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Biking through Pregnancy

Some women find biking pregnant comes naturally, like this mother-to-be, in her eighth month of pregnancy.

8 mos mama and her family

Other expectant mothers, like this one on a bicycle alongside Del Monte Beach, love to bike and love being pregnant! But for whatever reason, they hadn’t thought much about combining the two, until the idea was suggested.

Pregnant mama at del monte beach

Dena Donnell had thought of that, without any prompting. Here’s Dena’s story….

Dena was expecting the Donnell’s second child, and was in her first trimester of pregnancy at this Twilight Ride.

Dena and her husband,  Tyler Donnell, are Naval Postgraduate School Cycling Club members.  They and their son, Devin, are shown here at the NPS Cycling Club-hosted Twilight Ride at Mazda Raceway, Laguna Seca back on May 18, 2011.

Besides knowing that more people biking helps keep the air and water cleaner for her children, Dena found that biking with her husband and son–and with her cycling club–was a wonderful way to stay fit and help make a healthy baby.

Dena was biking on 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, in her eighth month of pregnancy–about three weeks before she delivered their baby.

Dena thinks she was able to continue riding as long as she did because she had such an outstanding support network of fellow cyclists.  Not surprisingly, her husband, Tyler, was her biggest cheerleader and supporter.  Not until the last couple weeks of her pregnancy did he suggest that she take a break from biking.  He knew that Dena and her health care provider knew best, and Tyler was fully in support of Dena’s decisions.

Dena encourages other women to continue being active as long as their midwife or obstetrician approves.

I told Dena that when I biked through my ninth month of pregnancy, I found  drivers (in Santa Cruz, where I lived at the time), especially thoughtful. When they spotted me on my bike, they slowed down and yielded more than was customary.  Frequently they’d smile and nod, or give a cheery wave.

Dena concurred, commenting:  “I agree with you about folks seeming more courteous about seeing a very pregnant lady on her bike.  They initially look at you kind of crazy, don’t they? I always got high-fives, or a ‘You go, girl. ‘” 

The men on the NPS Cycling Club team would joke with Dena during training rides that if she did go into labor while on the bike, her saddle would “hold everything in” until she made it to the hospital.  All kidding aside, they were always genuinely concerned, asking Dena how she was feeling and if she was doing okay.

And indeed she was.  In March 2012, the Donnell family was back at the Twilight Rides.

Welcome, Avalin,

to the Monterey County bike community! 

Devin and Avalin are evidence that strong, healthy babies come from strong, healthy mamas!

Avalin was able to already be part of the family’s Twilight Ride experience, thanks to a friend who came along to hold her.

When is a baby old enough….

to be in a child carrier or bike trailer?  Click here for CA Bike Laws and Personal Safety, then scroll down to subheading “First, is your baby or child ready.”

Families will probably also want to explore the Children and Teens section of this site.

More expectant mothers biking

Click here to see another mom, Kira Magenheim Belan, biking in Monterey County during her pregnancy.

Many more photos of women biking while pregnant can be found on the Copenhagen Cycle Chic website; click here for one such post.

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has a biking pregnant class, and Portland has bicycling pregnant group rides.

Congratulations to the Donnell family

Thank you for the many ways you and your fellow NPS Cycling Club members serve  as great ambassadors for bicycling in Monterey County!


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