From Pregnancy to Cycling with Kids - Part 1

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Pregnancy is not my favorite. The whole 9 months I kept thinking that all those women who say they “love being pregnant” must not enjoy high intensity exercise… or beer. It was around 7-8 months into my pregnancy that I started CRAVING a run. And I don’t run. I just wanted to have that feeling of taking deep breaths again. And the euphoria that happens when your push yourself harder than you thought you could - a level of exercise that is generally considered to be good for you, but not safe during pregnancy. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not an athlete. I just like to be active and get outside with my family, which is something that has become more and more challenging since my husband and I decided to have kids. I don’t compete, I don’t set records, I just have fun and like to feel good. I also want to be active with my kids and be a good, healthy role model for them as they learn and grow.

Then finally that magical day came! She was a leap baby! My second girl was born on 2/29/20! It was amazing. And on 3/1/20, the doctor stopped in to remind me, “no running for 12 weeks.” Apparently that is the new pelvic floor recommendation to allow your ligaments time to tighten again before you strain them with activities like running. This was bummer, but not a huge issue. I am not a runner, I am a gravel cyclist, something that is much lower impact. And my new challenge is to be able to ride casually with a group (avg 8-12mph) while pulling my two children in our Burley D’Lite Trailer. I have some time. You cannot safely put a baby in a trailer until they can hold their head up. 4 months of age is borderline, but by 6 months we should be good to go. Which means, that by the time my girls are ready to ride with me I will need to be able to pull the trailer (~28 lbs), a 3yr old (~35lbs), a 6mo old (~16lb), and will likely throw in a 6 pack of beer for a grand total of around 65lbs.

I need to be ready by September when I will be pulling both girls in the Burley D’Lite on Day 2 of Good Bike Co.’s Ochoco Overlander. That is the shortest day of the Overlander at only 25 miles and 2,000ft of elevation. I KNOW I can do it because I won’t be racing anyone. I will go at my own pace and enjoy the day out with my girls.

Today I celebrated 2 weeks postpartum. 2 weeks of cuddles, 2 weeks of breastfeeding all night long, 2 weeks of perineal pain (vaginal delivery), and 2 weeks off work. By today I have had enough healing and enough sleep to start my training. Today was my first day back on the bike. It snowed outside all day long, but that didn’t matter. I am on my Wahoo Trainer for the next month until I get my new gravel bike (a Salsa Fargo with a steel frame to allow for a little extra wear and tear). For my first time in the saddle, my goal was 10 minutes, but on the Zwift “Hilly Loop” I pushed myself to go the full 5.6 miles which took a little over 20. And it felt amazing!! My 2 year old watched a TV show with me. My infant slept. Burley D’Lite, Salsa Fargo, Ochoco Overlander - I’m coming for you!!

-Natalie Good