Fresh Snow. Danger.

February 24, 2009

So... somebody has been leaking to my mom and dad about my winter/mid-pregnancy cycling. Now... I'm not riding nearly as much as usual due to the weather, the roads, etc. But... yeah, I'm still out there now and then. My parents are so sweet and I know they just want me to be safe and not get hurt but, I LOVE riding my bike! As long as I feel the conditions are okay and I'm still feeling comfortable doing it with the exponential growth of my mid section, I'll keep taking the bike when I can.

In my defense I said to my parents, "If this were Beijing, you would see lots of pregnant ladies on bikes" (I don't actually have any concrete evidence of this, it is an assumption of mine). Then my mom politely pointed out that, "we're not in Beijing." And even better, my dad said, "If this were Beijing, a girl would listen and do what her parents asked!" Very true mom and dad, very true indeed.

Admittedly, riding yesterday was a bit treacherous. We had lots of fresh snow, which makes things really slippery and also, covers up weird blips in the road and increases the danger factor. The toughest thing about winter riding for me is that I can't ride on the side of the road anymore. The ice is so bumpy and inconsistent... and I just don't have the proper bike with gigantic tires to deal with it. Also, you can get your tire caught in a groove of ice and easily have your bike slip out. I actually dismounted yesterday to roll my bike up onto the sidewalk and even just walking with the bike, it got caught on some camouflaged ice and just fell over.

I rode right in the lane, in tire tracks, and for the most part the cars were alright with going around me. I had one person do impatient honking on their horn, but that's just their problem. I'm legally allowed to have a whole lane! And even if I tried to ride on the shoulder I'd probably wipe out and they would end up running me over so impatient drivers should be happy I'm not making THEIR lives more difficult with the possibility of having them charged with manslaughter.

Thank goodness the Pashley is equipped with lots of lights! I went to dinner with my lovely friend, Crystal, and loaded up on lots of carbs for the ride home. It's too bad that Dougal can't come out with me, but I don't want to leave him sitting by himself outside the restaurant in a pile of snow for several hours. He stayed at home.


Bruce's Bike Blog said...

Hi Ms Sarah--91 in Tucson yesterday and up to 92 today.
I got sunburned out riding this weekend--yeah, in February... Just a handful of us out on the bikes. People say its too hot! Only a few weeks ago people were saying it was too cold. Just at 40 degrees in the mornings for the commute into the office. There's a woman who works here that has a Pashley like yours and she rides in most days. I've yet to have a chance to look over her bike. Best! Bruce

ianchowmiller said...

Great post, good for you. It's hard enough fighting parent's wishes or impatient drivers, but fighting against both can test anyone's patience.

Sigrid said...

Listen to your own drum (but do stay safe...:)).
Some inspiration sent to me once:
(i can never figure out the link thing in blogger).

She Rides a Bike said...

Today was my first ride in the snow ever! It was tough and I can't stand admitting that I was humbled. Your parents are being parents. Mine hate to see me doing anything that involves potential injury, even if they are activities they would have normally engaged in at my age. I have fat tires on my bike but I don't know how much good they did today. Next year I might invest in studded tires. Next year a baby-loaded trailer should keep your bike steady in the snow regardless of your tires.

Adrienne Johnson said...

I let my Dr. talk me out of riding with my 1st 2 kids. My insurance wouldn't cover bike related injuries in pregnancy with my last one, so no bike. Keep on biking! It is normal and good for you and makes you happy! Others will try to frighten you, but you are the best person to know what is right for you.

Irene said...

Good for you for givin' 'er right through the winter!!! I ride a tiny folding bike so I can't make it through the winter but I'm dyyying for a road bike so I can save that hundred bucks I have to spend on the bus every month!!!

miss sarah said...

Hi Everybody,

Thanks for the support! Admittedly, I sort of like taking the bus:) But, in the snow the bus is late a lot of the time! And yeah, dealing with people who think I have a death wish is a little sad. Only because I don't have a death wish! It's the exact opposite:) My doctor said I can do whatever I want so long as I don't fall down... so here's to avoiding falling down:)


Trisha said...

Sounds like you are doing just what you should be -- keep staying safe, and sharing your pictures and stories. Love the beautiful Pashley and adorable outfits. (To say nothing of the dog!)

Samuel said...

For reference, I don't recall ever seeing a pregnant women riding a bicycle in Beijing. Not that my anecdotal evidence is worth much. However, in all the pictures I took of cyclists in China there is not one visibly pregnant woman. There, that's worth more ;-)
Keep riding in the winter here, but be safe. I ride a monster winter machine and I still slipped just riding up to a bike rack and smacked my head hard enough to crack my helmet. I'm not an inexperienced winter rider. This city's winter takes no prisoners.

m e l i g r o s a said...

so great! I love your attitude and sharing these wonderful news with us. Not sure if I had said it before but ♥congrats! such a beautiful story is waiting to blossom ;)

big slim dogg said...

if the bus tends to be late when is snows, shouldn't you just accept it and wait (practice what you preach)??? you can't only "like" the bus when its running on time, its either all or none........

if a mother rode with a newborn child was a car without being in a carseat most certainly some type of child agency would investigate the complaint. why is that when you cycle in "high risk" conditions everyone (as per the comments on the blog) says "good on ya!!!!"

high risk conditions = bad weather, icy roads (combined with the improper footwear ie. something with heels) complicated further with a bike not outfitted with proper winter tires and on the busy streets where even if a car tries to stop it might not be able to, hence why car collision accidents increase during snowfalls???

i'm all for the benefits of exercising during pregnancy but there's safer things to do in winter while being pregnant even doctors say if you are going to bike for exercise don't fall......... so adding in bad visibility, ice on roads, poor footwear, improper tires, cars on the road how many bullets are left in the gun (a standard revolver holds six, you've just used 5)????

miss sarah said...

Hey BSDogg!

I don't not like buses, I don't like being late. My point is that with a bike I can leave whenever I want whereas the bus can often get me somewhere 10-15 minutes late depending on how bad the traffic is. So I do like the bus! But, I prefer riding a bike. And even when the bus is late, I still take it if that's in my plan.

The child is still technically a fetus and lives inside me... so I suppose it's too bad there is no social service that can, at this time, take my child away from me. When it's actually living outside of the womb, however, we'll have to make sure the little dude gets around in a safe way.

Haha! I also find it funny that heels qualify as improper footwear. Those are just my normal shoes... and the whole point about my biking is that I don't really wear anything specialized to do it, just regular clothes. I get the heels being atrocious comment quite often. Like, people thing wearing them makes me fall off the bike. That hasn't ever happened... so I'll take my sense of security (even if it might be viewed by some as a false sense of security) and run with it.

Anyway, I'm really touched by your concern for myself and my unborn child! That's really sweet:)


Anonymous said...

If you were in Copenhagen, you would see lots of pregnant women, in heels, riding in the snow. Check here if you don't believe it: Of course, if you were in Copenhagen, the snow would be cleared off the bike lanes, and you would be one of hundreds of thousands of cyclists mixing safely and sanely with the motorized traffic. Edmonton is, undoubtedly, more dangerous, for various reasons, but you know that - you live there. You are the only person who is qualified to asess the risk to yourself (and passenger) that is involved in any activity you partake of. There are dangers to the bus, too, I'm sure. It's obvious that you're not some thrill seeking teenager with delusions of immortality, so go ahead and appreciate the concern, but trust your own judgement first. Val

Sheri said...

Your blog is a delight to read! If your first two sentences don't have me chuckling, I am howling by the end!

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