Ready to hit the road after major heart surgery is Michael Hanley, of Skennars Head.
Ready to hit the road after major heart surgery is Michael Hanley, of Skennars Head. jay cronan

Cycling helps mend broken heart

HAVING major open heart surgery is not the end of the world, according to Skennars Head resident Michael Hanley.

The 58-year-old photographer had a quadruple bypass last May.

But it hasn’t slowed him down. In fact, he says he’s never felt better and is now preparing for a 45km cycling race next month.

“You’ve got to challenge yourself,” Mr Hanley said.

“My heart surgery was a huge challenge and one that I was very lucky to overcome. But it gave me a new lease on life.

“I did the Sydney to the Gong (Wollongong) ride just seven weeks after my operation. That’s a 58km ride. I probably did that a bit too soon.

“But if you don’t have something to aim for, you tend to get a bit lazy.”

The next step in his recovery is the Great Brisbane Bike Ride, which will be held on March 21 as part of Bike Week 2010.

One section of the ride will go through the new $3 billion CLEM7 tunnel, making Mr Hanley one of the first to use the 6.8km tunnel under the river.

“The Great Brisbane Bike Ride has been a goal of mine for some time and I’m particularly excited to be able to experience the brand new tunnel on two wheels,” Mr Hanley said.

“It’s not often you get the opportunity to cycle under a stretch of water, let alone something the size of the Brisbane River.”

Since his operation Mr Hanley has lost more than 11kg.

“I probably ate and drank too much before. It’s too easy to do that,” he said.

“But since the operation I am feeling so much better, and riding the bike helps a lot.

“Often the prospect of major surgery makespeople believe they won’t be able to continue to do the things they love.

“But with a bit of determination, some support and self-belief, nothing will get in your way.”

For more information on the Great Brisbane Bike Ride, visit www.bq.org.au

 



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