Friday, July 6, 2012

Riding for Two: off road

At fourteen weeks pregnant, I now have a truly pronounced baby bump.
My bib shorts still fit fine, but the jerseys are feeling a bit snug around the middle.
Alas, my build isn't exactly racer cut these days.

After a week off the bike, I wasn't sure how I'd fare this morning, but my legs felt surprisingly fresh.
My dad and I started early at Brandywine to (somewhat) beat the heat and it had been a while since I'd ridden those trails.
When I was pregnant with Max, I gave up mountain biking pretty directly...I still rode regularly, but limited myself to the road (groan) and double track/bike paths. With just one season under my belt, I was fairly new to mountain biking and not nearly as confident in my skills (or judgement for that matter).
This time, with years of experience to help guide the decisions I make while riding the trails, I am not ready to hang up the mountain bike yet.
With my doctor's okay, I've decided to keep doing what I'm doing...
with less intensity and a lot more caution.
Although I am physically most comfortable seated on my 29er (the SS) right now, I've neglected that bike for all but a few rides in favor of my rigid 26 inch bike (the only bike in my arsenal with a granny gear).
In all honesty, it's been fun getting reacquainted with good old rim brakes and XTR (not to mention, I still love the feel of ti). Maybe I'll put a squishy fork back on it if the urge moves me as I put on more weight.
Hills that I would normally attack with momentum and fervor are now enjoyed at a modest tempo, with the intention to keep my heart rate in check and more importantly, not overheat.
Hydration is a biggie...Typically, I don't take in enough fluids while riding, but now I simply can't afford to get dehydrated. It's easy to be mindful about drinking when I know it could harm the baby otherwise.
It's also quite easy to check my ego and hop off the bike for unpredictable obstacles, trickier rock gardens, and slick roots...I also have no reservations about keeping my speed in check while descending in the name of protecting the precious cargo.
Mostly, I am grateful that my pregnancy has been relatively free of complications so far and I can still ride.
I've heard some negative comments about the fact that I am still mountain biking, but I trust my judgement and feel a hell of a lot safer on the trails than on the road these days.

As for the high of 102 degrees predicted for tomorrow?
I am perfectly okay with sitting that one out.


Lindsay said...

Aaaaaah! I haven't been keeping up with my usual blogroll, so I just read this and saw that you're pregnant. Congratulations!!!!!!! So awesome!!!!

Kim said...

thanks :)