Interview: Rachel Atherton on Her Pregnancy & Plans for the Future

Feb 26, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  

Once in a while, we are reminded that the mountain bike athletes we love to watch are also so much more than that. After Rachel Atherton announced her pregnancy on Instagram, we wanted to know more about Rachel Atherton the future mother, rather than just Rachel Atherton the really-blazing-fast-iconic-record-smashing mountain biker. When I first reached out, Rachel mentioned wanting to normalize the idea that mountain bikers can and do get pregnant, since there's been so little discussion around a gravity racer ever having a child. In this interview, Rachel reflects on how she has balanced the first four months of pregnancy with everything else she does in the bike world and what this change might mean for her future.


Photos: Dan Griffiths

What has it been like balancing pregnancy with everything you do in the bike world?


It's a steep learning curve, that's for sure! It's a really crazy time because one minute, you aren't pregnant and you're just doing your thing, and the next you are pregnant, there's no “warm-up” for the event, so you have to learn on the job so to speak! I get obsessed with things, hence the obsession with racing and winning, and this has been no different, I'm full-on researching everything and trying to find out everything I can, it's SO interesting!

I'm so excited to be pregnant, and figuring out what pregnancy looks like for me has been a challenge already!

When we first found out, it was so hard to comprehend, it's just surreal, you feel no different but there are cells multiplying inside you?

bigquotesI get obsessed with things, hence the obsession with racing and winning, and this has been no different, I'm full on researching everything and trying to find out everything I can, it's SO interesting!

I was riding laps at Dyfi Bike Park every weekend, and then one day we found out was pregnant, I think on a Thursday. Olly and I rode the bike park that weekend and I hadn't quite wrapped my head around the fact, I had so many questions - should I stop riding immediately? What can and can't I do?

I found a lot of cross country racers that were or had been pregnant and their experience helped, and snowboarders too, but specifically for what I was doing on my bike, I couldn't find anything online to educate or guide me. I know there are ladies out there who ride MTB and DH because many of them have been in touch with me and told me their stories which is so cool! But I had no access to their stories at the time, and very little to go on as to what I should do...

So I decided I would do what I always have done - listen to my body and my instinct!


I made the decision to just ride that weekend like I do every day, with the same confidence and ease and not to suddenly feel scared, riding hesitantly is more dangerous, and I was the same exact person with the same exact skill level I was last weekend before we found out.

It was SO early in the pregnancy, only a few weeks and I felt totally normal. I rode that weekend, I felt good, I felt really calm and happy like I've never really felt before, I did all the big jumps and loved every second, and as I hit the big last hip, following Olly, I knew that would be the last time I would do big jumps until “afterwards” and that was actually quite an emotional moment…

Because I had only been riding properly since my Achilles rupture for about 6 months that summer, and it felt so, SO good to be riding again, the injury, recovery and now being pregnant has been such a tightly packed year of emotion! But that is the beauty of life - the only certain thing is change!

bigquotesSurprisingly to me, I was totally OK with not riding my fastest or at my best, accepting that right now, it's about the bigger picture than this ride here today, because I have a life inside me that I am nurturing and growing, and that is so damn special!

Everything that happens in life is always an opportunity to learn something about yourself, and for me, the last 4 months have taught me to see the bigger picture I suppose. Before anyone knew I was pregnant, we would go trail riding, and I would really keep a check on myself and push down the super gnarly sections, or go around, and the lads we were riding with would look at me like “what the hell is she doing?” And surprisingly to me, I was totally OK with not riding my fastest or at my best, accepting that right now, it's about the bigger picture than this ride here today because I have a life inside me that I am nurturing and growing, and that is so damn special! And I will get back to riding gnarly stuff at some point!

When I got to about 6-7 weeks, the sickness hit me, and that was so hard! The excitement of being pregnant was replaced by feeling grim all day, like a bad hangover all day long, and I really was surprised how bad it was! The only thing that helped was being outside, easy rides or hiking, and eating food, it was almost like being injured again, which threw me mentally, and I had to work hard to remember it was a good thing this time, and not an injury as to why I felt crap!

"I must've been about 13 weeks here, mid sickness! This is our local trail centre and it felt amazing to get the legs turning and happiness flowing, that's good for the baby too!" -Rachel

I was not feeling great for 6 weeks but I hiked a lot, and I rode the ebike a lot and managed some trail rides which made me so happy, and luckily at about 12-13 weeks, I started to feel better again.

I definitely questioned over that time what I should do - should I stop riding completely? It was quite a confusing time, you ask about balancing pregnancy and that is exactly what I decided it should be - a balance.

I knew that mentally, I could not stay off a bike for 9 months, that would do more harm to me and the baby, but I could find a balance - a balance of enjoyment, exercise and rest, a balance of my skill and the need to be safe, and I think I've managed it pretty good so far, and that's what I'll continue to do - balance the growth of my belly with how I feel riding. It's a good life lesson really, and one that athletes struggle to find, balance in life.

bigquotesIt's a good life lesson really, and one that athletes struggle to find, balance in life.

I feel so in tune with my body from all the years racing and training, that any tiny difference is huge, so my body tells me exactly what it needs: more sleep, more food, to really rest, to really move or ride, to get away from the wifi signal, to be outside, to watch TV all day, if we actually listen to our bodies, they are bloody good at telling us what we need and as athletes, that's what we do day in day out anyway. So maybe being pregnant is actually like being an athlete - you do some exercise, move or ride, then you eat and sleep until recovered, then repeat! Haha!


I have definitely learnt through my career the importance of rest, I've had burnt out, chronic fatigue, whatever you want to call it, but it comes from not having that balance right, overdoing it and not keeping your core reserve, your core energy topped up, so I understand that even more so in pregnancy, when you take from your body, you must put back in right away.

The most difficult thing I found was imagining how I would approach social media - let's be honest here, as we all know and feel the pressures of social media. I was and still am nervous about what I put out there, how I portray this journey. It's very different from racing and winning that I feel has defined me over my career, but it means a lot to me to show this journey, and when I stripped it back and thought about it, what I want and always try to be is honest, and it was getting to me in the first 3 months that I couldn't be honest online - I was not talking about being pregnant when I was pregnant!

So I am keen to just be honest and pleased that I can now talk about it, and the support from sponsors is brilliant. I feel so proud to be associated with these companies that are a part of the modern world and know that athletes and women can have babies and still do their job in sport!


What are your racing plans going forward?


I am just going to take each day, week, month as it comes, having a baby is something I have looked forward to for a while and so I'm going to enjoy it and commit to it as much as I commit to winning races, and not put any pressure on myself to return by a certain date. The challenge to return to the podium after having a baby is a real one and I can feel it burning away inside me, I love an obstacle! And I feel that the bigger the obstacle or challenge, the harder you work to overcome it and often the better the result / outcome - but at this early stage I can't tell what racing will look like after having a baby, so I'll take it as it comes! I'm on 39 World Cup wins and Anne Carro's record is 42. I've never set out to chase records or achieve certain milestones, but it's annoyingly close!

"As my body has started to change, it's important to stay in tune with it, and after years of punishment my body is pretty ruined, so when I stop moving I really stiffen up. I've decreased my strength training because I feel like that is right for me at the moment and in all honesty I'm enjoying the rest from heavy gym sessions! But keeping that movement going even on the days when I felt really rough has been important and another life lesson - movement however gentle, is good for us!" -Rachel

What do you think this will mean for women's DH results in the next few years? Do you plan to take on more of a mentorship role?


I guess it means that I will definitely not win a World Cup in 2021! But I mean, I love it when the ladies racing say it's not the same without me there, of course, I love that!

I'm an athlete that loves winning and racing, so even when I'm not racing I get sucked into watching and supporting, and it's so exciting! I love analysing what they're doing and picking everything apart and looking for things to improve, as much as I would do when racing myself, but it's kind of more fun watching 'cos when you're there racing in it, it's so damn stressful!

bigquotesI love analysing what they're doing and picking everything apart and looking for things to improve, as much as I would do when racing myself.

The women's racing this year is going to be wild, the field is hungry, and I feel like they all have different strengths that will shine through at different points, which will be epic to watch unfold.

I love talking to the girls. I message some of them quite a lot, a few ladies at different levels, and I really, REALLY enjoy giving advice or helping with anything I can. I feel like I have so much race knowledge in my head that could help racers and I really enjoy giving that out, so for sure, I can see more mentorships in the future, there are some really exciting women just off the podium that I cant wait to watch!


What are you looking forward to with motherhood?


Oh my god, are Pinkbikers even still reading this far?! I guess without being too soppy, I'm a woman, and an emotional woman at that, so I literally can't wait to have a baby and everything that goes with it! I keep having pretty strong daydreams about riding park laps and having cuddles and feeding in between laps, the baby chilling with my mum or Olly…. rad!

Will there be an Atherton balance bike?


100%! I've thrown a spanner in the product timeline by getting pregnant! I'm gonna force the crew to bring the balance bike to the top of the list!

But seriously, a large reason for Dan, Gee and I wanting to start Atherton bikes was to see kids and youngsters on them, so to suddenly have that kid in the near future be my own, it's mind-blowing really! We have some big stuff going on with Atherton bikes this year which is so exciting, and I feel incredibly lucky to have that business to be involved with!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rachel! Huge congratulations on the pregnancy. We can't wait to see what the future holds for you and your little ripper.


204 Comments

  • 469 10
 Well that's the 2039 World Champs sorted then. Huge congrats Rachel, so excited for you!
  • 58 31
 Who else is having kids, Seth just became a dad and now Rachel is going to have a kid.
  • 48 7
 @jmtbf: wait like seth from seth bike hacks?
  • 22 18
 @calvinswartz: yep! check YT
  • 37 0
 @jmtbf: The straits' just had there daughter also.
  • 13 0
 @jmtbf: Ines Thoma too...
  • 169 9
 Now we're talking about Seth in the same conversation as world cup and world champ DH riders and Rampage winners... I like his channel, but that's bonkers.
  • 6 0
 @jmtbf: Hannah barnes in 8 weeks!!
  • 42 59
flag shaowin (Feb 26, 2021 at 12:21) (Below Threshold)
 @ReformedRoadie: not that odd really, he is definitely a talent in the mtb world. He puts out content more consistent than any pro except maybe JKW.

And I bet he had moved as many or more bikes then any racer.
  • 33 1
 Sam Hill has a few kids.
  • 8 0
 @jmtbf: Blenki. Robin Wallner. Tracey Moseley...
  • 20 36
flag mtb-thetown (Feb 26, 2021 at 13:55) (Below Threshold)
 @ReformedRoadie: True, but like it or not he has had as much (or more) influence on the sport than any recent pro rider.
  • 5 13
flag Molesdigmyjumps (Feb 26, 2021 at 14:17) (Below Threshold)
 I doubt Rach will be racing then
  • 8 0
 Congratulations Rachel! Great news
  • 4 0
 @ReformedRoadie: I can’t believe it’s bonkers. But it’s definitely bananas.
  • 23 3
 @ReformedRoadie: The guy gets more people at least started and interested in mountain bikes then possibly any other rider. Obviously his lifestyle and content looks world's different than World Cup riders, but in all but that top rider category, I hear his name the most. It's a different riding level, but a similar amount of impact.

But yeah, sounds a little weird.
  • 20 15
 @drewcurlin4: It’s like saying up how much you like your Camry (or Taco) in the middle of a discussion about Ferraris...
Sure more people can relate from experience, but it is kinda off point.
  • 1 0
 Congratulations, kid is going to be a ripper.
  • 17 1
 EXCLUSIVE: Billions of people have had kids!
  • 2 5
 @ReeferSouthrland: I don’t think it’s fair to assume that. The kid is free to be whatever she/he wants, even if it doesn’t include bikes
  • 1 4
 @ReformedRoadie: i mean he is kinda iconic
  • 1 0
 @samdeatley: Mo turn you emotional dial down 10 clicks.
  • 2 0
 @ReformedRoadie: People: Pinkbike Edition.

I like it.
  • 1 1
 @ReformedRoadie: but in this case you could hardly have appreciated a Ferrari until you knew how a Camry worked
  • 1 1
 @drewcurlin4: do woman in general understand how a Camry works? Do you understand how woman work?
  • 2 0
 @ReformedRoadie: definitely not to both of the questions
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie:

Wow, dejavu to middle school.

Mark Twain: "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and beat you out of experience" But here I go: um do womEn (learn how to spell) in general understand how a Ferrari works? Do you think they would first learn how a Camry works if they wanted to? Without a basic understanding of a car, could anyone ever understand a Ferrari? Biking is a learning process, and the "Camry" step is just as important as the "Ferrari" step, one just looks cooler and gets more props, ima need a better reason to think bringing Seth up is in any way inappropriate for this convo.
  • 1 0
 @drewcurlin4: sorry for the spelling/autocorrect error...my apologies.
Wow...Mark Twain. Wow. Check out the brains on Brad.

This whole thing went right over head apparently. How the camry works and how the Ferrari work is completely irrelevant to the conversation.

We'll bring this back to bikes, so maybe you'll get it.
Again, I think Seth puts out good content, and I'll watch his edit, as well as other similar YouTubers if I find something of interest they put out.
But I am not seeking out the next Seth or Paul the Punter edit the way I am looking for the next WC DH Raw that Vital releases, for practice, Quallies and of course RedBull live coverage of the WCs.
Maybe Seth & Co. get you all excited. Good for you.
Maybe you're a noob and his riding tips are a huge leap for you. Great.
But comparing him to the top end of our sport is a bit much, no? This isn't a slight on him. Just the truth.
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: Yeah I agree, nobody is trying to compare his riding or anything like that, and nobody was talking about one of his edits, they just mentioned that he is newly a dad.

Sure, he might not be as talented, but he is a big part of the community, just like Racheal, so to dislike the person's comment is just snobby. I just responded like, f*** off, nobody cares that you think a Pinkbike comment section should be reserved for Pros and World Cup followers. You think you're good, but you're probably not.

I don't think that was what y'all meant by disliking the man's comment, but even so its pointless.

Also lol don't be fronting like the computer autocorrects a legitimate word like women, and I liked the "check out the brains on Brad" line, I will def be using that in the future. anyways... Congrats to the Athertons
  • 315 1
 Additive manufacturing seems to be working out pretty well for the Athertons. Congratulations!
  • 67 0
 I think I understand this comment. It made me think I is smart.
  • 32 1
 In this case it’s both additive manufacturing and a traditional manufacturing technique!
  • 54 1
 Since this is PinkBike, I shall pedantically argue that babies are not so much additively manufactured as self assembled ensembles of nano systems. Self assembly and indeed nanotechnology had big hype in the 90's, more or less between the introduction of suspension forks and adoption of disk brakes, if you think about the 90s that way. Babies are pretty awesome especially when they grow up and bit and you take them to the Whistler Bike Park and send A-Line as a family.
  • 2 0
 LMAO
  • 8 0
 @The-Foiling-Optimist: To think Hope is still out there cutting babies out of solid billets. Almost barbaric.
  • 158 0
 she was lapping bikepark? that unborn child has already gone faster than i ever will on a mountain bike
  • 130 1
 So, 6 months until the "Looks like an Atherton" comments...

Nice article.
  • 49 0
 There is an ultrasound picture there (or shall we call it a prototype spy shot?), look more closely and it definitely looks like an Atherton, heard it here first.
  • 83 0
 @zhendo: full baby review tomorrow ?
  • 2 0
 Clearly an underrated comment
  • 96 0
 Labor will be fast. That kid's gonna descend like nobody's business.
  • 63 0
 "Oh my god, are Pinkbikers even still reading this far?!" We sure are! As a longtime Atherton fan, this is by the far the best cycling news I've read in years. As a father of two, I can't express the joy that comes from showing your kids your passions, and I may or may not have used episodes of the Atherton Project to get my kids stoked about riding! Thanks again.
  • 27 0
 It’s funny, I feel like she just has no idea of the impact she’s had on the sport. Huge respect.
  • 2 0
 DITTO!!!!!!!
  • 1 17
flag CaliCol (Feb 27, 2021 at 21:50) (Below Threshold)
 You’re a tool. @jamesdunford:
  • 1 15
flag CaliCol (Feb 27, 2021 at 21:50) (Below Threshold)
 So are you @Eric27:
  • 6 0
 @CaliCol: I don't think thats very nice. I was supporting @Marfox87 comments and giving my support and congratulations to one of my favorite athletes and you take time out of your day to insult me. I believe the "TOOL" is you. I also see you have insulted @jamesdunford for his support of Rachel. He has +19 support for his comment. You are what they call an internet TROLL and we all wish you would knock it off. Go for a ride and clear your head!
  • 3 0
 @jamesdunford: seriously, Rachel Atherton is such an amazing athlete. Kinda feels like in many sports the women's side isn't nearly as exciting. Yet in mtb the women's side is crazy fun to watch, they're so talented. Rachel rocks.
  • 54 6
 Conspiracy theory: she's not actually pregnant and is just using advance physiological tactics against her competitors, who will all be caught off guard when she shows up to the first world cup this year. Hehe. Congratulations!
  • 40 0
 Pregnant advantage, lower COG.
  • 5 0
 There actually are biological advantages during pregnancy: higher levels of red blood cells, hormones including testosterone, and more flexible.
  • 3 2
 @iamamodel: Plus oxytocin. Plus some anecdotal stories about pain thresholds (being able to train harder) post-pregnancy too. Could Rachel's best years in WCDH still be to come?
  • 4 1
 @twozerosix: Plus the stem cells she will get from her baby that will migrate wherever they are needed
  • 32 0
 Much love and congrats Rachy! You have the right attitude going about this - and I think you will inherently be a great Mom.
Some advice:
When they're young, it's physically demanding: "Oof... OK - it's 3am - time for a feeding."
When they're older, it's emotionally demanding: "Christ... it's 3am... where the f*ck ARE they...?!"

-haha-

I think Uncle G and Uncle Dan will help you keep them in line.
  • 12 0
 More like keep them on the hard line.
  • 28 0
 I think doctors are a little precautious in their advice for pregnant women regarding activities. That said, not racing world cup downhill, (especially at Rachel's speed) while pregnant is probably a good idea.
  • 3 0
 Absolutely. But if anyone could pull it off... it would be Rachel. Just saying.
  • 2 7
flag CaliCol (Feb 27, 2021 at 21:51) (Below Threshold)
 You have no idea how stupid your comment is whether I’m jest, or not.
  • 5 0
 @CaliCol: the internet is only for serious comments.

Thanks for patrolling sir calicol!
  • 24 0
 Great interview, really solid perspective on what is truly such a gift! All the best to Rachel, Olly and baby to be!

I'll share the two best pieces of advice I ever received re: parenting:

1. Be the person you want them to be, and
2. Ignore all other pieces of advice, you'l figure out what's best for your own.
  • 41 1
 3. Whiskey.
  • 14 1
 @geephlow: Moderation! Hungover parenting is the worst.
  • 4 0
 My 2 cents, every parent makes it up as we go along. We have three kids, and while some of the stuff we deal with is similar between them all, a lot of what worked for one does not work for the other two. Good luck to Rachel and Olly, sleep deprivation was the hardest part for me the first year.
  • 6 0
 @Offrhodes: but we're mountain bikers. You mean they don't come with a setup guide? How will we know how many buttons in to click on the cloth nappy, what temperature to run their nursery, what sort of white grease to run on their sore little bottom, how to silence them when they're making the wrong noise, how many ml of milk to put in their tummy?

You mean we just have to figure that out all by ourselves? Surely there is something printed on the box or a helpful manufacturers page on the web?

Wink
  • 6 1
 This is such great news! Tacking on to this, there were 3 bits of wisdom handed to me that truly stuck. So I'll pass them along. I take no credit for any of this, it's just the stuff that stuck with me.

1) "Prepare to be astounded." God, this one is true.
2) "Oh, you're in your 30's? First kid? Read all the books? You only need to know one thing. Sh*t will happen, and you will deal with it." Old timer wisdom yes, but as true as anything anyone ever told me.
3) "Kids don't listen to what you say, but they watch what you do."

Kids are amazing.
  • 1 1
 @pourquois-pas: I had way too many sketchy mornings piloting a minivan to childcare. Glad we made it through. I'm on a 9 month break right now and digging the 0.05 ABV beers.. Decades of abuse.......my kids are grown and fully thriving. When people say "OMG you're amazing - it must be soooooo hard to be a PARENT!!!!" I say bullshit, a caveman could do it and that's why any of us are even here today.

It's the Mothers that run shit anyway. I see dads doing idiotic things with their kids all the time. You gotta pay attention to things out on the street. Ya morons.
  • 1 0
 @pourquois-pas: seriously...
Told my wife, at any point one of us had to be sober enough to operate a car and make sound decisions for the next 18 years.
  • 1 0
 @pourquois-pas: correction. Hungover parenting is the worst
  • 2 0
 2. Ignore all other pieces of advice, you'l figure out what's best for your own.

Correct! With 4 kids of my own, one thing I've learnt is that I'm really good with my kids - but only my kids. What's worked for me may or may not work for anyone else. And the people that know best will be the parents and caregivers in the kid's life.

Having said that, super congrats to Rach and Olly! If the kid is into bikes, what a family to grow up with!! Big Grin
  • 26 1
 Oh, look another industry announcement for a new release, but we have to wait 9 months. Typical.
  • 4 0
 Hahahahahahah best comment!
  • 25 10
 I was a ski/bike bum for like 7 years. I didn't start having kids till my early 30s. I will say that nothing comes close to the fulfillment that having kids gives you. Its not always as "fun" or as "thrilling", but thats the point. The most worthwhile things in life never bring immediate happiness.

I would say, from my brief life experience, that those on the fence about having kids should just do it anyways, assuming you're in a committed relationship. Will it be hard? Yes. Will you make mistakes? Yes. Is there risk? yes. It will leave you with a greater sense of purpose, fulfillment, and satisfaction than anything else you could possibly undertake.
  • 38 3
 You know what feels better than winning a race?
Watching your kid win a race. 10/10. Would recommend.
  • 44 6
 I'm gonna pass thanks
  • 3 1
 @fruitsd79: Couldn't agree more!
  • 6 1
 @fruitsd79:

My kid hit his first out of the park home run on father's day a couple years ago. Kids are great - I own 3.
  • 1 2
 @fruitsd79: My eldest is only 4, so haven't experience that yet!

I was a multisport collegiate athlete myself, but that never translated into biking as I'm pretty average. So I might have to settle with seeing my kids win wrestling matches. Who knows with genes.
  • 9 3
 @ybsurf: Its your life, you do what you think is best. I hope I don't come off as preachy, just sharing my experience.
  • 21 9
 This is incredibly preachy. It's okay to have children, it's also okay to not have children. Go after whatever you feel will give you a greater sense of purpose, fulfillment and satisfaction in whatever form that takes. From my brief life experience, I would say that if you're on the fence about having kids, maybe you should take the time to understand those feelings and what they might mean for your family in the future before you take action. Children are kind of a big commitment, whether or not you're in a relationship.
  • 18 3
 @Rudy2455: I will say I had a terrible relationship with my dad. He was a refugee orphan, and had no idea how to be a dad. He was always in and out of work, had sever PTSD, and ended up having dementia and died from it. Life, esp. in high school, was sometimes hell living with him. Despite all that, I am incredibly grateful he gave me life. No one will have a perfect upbringing. Everyone will have parent issues. A life of strife and struggle is better than no life at all.
  • 5 1
 @hamncheez: didnt mean in a bad way, some people have that paternal instinct since day one but for me even as a teen I never wanted kids and I thought it might change as I got older but no never changed. I'm kinda selfish nature though so that's a reason.
  • 2 1
 @ybsurf: If you ever change your mind theres always adoption... Wink
  • 5 3
 @Rudy2455: yeah, that's true. However I've found that the people I know that don't want kids overwhelmingly fall into the self obsessed and selfish category. It makes sense, if you want to focus more on your own development then you are naturally going to be more self centred. However, the world needs self centred people as they often achieve amazing things by being so focused (so long as it's not just channelled into vanity projects".
  • 6 3
 @humoroususername: I have no desire to have kids, neither does my wife. But to suggest that we are mostly likely self centered is ridiculous. Neither of us want the responsibility or the stress of raising a child, so why should we have one? Do we owe the rest of the world a kid or something? Are you or anyone else missing out on something because I don’t have a child?

Also many people who do have kids are completely self centered as well. If I look at my Facebook and Instagram I see way more pictures of people’s kids than I do photos of my childless friends. You think many parents don’t love all the attention that they get by having kids?
  • 2 1
 @sino428: agree, plenty of people have kids for selfish reasons
  • 3 1
 @sino428: I had very similar thoughts on the subject that you bring up. However, the joy my kiddo brings to both my life and my gals outweigh all the responsibility and stress issues by far. As to the social media thing, it's all whackadoo. Cheers.
  • 5 0
 what hamncheez said. I did not want kids, wife really did. She's in college now, just an amazing kid. Best decision I ever made. Loved every step of the way. Memories like playing the guitar for her while she falls asleep, laying next to her reading out of her book with her, and suddenly realizing that if I don't pay attention, she'll finish the page before me...stuff like that can't be replaced.
  • 1 1
 @sino428: well no offence but you saying that you aren't self centred isn't really proof of anything. I'm sure most selfish people will insist that they arent.

"Neither of us want the responsibility or the stress of raising a child, so why should we have one?"

That is the epitome of a self centred statement. It would impinge upon your lifestyle therefore you don't want to do it. If your parents had the same attitude you wouldn't exist. And frankly, yes I do think people in a position to do so should have kids as that's how your retirement is generally paid for. The declining and ageing populations of western countries is causing a huge pensions shortfall which we have no way of filling. So many people like yourselves are taking the attitude that you don't want kids which means that you will probably have to work when you are well into your 70s. And then you will probably crib about how you should be able to retire.
  • 2 1
 @humoroususername: this could be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. You have no idea what my lifestyle is or what it involves other than not wanting kids.

In fact, I think your statement about kids ring how we pay for retirement could one of the most selfish things I’ve ever heard. So people who don’t want kids should have them anyway just so they can pay for your retirement? That’s how you think of kids? Just a future source of money so you can retire earlier? You sound like the selfish self centered one here not me.
  • 14 1
 >> ... not put any pressure on myself to return by a certain date. The challenge to return to the podium after having a baby is a real one and I can feel it burning away inside me,

As a 3x parent and 0x DH Champion let me help: put all the pressure on your kids to perform at ridiculously unreasonable levels and then live vicariously through them. Easy!
  • 12 0
 Congrats! If she isnt racing, would love to see Rachel behind the microphone this year with the Red Bull team. Would be amazing to hear her perspective as the GOAT.
  • 2 0
 That is an AWESOME idea!!!!!
  • 11 0
 Congrats and make sure you have grandparents in the vicinity or you're focked.
  • 10 2
 they need to make an Atherton full sus female specific bike now and call it the "Motherton"
  • 5 0
 I reckon Rachel Atherton might well be the first woman to take a young child round the DH circuit in 2022! If she’s does, good look to her, I think it would be a great experience for the young child too. It would be a shame if she didn’t, and let the all time 42 wins slip, but I guess everything changes once you’ve got a child.
  • 8 0
 So when’s that Atherton push bike being released?
  • 2 0
 Good call, they definitely should have asked that question!
  • 7 0
 Lets hope it does not cost as much as the Specialized one.
  • 7 1
 The Athertoddler!
  • 7 0
 Athertot
  • 4 0
 Imagine the scene, bringing mtb friends home from school... walking in to be greeted by cups, medals, jerseys adorning the walls... 'o, and this is my mum Rachel'.... 'and sat on the porch is uncle Gee and uncle Dan'.... #thingsofdreams Massive congratulations Rachel...
  • 8 0
 Stoked for you two!
  • 7 1
 YES, WE ARE STILL READING!!! Absolutely massive congrats to one of the most inspiring and dominant athletes alive!
  • 4 1
 Congratulations you two! Enjoy the next two years, it’s a wild ride Smile

This summer at the bike park was a husband wife team with a kiddo that was under a year old, trading laps with watching the baby. As a father of two under 6 years, it was the cutest thing ever!
  • 8 1
 Rob Warner commentary during labor?
  • 4 1
 Freecaster Warner. Can you imagine.
  • 2 1
 And/or a Wade Simmons Pick-a-Part Special Report.
  • 1 1
 @iammarkstewart: Hey... It could be Brad Jay and his "shut the front door!"
Eek
  • 2 0
 Rob if its a boy: "How will little Atherton wear a diaper with balls that big!"
  • 3 0
 My wife ride all through her pregnancy, up to the weekend before she delivered. It was a crucial part of her mental and physical health. Everyone is different, and so many people love to judge others, but it all comes down to doing what's best for you and your baby. Congratulations Rachel, being a parent is the most rewarding thing I've ever done.
  • 7 2
 Baby Atherton is going to dominate mtb for the next decades. When can we get that kid added to fantasy?
  • 7 0
 I guess it doesn't work like that... but if it was, wouldn't Peaty's, Zinc's or Sam Hill's kids have a say in this too? :p
  • 3 0
 I think looking at family generational progression in any sport would show it is the exception, rather than the rule, for a World Class athletes offspring achieving the same level.
  • 3 1
 As much as I love to mess with bikes, talk about bikes, and go biking, real life is so much more and enjoyable when you are part of a family.

Congrats to Rachel, having kids is the hardest and most rewarding job you’ll ever have ... and you will have that job long after your kids become adults Wink
  • 2 0
 I’m a Nobody, avid biker, weekend warrior......I’ve been on all sorts of 2 wheelers since God knows when.....I’m the kind of guy who gets worked up if the tyre valves are not aligned with the logo patch.....but sometimes I would wake up in the morning and the warrior in me says....not today buddy, there’s always another time to ride.....and I just hang out with my kid.....worth it? 110 percent yes!
  • 2 0
 So excited and happy for Rachel and Olly but so selfishly disappointed for this upcoming DH season. I was anticipating the Queen's return to dominance on the world cup circuit but this is so much more important than bicycle racing. Good Luck Rachel! Your fans wish you nothing but the best and we look forward to your future whatever/whenever you choose to do.
  • 1 0
 Congrats Rachel! Ride if you feel up to it... Maybe take it a little easy on the DH stuff, but I know some women who rode well into the later months.. A couple of them probably would have pedaled themselves to the hospital if they had the option.. Congrats again!
  • 3 2
 Merm. I don't see the pointe having kids honestly. Especially as a man. My life peaked, with a discernible thud, when I was like 5. Lol. Would much rather just do nothing all the time, given the choice. Like; given the choice, "it's a gonna have to be a NO from me Jimi Jim Jimbo Gym Clark-Johnson". Having a child to me, literally means you want to live life, where, given the choice, I've been trying to kill myself for like 20+ years to no avail. Lol.
  • 1 0
 Geez man, hopefully you're joking around here. Life is definitely worth it. Get on your bike, hit some fun descents, and it all makes sense!
  • 1 0
 Don't care who it is that leaves racing in exchange for parenthood... I'm always happy to see racers have their priorities in line and focus on raising a kid right instead of winning races. Rachel and others like Marcel Kittel (road) will make a huge impact in the ethics and culture of the sport.
  • 1 0
 Who is dad? When is the wedding, change or keep name? Definitely another inequality in work world of World Cup DH racing. Men keep riding even red bull if there wife pregnant woman have to stop to carry, birth and support child. Hopefully this guy can be stay home dad so Rachel talented doesn’t go to waste.
  • 4 0
 She looks so happy! Stoked for them. That baby is going to rip.
  • 3 1
 What fantastic news to hear, we couldn't be happier for you! And didn't realize you'd married Tom Selleck, congratulations you two.
  • 2 1
 Congratulations Rachel and Olly! My partner is due in July so this was really interesting to read. She's still riding/ skiing but taking it pretty easy now and taking it day by day.
  • 1 0
 tell you the truth this hit me like a ton of bricks Rachel is my favorite racer period one of the strongest people i have had the honor to witness i wish you the best of luck and fortune in your endeavors congratulation
  • 4 1
 Stoked for Rachel, and great article Alicia!
  • 4 1
 Great news! Congrats, Rachel!
  • 4 1
 So happy for her! She’s going to be a rad mother
  • 3 1
 She will soon be winning the EWS on an Atherton! Willing to put money on it!
  • 3 1
 This is great news to see the next chapter of one of the great racers of our time. Good luck Rachel.
  • 2 0
 Congrats to Rach and Olly.

Maybe we'll see a carbon and 3d printed lug pram? 29er maybe.
  • 3 1
 Rachel, if you read this: congratulations and it sounds like you might enjoy motherhood even more than winning.
  • 2 1
 What a brilliant interview! Congratulations Rachel and Olly! You're a couple of weeks ahead of me so I'm going to be following your journey closely! ????❤️????
  • 3 1
 As a third round new dad, this is a really touching thing to see on Pink Bike. Huge congrats to the soon-to-be family.
  • 3 0
 You probably won't read this but ..congrats Rachel!
  • 2 0
 Congrats Rachel. All the ups and downs of racing is great training for parenthood.
  • 3 0
 All the best Rachel, good times ahead
  • 3 0
 Atherton balance bike coming mid 2022.
  • 3 2
 Congrats wish you all the best. Cant wait to see the new Atherton kids bike that will be on the cards now.
  • 3 0
 Congrats.
  • 2 1
 Congratulations, gonna be a talented individual with the skill level in that family.
  • 2 0
 Congrats Rachel and the future Atherton uncles!!
  • 3 1
 Congrats to them both. Amazing athlete.
  • 1 0
 yeahh.. no.. actually there is nothing on earth thats got more warm up than this haha, congrats!
  • 3 1
 Here comes another downhill star from the athertons
  • 3 1
 Would she be the first mom to win a World Cup?
  • 3 1
 Congratulations. Sleep now
  • 2 0
 I hope its more than one so they can call them the Athertwins
  • 3 0
 congrats!
  • 1 0
 Where do we sign for the balance bike pre sale? Ours is 6 months old and rocking! All the best Rach!
  • 2 0
 I will be excited to see her race as a mother
  • 3 0
 Huge congrats!
  • 2 0
 Thats great for her - congrats! So she'll come back and win the EWS!
  • 2 0
 Kids are Awesome! Enjoy every moment and take lots of photos. Congrats!!
  • 1 0
 Congratulations, you will love being a mother, and I am sure you will be good at it too!
  • 2 0
 have fun with your new baby Congrats new life.
  • 2 0
 Congratulations Rachel and Olly!
  • 1 0
 Congrats - welcome to one of the last real adventures of the first world Wink
  • 1 0
 Congratulations Rachel and Olly!!!Just enjoy the time,it goes by very fast with a kid at home!!!
  • 1 0
 The guy holding up that picture that says; I did this! had me looking like it was Darren Berrecloth.
  • 3 2
 children are untrustworthy
  • 2 0
 What backpack is that?
  • 1 3
 Enjoy becoming a parent Rachel, it's really great - but please do come back and race next year. As great as the other women are, we need to see how they stack up against you. 2022 could be the best season ever.
  • 5 0
 She's got something more important going on at the moment.
  • 2 0
 Congratulations!
  • 1 1
 Congrats your life is getting better by the day and now it will continue on.
  • 2 0
 Congrats Rach!!
  • 1 0
 Congratulations! What a lucky kid that's going to be!!!!
  • 1 0
 Oh my god, are Pinkbikers even still reading this far?! I
made my day Smile
  • 1 0
 Good luck Rachel , fantastic news
  • 1 0
 imagine dan and gee as your uncles...
  • 1 0
 Great photo set in this post.
  • 1 0
 Congrats and Godspeed!
  • 1 1
 Life is a gift , défend it
  • 1 0
 Fish'n'chips fame.
  • 1 2
 Do you think the baby will look like a session?
  • 5 7
 Marine C. for the win...
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