Tuesday, 30 December 2014


Finally a touch of winteriness in the air. Short lived, but beautiful.

7.5 months pregnant and I am now taking it easy - not just because of the icy conditions and risk of falling off the bike, but my blood pressure has just dropped a lot and its already naturally low. That's not to say I've done no bike miles - I still did my Christmas shopping by bike (good call since there was car parking mania in town when I rolled up and locked my bike in the supermarket carpark) and today I popped my dependable comfy upright, wide-geared hybrid in the car to have a short lunchtime ride.  I'm hoping the blood pressure picks up; not being able to cycle is making me feel like a caged animal, but I'm not going completely stircrazy yet, I've managed some walks to keep me sane.

And the obligatory n+1 bike rule meaning that the thought of a midtail / cargo bike for the little lad's arrival seems a great idea at the moment. But plumbing, roof & outside wall work is keeping me in check about making any splurges, even if I plan on saving money through investing in pocket nappies instead of disposables...

Other than being less mobile than usual and getting some quality kicks in the ribs, the hardest thing about being pregnant is not being able to pencil in cycling tours for the year ahead. The dark days of winter are when I like planning adventures to look forward to.  I am hoping to go on my cycling club's May family friendly camping trip though and I'm looking into various ways to maintain some kind of outdoor time with a newborn about.

I was very lucky to have an easy first two trimesters and I have done some fantastic rides that I hope to recap and share in the next week.

And for those who are interested in how I've found cycling through pregnancy so far: 
Keeping cycling up until 30 weeks was really easy for me. Yes I was much slower than usual and started getting overtaken by other cyclists, but that wasn't too terrible. I was still managing to get miles and feet in and enjoying knowing that I was keeping in really good health for the imminent day(s) of labour to come.
I certainly felt most comfortable on my upright bike, although I was still using drops until about 5 months, after which point it just got a bit uncomfortable. Off road riding has been fine other than some discomfort from bouncing appendages early on, but using a comfort bra actually helped solve that problem. I'd never needed anything akin to a sports bra before, but now I think I'd happily live in the things, they're just so much more practical.

Cycling has been much much easier than walking - carrying extra weight on a bike is a normal part of cycle touring / shopping by bike, so having extra weight attached to me was not noticeable when pedalling, but when walking up stairs and hills, I really have been able to feel it. Any pains in my back and hips were eased by cycling and keeping moving, where sitting or walking seemed to make things worse.

Now well into the third trimester, I can feel my reduced lung capacity so cycling is even slower to ensure I dont need any deeper breaths; dropping to a super low gear and slowly pedalling is fine for getting up all the hills I need to. I just have to take care mounting & dismounting so I dont pop my hips out of place. 
The snow & icy conditions have deterred me from getting out this week. The light frost afew weeks ago was not a problem and I enjoyed a crispy night-ride to my aquanatal class all off-road in with the light of the moon. Perfect and really special.

My bump has really expanded in the last few weeks, but that's not been a problem on the bike. It's more of a problem when negotiating the kitchen when I forget how big I am now and crash into work tops.

For anyone thinking about how you keep cycling in pregnancy, well it's easy - keep going, listen to your body, take some sweets & a drink incase you suddenly need something to keep going, even on short rides. Some days you wont feel like riding at all, but for me those days were few & far between.