Biking with a bump (at 32 weeks)

[Editor’s note: The story below, written our Family Biking columnist Marion Rice, is a follow-up to a story we published on February 2nd. That story introduced you to Portlander Angela Koch and posed the question: Should you ride while pregnant?]

Angela Koch, 32 weeks pregnant,
pedals happily along SE Ash Street.
(Photos © Dan Liu)

Angela Koch is now 32 weeks pregnant, and she’s still biking around the streets of Portland with a smile on her face. Her belly is significantly bigger now than it was back in February when I first wrote about her, and she’s still doing great.

Sure, at the end of a long day she’s tired, and there are a few aches and pains (darn sciatica) — but nothing that keeps her off her bike.

Story continues below


“I have a fascinating sense of what it must be like to be a brand new rider. Because I’m so very slow and sometimes wobbly…”
— Angela Koch

However, as a result of the physical changes she has had some unique insights; “I have a fascinating sense of what it must be like to be a brand new rider. Because I’m so very slow and sometimes wobbly, I feel like I can empathize now with the folks who are out on the road for the first time. I understand the possible frustration and embarrassment they may experience being passed by regular, much faster riders, as well as the heightened sense of awareness of the speed and danger of motor vehicles. I’m not scared, just more aware.”

And it seems bystanders are more aware of Angela too. A few weeks ago, Angela was riding along and someone called her “a fatty cyclist.” “They clearly didn’t realize I was pregnant,” Angela says, “And I was hurt. But then I realized what a ridiculous thing it was for me to be hurt, and for them to make a judgment about my body whether overweight or pregnant.”

Angela and her 6-year
old daughter Libby.

The bottom line for Angela is that she feels completely confident in her decision to continue biking. It has been a nice slow progression of changes to her current state. She didn’t just hop on a bike at 34 weeks into her pregnancy. She and her baby are already used to biking almost everywhere together. Undoubtedly, her fitness level will continue to help her have a healthy pregnancy and birth.

If Angela goes full term she is due on June 23rd. In celebration of her due date Angela has planned a Pedalpalooza ride she has aptly named “Celebrate Waterbreak” She fully intends to get there in style and on her bike and has invited other mamas, pregnant or not, to join her.

Here’s to a wonderful summer for all mama’s biking with a bump.

— To contact Marion Rice, and to read her previous articles, click here.

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