacity. Blockage everywhere. Genetics….it runs in his family. They schedule surgery for a week later and Geoff undergoes a quintuple bypass. Talk about turn of events.
So now, two weeks since the surgery and Geoff is recovering and walking a little bit more each day. He’s an athlete and we all know how athletes can be. He’s impatient and bored. He wants to ski, he wants to ride……he’s chomping at the bit. Soon he’ll be back to 100% and ready to take on life. Riding and skiing just like he did before. We are fortunate to have him with us and me personally I’m looking forward to buying the guy a beer and maybe dropping a tele turn with him by spring break here in Steamboat.
Back to his nickname to finish this off, (and I know Geoff would be the guy that would not want anything written about him, because…he’s that way.) A Selfless person to all. Friends of Geoff’s have called me to fill me in on Geoff and why they call him the “Doctor”…by trade he’s an engineer, meticulous in everything he does, bike prep, ski prep, work….He’s the guy that has a work space in his basement to care for all his toys. He cares for them with surgical precision…and not just his, but his friends. Refuses payment other than maybe a Corona Beer now and then. He’s also the guy that stops for anyone that flats during the group ride. Priding himself on how quick he can get the tube changed and get back on the road.
Geoff, we are really glad you are still with us. Heal up; you are one of the good ones…thankfully it’s not your time yet.
See you on the road soon!