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Thread: Pregnant!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010


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    I would love to start a discussion on pregnant women that keep up with cycling. I'd love to hear from women who have been through this before and what their experience has been.

    I found out I was pregnant in December. I didn't ride in the winter because I live in North Dakota. The only way to ride is in roads over ice and snow, which is conducive to falling. I've taken some nasty spills because of ice before and didn't want to risk it pregnant. No biggie.

    Well, now, finally we've had a nice, dry day and I am itching to get back on the saddle again! My doctor said it was okay that I ride as long as I don't ride on wet pavement, try not to fall and take it easy.

    I'd love to hear your experiences so I can gauge where to go from here. I figure I'll just keep riding until it's uncomfortable. I don't think I can fit into my bike shorts anymore and I'm hesitant to splurge on maternity bike shorts especially if I am not sure how much I'll be riding with them, so longer routes might be out anyway!

    If you are/were pregnant and kept riding, how did you adjust to riding? Did you have to cut back on your miles? Intensity? Frequency? How did it compare to riding not-pregnant? What did you do for bike shorts? What adjustments did you have to make while riding?

    If you are/were pregnant and stopped riding, how far along were you before you had to stop? Why did you stop? etc.

    So, thoughts? Special considerations? Experiences? Stories? I'd love to hear them!
    Last edited by fanatizzare; 03-17-2010 at 11:22 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    CONGRATULATIONS! That's so exciting.

    I can say, from experience, you will probably be able to keep cycling through most of your pregnancy.

    With my first, I found out I was prg about the same time as you. I kept cycling on my road bike until about 1-2 weeks before I delivered.

    I did invest in a large pair of mens cycling shorts so that I could pull the waist band up over my growing stomach. You may be able to find some on clearance somewhere.

    Things I learned about riding while pregnant:
    1) Warm-up. I could no longer hit the group rides and take off at 20 mph. I had to go 14, then 15, then 16, etc.

    2) I had to rely more on leg strength over cardio. A strange observation, but I noticed that I could keep a similar pace, but that I needed to push a harder gear at a lower cadence. Probably something to do with being at a comfortable heart rate.

    3) Stay very well hydrated and don't overheat. Drink more water than you think you need.

    4) Always listen to your body. If you aren't feeling great for whatever reason, back off and take it easy, or skip the ride all together. I found I had a few days like that, but I always bounced back a day or two later.

    5) Endurance takes a dive. I could do a nice 25 mile ride, but once I hit that 25th mile, it was like hitting a brick wall--hard. I was done.

    Those are the high points that I remember. With my second pregnancy, I even participated in an Adventure Race at 5 months pregnant. There was a 15-18 mile mountain biking section. We finished 3rd out of 20 teams

    Good luck to you! And enjoy your riding. Its very therapeutic when you get further along into the pregnancy and start feeling like a blimp

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Those are some great tips, thank you! And encouraging!

    Since I haven't biked in several months, I am going to build up my miles slowly. I live 2 miles from work and on nice days, I am going to start commuting. Again, I'm sticking with nice days only because I want to minimize my chances of wiping out. I'll also change up my route a little to lower traffic roads.

    I've mentioned this to a few friends and family and they think I'm nuts!! So I want to hear that it was okay. 2 miles is barely anything.

    It's still encouraging to hear you could do up to 25, though! I don't know if I'll have the gumption to go on group rides or not. I did 20-25 mile routes fairly regularly with the group last year (until a job interfered) and I found it was moderately intense. I am a little worried about keeping up at that pace while being pregnant, so I'll play that by ear. I'd do 40-50 mile routes on my own on the weekends but I know I'm already going to nix those this summer.

    And harder gear at lower cadence? Got it. Makes sense.

    Thank you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    I should add that I ride a Diamondback Insight 2 - a hybrid. It's not quite upright but it doesn't have the drop handlebars either. I have a road bike that isn't as good of quality that I ride occasionally, but I'll stick to the hybrid. It's probably a good one for being pregnant!

    I'm fairly new to cycling ( two years ) and biked avidly last year. I wouldn't necessarily say I'm in shape, especially after a few months of inactivity. But I feel like I would go nuts without riding abike!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Minneapolis, Minnesota

    I rode comfortably through my pregnancy. I was able to wear my bike shorts throughout, especially the ones with a drawstring - I just tied them up under my belly. I also found an XXL women's jersey super clearanced out at REI, so I bought that and had plenty of room. It really wasn't a big deal.

    That said, I'm no racer/club rider. I don't think I cracked 20 mph past my first trimester. But if you don't have any complications, there shouldn't be any reason for you to stop riding, as long as you're taking care to ride safely. When I brought it up to my OB, she said that she thought cycling was great for me and I should do it as long as I feel comfortable.

    If it feels good, and it makes you happy, I say go for it!
    2007 Trek 5000
    2009 Jamis Coda
    1972 Schwinn Suburban

    "I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a bike. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammelled womanhood."
    Susan B. Anthony, 1896

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    I had just started mountain biking when I became pregnant but right off the bat my doc told not to ride, I was a high risk pregnancy. But I did put my bike on a trainer and would pedal away in the living room, under the ceiling fan at full speed and the air conditioning on. I live in So Az.

    I did notice leaning into the bars was uncomfortable so I rode upright. The bike was stationary so I really didn't need the handle bars. The doctor did tell me what my max heart rate was and I was careful about keeping it under that.

    Just be careful about your riding and really listen to your body and baby. Once you can feel the baby move you will recognize her/his kicks and movements. You will discover patterns to the baby's movements and find your body likes and dislikes different things. These signals are there for a reason. And so is your intuition.

    I wish you and your baby all the best.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Columbia, MO
    Hi Fanatizarre! I see you took my advice and consulted Dr. Team Estrogen!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by Melalvai View Post
    Hi Fanatizarre! I see you took my advice and consulted Dr. Team Estrogen!
    yeah, it's always better to consult professional!
    Ride your bike, ride your bike, ride your bike
    Fausto Coppi
    When a reporter asked him what it takes to become such a great champion.
    Bike rentals in NYC

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Enjoy yourself.
    Stay safe.

    In the long run you'll be amazed about how short and precious of a time this is.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I'm 18 weeks along and my doc says it's ok to ride for now (I'm high risk because my daughter was preemie but they are measuring my cervix). Anyway, the first trimester I was exhausted of course. And it was cold but I tried to do the trainer 3x a week.

    It's warmer now and I'm riding 3-4x a week and feeling better. However, I'm a lot slower, it's a bit discouraging! I thought I could go out with some old riding partners....no. They don't know how to go slow! I've been told to keep the heart rate under 160 and I do.

    Listen to your body. If I feel crappy, I don't push it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    I rode until 35 weeks with my first pregnancy (delivered at 38). I DID NOT ride a road bike however - all I had at the time was a mountain bike that I owned for 15 years with a really wide cushy seat which was ideal. I felt great - the only thing that was a pain was that my DH kept laughing at my froggy leg pedal style due to the fact that my belly was so big and got in the way...it was pretty funny looking back on it now - but this is not something to bring to the attention of a woman living with a 30+ week belly.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    the Minuteman Bikeway
    Hi all,
    I'm 35 weeks into my first pregnancy...still riding, though quite slowly now! Still, it feels great after an icy winter that required a month off the bike (even if not pregnant, the roads/paths were in terrible shape).

    I've been cutting out various things slowly...singletrack after maybe 15 weeks, riding into the city around 20 weeks, riding into slightly less urban central area after 28 weeks...and in general I haven't been out at rush hours or other busy times.

    I've stayed on my upright commuting bike for most of the time - best brakes, visibility, comfort, and gearing. I haven't done group rides either, out of risk of crashing into others or others crashing into me.

    At this point I'm mainly either on the bike path, or a very low-traffic route nearby. My husband put a new stem and riser bars on, which helps. Now and again, the peeing urge is strong...usually I can find somewhere to go, but often when I can't, the baby eventually moves and it's not as bad.

    Staying active has been a godsend so far - the one day I was horribly sedentary, I was miserable and full of aches and pains. I feel very lucky that I've been able to keep active (also xc skiing, snowshoe, bike trainer, and walking)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    OMG! Thank you so much for starting this thread. I realize that it's a year old, but lots of good info. I found out on Monday that I'm expecting and have my first Dr appt on Friday. It's good to hear that all of you ladies continued to ride throughout your pregnancies. It gives me hope that I will be able to do this as well! THANK YOU!

    1988 Bridgestone mixte
    2002 Trek 2200
    2011 Surly Long Haul Trucker

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Wow, 2 mothers-to-be-cyclists at this time. Congrats.

    Enjoy the peace and freedom right now.... Wishing you good health and safe pregnancy!
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Congratulations ASammy! I do hope things went well for the original poster who started this thread.



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