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Biking through Pregnancy

When we biked through the ninth month of pregnancy, we found people driving unusually thoughtful. After spotting the pregnant woman on her bike, they slowed and yielded more than was customary. Frequently they’d smile and nod, or give a cheery wave.

Dena Donnell agreed. Hear Dena’s story, and see her, below.

Many women—including the mother-to-be below, in her eighth month of pregnancy—find biking pregnant comes naturally.

8 mos mama and her family

Other expectant mothers, like this one on a bicycle alongside Del Monte Beach, love to bike and love being pregnant! But for whatever reason, they hadn’t thought much about combining the two, until the idea was suggested.

Pregnant mama at del monte beach

Dena Donnell had thought of that!

Here’s Dena’s story….

Dena was expecting the Donnell’s second child, and was in her first trimester of pregnancy at this Twilight Ride.

Dena and her husband,  Tyler Donnell, are Naval Postgraduate School Cycling Club members.  They and their son, Devin, are shown here at the NPS Cycling Club-hosted Twilight Ride at Mazda Raceway, Laguna Seca back on May 18, 2011.

Besides knowing that more people biking helps keep the air and water cleaner for her children, Dena found that biking with her husband and son–and with her cycling club–was a wonderful way to stay fit and help make a healthy baby.

Dena was biking on 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, in her eighth month of pregnancy–about three weeks before she delivered their baby.

(The photo directly above and below provided courtesy of the Donnell family.)

Dena thinks she was able to continue riding as long as she did because she had such an outstanding support network of fellow cyclists.  Not surprisingly, her husband, Tyler, was her biggest cheerleader and supporter.  Not until the last couple weeks of her pregnancy did he suggest that she take a break from biking.  He knew that Dena and her health care provider knew best, and Tyler was fully in support of Dena’s decisions.

Dena encourages other women to continue being active as long as their midwife or obstetrician approves.

When I told Dena that one thing about biking pregnant I loved was that I found drivers to be especially courteous.

Dena concurred, commenting:  “I agree with you about folks seeming more courteous about seeing a very pregnant lady on her bike.  They initially look at you kind of crazy, don’t they? I always got high-fives, or a ‘You go, girl. ‘” 

The men on the NPS Cycling Club team would joke with Dena during training rides that if she did go into labor while on the bike, her saddle would “hold everything in” until she made it to the hospital.  All kidding aside, they were always genuinely concerned, asking Dena how she was feeling and if she was doing okay.

And indeed she was.  In March 2012, the Donnell family was back at the Twilight Rides.

Welcome, Avalin,

to the Monterey County bike community! 

(The photo directly above and below provided courtesy of the Donnell family.)

Devin and Avalin are evidence that strong, healthy babies come from strong, healthy mamas!

Avalin was able to already be part of the family’s Twilight Ride experience, thanks to a friend who came along to hold her. Congratulations to the Donnell family, and thank you for the many ways you and other NPS Cycling Club members serve as great ambassadors for bicycling in Monterey County.

For another Monterey County bicycling mother-to-be, click here and meet Kira Magenheim Belan.

For yet another Monterey Bay biking mother-to-be, click here.

From other places: More expectant mothers biking

Portland has bicycling pregnant group rides.

Kristen Butcher offered  “Baby on board: 10 tips for riding while pregnant” on the People for Bikes blog, 10/7/14.

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This post was published on 18 May 2012. One or more changes last made to this post on 10 October 2023.

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