Four of us set off together: me, 36.4 weeks pregnant, on my retrofitted Bianchi Volpe; Dave, loyal husband, on the shiny green Yuba Mundo; Kori, dear friend, adventuring teacher, puma wrangler, borrowing Dave's new black Brompton; and Caitlin, long-absent Ithaca friend, down from Seattle by bike and train, on her own zippy aluminum Trek.
We set off at a pregnant snail's pace: about 6 mph up hills, and about 10 on flats, rolling through the streets of Portland. Halfway, we stopped for sustenance at the Waffle Window. This is the most useful advice I can give to the pregnant cyclist: take pit-stops. If you're out alone, it's easiest to stop whenever something peaks your curiosity: a shop, a restaurant, a flower. When with others, it may be better to pick something fun along the route and schedule the stop in, so you don't feel like your inability to ride more than two miles at a stretch is interrupting everyone else's ride. Also, don't go out with anyone who will find your need to interrupt their ride annoying.
We got a little lost; we were a little late; we didn't have the house number and had to rely on other party-goers to get us to the right doorstep.
And coming home, it got a little dark; the Yuba tipped over during loading because it was so laden with gifts; our hosts worried over our chosen mode of transport. And today, as I've come to expect, I am sore and exhausted from the 9-mile round trip. But happy. Oh, so happy. And independent, and proud.
And that's how we rode to our baby shower.