ChiWhoBike #47

A woman smiling with her light green bike in front of a shady grove of trees. She is wearing blue overalls over a pink and white striped long sleeve shirt and grey and blue sneakers, and has brown hair in a ponytail and light skin. Her bike is light blueish-green with black drop bars, fenders, and a cargo rack with a brown backpack on the back.

Biking has been a surprisingly important part of my pregnancy. I think during the first trimester, when I felt really nauseous and terrible, getting outside and moving around was one of the only places where I found a lot of relief. And so just having that built into my day, as part of my commute where I was biking and getting a little light exercise, was really, really helpful with the nausea. It definitely feels good to get a little exercise every day, and it’s also just been really nice to have some consistency in terms of my physical activity. Because my body is just changing so much, and so fast, and that can feel a little destabilizing. And I’ve really found that biking to work every day and just doing that, and being able to still do that, has been very sort of grounding and good for me.

My partner and I don’t have a car, so we mostly bike around to get anywhere that we go, whether we’re going to work or visiting friends. And I think in the future with our kid we hope to still bike a lot. We live in Andersonville, and the neighborhood is very walkable, so I think we’ll probably do a lot of walking at first, while the baby’s very young. But then we definitely plan to strap them onto the bike as soon as we can, and are thinking about getting an e-bike/cargo bike situation. So we really see that as part of our life with a kid.

The other half of my commute, when I’m not on this river trail, I’m on Damen, and there is a bike lane pretty much the whole time. But because it’s not a protected lane, it’s just painted, there’s no separation between me and the traffic. And if drivers are not paying attention, or they’re impatient or whatever, it doesn’t always feel safe. And I know that a lot of bike lanes throughout the city are just paint and no real protection. So that can feel kind of hard. And then the other part of it that gets me a little down sometimes is just that people get so mad at you. Like drivers get so mad at you for just existing on the road. And it can be really exhausting to deal with that energy being directed at you. And then like, I get mad, and I don’t like feeling mad at people every day. So that part can be a little exhausting.

A closer shot of the same woman smiling wide with her bike standing in front of a grove of trees.
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