Published: 9th FEBRUARY 2021

Cycling through the early months of pregnancy: Lucy’s story

Mum-to-be, Lucy, rides her bike everywhere. Now 16-weeks pregnant, she tells us how she’s kept cycling through the early months of her pregnancy. She explains what’s changed, how she feels riding whilst pregnant, and how she’s adapting her riding for her growing bump.

Lucy Dance, out for a cycle with partner

I’m currently 16 weeks pregnant, my sickness has eased off, I have a bit more energy and my pregnancy is public.

I still mainly want to eat beige food and don’t have as much energy as pre-pregnancy but things are pretty okay.

I knew as soon as I found out I was pregnant that I wanted to keep cycling for as long as I can.

I didn’t want to put a timeframe on it and will be listening to my body and doing what feels right for me.

So far I’ve ridden my bike most days since conception and I’d like to share what I’ve learnt.

Is it okay to cycle while pregnant?

I’ve had friends who’ve cycled right up until their final week of pregnancy and others who’ve stopped right from the beginning as it didn’t feel right for them.

I know that I want to keep riding my bike as it makes me feel so great and it’s also my mode of transport.

I don’t have a car and as I write it’s lockdown 3 so public transport is not an option for me at the moment.

I found it was important to get some medical advice so I asked my midwife. She said absolutely yes keeping cycling if it feels right for you.

She said it’s fine to keep doing any exercise I did pre-pregnancy but suggested not running any marathons which is absolutely fine with me!

Other people’s opinions

Everyone has an opinion on what a pregnant woman should and shouldn’t be doing and quite a lot of people want to share this with you.

I’ve found this a bit overwhelming.

This can be anything from diet, rest, exercise, sleeping position, and so much more.

Riding a bike definitely comes under this and people are pretty opinionated!

I’ve kept my replies simple to things like “my midwife has said it’s fine as long as I feel okay” or ‘I don’t know how long I’ll keep cycling, as long as I’m able to and it feels okay”.

For me having medical back up helped but it’s obviously not needed for everyone.

The logistics of riding a bike with a growing bump

My bump is small so riding my bike is fine at the moment.

But it won’t be long before this changes and it might be more challenging.

I’ve spoken to women who bought more upright sit up and beg Dutch-style bikes as they found it gave their bump more room so they could pedal.

I also know women who’ve altered their pedalling so their knees go out to the side.

As yet I don’t know if these will be options I will do and what will work for me.

I’ve noticed my balance is different in yoga classes and I wonder if and when this might start to impact me on a bike.

I’m keeping an open mind and am tuning into my body and how it feels and will make changes as and when the time feels right.

How does it feel riding a bike when you're pregnant?

Before I knew I was pregnant I noticed that I was more out of breath walking and riding up hills.

I put this down to not exercising as much this year due to Covid but found it strange as I’d never experienced breathlessness quite like it.

Now it obviously makes sense but it’s my first pregnancy so it was something new to me.

I’ve noticed my riding is slower and it feels like there’s a drag or the brakes are rubbing so it’s a little bit more effort.

I also need to keep an eye on my energy levels more and to keep hydrated so being prepared before going for a ride is even more important than ever. I’m noticing my hips more.

I’ve always had tight hips which I stretch out in yoga, but this is a new feeling that I haven’t quite managed to put into words yet.

I know that I don’t want to push any pain there so I stop and rest when needed.

Generally riding a bike still feels great for me, I absolutely love going out for a spin along the seafront, out into nature, and feeling the elements on my skin.

I love zooming down hills, meeting a friend for a ride and catch up and feeling so alive and in my body.


Read our tips for cycling during pregnancy.


Find out why cycling and walking are great for your mental health.

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