Natalie worked as a bike messenger for 6 years as she went to grad school for architectural design. She wanted to combine her love of design, the world of cycling, and respect for the environment into a business and way of life. With its bike-friendly nature, Portland seemed like a great place to start Sweetpea Bicycles, owned and operated by Natalie and her husband, Austin. Out of a desire to help women experience the joy of cycling, she strives to make bikes that perfectly fit a woman’s body. As a mother of two, there’s no doubt her enthusiasm will be passed down to her children.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s a great time to take a step back and appreciate the ambitions and passions your own mom instilled in you. Don’t forget to tell Mom that you love and appreciate her.
Take a look at Natalie’s work wear here: Carhartt Women’s Minot Shirt, 1889 Slim Double-Front Denim Dungaree, & Short Sleeve Signature T-Shirt.
It’s springtime, although it might not quite look like it yet. This strange mixture of rain, snow, and salt can take a toll on your bike. Here are a few tips for care and maintenance.
Keep it clean! After riding through the elements, clear all debris off your cycle– the sooner, the better. It will help prevent rust and ware. A bucket of soapy water and a sponge will do just fine.
Keep all moving elements lubed. This is important. Don’t be cheap with this step. In the long run, lube will cost less than having to replace expensive bike parts. Be mindful not to over-lube. Keep track of the areas you’ve already tended to so you don’t do it twice.
When roads are wet, let a bit of air out of your tires. Lower tire pressure increases contact area between the street and your bike. This will give you a bit more grip on slick roads.
Mudguards are a great purchase this time of year. Not only does it keep the rider clean, it prevents too much gunk from getting on other parts of your bike. It will also mean less clean up time for you after a muddy ride.
Regularly maintain your cycle. Harsh weather conditions lead to expedited disrepair of your bike. Keep an eye on brake pads, gear and brake cables, and bolt tightness.
Store your bicycle inside as often as you can. If you know it will be outside for an extended period. Be even more careful with the upkeep.
Carhartt Women’s Chore Coat is perfect for bike maintenance. The durable fabric, endless pockets, and adjustable cuffs are one your side when you have a dirty job in front of you. If you want to learn more about bike care check out what Tori Bortman, owner of Gracie’s Wrench in Portland, has to say.