Cycling while pregnant: the third trimester

My third trimester began at the end of June, just in time for the peak heat of Saskatchewan’s summer. Although I felt okay on the bike for the most part, I felt the heat much more quickly than normal and had to cut back on riding when the temperature soared. This meant sometimes having someone else replace me as a ride leader, occasionally swapping my cycle-commuting for driving in and opting for an evening gravel cruise with a friend who was passing through on her way to BC instead of the day of mountain biking we had planned.

My companions on a sunset ride on the prairie at 27 weeks – escaping the heat of the day instead of mountain biking in the thick of it.
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Cycling while pregnant – the second trimester

My second trimester corresponded to the spring and summer cycling seasons: gravel and road in good weather. The exhaustion I felt in the first trimester dissipated, the round ligament pains went away, and I was finding it easier to set reasonable expectations for what I could do on the bike.

I had already decided I wasn’t going to participate in our club’s Tuesday night race series. Although I was feeling more comfortable, I was taking considerably longer on climbs, so staying in the bunch was going to be pretty much impossible. Between pandmeic restrictions, risking a crash in the pack, and then having every ride turn into an individual time trial, I decided to take a different approach.

Going on a gravel adventure at 21 weeks.
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Cycling while pregnant – the first trimester

My first trimester roughly corresponded to winter and the start of spring – mostly fat biking and ski season. My policy was to try and get out and start a ride (or a ski), and just do as much as felt ok. Despite not gaining much weight, and not having any morning sickness, I took a big hit in terms of form. I was much slower than normal and there were a lot of days where I was totally exhausted after only 20 or 30 minutes of riding.

I was being thrown headfirst into figuring out how to do the activities I loved at a different level than before. I often felt nervous about how far to push my body early on, but looking back, I am happy with how I assessed and responded to how I felt.

Hitting the trails and getting some sunshine in the first trimester.
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Cycling while pregnant

The tide is slowly turning when it comes to exercise during pregnancy. Although the recommendation to ride a stationary bike for your cardio because it is safer than a normal bicycle is still extremely prevalent, continuing to ride a bicycle outside during pregnancy is slowing becoming normalized. I was certainly lucky to have several role models in my cycling community who cycled late into their pregnancies, or even all the way through! It’s my turn now to add to those voices.

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2019 Skinny Tire Cycling Year in Review – Gravel and Cyclocross

With snowfall and bitter cold at the end of October it seemed that fat biking season was coming early. But we got a reprieve this past weekend with a glorious few degrees above zero and fast gravel. I think it might be the last time I ride the gravel bike until next year, given that we’ve got fat biking on the plan for tomorrow night!

So given that gravel’s done…. I thought I’d recap a few events from 2019.

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RCC Ride the Bypass

Yesterday bike riders of all kinds came out to enjoy the pristine pavement of the Regina Bypass before it gets opened to traffic at the end of October. I am an analyst on the project, and I helped to get the ball rolling with MHI and the Regina Bypass Partners who kindly let the Regina Cycling Club put together an event allowing access to a portion of the highway.

We made a day of it, setting up the RCC tent with snacks and drinks and having access to a ~15 km stretch. Some riders did one or two laps, while others did 4 or 5. I manned the registration station and then joined our club for one hot lap, and one casual lap, before tear-down.

Mike leads ~100 cyclists down the Bypass

And they're off! The view from the registration tent.

All ages came out – the youngest participant was being towed in a trailer, while there were others in their 70s. It was mostly locals from the City’s many cycling clubs, but one fellow came up to our team after to thank us and let us know he was from Prince Albert!

CTV also came by and  covered our event for the evening news. They got some great shots, and interviewed Mike. The only thing they missed was the headcount… we had 106 signed waivers at the end of the day.

It was a real treat to be able to use the full width of the roadway, and to be able to race and have fun without being worried about being passed by vehicles. This is just one of many examples of the project being considerate toward cyclists – they have also done a good job of sweeping the shoulder of Dewdney Avenue, which is a popular route. I know we’re all looking forward to the highway opening up – that pristine 3 m shoulder is going to be great to add to the roster!

The DeBonds Chase an Eclipse to Wyoming

Solar Eclipse - Photo cred: Andrew DeBond

If you ever get a chance to see a total solar eclipse, do it. Growing up in a family of amateur astronomers, I have many memories of club meetings where members shared pictures and stories of various eclipses they traveled to see around the world. Almost everyone would go to one, get bit by the eclipse chasing bug, and then see another and another… and… well you get the picture.
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A Visit to the Mountains

Given that we said our goodbyes and spent three days driving from Ontario only a few short months ago, we weren’t quite ready to go back home this Christmas. Instead, we decided to visit a friend of ours from our time in Taiwan, who’s now working in Calgary. We rented a car and did a whirlwind tour.
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