Dear Caroline, It's February 12, 2018 and you are going to be born today. This is absolutely mindblowing because (a) I was starting to think I was going to be pregnant forever, and (b) somebody is going to pull you out of my body, introduce us, and then let me take you home to love and raise you forever. Or until you are 18 and ready to be pushed out of the nest. Pregnancy has been hard. One of my goals as your mother is to be honest and frank with you, so I will tell you that, truthfully, I have hated being pregnant. The only parts I’ve enjoyed are feeling you move (except when it seems like you are trying to forcibly climb out of the front of my stomach) and imagining who you will be and how life will be once you’re in it. Otherwise, pregnancy has been ...continue reading.
"How has your pregnancy been?" She was a prenatal massage therapist with a soft voice and gentle hands. No part of what she was about to do to me involved digging fingers into sore muscles, pulling fascia and painfully working out knots, everything I know from years of cycling-specific massage. She was used to coddling soft, gentle, glowing expecting mothers who lovingly cradle their bellies. "Well," I began, "It's been hard. I was...uh, am...a professional cyclist and I've tried to keep up with training. I had a bleed at 12 weeks and broke my arm in a crash at 20 weeks. Now I ride indoors 10-12 hours a week and walk a lot of miles when I travel, and so everything always hurts and feels tired. But I keep going anyway." I sounded insane. This was not lost on either of us. She asked if I'd tried prenatal yoga and ...continue reading.
We met a year ago, when I first started penning this column while riding the trainer in my parents’ garage in Virginia. Now it’s a year later and here I am in California with a vastly different life, typing this column while riding a trainer in a garage. The more things change, the more they stay the same. But that is the story of life, of yours and mine, of everybody we know, cyclist and otherwise, pro or not. Seasons come and go, we make gains and face losses, teams fold and start, riders retire while others launch careers. You’re a different person than you were at the beginning of 2017; maybe now you’re faster and a cat 2 racer, or maybe your bike has fur from all the dust gathered on it. But you’re still reading Peloton, which tells me your heart still lies in cycling (or your day ...continue reading.
Today was the first day of the Cascade Cycling Classic - a 95-mile road race - and I'm sweaty, exhausted, and dusty. I'm completely spent and yet, when our team van pulled over on the side of the highway eight miles from my host house, I got out and started running home. Well, running is an optimistic term. It was barely a jog into a headwind along a wide-open uphill highway at altitude. The struggle was real. It got even better when all the other team vans driving home from the stage started passing. I'd have hidden behind a tree if (a) there were any trees and (b) I'd had any energy to spare. I had to run, though, because my only exercise for the day thus far had been driving the team van and working the race start and finish. It was hard enough to sit out the race; ...continue reading.