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

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!


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

  1. I would totally be all over this challenge, S. But as it happens, I am currently bereft of a three-speed at the moment. I will ride my 1946 Hobbs with fixed wheel at a reasonably leisurely pace in solidarity though. One must not break into perspiration if one wants to establish camaraderie.

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