There and Back Bikes owner Steve Vihel poses for a photo outside his shop prior to opening last year.

Steve Vihel, owner of There and Back Bikes near Speedway and Campbell, has been hospitalized for more than month due to serious medical issues. The shop remains open, but is operating on a limited schedule.

On Saturday Vihel underwent surgery to replace his heart with an artificial heart. Vihel, who had a congenital heart defect, was hospitalized for an unrelated condition that ultimately led doctors to decide that the artificial heart was necessary.

Vihel’s friends and family say he is doing well after the surgery and the doctors are happy with how the procedure went.

The artificial heart is made by SynCardia, a company co-founded by Marvin Slepian, a local doctor and cycling enthusiast. Syncardia’s founder also sponsors a local bike team and club.

According to friends, Vihel could potentially be transitioned to a portable artificial heart system — which is currently working its way through the FDA approval process — and be able to leave the hospital while he waits for a transplant.

Doctors do not have a firm timeline for his recovery.

In the interim, There and Back Bikes remains open four days a week. The hours are: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday 12-5 p.m.

Vihel’s friends and family are planning donation drives and benefit rides to help with medical expenses and assist him when he is released from the hospital.


7 thoughts on “Serious medical issues sideline local bike shop owner”
  1. When I was planning the just-concluded Biketoberfest, Steve served as a sounding board. I’m very grateful for that, because I’ve never organized a community bicycling event before.

    In addition to hearing me out, Steve offered to be a sponsor. That was without my asking for him to do that.

    Although his health prevented him from coming through with any funds to support the event, we kept his logo and shop location on the route map in order to pay tribute.

    More events like Biketoberfest are in the works. Perhaps we could help with the benefits for Steve.

  2. I’ve always enjoyed my visits to There & Back.  I suspect family and friends will be reading this article – if any of you have ideas about how the upcoming VelociPrint Show can help Steve & the shop with fundraising, I’d love to talk to you. Hit me at And give our best to Steve!

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