Here I am, at 26 weeks, which is nearly done with the second trimester, or for people who are not up on all the pregnancy lingo shit, around six months along.
I am now noticeably pregnant. People ask me when the baby’s due. He keeps up a fairly steady and vigorous march upon my bladder, enhancing the notorious pregnancy urinary frequency. Such a little helper!
And I’m still riding my bike to work and around town for errand running and for social reasons. I just got back from Friz, in fact. I’m not so bulbous and ungainly as yet to be unable to scoop up a frisbee off the ground from a moving bicycle. Undoubtedly, that day will come, but that day is not today.
One thing that I am realizing more and more is how much more effort pregnant bicycling is. Even though at this point I am maybe carrying 15lb more than I started with, it’s what going on within the bump that’s making the difference. I know I’m riding a lot slower these days. It’s like serious work to go above 15mph on a smooth, level street. 15mph used to be my basic, going-just-about-anywhere speed. Because of this, I’ve had to re-calibrate my time-to-leave/time-to-arrive schedule in order that I will show up to places at the time I said I would. Besides going a lot slower, it just feels like more work, full stop. The 10-ish mile ride out to my mother-in-law’s house feels like a fairly sufficient workout. Hills and headwinds which used to be a bit of a challenge now feel like a personal affront. A 20-miler feels positively epic. Considering that in the past I’ve ridden down centuries without any drama, have ridden out to the trails and gone mountain biking after a full day’s work, and carried my share of the gear and food on a coast-to-coast cycling adventure, my currently-reduced state feels shocking and a bit disheartening.
I know that I’m currently hosting another person within myself, and that he’s requiring quite a bit of energy himself, in order to grow and form proper organs and get hair and all that stuff. I know that after he’s born things will slowly get back to normal. I’ll regain the strength and vigor I’m accustomed to, but at the moment, I feel sluggish, cumbersome, and often uncomfortable. Sure, I know it’s for a good cause, and I know it will pass, but right now it is kind of annoying.
I expect I’ll be riding for basic transportation for some while yet. So far, my doctor hasn’t given me any grief about cycling and so far neither has my body, other than enforcing slowness and somewhat limiting my range. I’ve had no cramps, backaches, or undue numbness, nor any other unaccounted pains, so I reckon I’ll carry on. Because the expansion of pregnancy is a gradual thing, I’ve adapted to my changing center of gravity pretty well, and don’t notice any especial difference in balance while riding. I wouldn’t want to test my handling on the mountain biking trails, but I can still Friz, which would indicate that I’ve adjusted pretty successfully so far.