Sneak Peek: The long awaited Three Speed Camping Overnight Ride: 9-10 August!

Yes, I’ve talked about it since the inception of Society of Three Speeds last year: an overnight camping trip ride. And I’m still working on all the details which should be announced sometime in April. But here are some of the details:

  • The ride will happen the weekend of August 9 and 10, 2014, and will happen around Portland, Oregon.
  • This ride will be open to members of SoTS only. Don’t worry, if you are not a member, you can sign up for a membership when signing up for the ride.
  • This ride will be open to three speeds and a few select hub geared bikes only: two speed kickback, four speed hubs, and five speed hubs, basically only the type of internally-geared hubs found before the “modern” era. No seven, eight, eleven, Rohloff hubs, etc. No derailleurs. No single speeds. Fixies okay if they are three-speed fixed gear bikes. (Yes, it exists.) No exceptions on this. The emphasis is on the hub, not the bike. You can use a modern bike if it has one of the hub types listed above. If you for some reason have an old bike that was originally a three-speed bike but you changed it to something else, change it back. If you don’t have a three-speed and want to go, you have four months to get one!
  • This isn’t “Tweed Ride Goes Camping”. While we’re doing it in the spirit of an olden bike camping trip, I don’t expect people to run out and get old canvas tents and Primus paraffin stoves. (Have you picked up a pup tent? I did. It’s rather heavy and bulky.) If you want to go all out and recreate a camping setup from 1934, go for it. But I’m going to pack my thoroughly modern three pound tent for this one. The only thing I ask regarding camping gear is avoid modern canister-fueled stoves if possible, but if that’s what you got, bring it. Also, while you don’t have to wear woolen knickers or somesuch, the only dress code I would ask is to refrain from the lycra and “modern” bicycle clothing, and don’t wear that neon green rainjacket unless it’s actually raining.
  • The ride to camping will be about 40 miles, mostly flat-to-rolling, with one small climb at the end. You should be able to do it. If you are really that worried, you can choose a shorter option of around 25 miles, but will miss most of the fun extras we have planned for the main ride.
  • The ride back will be about 25 miles, though we may meander if the interest is there.
  • The start/end will be conveniently located near public transportation, and we encourage folks to get to the start point by Trimet.
  • There will be several supply options along the route, including a grocery and liquor store just ten miles from the camping destination.
  • And finally, this is a self-supported trip, meaning you carry everything for the trip. There will be no “sag” wagon, no service carrying your gear, nor can you arrange for spouse/friend/fiend to drive your stuff to the campground. There are no exceptions to this rule. You’ll need to carry some form of shelter (or not), sleeping bag and the like, clothing, food, and any extras/personal stuff you need/want. They toured with camping gear on three-speeds way back when, when the gear was atrociously heavy. We really don’t have any excuse.

While this looks cool, you don’t have to do this for this trip. Photo courtesy of SoTS member twentymanna.

So, are you interested? I’m going to need to make reservations at the campground soon, and plan to limit total participation in the 15-25 range. If you think you want to go, feel free to leave a comment below or email me directly. Don’t worry, you’re not committing yourself to going just yet if you say you are interested. Nor is saying “I’m interested!” right now guaranteeing yourself a spot. When I get everything set up, I’ll be setting up a more official reservation system and collecting the fees associated with the ride/camping.

And yes, I realize this is April 1st. But nowhere in this post am I joking about anything!



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