Babies and Bicycling

I’ve always enjoyed bicycling as an alternative form of transportation.  While I don’t consider myself a bicyclist because I’m not interested in things like racing and going on a bike ride for the sake of riding a bike, I am quite happy to ride a mile or two to get to a coffee shop or a job.  This mentality probably started when I was a kid and my parents somehow convinced my siblings and me that getting to ride our bikes 1 mile to school was something to get excited about.

Anyway, living on the outskirts of a bigger city hasn’t been conductive to my style of bike riding since I graduated.  Most streets are not bicyclist friendly and those who do ride on the roads often do stupid things like ride against traffic.  However, we are moving to a much smaller a town where things like the church and the library are less than a mile away.  I’m hoping to use my bicycle once again as a mode of transportation.

Because of this, I had the motivation to take my nanny toddler for a bike ride yesterday.  It was a lovely summer morning and I wanted to get us outside (plus I wanted to get in some sort of physical activity for myself since I’m inclined to be lazy during my free time).  I hooked up the child trailer to my employer’s bike, buckled in the toddler, and off we went to the playground about 2 miles away.

When we were about halfway to the playground, I decided maybe having my first bike ride of the year shouldn’t involved pulling a bike trailer or being 22 weeks pregnant–I was getting tired!  I then thought to myself:

bike ridingYou see, pregnancy brings a whole slew of no-nos, many of those things I hadn’t even thought about prior to getting pregnant.  Foods and physical activities are favorite categories to have a slew of forbidden things and I hadn’t checked to see what the stance was on bike riding.  However, we were already halfway to the park, so I finished the ride.  Thankfully the trip back was easier because there was a slight downgrade most of the way.

This morning I did an internet search to see if bike riding was considered a pregnancy-safe activity.  The short answer: Not really (pregnancy is also filled with gray areas of “there’s a chance this could affect your kid, so you probably shouldn’t do it”).  The reason:  Pregnant women’s center of gravity is off balance, so they’re more likely to fall off a bike.

Oddly, this reasoning really annoyed me.  Up until now I’ve taken most of the things I should avoid in stride.  I cut back on my coffee intake.  I’ve avoided lunch meat for the most part.  I still eat a lot of sugar, but I tolerate the lectures about it because I know it’s not good for me.  I’m not playing softball this year.  I’m asking my husband to carry heavy things for me more often, something my pride struggles with.  I’ve even passed along kitty litter duty to my husband (oh wait, that wasn’t a hardship, never mind).  But giving up bike riding simply because I might fall off?  Grrr. . .

Perhaps this annoyed me more because I’m fairly clumsy.  A few weeks ago, I slipped and fell hard enough to bruise my knee while walking across the hardwood floor at work.  Using the reason that I shouldn’t do things because I might hurt myself means I should start living in a bubble.  But rest assured, I would probably find a way to hurt myself inside the bubble.

At any rate, I plan on asking my doctor at my next appointment.  He has proven to be a relaxed, reasonable fellow so far, so I’m less likely to be pissed about the bike thing if he thinks it’s unsafe than if the internet thinks it’s unsafe.

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