To Ride or Not to Ride – The Pregnant Cyclist

August 15, 2011 Leave your thoughts


I am almost 20 weeks pregnant and still riding my bike. People have strong opinions on this topic; so far I’ve heard the following…


  • I rode through my whole pregnancy.
  • I switched to my mountain bike on the roads for a more upright position.
  • I did a triathlon in my 6th month and it was great.
  • I stopped riding the minute I found out I was pregnant because it seemed unsafe.
  • I stopped riding after I got too big and uncomfortable.
  • I took spin classes all the way through the third trimester.
  • I taught spin classes all the way through the third trimester.


Clearly this is a very personal decision.


Let me tell you about my experience as a pregnant cyclist. I have been riding once or twice a week since I got pregnant. During the first few months, I didn’t notice too many differences. Hills were tougher, and my Hollaback Shorts were starting to cut into my budding belly, but that was about it.


After T1, things started to change. I had my first Pregnancy Bonk (PB) and realized that I need to carry food on a ride as short as 45 minutes – just in case. The standard athletic bonk doesn’t hold a candle to the Pregnancy Bonk. PB is epic for two reasons.


  1. There is no warning. When PB hits, you literally have 3 minutes to locate calories and start consuming or you will experience #2.
  2. PZ (Pregnant Zombie-ism) will occur! You will be both physically and emotionally paralyzed for the rest of the day. If you’re stuck on the roads, your options are to flag over a sympathetic driver (probably another pregnant woman) or call your spouse to pick you up. The better option is to simply load up those pockets with lots of goodies – you don’t have to feel guilty about eating them.


Something else has recently arisen that is going to facilitate a switch from my mountain bike to my road bike. As my belly has grown (and boy, has it grown lately!), the forward-leaning position on my road bike seems to be putting a little extra pressure on my bladder. Even if I run into the bathroom 30 seconds prior to leaving for a ride, I feel the need to pee five minutes after rolling out the door. It doesn’t mean I have to pee, but I feel like I do which is even worse!


Finally, the whole Maternity Cycling Clothing thing is a big deal. Shorts start to cut into bellies. Jerseys are stretched tight through the midsection. It gets a bit uncomfortable until you figure out the best styles for you. I have to say that Skirt Sports makes some products that I absolutely LOVE for pregnant cycling. My favorite is the Wonder Girl Dress, with a pair of Hollaback Shorts (worn under the belly). The dress is awesome because it’s sexy and the most comfortable item ever during pregnancy. I also LOVE the Cruiser Bike Girl skirt primarily of the incredibly forgiving, comfortable waistband. Jerseys are great (size up as you grow) because you can jam lots of food in the pockets!


Many of you have mentioned that you rode through your pregnancies. I’d love to hear more about what I can expect for the 2nd half. I’d especially like to know if those of you who were Pregnant Cyclists ended up with Cycling Babies!

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