Monday, September 13, 2010

Biking during second and third trimester

Until now, I thought biking to work up to about week 25 was pretty good. But last night I started doing some internet searches on biking during the late stages of pregnancy. On bike forums I found all kinds of superwomen, especially bike goddesses in Portland, who cycled well into their third trimesters, and many right up until their due dates. I had been thinking I was nearing the end of my biking days, but now I’m feeling like a wimp.

I can’t imagine biking until my due date on my current bike, a men’s mountain bike. Those who biked for so long seemed to have cruisers, with soft seats, a low bar, and an upright posture. So then I started googling cruisers. Is it worth it to spend a few hundred dollars on a new bike so I can bike a bit longer?

The thoughts running through my head are:

Convenience: biking is by far my quickest, cheapest and more convenient option. When I bike to work, coasting downhill, past educational institutions with early fall leaves scattered across the sidewalks, I never want to stop.

Difficulty: Getting there is easy. Getting back involves a continual incline of at least a mile and this is where I’ve been having problems. If I walk the long uphill part, I’d reduce the difficulties, but then significantly lengthen the time.

Safety: The main danger is falling. My risk of falling is low. I can’t remember the last time I’ve fallen on a bike. Someone hitting me is of course a risk. While most of the ride is on tranquil sidewalks, there are small portions that involve riding alongside traffic. The most dangerous part is the crossing of three freeway on/off ramps.

Comfort: Continued biking would be very tempting if we were heading into spring. While the weather right now is great, and makes me not want to stop, I know we are heading into increasing cold, rain and eventually snow. Those conditions don’t make biking easy at any point. That said, my other option, walking and taking the train, also means walking in the rain. It also involves walking along the train tracks through the woods. It’s a pretty walk and I don’t know of any incidents there. But it’s secluded and there is always that lurking fear of a psycho in the forest.

Practicality: How likely am I to continue to use a cruiser post-pregnancy? Not at all. It would be great if I could rent or borrow one, but it’s probably not the smartest idea to shell out for a new one.

While the idea of buying a little extra time on the bike sounds nice, it’s probably not worth the money to make it happen.

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