Cycling post Pacemaker

Just thought I would pass on an important milestone (for me anyway) I achieved this week.

My Garmin tells me I have just ticked over 100,000 Kilometres ( 60,000 miles) on the bike since have my PM implanted at the start of 2013. I'm now 68 years young and cycle on average 5-6 days a week at a reasonably high level. So far so good.

Keen to pass on my experience - best advice - find a cardiologist who understands endurance sport and don't listen to 'armchair experts'!




That rules us out then!

by crustyg - 2019-09-26 05:32:06

Thanks for sharing.

For most of us, our EP docs probably only have one or two athletic patients, and cycling is a sub-group within that, so finding an EP doc who has real, practical experience in this area can be very difficult.

Hence why we armchair folk share our experiences.


by Tracey_E - 2019-09-26 10:27:36

Loving hearing things like this! Keep it up. 

Armchair experts

by AgentX86 - 2019-09-26 11:01:25

Well, medical experts have shown a conclusive link between endurance sports and arrhythmia.  Do with that what you may. BTW, I walk a lot (over 5500mi in the last year).

Always Ride!!!

by FirstDuely - 2019-09-27 00:37:45

I made a wooden sign that says "Always Ride".  Hangs on the wall.

I've had 10 pacers implanted since 1986, had location changed from left to right, had the original leads removed (2001) at a time only six doctors could do that, new leads because doctor discovered cracking, more pacers and last year had two leads removed (one cracked again) and then MRI safe leads and MRI safe pacer implanted which popped loose during a European trip so had to put the pacer under the muscle.  Since then, no problems.

And I STILL ride at least 3 times a week averaging 100 - 150 miles when it is possible, weather permitting, etc.

Riding saves my life as much as the pacer does.  I'll be 70 early next year and I intend to ride for many more years.  I even bought a new road bike last February.  If you know bikes then a Trek Domane SLR 7 with Schwalbe (sp?) 700x28s currently tubeless during Goat Head season mounted on carbon wheels will mean something to a "roadie". ;)

I have no idea how many miles total I've ridden since 1986 but I do know I will get up tomorrow morning early and put in another 40-50+ miles depending.  I'm on Strava but I don't have a Garmin.  Looking.  I do know that hills are not my friend as I believe my pacer doesn't pace up high enough when I need more oxygen.  AND maybe when it gets really hot here in Southern California the body needs a higher blood flow to cool the skin so maybe I don't get that??

But with the new bike with electronic shifters, ISOSpeed, disk brakes, and the low pressure 28s  I feel I am faster and last alot longer on rides...just a way to try to validate spending $$$ I think.

I so wish all bike riders with pacemakers could find a way to interact routinely and maybe there is a way to get together on "paced" rides?  Would be interesting.  It gets tough when friends say their heartrates are clocking at 140 or more or less and I'm not really being concerned.  I have attempted to check and maybe I'm pacing at 95 - 105 maybe.  Or am I in better shape?  I just find I sometimes, when not in best of shape, get left behind on inclines.  But I can ride really fast downhill...

So, lastly for tonight, I also cycle "post pacer"!  I'll check back sometime to read your, and others, added comments.

Dr. Raymond Schaerf of Burbank, California does lead extractions.  He teaches the technique also around the country.  He's the best in my opinion.  He works across the street from his office at Providence / St. Joseph's Hospital.  They are true professionals and the greatest people.  I highly recommend people look them up online.  Worth your time.

Gary Norgan, Hemet, CA

I got THE FIRST dual chambered/dual lead pacemaker in the world "installed" by Dr. Roy Jutsy at Loma Linda Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA

Pacer was made my Siemans Corp of Simi Valley, CA (name has changed to St. Jude etc.)

I took that pacer home when it was removed and it is in a safe place here.  Smiles!!!

Medtronic Settings for Cycling

by frankmcw - 2019-10-07 14:16:19

I suppose I am one of those “armchair experts”, but in my experience I would never allow any of my cardiologists to make settings changes to my PM. I was fortunate to find a Medtronic technician who worked with athletes suffering from Bradycardia during cycling  and other forms of exercise. I had been unable to push hard while cycling up hills for the first 3 years after implantation. Immediately after the Medtronic tech made a few simple changes to my settings, my PM was able to deliver up to 140 and above bpm. The change of responsiveness from my PM was dynamic and dramatic. If anyone is interested in advice from an “armchair expert” I can email a pdf file outlining the settings changes that will enable your PM to respond more aggressively to cycling. This also will help hikers, walkers, & swimmers, where your upper body movement is not vigorous enough to stimulate the accelerometer. (This only applies to Medtronic PM’s.)


I want that pdf file

by Novolubis - 2019-10-20 15:52:35

Please send the pdf file for me Frank..

I have Medtronic Protecta XT-VR

I love to city cycling, but yesterday i have get "shock" from my ICD. 5 times in a row 😓.


by jabtrek - 2019-11-27 18:25:13

I've been an active cyclist since the 70's and am approaching my 75th BD. I've had a lumbar lamenectomy, 4X bypass, and a hip replacement, through all of which I've continued to ride. I've endured bradycardia for several years, and am now diagnosed with Atrial Flutter. I've undergone the obligatory tests: EKG, echocardiogram, Zio Patch, etc. and now have an appt. with a cardiophysio doc. who will no doubt recommend a pacemaker. So finding this forum has been crucial to the decisions I make in the near future.

Frank: please send me the PDF outlining the PM setting changes. I'm not sure how receptive the Cardiophysiology doc will be, but my cardiologist is an avid swimmer and has been very supportive of my active lifestyle.

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