A late-month Adventure April report.

Hello folks! Yeah, this update is late. But I have found that the “problem” with this challenge vs. the October challenge is that you fine folks have all month to pull it off, and you don’t need to do it in a weekly fashion. So, only a few people have emailed me results. There are a few other reports out in other mediums, but folks, please remember to still email me them! And tag those posts #threespeedadvapr2017

Here’s what I know so far…

    • On the home front, everyone that attended my three speed ride on Sunday April 2nd fulfilled four out of five of the sub-challenges, everything except the overnight.
    • Out in the Hudson Valley, Spencer has hit up four of the five sub-challenges, everything except the overnight. From his report: “About 17 miles total, a couple off-road segments, coffee outside, one good on road climb and one off-road slog up out of the trails at Clermont Historic site.  The bike used was a first generation Surly 1×1 with a modern Shimano 3 speed hub, 40 tooth chain ring and 16 tooth Cog.  Now, I have to confess that the coffee outside was Starbucks, instant VIA french roast…I know, that it might be “grounds” for review of my membership but in my defense, it was really cold and windy and I forgot to bring a mug.”
    • In New Jersey, Robert has gotten in a couple rides as well.
    • Out in Denmark, Jeremy has gotten in the unpaved challenge plus the distance challenge.
    • Doug in Edinburgh got in the distance and climb portion of the challenge. “I got on the trail last Thursday, did an almost 13 mile run on cycle route 196 with partner and dogs, I then continued alone on route 196, joining Route 1 to go down into the village of Whitecraigs, turning right onto the A6094 and right again at the roundabout onto the A6124 which goes up to the top of Carberry and beyond. I finished up in Cousland village outside the village hall. Total mileage for the two sections is just under 18.5 miles. The elevation of the roundabout at Whitecraigs is 102ft. Cousland is at 492ft. Total climb, 390ft. I did stop very briefly for the traffic lights at the top of Carberry hill but that is at 340ft so already above the 150.”
    • Rowan in Blackpool, UK has gotten in the distance and climb portion of the challenge. “On April 2nd, I participated in Manchester’s Spring Tweed Ride on my Gazelle Cheetah, which completed a 17 mile loop from the Angel Inn, on Angel Street, to Salford Quays, Ordsall Hall and meandering around Salford and Stretford, using the Manchester Ship Canal & river Irwell. I rode in a kilt, which was interesting! On April 3rd, I took a newly re-acquired 1957 Raleigh Sports, whereupon I rode from Bilsborrow, Lancashire, to Scorton, Lancashire, via Claughton and Brock Side. This ride more than covered the elevation and inclines required, many times over!”
    • Stewart in Brighton, UK got in a Coffee Outside on Saturday April 15, on a Raleigh Wayfarer no less! “Things have been a little slow on the three speed challenge front, nevertheless I did manage to fit a pre work coffee outside. I’m hoping to do a three in one next. A 15 mile ride including some off road action and a climb of 10%.”

Alright, hope everyone is having fun out there. Let’s see those reports!


Next Three Speed Ride announced: Sunday June 25

Hey all! We are gearing up for Pedalpalooza, Portland’s annual celebration of Bike Fun. This year, it’s all of June! Of course I am planning all sorts of fun stuff for the month, but as like the past umpteen Pedalpaloozas, a three speed ride will happen!

This Pedalpalooza Three Speed Ride will happen on Sunday June 25th. Meet up at Woodlawn Park in NE (north of NE Dekum St, west of NE 13th Ave) at 9:45 am. Yeah, earlier this time! We’ll be taking off around 10:30 am. Here are some deets and info:

  • Coincidentally, this ride will happen right at the same time as the Woodlawn Park Coffee Outside, which starts at 9 am. So come with your coffee or tea brewing setup. (You’re going to use it again during the ride, anyways!) Some food ain’t a bad idea.
  • Yes, this ride is on the same day as Sunday Parkways-North. No, it is not happening after that, but (somewhat) during it. After dwindling attendance for my June ride the past couple years, I feel that now is the time to mix it up, and do it earlier so we can do a longer ride. There may be time after the ride to catch some Parkways action (and who knows, maybe we’ll even ride part of it?) But fear not, there are several Sunday Parkways to choose from this year!
  • And this is the one “open class” Three Speed Ride I do every year. Meaning: this ride is open to ALL BIKES, not just three speeds. Of course, three speeds are preferred, but don’t sneer at someone for showing up with derailleurs!
  • The ride itself will be about 15 miles total. As always, there’s a bit of “rough stuff”, meaning dirt paths and maybe even push-bike action. Three speeds are capable steeds, you don’t have to be so gingerly with them!
  • Somewhere towards the middle-to-end will be the tea stop. Get out your stoves and kettles! And yes, a snack is advisable.
  • Ride is not a loop, but will end near transit. Directions back to the start gladly given.
  • But if you stick around, we’ll most likely go someplace where we can get food and drink after the ride!

Okay, hope you can join us! And please let me know if you have any questions.

Finally, the Three Speed Ride Report for the April 2 ride!

Hello folks! I have to say, we had a pretty good first Three Speed Ride for 2017! For one, the weather was pretty decent, a mix of sun and clouds (though at one point we did feel a couple drops) and a high in the mid-to-upper 50’s. (The only complaint there is the temp was “in between” enough that I kept on adding and subtracting a layer throughout the ride.)

We had a good turnout too, around 15 (we picked up a couple more at the end of the ride.) And the ride itself was just the right mix of ease and challenge, with an overall length of 18 miles. Some folks remarked that this was as far as they pushed their three speeds, which was a good sign. But you can push them even further than this ride!

Oh yeah, we managed to hit up four of the five challenges of the Three Speed April challenge on the ride, everything but the overnight. (Though seeds of an overnight were planned at the end!)

Random notes from the ride:

  • This was the first Three Speed Ride so far to leave Portland! Yes, we passed through the tiny enclave of Maywood Park on the I-205 path.
  • They are definitely getting a lot of work done on Gateway Green, but it’s not open yet.
  • Half of the ride was spent east of I-205.
  • The midway tea stop was done at Knott City Park, a pretty obscure spot for those of us west of 82nd, but a nice spot nevertheless. (Water! Picnic tables! Bathrooms!)
  • The little bit of “dirt track” through John Luby Park was fun.
  • As was the pump track at Ventura Park. Bet you have never seen a dozen or so three-speeders ride a pump track before, eh?
  • And to get the climbing challenge in, we climbed the side of Tabor. We lost a few people here, but regained them down the hill.
  • We ended up at Montavilla Brew Works for beer with pizza across the street from Flying Pie. (It was too early to go to East Glisan Pizza Lounge.)

Here is the route of the ride.

And that’s a wrap! See you for the next ride sometime during Pedalpalooza in June!

Three Speed Adventure April is happening NOW. And some clarifications on those rules.

Hello all! We are officially in the midst of the Three Speed Adventure April challenge, which will be going on until the very end of the month (which is Sunday, April 30.) We’ve got a few people who have said “yes” so far. So if you are on board, give me a heads up at urbanadventureleague@gmail.com

I just wanted to clarify a few of the guidelines of the challenge, since there’s been some confusion, and I screwed up a couple details as well. So…

  • Please remember that the bike doesn’t have to be a three speed! As with the previous challenge, I accept four or five speed internally geared hubs, basically, what you could have gotten from Sturmey-Archer in the 1970’s.
  • As for that pesky derailleur on Bromptons, you’ll need to disable the derailleur to participate in the challenge. Note: I just said “disable”. You don’t have to remove the derailleur itself, just make it unworkable.
  • For Challenge 1, the “distance” challenge, you don’t necessarily need to use “digital means” to computate distance. You can estimate old-school style via paper map, or if you got one of those old-school clicky-click bike odometers, you can use that as well!
  • Because I revised Challenge 2, the “climb” challenge a couple times (and making it easier each time!) I screwed up on the cumulative climbing number. You just need to climb 100 feet, or 30 metres. Some editions said 45 metres, because originally I had it at 150 feet and forgot to change the metrics. So, just 100 feet or 30 metres of climbing!
  • And regarding Challenge 5, the Bike Overnight: The prohibition on staying at friends or family applies to both indoors and outdoors lodging. So you can’t crash on Aunt Betsy’s couch four miles down the road, nor camp in her backyard. The lodging or camping spot needs to be (theoretically) paid for.
  • Also regarding the Bike Overnight: I should have mentioned this before, but you can use public transit to augment your ride! You can use a bus or train to get you out to a more distant spot and ride from there. The ride would still need to be at least three miles one way, and you would still need to carry all of your stuff on your bike after you get off the bus. So hopefully this clarification might open up more possibilities for some of you folks, especially if you live in a big urban area like Chicago.

Okay! And honestly, I am trying to make this challenge hit the ride balance between too easy and too hard. I’m not purposely making Byzantine rules for the sake of making Byzantine rules, I just wanted to lay everything out. And since this is the first year, I won’t know how well everything will work until April is done. If you have any questions or comments regarding all this, please get in touch. Otherwise, get out on your three (or four, or five) speed and ride!