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Day 3 (Wednesday, March 5th)

So, this doesn’t have much to do with the 10 MPH Challenge, but on my morning commute today I experienced all three of my top driver behavior pet peeves, as follows:

#1: Double parking in the bike lane, next to an empty parking spot

#2: Making a right turn across the bike lane

#3: Opening a car door into the path of a bicyclist (bonus points for doing it while double parking in the bike lane)

Anyway, today I am pleased to present a guest post from Kristin Tennessen, a board member at Bike East Bay and founding member of Bike Walnut Creek, who has lots of experience with one topic related related to the 10 MPH Challenge that I will be unable to scientifically replicate no matter how hard I try: Biking while pregnant.  

Pregnant in the slow lane

Many parents, when they find out they are expecting a child, worry
about what type of crib to purchase or how much to save for future
college tuition.  When I found out I was pregnant, I thought about
those things too, but the biggest question I had was “how will I get
to work while I am pregnant?”
You see, I loved my bicycle commute to work.  I rode the 4 miles
exclusively on paved bicycle trails which were nestled between tall
trees with singing birds, fences with flowers poking through the
posts, and ducks swimming with their offspring in the local waterways.
 Bicycling to work invigorated me on the way there, and relaxed me on
the way home.  I experienced no honking horns, traffic lights, vehicle
congestion, or people in a hurry.  I said hello and waved to my fellow
exercise and outdoor enthusiasts as I cycled past, and received smiles
in return.
I continued bicycling as my belly grew throughout the pregnancy.  I
crept along at around 10mph or less because I felt safer at slower
speeds, and also because I was easily out of breath.
I absolutely did not bicycle alongside motor vehicles when I was
pregnant.  It was not just my life on the line.  It was my unborn
child’s, too.  Any mistake made by me or a motorist that resulted in a
collision between me and a moving 3,000 pound vehicle was not going to
end in my favor.  Being limited to only separated (Class 1) bicycle
facilities very much limited what destinations I could access in my
city.  If I couldn’t bicycle or walk, rather than drive a car I
preferred to skip the errand or event.
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was passed by a jogger while riding
home from work.  Not long after, I had a very easy natural birth
helped by my dedication to a healthy lifestyle while pregnant.  Even
though I was one of the slowest bicyclists on the trail during my
pregnancy, the exercise strengthened my body for childbirth and the
resulting lifestyle of chasing after my now one-year-old.  You won’t
be surprised to learn that he loves riding in the bicycle trailer
behind his momma.


Interested in more info on this topic? Check out the Family Cycling page on the Bike East Bay website: www.BikeEastBay.org/FamilyCycling


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