What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.
1 Peter 3:4-ish
Here’s an amusing list, circa 1895, of things women bicyclists shouldn’t do. I have definitely broken any number of their rules:
- Don’t wear tight garters. -I guess Spandex probably breaks this rule…
- Don’t attempt a “century.” -Too manly? Well, far too late for that.
- Don’t boast of your long rides. -Isn’t that why we DO long rides?
- Don’t race. Leave that to the scorchers. -Well, I haven’t raced yet, but not for lack of wanting to.
- Don’t go to church in your bicycle costume. -I absolutely have done this, any number of times.
- Don’t use bicycle slang. Leave that to the boys. -Oops.
- Don’t overdo things. Let cycling be a recreation, not a labor. -And here I thought if you aren’t sweaty and tired at the end, it wasn’t fun.
On the bright side, at least I haven’t transgressed some of their guidelines, such as:
- Don’t wear laced boots. They are tiresome.
- Don’t wear a garden party hat with bloomers.
- Don’t wear white kid gloves. Silk is the thing.
- Don’t scream if you meet a cow. If she sees you first, she will run.
- Don’t discuss bloomers with every man you know.
Of course, it seems that the farther I get into pregnancy, the more I’ll be adhering to these rules, which mostly boil down to “be sedate and ladylike on a bicycle.”
I just had my 16-week ob-gyn appointment, and the doctor was happy with how everything looks: Totally healthy and normal. All those blood tests for horrifying genetic diseases came back with extremely low probabilities (less than 1 in 10,000 sounds pretty safe to me). Baby’s heartbeat sounds good, I’ve gained some weight, various other things they measure are on track. Next appointment we find out gender.
Last appointment my OB had been a bit repressive — or maybe I should say erring on the side of extremely conservative on the exercise thing, but this time I checked with her and she said, “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it. Everything looks great.” I take this as excellent news. I’ve gotten in some pretty decent rides, and I’m staying in reasonable shape, so knowing I can balance the baby’s health and my need for sanity-maintaining rides is great.
However, I admit I’m still feeling discouraged about pregnancy and bicycling in general. Specifically, I’m feeling really alone and discouraged about my lack of riding buddies. I love long weekend rides with other people. About that “other people” thing, though: All my teammates and other racing folks I know are all ramping up. It’s race season! Ride hard! And the guys I rode with last year are also on the upswing, too: Spring is coming, and that means it’s time to train for RAMROD and High Pass Challenge. I can’t ride with those folks. I haven’t been training to ride at that pace, so even my hard effort isn’t enough to keep up, and besides, I can’t put out a hard sustained effort. I can put out a moderate sustained effort, enough to do, oh, a recovery ride pace for most of my riding buddies.
The upshot is that I’m looking at being able to do a long ride, but at a slower pace than any of my buddies want to go. That leaves me mostly alone. Riding 70 miles is only fun with company, so I need some ride buddies who’re willing to go a little slower and sacrifice their training a bit for me. Any volunteers?