Saturday, 6 September 2014

Whistler Granfondo Blues: Saturday, September 6th!

 If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties. -Francis Bacon, essayist, philosopher, and statesman (1561-1626)

Thanks Patrick, We have just got home from a bit of a road trip, Brisbane to Robinvale in north Victoria and then on to my brothers new house in South East Victoria, then to Canberra to visit friends up the coast and home about 4500 km all up.

Great to hear Wayne is thru perhaps the worst of it and hopefully on the road to full recovery. Your information paints a picture that says he was very lucky on the one hand and in great hands on the other. I now know why I have a full heart stress test every two years even though I am fairly fit and healthy. It seems that coronary heart disease is a lurking threat to us all. We realise that you have been generous to offer accommodation for our stay in Vancouver however given the current circumstances would iit be better if we organise other accommodation so that Wayne’s friends/relatives might have somewhere to stay during his recovery? If this would be best, could you recommend a suitable place we might stay that is reasonably close to town and of a reasonable cost.

Our best to Wayne and Michele our thoughts are with them both. Cheers Greg and Claire

We were thinking about you this morning - hope you had a great ride. We're very impressed with your prowess. Dawn and Gerry 

Distance 121.53 km | Time 05:43:38 | Speed 21.22 kph | Elev Gain 2358 m
  • Wayne Sutherland Great job.
  • Patrick James Dunn Hi Sarge! Everybody at The Squamish Waldorf is simply more than delighted, it goes without saying, that you are home and on the way to a full recovery! Loads to tell but for tonight it is two celebrations: Your incredible survival and the ride we all did for you an your family! Fondestos and Cheers, Squamoids, Whirlygig, Cora Lee and Patrizzzio!
  • Wayne Sutherland It will be interesting to hear about the ride.
  • Patrick James Dunn Went really well and the "training" run certainly made a big difference. Must away as we, Whirlygig and I, are hammering rest at bridge!
  • Howard Gold Very nice Job!!!!
  • Ayn P Bravo! Bravo! Cheers from Los Angeles Poppa xoxo!
  • Chloe Alexis Dunn Well done Daddio, George and rest of lot!!!
  • Christina Tassell Well done Patrick James Dunn from sunny Neffies. Had a great time at Pezenas market yesterday.
  • Kjell Nilsson I don't believe it! Where's the proof?? May be by car?
Patrick James Dunn By car from Whistler back to Squamish! Thanks Howard! Missed having you along. Next year!
Hi Pat, Hope you had a great ride. I did, although damn tough! Despite newly installed rubber and tubes, got a flat rear tire on my way to the start so ordered riding buddy Doug to ride on. Crossed the start at the back of the race but rode hard and flew past hundreds of riders...until about 10 km past Squamish, where I heard my inner self say "Stop it, you're killing me!" Progress slowed by half and hundreds of riders rode past...grannies, kiddies, pensioners, anyone with a pulse. Doug experienced the same...road like a bastard for 80 k then cramps in both quads. Hundreds of riders passed him as he crawled to Whistler. When he crossed the finish line a young volunteer asked "Sir, do you need a medic?" I won't let him forget that. Nor will I forget the generosity of Team Jackal. Many thanks. I can't wait for the 2015 Fondo! Peter

[Chloe Alexis Dunn Sitting on the patio for the last 6.5 hours at the new Mahoney & Sons (the old Monk's) with good people, Adrianne and Jules!!!

Hi Kids: First message file was too large for everyone! Have removed some of offending pictures!

Hello Puncture Pete, et al! No wonder you suffered remonstrations from your inner self! You seem to go to bed after midnight and rise shortly after 5:00 am! Anyway, sorry to learn about your flat. Complete drag, of course. You experienced the polar opposite of Team Leader, Carlos the Jackal, as 5 km from Finish Line, he had a flat!

Not sure which corral you were in, (I assume a few ahead of us), but I wonder if we passed you, initially, while repair was underway. However, we didn't actually cross Start Line until just after 7:15 am+/-, if I recall correctly, stopping and starting until then, given "bottle-necks" ahead. Not even riding slowly until around Brockton Point. Climb to Lions Gate was better than I expected it to be, in terms of rider cluster and then it was, basically, an open road, with plenty of space, more or less, all the way to Whistler. Quite enjoyed riding on the road over LGB as well as for rest of course, even when the shoulder was wide and clean as knew I wouldn't be able to do so until 2015!

Team Jackal kept together, pretty much, all the way up Taylor Way, although Carlos and Whirlygig were "pulling" me along up the grade. Quite enjoyed riding on the south side of the highway. Think the grade is slightly easier on this side. At any rate, I left the Young Bucks around 15th St, or thereabouts. I felt pretty comfortable and knew that if I was going to achieve a 20 km/hr AVG, (my goal), I would need to build up some "credit" on the leg to Squamish. Had never ridden on the highway, past Horseshoe Bay, on my training ride the week before, as I was forced to follow a detour at Westport Road. Nevertheless, didn't find the fairly decent climb up the new cut too, too bad. Neither did my teammates, apparently, as they were soon behind me as we raced towards Lions Bay, jeering at my tattered shorts along with all the svelte babes in Lycra, ("Don't you just want to rip those off him!" Actual wording!), who happened to speed by when they caught up.

We stayed together for a bit after that and then that was the last I saw of them until Whistler. I knew they were planning to stop at various Pit/Rest Stops but I had no intention of touching The Burning Ground, (This pejorative characterization from Ragin' Bull as I will do almost anything not to stop or unclip!
), having plenty of liquid in my camel pack, (two bladders full of malt!), as well as a large water bottle on my bike frame. (I don't seem to need to eat anything on the long rides I've done so energy bars, fruit, and the like weren't an issue either. Had a large peanut butter and honey sandwich for breakfast so that was my fuel for ride.) Stopping, as they stated they would, meant that they would probably remain behind me as they had also given themselves a six hour finish goal.

I hadn't really appreciated just how much downhill there was before Porteau Cove. From my point of view that is where the real uphill battles start with Furry Creek climb and then hill out of Britannia Beach. Nevertheless, I was able to manage those quite well, I thought and had achieved a 24 km/hr+/- AVG by the time I was on the flats in Squamish. Was happy about this but knew this would certainly drop with what lay ahead. Of course the fierce head wind that we encountered nearing Squamish was maddening and certainly didn't help anything except everyone's frustration factor!

Knew that the leg from Squamish on was going to be a steady grind so I simply geared down and kept plugging away. I chatted, a number of times, with people I'd met earlier. One chap, Pip, was in line with me at registration pick-up and we rode for most of flats in Squamish until he peeled off to have his bike looked at. he had just bought it the week before so I gather he needed some adjustment. Another rider was a young German woman who was beside in corral. I didn't expect to see her again as she looked pretty fit. At any rate, I caught up to her around Alice Lake and we rode together for a fair bit. I could tell, by then, that she was finding the ride pretty challenging. Again, I had the advantage of knowing what lay ahead while she didn't. Waved goodbye saying she would probably pass me later. She disagreed and, as it turned out, she was right.

After climb and descent of Tantalus Lookout, I started to follow another yound female rider. She would pass me on an uphill and then I'd go ahead on the downhill and flats, such as they were. Same repeated itself for probably 10 km or so and we started chatting after a bt. She was also from Germany, now living and working in Vancouver. I left her at second to last Aid Station, (Penticton GF nomenclature!), and I don't think she passed me, after that, but I can't be certain.

Another chap, said a few words going up grade before/around Callaghan Lake, as I reacall and when I passed him, subsequently, I remarked on the grease on his left leg, ("I'd recognise that smudge anywhere!), and we had a fairly lengthy conversation. We introduced ourselves. Mike is a software developer, (studied at Western), who worked for Blackberry but now does contract work, out of his new home in Whistler, (Rainbow, I believe.), which he had built much himself. He sub-contracted out plumbing, electrical and drywall. I know this as I said to him that he probably didn't do foundation work. In fact he had! Very interesting and capable person, obviously.

Few minutes after chat we passed a small group and he recognized two friends so he dropped back to join them. Not long afterwards, he and to women, about his age, passed me. (I'd noticed them earlier and had played cat and mouse for a bit, finally going ahead.) On next climb they dropped back and I rode up alongside Mike. Turned out that they were both teammates. Bit of a sad story inasmuch as one of them was the girlfriend of a close friend who had died of cancer at 40. Mike and a number of other friends had suggested they do ride in honour of the deceased as a way of helping girlfriend with her grief/loss.

Initially, in thinking about event, Mike was planning to try for a 4 hour finish. He is more of a mountain biker, it seems, but you can well imagine his remarkable strength/endurance. Only reason I even met him was that he was just "coasting along", keeping pace with the two women. He also mentioned that he and a number of other friends ride the Squamish/Whistelr leg, or part thereof, regularly. At any rate, I went on alone after he stopped at the last Rest Stop to wait for the two women. On passing them on an earlier long uphill grade I heard one of them ask how much further there was to go and I replied I had 97 km on my odometere. She seemed to be struggling at this point, although they had often passed me and stayed ahead for a goodly time. I think the course was beginning to take its toll by then.

For my part, I felt pretty good and once I was 20 km out I felt I could achieve a 21 km/hr AVG. Knowing what lay ahead and what I'd already ridden gave me a certain amount of psychological energy so I was ready to "attack" the remaining distance. I noted, time and time again, that while many riders passed me on the slight uphills grades remaining, they seemed drained by the time they reached the crest and I "sailed" past them.

My legs had felt strong from the very beginning but with just 3 km to go I felt the first few twinges of mild cramp in my left thigh. This being the case, I finished most of the remaining distance standing up as this position, I have found, can somewhat ameliorate the cramping if not too serious to begin with. Fortunately, I made it across the Finish Line in good form, noted by the announcer: "Pat Dunn looks like he's just riding to work!" Well, not quite, but I did feel pretty chuffed with my time. Ride preparation and course knowledge were key factors, it goes without saying.

I stowed my bike, had my invaluable solid Platinum Medal placed around my neck by two blonde bombshells, ate three pieces of watermelon, an energy bar, had a cup of java and then went to wait for rest of Team Jackal to appear. Whirlygig was first to arrive, (6:09:50),
and, unfortunately he had suffered a very uncomfortable foot problem for a goodly portion of last part of ride, necessitating riding on his heels, if you can imagine! At any rate, he soldiered on but felt a bit woozy and after he'd stowed his bike next to mine, he repaired to sit in the shade on the embankment above the course.

Carlos The Jackal arrived about seven minutes later, (6:17:16), after fixing his rear tire. He was, otherwise, feeling fine. This is also remarkable, as he really hasn't done any appreciable distance riding/training in some time. Once Giggster felt a bit bettee we made our way to Food/Beer tent and toasted each other. Funnily enough, we bumped into Richard Dustan, an Earthworm, who had ridden course the day before, with a groupd of friends. I'd not seen him in ages, basically ever since I stopped playing squash. Anyway, grand to see him as he is a delightful individual. Carlos and Whirlissimo still play doubles regularly with him, usually at Evergreen, I believe.

Once we'd fed and watered ourselves we re-crossed bridge, (steps were a nightmare, at this point, for our tired legs), over course-way to collect our bikes and then made the short ride to rendezvous with our domestiques, (Cora Lee and Squamish hostess, Little White, aka Ruthless), at the golf course, who had been delayed due to jams on highway due to lane closures, etc, necessitated by event. However, sag wagon arrived only a few minute after we reached golf course so we were soon speeding back towards Squamish, with Sterling Moss-Ruthless at the wheel!

Poor Carlos suffered some painful cramping about halfway home but remained amazingly stoical in the face of extreme discomfort, managing to somewhat alleviate/mitigate pain until we reached Howe Sound Brewery for much needed medication! In fact, I asked Co-pilot, Cora Lee, to sit in back seat, once back in car, as I was worried that my legs would undergo sympathetic cramping. Fortunately, this was not the case and am happy to report wasn't so afflicted for rest of evening/night, although I moved quite gingerly at times. Wonderful ride with wonderful friends to stay with wonderful friends so who could ask for more!

We will be off to Madroña Manor to house/cat for Grogg/Lurchesca on Thursday until the 18th but after that let's try to arrange a ride. Would very much like to know about how you approach Cypress, at some point, as that ride has always been a goal. I'm hoping to have some good rides out of Parksville as I do enjoy doing the Fairwinds loop out of Nanoose Bay, as well as heading up north, past Qualicum Beach to Bowser, Fanny Bay and beyond! Norm Carinal lives in Courtenay so I might try to arrange riding there or else meet partway.

Anyway, congratulations on your ride. Cheers, I'll Conduttore!

PS:Ricardo and Ruthless, I heartily second Giorgio's thanks, as per his last salsa covered message! Will be in touch with more snapolas as soon as I've a moment. Again, thanks so, so much for everything, grumpiness included, Rikki Ricardo!

My Garmin stats for ride:

Team Jackal: (Petros, do you know what KOM and TT stand for?)

Il Conduttore: Bib# : 3611, Div. Pl. : 93 (M60-69), Gender. Pl. : 1269, KOM Time :0:09:01, KOM Place : 2490, TT Time :1:19, TT Place : 2816, Rate :21.3

Whirlygig: Bib# : 4378, Div. Pl. : 441, Gender. Pl. : 1529 (M50-59),City : Galiano Island, KOM Time : 0:08:17, KOM Place : 2113, TT Time : 1:11, TT Place : 2255
Rate : 19.8

Carlos The Jackal: Bib# : 4377, Div. Pl. : 124 (M60-69), Gender. Pl. : 1577
Team : Team Jackal Team Leader! KOM Time : 0:08:43, KOM Place : 2349, TT Time : 1:11, TT Place : 2260, Rate : 19.4

Wayne Sutherland We are having a birthday dinner for Ryan tomorrow night if you guys want to attend.

Hi Patrizio! Sorry for the delay but thanks for the update. Glad to hear about Sarge and thanks for the photos. Trust you had a great cycling day in Whistler. Interesting we are going up tomorrow (Sunday) for a couple of nights to celebrate our BIG anniversary. If you’re still in the area we are staying at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Charlie

Wayne Sutherland Great to be home and alive.

Twelve days ago on Monday morning, my day started like any other workday. I arrive to the office around 6:50. I went to the gym to work out. My day was normal until I dismounted the elliptical machine approximately 7:50. My heart had had enough, it stopped, and I collapsed face first onto the floor.

Personally I would like to thank Irene Lin, the two of us being the only people in the fitness room that morning. Irene had left the fitness room. But she had forgotten her card and could not go into the showers. She returned to the fitness room to find me on the floor and sounded the alarm. The following four members of the Major Crime unit: Rob Caruse, Bryan Pyatt, Bill Robinson, and Sean McGowan were among those playing floor hockey in the gym and they rushed to perform CPR on me. I would like to thank them all personally. They had access to a AED and performed two shocks to restart my heart.

The ambulance arrived and I was transported to the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Wesminister. I arrive in the ER and had the company of the following people during my first few days: my wife, Michele; my children, Ryan, Corey, and Nicole; their spouses, Megan, Rebecca, and Marvin; my mother; my brother and his wife; my sister; my nephew Aaron and his wife Akiko; my nephew Bradley; many close family friends; and exceptional colleagues from work Dave Miyashata, Terry Wild, Keith Bramhill. My visitors to the ICU were only permitted to enter two at a time so they took turns for the 4 days I was there.

On Monday the doctors decided I was a candidate for a cooling procedure to slow the blood flow throughout my body. I spent 24 hours with my body temperature at 36 degrees. This procedure involved preventing my muscles from shivering and I remained in an induced coma. As my family arrived on Monday I had a ventilator tube, 6 IV lines, and a neck brace, to go along with my broken nose, two black eyes, and of course my previously-stopped heart.

On Tuesday afternoon, the doctors removed the cooling blankets and I was permitted to warm up. However, this delayed my angiogram until Wednesday morning. The decision was made to keep me in the coma until after my angiogram rather than waking me, and then sedating me again. The positive news from Tuesday was that a CT scan showed no damage to my neck and the neck brace was removed.

Wednesday morning I underwent an angiogram that had the option to place stints in my arteries to relieve any blockages. Unfortunately, my heart did not require the stints. I needed open heart surgery as two of my main heart arteries had 90% blockages, one other had 70%, and the fourth had 40%. The open-heart surgery I required could not be performed until after I awoke and was tested for my cognitive ability. It was unknown how long my heart had stopped, and was unknown how much damage my brain experienced.

Late Wednesday morning my sedatives were stopped. The ventilator tube could not be removed until I was awake and conscious so the slow process of waking up occurred with the tube in my throat. Wednesday afternoon I began to open my eyes and turn my head from side-to-side. The tube was uncomfortable but was removed later in the day. My family took this opportunity to celebrate. They were becoming more optimistic every day and I was able to respond to stimuli Wednesday night.

Thursday morning, I awoke. This is the first day I remember. I could eat on my own, walk, talk, but still could not sing or dance. From Thursday we began to wait for surgery. I left the ICU and moved to the Cardiac Care ward. More visitors, flowers, and well wishes arrived. I was expecting surgery late the flowing week.

Late Sunday night, the surgeon informed me that a spot had opened up on Monday and my surgery would be in the afternoon. Monday morning I prepared for surgery and I was wheeled into the or around 1pm. The surgery lasted almost 6 hours. It began at 2 and my family was informed of the success at 7:30 Monday night. The surgery was successful and the surgeon had by-passed 4 major arteries. He saw no damage to my heart.

I began the recovery process, it lasted 4 days. I was discharged on Friday afternoon and finally was able to sleep in my own bed after 12 days in hospital


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