Italy 

I am currently on holiday and this gives me a lot of time to read all the message boards and pregnancy websites that send me weekly updates.  One made me laugh.. The bump published ‘top pregnancy regrets’.  Wow what interesting things should I be doing and not regretting later, I wonder?   I continued reading and the list stated: eating for two, not exercising enough, not using the ‘pregnancy card’ enough, not sleeping in enough bla bla etc.. This inane list was not a revelation for me.   I thought about regrets and have decided I will have one pregnancy regret, and it will take place tomorrow. 

I will regret not cycling the Passo Dello Stelvio whilst 13.3 weeks pregnant.

(Please google stelvio pass image to see what I’m talking about! I can’t attach the picture!)

For non cyclists, the Stelvio is an epic mountain pass in Italy.  It’s 23km of hairpin bends that can be most enjoyed from the top and looking down to what you have just climbed.  Climbing a big mountain once a year has a become a tradition for me and my husband and unfortunately we missed it last year due to me being pregnant.  It’s always around the Tour de France time so we get motivated watching the professionals showing us how a mountain should be climbed.

Fitness-wise the stelvio is doable for me, it would be a painstaking slow pregnancy pace.  I was buoyed by reading this article about climbing Mt Ventoux at over 5 months pregnant:

http://cyclingtips.com.au/2015/06/more-ice-cream-less-excuses-the-perks-of-pregnant-pedaling/?mc_cid=20cd3a3f1f&mc_eid=6aae117cbf

I  have total respect for her.  Last time I climbed Ventoux at 1k from the summit my legs were a wobbly mess and my teeth found new parts of teeth to clench.  This is right about the time you look crap and pesky photographers photograph you in the hope you will buy your photo from them later.  and She did this whilst pregnant?! 

Before we left home we had to decide which bikes to take on holiday, we have12 to choose from and 5 suitable for climbing.  We decided on trekking bikes as although race bikes are perfect for the mountains we were doing some trails on stones before coming to Italy.  I also feel that when I bend over too far it puts too much pressure on my stomach and at least with the trekking bike the handle bars can be adjusted higher for a more comfortable ride.  

Last night I read this article about being pregnant and commuting 15 miles into central London for work each day:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/green-living-blog/2010/oct/27/cycling-pregnancy-london

Not only did she ride 30k to and from London she did it on a 1 speed,  -until two weeks before her mat leave.  surely her stomach would touch her knees? Her biggest regret about not working after the baby was not being able to commute to work! 

I’m still commuting 25k to work, but I have good Dutch bike and beautiful cycle paths.  I’m a little scared about falling off so I don’t ride my race bike with my club anymore and I wonder how much longer I should commute to work? Once the baby is out of your hip bones, if you fall the baby is not protected.  I have flash backs to a particularly dark morning where a van that should have given way to me didn’t.. We were both going quite slow but nevertheless I bounced off his van into the middle of an intersection.  I had an impressive array of bruises on my legs and stomach. 

Although I think I could make it tomorrow I have decided out of fear not to.  I don’t want my regret to be ‘I cycled stelvio, overheated/fell off/insert worst case scenario and lost the baby.’  I will see my husband off at the bottom and then retire  to watch the Tour de France climb in the Pyrenees..  Which happens to be when they climb the Tourmalet.  That was as least one mountain I found quite easy 🙂

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