Bicycle computer alerts man he’s having dangerous heart problem during ride

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WEST ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — An avid bicyclist's high-tech wheels can calculate speed, distance and -- thankfully for Michael Kim -- vital signs.

On a recent ride, Kim started seeing strange readings on his Garmin bike computer, which can monitor his ride and heart rate, among other calculations. He was riding at Rockwood Reservation when his bike warned him something was wrong.

“It's telling me within minutes of beginning my ride, not even warmed up, that I'm already pushing 150 beats per minute, which is" too many, Kim told Fox2Now Monday.

At first he thought it was a computer glitch. But as time went on Kim realized his monitor wasn't broken -- and he was becoming increasingly concerned that instead, he may be broken.

Kim said he felt light-headed and felt "it coming on very quickly."

The highest heart rate he'd hit so far was 141 beats per minute, and that was after riding for 6 minutes. So this recent reading was especially troubling.

"I was like gosh... with the light-headedness, I knew something was up," he said.

So Kim pulled over, and climbed off his bike. Then along came Ruben Aymerich, who just happens to be a doctor.

Aymerich, a gastroenterologist at SSM St. Claire in Fenton, said he was about to embark on a hike but could see Kim was in distress.


“When we got out of the car he clearly was having a little bit of trouble talking, making coherent sentences, said he was having a little shortness of breath," Aymerich recalled.

He called 911. Kim was taken to a hospital where he underwent a procedure.

Kim said his doctors told him he had a ventricular tachycardia, or rapid heartbeat that starts in the lower chambers of the heart.  Doctors installed a defibrillator.

“Oh, I was thankful he was there,” Kim said of the doctor. “I mean a lot of people just drive by. It was great. He was caring enough to roll down the window and say, 'How are you doing?' It was my chance to say, 'Not so good.'"

Kim stayed in the hospital for a few days. He returned to work the day after he was released.