Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Where is all the women's stuff at?

So at 23 weeks pregnant, Rupert and I are still pedalling the means streets of Ealing and Twickenham.

Every week I wonder if I'll be too big to cycle, but so far Rupert is the comfiest place to be while growing an increasingly wriggly baby.

However, as time has gone on, my usual leggings and shorts have become increasingly uncomfortable. Luckily, I wear a rather lovely Foska jersey in the design of a Harlequins kit to cycle to work in (thank you lovely brother in law N). It's very big so is accommodating the swell. This is particularly important now that I have reached a point where my waistband tends to travel down to under the bump, while my base layers tend to ride up to under my boobs. It leaves a chilly strip of tummy under my jersey and a desperate need to wee as the waistband digs into my, already under pressure, bladder.

There's the option of pulling up the waistband to over the bump but that leaves me completely breathless as it digs into my diaphragm. There's also the option of maternity cycle shorts but at a minimum of £30 for something that I may not wear for more than a few weeks, it seems a bit steep.

With all this in mind I have been on the hunt for bib shorts. Lycra can accommodate alarming stretching, there's no waistband to dig into tender bump and no risk of rolling down. I can also wear them post baby.

But I have hit a roadblock. I can't find any. Well, I can, but they're horribly expensive or bloody tiny.

Looking for cheap men's bib shorts, you can find them all over the web. Many hover at the £25 mark if on sale or just a very cheap imported type. Women's seem to be an import from China at £25 quid risk or about a million pounds. Mr Weenie didn't believe me and put his considerable searching skills to use last night on the web. He too was stumped.

If we're all honest, women make up less of the market than men, so I was expecting fewer options under 'ladies', but I am shocked at the lack of gear.

At the moment the hunt goes on, but I have a nasty feeling I will end up shelling out a small fortune for big bib shorts.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

You're pregnant ... and cycling?!

So, it turns out a teenie weenie will be joining the family in August.

I found out in January and, for the moment, am continuing to cycle into work. I am 14 weeks and, as I carry high so am looking fairly obviously with child.

I suppose I was expecting a few raised eyebrows but there have been more than a few incredulous 'you're still cycling?!'s. And it's getting old pretty quickly.

I cycle about 8.5 miles to work, it's not a huge distance if you're a regular pedaller and as one, it counts as moderate exercise. I'm not a racer on the road, I don't weave in traffic and I like to think I'm pretty sensible and risk averse. Perhaps if I had another option I'd take it, but public transport takes about 1hr 45mins because it's three buses and costs a small fortune. My bike ride takes about 40 minutes. Bit of a no-brainer there.

In the years I've been cycling on the road I've done about 6,000 miles, I did 5,000 on Reg alone (I know because I never reset his odometer). I have had one car collision in that time. It was in heavy rain and low visibility. It was, shockingly, four years ago and, in that time, I have gained a huge amount of experience and a reflective belt.

Since getting the news about the impending arrival I've changed my habits. I no longer attempt the Chertsey Road roundabout (I promised Mr Weenie) and, instead, use the bike/pedestrian crossings either side. I am far less likely to come past the inside of lorries and buses even if there's a lot of room and, when the light improves, I may well choose to go via the canal and Syon Park to skip large sections of road.

The most likely way to be killed while pregnant is in a car accident, yet no one tells you not to get in a car while pregnant. People are hit crossing the roads every day, but no one tells you not to while pregnant.

I get that not everyone wants to cycle while pregnant and I totally support their choice, I just wish people would stop questioning mine.