Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wheels On Pavement

Spring has sprung.

Today was 60 degrees with sun shining, the perfect blue sky and wispy cirrus clouds. Dogs were barking, the lilies are sprouting of the ground and that damn cardinal woke me up this morning. He will continue to wake me up until the middle of summer when it is light out at 4:30 am.

Days like this make me want to grab my bike and just ride. Doesn’t matter where, how long or what pace – I just want to ride. My bike begs me - take me out. But alas, not this year. I’m a little torn about riding outside. On one hand, I can see myself on the mountain bike and cruising around at 10 mph on the path. On the other hand, it seems like a risk. I almost fell into the pool the other day. I’m not exactly well-balanced right now.

Reluctantly, I headed downstairs to the trainer.

You again.


I’ve always liked the trainer. But lately I’ve had this feeling that I am going to be on my trainer for possibly the next year. I won’t have time to run a business, raise a child and drive 80 minutes round trip out west to find the only good riding around here. Time management will get the best of me. I realized my wheels might not hit pavement for a very long time. Long winter? How about a long summer, then a long fall and then a long winter again.


For awhile I resorted to watching television while riding. But something tragic happened. Comcast caught on to us. And the other day our full cable was yanked. Gone. Poof – like it was never there in the first place. No, we weren’t paying for it and don’t plan to pay for it so now we join the legion of “I will not pay more than $20 a month for television” viewers who get all of 5 worthwhile channels. The rest are channels that are either trying to send me a message from Jesus or talk to me in Spanish.

No television? Trainer on a beautiful day? The world is ending. The only thing that will save me now is…music. I made a new mix today and after about 35 minutes and 2 potty breaks, found myself in a good rhythm.

I’m still riding my time trial bike. I like it. It likes me. It still has the Power Tap on it. I like watching the numbers. It’s my television right now. I even wrote a workout. I was going to take all the entertainment I could get today.

But as I got into it, I realized that the bike was getting uncomfortable. I am starting to lean over too much and it’s placing a lot of pressure on my stomach. Which then places pressure on my bladder. Which then means I really should just put a bucket next to me to skip all those trips upstairs.

I looked around. There had to be a way to bring up the bars a good….oh…..6 inches. That might be comfortable. I thought about taking some spacers off my other bike, flipping the stem upside down but realized that wouldn’t cut it. I would need about 20 spacers. I considered riding my mountain bike but didn’t want to insult it. Put a mountain bike on the trainer? It’s bad enough that I live in Illinois and own a mountain bike. There are no mountains here!

And then the solution hit me. Enter my new ride:

Right now T.J. Tollakson is calling up Specialized asking them how they can replicate this. This, my friends, is the most aerodynamic in pregnancy bike design. It might be a fairing, it might be illegal in competition. I might even patent the idea. Notice the several inches of black thickness on top of my aerobars. Ridiculous? Maybe. All I know is that I got the extra inches I needed to make my ride comfortable. And when I get tired, I can lay my head on that thick black thing and take a nap while still maintaining aerodynamics.

It’s a blanket. Folded up about 8 times. The same blanket I took on Ragbrai and since then has never been the same. Personal possessions don’t usually survive Ragbrai. I considered ditching the blanket in Iowa because once something has been Ragbrai’ed, unless it is your bike, you feel a sense of wanting to leave it behind along with 7 days of morning dew, pig manure and corn smell. But I salvaged it, and good thing: it is now my new set of aerobars.

Funny thing is that it worked. And I felt great. Actually, I felt like the freakin’ Mary Poppins of triathlon. Except I’m pregnant. And I’m pretty sure Mary Poppins never had sex.

I looked at this picture and realized how borderline wrong it was for a pregnant woman to be wearing bike shorts. Mine still fit but it’s really not pretty. There’s a lot of me that isn’t pretty right now. I walk down the stairs sometimes and think – oh my god that is my stomach sticking out. Or walk by a mirror and think what is following me – oh my god that is my ass. Or how about looking down while biking and realizing – oh my god I now have cleavage.

I also have a belly button sticking out. Can you see it? It’s not as domesticated as you think. It is unruly and sticks out under your shirt whether you like it or not. I’ve always had an outie belly button so mine didn’t have far to migrate when it popped out a few weeks ago. The worst part - it chafes. BAD. My belly button is chafed from a run last week and is now scabbed.

The pregnant body can be hazardous.

After riding, I headed outside in the field with Boss. I let him do crazy laps. It wasn’t riding but it was me, under the sun with my little dog enjoying the day. Until he looked at me, looked at the city tree worker across the field and then bolted. Turns out that today I also got in a transition run. Imagine the pregnant woman holding a leash and bag of poopy running across the field after her small Chihuahua who was now barking at the worker while following him around. I think an hour later I finally made it to the other end of the field, my legs were sore and I was huffing. At one point I abandoned the run for a fast walk. I don’t do brick workouts anymore so I was totally unprepared for this effort.

I’m really going to miss riding outside on days like this – but I suppose there is a solution. I could put the trainer on the deck and at least have the illusion that I’m riding outside. Miles are miles, right? But nothing beats wheels on pavement. I might have to ask Chris to put me in the Burley and attach me to his mountain bike just so I can hear that sound again.

I like wheels. I like my bike. Speaking of bikes, a few months ago someone asked me to post a picture of the bikes. Here they are, all of them except for one mountain bike in the garage:

We have no problem admitting that we have a bike problem. The first step is admitting. The next step is buying. The last step is selling so you can make room for more! (I'm selling the blue Cervelo, size 48)


Molly said...

Definitely get the bike out on the deck at least. Even I put mine in the sunshine in the driveway when I can't ride on the roads for some reason but still want to enjoy the weather.

And you still look adorable! Different, certainly but pretty darn cute for a pregnant woman!

ADC said...

You guys do have a bike problem. And you look so cute - pregnant lady on the bike ;)

meredith said...

hmmm. several things...

1. i have cleavage now too! and all the bad skin that comes between sweaty cleavages. yak.

2. my ass hurts now when i try and curl up on the couch...too much 'cushion'.

3. i miss my bike and won't be on the road all spring/summer/fall/winter either. :(

4. but i have that schwinn cruiser that was at your mom's house! so i will ride that and look mary poppins/june cleaver at 4mph.

5. bike shorts still fit you!?!?! i've been thru three rounds of bras already and i am 2 months behind you! already replaced all my underware with XL and XXL. cute ones at F21 tho.

6. see you saturday at March Bash!

Kim said...

You can wear bike shorts any day.. considering you are a cute fit pregnant athlete!! That's what we do! Don't let anyone tell you different.. I'm excited for you ELF. This is a great time and you'll never forget it. However, you guys DO have a lot of bikes.. a few too many maybe..unless you have like ten people over to ride and they all need bikes, then it will be perfect!

Keith said...

Yay for Comcast. Your brain is rescued from being turned into tapioca pudding. DVD rentals are cheap, and no commercials, and there's a trick I learned to bypass all the crap that they want you to watch before the actual movie.

As I recall, it isn't you that has the problem admitting there is a bike problem. I'm just saying.

I know lots of women who would KILL to look as good in bike shorts as you do. Don't let anyone else mess with your mind about what "pretty" is.

Melissa said...

OMgosh you guys have so many bikes!! That is too funny. It's like a bike orgy in your basement.

I love the picture and your new bike position, very crafty.

Benson said...

You are so smart. Good use of a blanket.

I have bike envy.

GoBigGreen said...

Or pillows instead of the blanket? A foam pillow:)?
I love all the bikes, fabulous!

Pam said...

Bring your laptop down in the bike cave and go to
That is where I do all my tv watching. Good, free tv watching, plus lifetime movies and obscure documentaries.

Tara said...

You are a cute little pregnant woman! Love the new aerodynamic bike design; pretty comfortable looking.

BTW-Don't stop running until you have to. I stopped and I didn't start agin until EIGHT YEARS LATER! And look how slow I am. Hang in there as long as you can. My boss is almost 8 months preggo and she's still eeking it out.....slowly.

Jennifer Harrison said...

You are so cute and barely look pregnant! Seriously! I could not ride my bike on my trainer after 15w b/c my stomach was way too big...and then my crotch hurt too much. I never did ride my bike outside while didn't feel comfortable with that at all..I had NO balance w/ the 2 inside.

And, yes, your bikes and our bikes need to meet and have a bike orgy ( Melissa's comment made me laugh out loud!).

Keep the pictures coming!

Ironman said...

Ah, thanks for the pics of the bikes. I remember so rudely asking you about the bikes while you were introducing your pregnancy. Our house looks very similiar. Just the other day, Rebecca ask me if ONE of her many bike could replace ONE of my many bikes in the bike room. I think she was jealous that I had more bikes on racks and less against the wall than she did.

Alicia Parr said...

Pretty soon you'll be sticking another folded up blanket under your butt. Why? Relaxin. That's a hormone, not a lifestyle comment.

You're doing great, girl. :)

Sara said...

hmmmmm....the blue Cervelo might need to come home with me after camp. Shhhhhh.....just don't tell my hubby :)

Send me an email and let me know what you are asking for it.

Jenny Garrison said...

I rode my mtn bike when I got uncomfy. Just put a slick tire on the back wheel then you cut have your bars up high and get a lambsskin seat cover:) Ahhh who cares. Enjoy the time you have to ride easy! You look great and happy!

Dave said...

Promise me you NEVER show that last photo to my wife. She doesn't need to know where this is going.