Ivy’s link to home

Ivy Valdman lives in North London but calls California home. The Social Media and Brand Strategist is a mother of two, and riding a bike is one way to connect to simpler times.

08 April 2019

Becoming a parent is a watershed moment. Not many who’ve crossed the meridian will admit they were prepared for it – or at least not that you could be truly prepared. Broadly speaking, there’s only before and after. Life changes whether you want it to or not.

“I ride because it used to be a passion of mine, before motherhood. It’s something that brings me back to who I was before that,” says Valdman. Perhaps the hidden benefit of this fundamental change is the streamlining that occurs – not everything makes it over.

“About six or seven years ago, we used to ride down the Bay area. That was where I got into it, I started doing it every weekend with friends. Cycling is something that anyone can get into at any time. It’s up to you if you want to get better at it or not. We’d ride 100km every weekend. That was my escape.”

In this way riding clearly begins as a diversion, perhaps as a way to compartmentalise the rest of your life and gain valuable perspective. And that remains the case, even if the rest of your life has changed – whether it’s as profound as parenthood, or moving from one continent to another.

“Cycling now gives me an outlet from being a mother. Every day is the same routine, so being able to get away from that once in a while and just be on my own, enjoy who I was before becoming a mother – that’s what cycling gives to me. A little bit of my old identity. It makes me happy.”

Valdman’s ride now is shorter than the one she would have taken back in San Francisco, but not less valuable.

“It’s always considered my time, my own meditative space,” she explains. “Regardless if the kids are two years old or twenty, I think I’ll always need that. If I don’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of them.”

“This is a way to watch over me, it benefits them because I’m happier mom, I’m nicer and more patient. When I get to go out there on my own, as opposed to not doing anything for me.”

While Valdman’s out there alone, home is never far away – it’s at her fingertips, in fact.

“It’s so much easier to get to a pocket on your side rather than on your back. If I need my phone immediately it’s right there, and it’s second nature. Having the pockets on your bibs is so much more convenient.”

And it’s not just convenient in that it’s easier to reach, it also lessens the mental load.

“I carry my phone because I need to know constantly if something’s going on with the kids. I rarely leave them, so it’s my security, just to know that I’m just a phone call away if they need me. I can’t live without it.”



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