Hello! My name is Natalie Ramsland, bike fitter at Gladys and owner of Sweetpea Bicycles. I'll be guest posting here from time to time. Having met so many of Gladys' fabulous customers, I feel like I'm in good company with you already, dear readers.

And now to what's on my mind this week.

(My bike is kind of a cheap date.)

(My bike is kind of a cheap date.)

You may be a bit like me. You might love fall and all the new routines it brings. You put new batteries in your bike lights, re-fasten the fenders, perhaps sign up for the Bike Commute Challenge… it all just gives your bike so much purpose.

But as I pedaled back from an afternoon errand today, I noticed the early-autumn smell of dry grass and overripe tomatoes. I heard the crunch of the first crispy leaves under my tires. I saw the industrious squirrels doing their thing. (Public Service Announcement: watch out for crazy squirrels!) It was all so lovely that I realized that I shouldn’t forget to date my bike. To ride for the sake of all that you can appreciate when you aren’t being so ever-lovin’ productive together.

I plan to take my bike on some dates this fall, and I invite you to consider doing the same. A few of my favorites:

  • A trip to a ‘cross race. There are plenty of local races that are fun to ride to, whether your are cheering or racing.
  • A picnic at Chapman to watch the swifts is a low-key way to spend the evening. This is Portland's answer to "walks on the beach"
  • A ride up Saltzman (if your bike is feeling frisky) is one of my favorite ways to experience total leafy immersion in the fall

And if you happen to have a special person in your life, you might invite them along. Just don’t tell them that they are the third wheel.