Copenhagen has taught me, together with many other European cities mind you, that many women (if having a normal pregnancy) can enjoy cycling through their pregnancy.
I stopped and pondered about the thought of cycling when pregnant here in England, more specifically in Manchester, when I came across this article on the Guardian not long ago.
I pre-empt any comments that I am not pregnant, but nonetheless I would like to think that I could cycle (health permitting) during pregnancy. Lately, now that my commuting has become a regular daily activity, I am noticing how tiring, frustrating and stressful it is cycling down roads full of cracks and potholes; I have even come to the conclusion that I could forego cycle lanes completely if Manchester City Council had the courtesy to provide smooth tarmac to cycle on, at least on the main connecting roads to start with.
When I think of cycling while pregnant I am not worried, as much, by cars and driver’s attitudes… despite all the bad experiences I still truly believe drivers are not out there to try and kill/hurt/endanger cyclists (or pedestrians), but the idea of carrying an extra weight (mine and baby) and going through every flipping pothole and crack, while destroying my back and kidneys is not that appealing.
I love cycling, the freedom, independence and yes exercise make me a very happy person. BUT the sections of roads which are infested with potholes and cracks have the ability to ruin my cycling experience no end!
I have not seen a pregnant lady cycling during my errands/commute so far, I’d love to know if there are any out there and their experience. I do not accept defeat easily (I actually never do) and as I am sure I have few years to go even before I contemplate having a family I hope to see Manchester change for the better… maybe it’s time to start nagging… ehm ehm… ‘contacting’ my local MP and council and be a polite but frequent ‘voice’ and see what happens.
I am baffled at how and why is still taking so long to see real positive changes in the Local Government’s attitude towards cycling… how on earth do they think they can achieve the 80% carbon reduction by 2016 target Central Government has put in place???? Not to mention the ever growing problem of road congestion…
I, for one, really hope (and will work towards it) that one day you may spot me cycling around the Manchester streets sporting a nice round belly… I will be sure to ring my Pashley bell at you 🙂