Biking while bumpin’: Adventures of being pregnant with a Pedego

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So what if it’s my helmet and not an actual bump? 😉

When my friend Linda first told me about Pedego’s call for applications for Brand Ambassadors, I was rockin’ a little secret. I was about five weeks pregnant, and I knew that getting a Pedego would be an awesome way to maintain some level of fitness without going crazy during my pregnancy. But, I was struck with that fear of spilling the beans in my application before I hit the supposed “safe” mark of 12 weeks. I noodled about it for a few days and decided to let them know my story, and that yes, part of that story was that I was newly pregnant and plus-sized, and determined to not let my pregnancy be an excuse for abandoning all I knew about the healthiest way for me to live my life.

Well – Pedego agreed it was a good fit, and here we are: me loving my Pedego! I can happily say I’m one week away from being half way through my pregnancy, and I’ve gained one whopping pound. I’m so happy to type that because I had major fears of being plus-sized and pregnant, that I would gain tons and tons of weight and my body, with its fondness of storing every extra calorie, would balloon to massive proportions. Now – I still have 20 weeks to go, and I know a lot can change very quickly, so I’m not out of the woods yet. I’m at the point in my pregnancy where I will start to gain weight, because that’s what happens, the fetus begins to grow and so will my appetite. But I’ve been instructed to try and limit my weight gain to 12 pounds, 25 being the absolute max, and I’m going to work hard to try to stick to those limits.  What does that mean? It means 1) continuing to eat within reason, not depriving myself of cravings, but reminding myself that portion control and healthy choices are best, and 2) continuing to ride my bike and take walks. I want to take my Pedego on more leisure rides, as I’ve mostly been using it to run errands. Running errands on the Pedego is great, but when I use it for grocery shopping, I have an awkward balance of a heaping bike basket and trying to make sure I don’t hit any lumps and dump my dinner 🙂 (See picture… tonight I used it to buy pork chops, lemonade, strawberries, grapes, lemons and a chocolate croissant. That basket was heavy!) (It’s also my fault because I went to the store for pork chops. Everything else just happened to fall into the basket. What can I say? The baby loves fruit! Ha!)

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I also want to check out a prenatal yoga class so I can get my zen on and stretch out some of the parts of my body that are getting achey (lower back!). Someone recently asked me if riding the bike is uncomfortable while being pregnant, and I can gratefully say, not at all. That may change as my stomach gets gigantic, but the nice thing about this bike is I have the step-through model, which means I don’t need to swing my leg over the seat to get on it. Preggo-approved!

So, at 19 weeks, you have a very happy, healthy-feeling prego, thanks to my Pedego. 🙂 Ladies who’ve been pregnant: how did you exercise during those nine months? Even if you’re not pregnant or don’t intend to be, what’s the one form of exercise you never mind doing?

Stuff the FTC makes me say: Pedego provided me a complementary bicycle in exchange for my coverage on the Double Chin Diary and social media as part of being a Pedego Electric Bike Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

Pedego A Go Go: Biking and following the rules of the road

Stuff the FTC makes me say: Pedego provided me a complementary bicycle in exchange for my coverage on the Double Chin Diary and social media as part of being a Pedego Electric Bike Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

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When I first got my Pedego, the owners of Pedego 101, John and Linda, went with me on our first spin around the neighborhood. I admittedly had never ridden a bike in street traffic, so I was nervous and listening eagerly like a good pupil to make sure I was obeying traffic laws. One of the first things I did was take off in the opposite direction of traffic — a move which Linda politely told me was called “Salmoning”, because salmon go up-stream in the opposite direction of currents. Oops! So I knew right away I needed to do some research on the correct way to bike.

Image from Veldrone.CA

Because they put it much more succinctly and efficiently that I can, the kind people at BikeLeague.org have the following rules on their site.

In all 50 states, people on bikes are required to follow the same laws as other drivers.

Here are a few key principles that underpin all US traffic laws:

First Come, First Served
Everyone on the road is entitled to the lane width they need. This includes the space behind, to each side and the space in front. If you want to use someone else’s space you must yield to whoever is using it.

Ride on the Right
In the United States, everyone must drive on the right-hand side of the roadway.

Yielding to Crossing Traffic
When you come to an intersection, if you don’t have the right of way, you must yield.

Yielding when Changing Lanes
If you want to change lanes, you must yield to traffic that is in your new lane of travel.

Speed Positioning
The slowest vehicles on the road should be the furthest to the right. Where you position yourself on the road depends on the location of any parked cars, your speed, and your destination. Always pass on the left.

Lane Positioning
Bikes can share the same lane with other drivers. If a lane is wide enough to share with another vehicle (about 14 feet), ride three feet to the right of traffic. If the lane is not wide enough to share, “take the lane” by riding in the middle.

Intersection positioning
When there is a lane that is used for more than one direction, use the rightmost lane going in the direction you are traveling.

Follow all street signs, signals, and markings.
Self explanatory.

What other rules would you add to this list? Mine is not necessarily a traffic law BUT… always wear a helmet! I love that my nutcase helmet specifically has padding on the inside that is printed with the saying “I love my brain.” Heck yes I love my brain! And you should love yours too. Always wear a helmet!

 

Putting the GO in Pedego: Electric Power!

Stuff the FTC makes me say: Pedego provided me a complementary bicycle in exchange for my coverage on the Double Chin Diary and social media. All opinions are my own.

The first time I rode my Pedego and twisted the throttle, I had an unconventional and immediate association with Twlight. Wait, what? I know! How do sparkly vampires with yellow eyes relate to awesome beach cruiser e-bikes? I’ll show you how.

So in this cheeseball scene, right at 0:07 after Edward says “yeah, you need to hunt”, you see Bella flying through the forest. Well, rather you see the bird’s eye view of her looking down. She’s flying like normal and then VROOM! She speeds up. That’s exactly what using the Pedego throttle feature is like. Normal speed, normal speed, pedal, pedal, pedal, and then THROTTLE! VROOM! Vampire lightning speed. I shared this thought with Linda and John on my inaugural ride with them after receiving Cora, and I’m pretty sure they were both thinking “What a weirdo!” but hey… it’s how my brain works 😉

If you’re looking for non-vampirical comparisons, Pedego has a good video on their site that explains the features a little more in-depth.

There are two ways to power yourself: The throttle, which I mention above, and Pedal-Assist, which is like giving a little extra oomph to your pedaling. Pedal Assist is controlled by an LCD screen on the handle bars (that you can also plug a USB into, holla!), and there are five levels of pedal-power. I like using Pedal Assist when I’m tired on a ride home and want a little extra power. If you crank up to five, holy cow, it’s like flying! I’m usually too much of a chicken to go to level 5 on suburban streets, because I’m not the most graceful person on Earth, but I love using level one or two to crank up my power.

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So there you have it. A couple electric rides on your bike, and you’ll soon see that Pedego adds a little sparkle to your pedaling. The yellow eyes and fangs come later 😉

Why Pedego is a good fit for me: bikes for all sizes and shapes

Stuff the FTC makes me say: This post is part of a series of posts about Pedego I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks as part of my agreement of being a Pedego Brand Ambassador. Pedego did provide me a complimentary bike in exchange for my review and discussion.

A few weeks ago I was helping a friend pick out a cruiser bike. We were shopping online, and this friend is plus-sized, like me. “Oh, wait,” she said, as she looked at the bike’s details. “This one has a 200 pound limit.” That bike was a no-go, because despite dieting best intentions and what that number on the scale COULD be, you want a bike that will safely carry your body weight now. One of the things that first attracted me to Pedego Bikes was that their bikes come in all kinds of ranges and sizes, perfect for many different body types. In fact, one of their customers, Rhonda, used to weigh 457 pounds, and her Pedego was a main reason (in addition to healthy eating) that she lost over 250 pounds.

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Picture from Pedego.com

“The first time I rode a Pedego, it was freedom to me. It was back to being a kid again. It was the best feeling I’d felt in a long time. The smile I had on my face when I got back — I swear I had it for days,” said Rhonda.

Because her mobility was so limited, the Pedego was a perfect stepping stone to becoming active again. It empowered her to get some exercise, fresh air, and social interaction — and it was fun. “Riding my Pedego was something that I wanted to continue to do. It wasn’t something I dreaded. It wasn’t a chore. It was just enjoyment for me.”

I definitely understand what Rhonda is saying, because if you gave me a choice between riding a bike around the neighborhood and going to kickboxing, well, the bike wins any day – and I LIKE kickboxing. But it feels less like one more thing you have to do, and more like you’re a kid again – just cruising around the neighborhood. It’s kind of like tricking your body that you’re exercising 😉 Matt and I went up to Pedego 101 a few weeks ago today to test out the bikes, and the best part about the Pedego was that heading up hills was a lot simpler with the throttle option. I’m noticing that pregnancy has me out of breath a lot faster than before I was pregnant, and I guess now I’m breathing for two. It was so awesome to give the throttle a twist and get a little zip, allowing my body to rest when it needed it. Did that make the ride easy? No, but it made it easier — which is perfect. I still got a great workout that day!

The other size-friendly or age-friendly thing I love about Pedego is they offer some very advanced options for bike frames, in terms of mobility. My bike model has what’s called a “Step Through” which means instead of swinging my leg over the seat like I’m about to hop up on a camel, I just step through the frame of the bike and gently sit myself down. There’s no heave-ho or grunting as you try and hoist yourself up on the seat. For people who want an even easier option, they have the Boomerang, which has an even lower frame (9″). This is perfect if you have knee or joint issues, or just want a bike that’s less of an ordeal to hop on. I’m so jazzed that my bike has the step-through, because as this bump grows into a beach ball, it’s going to be a lot more convenient to have a prego-belly friendly bike.

Boomerang from Pedego.com, with easy step-through access.

Boomerang from Pedego.com, with easy step-through access.

While I’ll be in New York for a few more days and am away from my Pedego Cora, I’m still thinking of my lovely bike… including wishing I had it as we wrapped up a very looooong day of walking in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. I had to snap a pic of myself with this cool bike mural in Brooklyn because it reminded me of Pedego.

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Not quite an easy step-through on that model… but awesome, nonetheless. I hope you have a wonderful day!

 

Big News: I’m a Pedego Electric Bike Ambassador!

Hi friends!

You may have noticed I’ve been hanging around the DCD again lately, and it feels good to be back! Today I’m thrilled to share that I’m one of four brand spankin’ new Pedego Electric Bike Ambassadors! Over the next few months I’ll be blogging weekly about my experience with my beautiful Pedego bike. Now, the first thing people want to know is: what’s an electric bike? Well, it’s a bike you pedal and ride just like any other bike; but this one has the option to get a little boost if you need it (up to 20 mph!). I have the Pedego Interceptor, which is a cruiser and has an easy step through, so there’s no need to swing your leg up high to get on the seat. Once you’re on your bike and ready to go, you can pedal like normal, twist the throttle, or turn on Pedal Assist, which helps speed up and power your pedaling. It’s pretty much the coolest thing ever. I’ll share a meme next week about how it makes me feel 🙂

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I chose the coral and aqua Pedego with brown wheels, seat, and handle bar trim. Isn’t it gorgeous? I love the bright, beachy feel and the retro styling. I have decided to name her Cora (And yes, of course I have color coordinated shoes. Gotta make sure my pedaling fashion is on point.) However, the best thing about this bike isn’t its cute styling — it’s that this bike is going to help me maintain my fitness and reach new levels of health. Now, a few people that hear about electric bikes always say the same thing “If it’s electric, how is that going to help you get exercise?” While on my lazier days I may *want* to just use the electric option the whole time, I find in the 7 miles I’ve already ridden that I only use the electric options when accelerating from a stop, or heading up a hill. In fact, because I have the electric option, I end up riding longer and further — certainly something you can’t debate when you’re biking for exercise. You still get the exact same benefits of biking on a Pedego that you do from a normal bike — the wind in your hair, the breeze kissing your cheeks, the joyful “WHOOSH!” as you cruise down an empty street. Plus, isn’t anything better than nothing? (Always. No matter how slow you go, you are always, always, always lapping somebody who is still on the couch. Progress, not perfection!)

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Because I work from home, I’m most excited about using my Pedego for errands rather than driving my car. For example, this week I already rode to the post office, the grocery store, and even my acupuncture appointment! On Friday, I’m having lunch with some friends and I can’t wait to check out Reseda’s new protected bike lane. Of course, I’m learning all about bicycle traffic laws and always make sure I wear my helmet (the photo above was just for photographic purposes!). I’m looking forward to seeing how Cora helps me accomplish my fitness goals, because I know I do best with exercise when I can make it multi-purpose. If I have a nice long bike ride while doing an errand, it doesn’t feel like exercise: it feels like a fun way to be productive. That’s why I had success last year when training for the 3-Day, because suddenly I was able to walk long distances to do things like visit the crafts store or meet friends for dinner. When I’m able to make exercise less tedious I always end up doing more of it!

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I’ll be sharing more about why exactly Pedego makes such unique bikes in the coming weeks (spoiler alert: USB charger on deck, a range of sizes for all body shapes and sizes, over 6 models of bikes including a tandem and a cargo version, awesome customization, super sturdy build, the list goes on…) If you’re interested in learning more about Pedego, definitely check out their website, and see if there’s a dealer near you. Almost all dealers offer bike rentals, which is a fantastic and low-cost way to get to know the bikes. I’m lucky to be working closely with Pedego 101 in Westlake Village, which is even cooler because it’s owned by a friend from journalism school, Linda C.

Allright… I’m off to take a bike ride! Do you have a bike? Do you love bike riding, too?

Disclosure: I have received a Pedego bike in exchange for blogging and sharing on social media about my experiences over the next several months. All opinions are my own.