8th Annual London to Cambridge Rural Ramble in Wisconsin, Sun 1 Oct

IMG_20170920_164146-01Hello friends, especially those of you who reside in the uppermost midwest: SoTS member Wrongway Pete is back with another annual installment of his fine fall ride. Below is the verbatim copy from his “press release”.



Our 8th Annual London to Cambridge Rural Ramble is fast approaching, on next Sunday, October 1st at 10:00 a.m., starting at the Trail Head for the Western Section of the Glacial Drumlin State Trail in Lake Mills, Wisconsin.

As is traditional on our ride, after complimentary coffee, tea and scones, conversation and ogling of vintage bicycles, we will hit the trail as closely to 10:00 a.m. as possible for our 35-mile potter, where no one is left behind. En route we will ride a patch of “rough stuff” through the cattails of Korth County Park, skirt lovely Rock Lake, pass through a tunnel and over bridges, traverse London Marsh (home of the Lost Train and the Fighting Finches), pause briefly in the megalopolis which is London, and thence wheel down country roads to espy the quaint rustics.

Then it is a jaunt down the CamRock Trail to take luncheon in the ancient abode of Cambridge. After luncheon we glide along Lake Ripley and through farm, fen, field and fell, before we take our accustomed stop on the boardwalk of Sandhill Station State Campground (which boasts its own bicycle entrance!) a mile from ride’s end. After the ride we will conclude — for those interested — in the hoisting of tanquards at Tyranena Brewery.

All information may be found at the website here, but note that, due to glitches in my web software, this year’s date has not been posted. Rest assured, though, the event is Sunday, Oct. 1, as it is always held on the first Sunday of October.

The only fee is $5 for a day pass for the State Trail and spending money for your luncheon in Cambridge.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


Three Speed October 2017! Oct 1 through Nov 5

36273501226_297ebb0f97_kOkay folks, here is all the basic info for this year’s challenge! Check yesterday’s post to see what’s different this year from last years’ challenge. Feel free to ask me questions via comments or directly at urbanadventureleague@gmail.com

Started in 2016, the Three Speed October challenge is a way to not only get folks out on their three speeds, but to get them excited about them!

The premise is simple: Ride your three speed during the month of October! Here are the basic stipulations of this challenge:

  1. Ride a three speed bicycle
  2. Three times a week during a calendar week (Sunday through Saturday)
  3. At least three miles (5 km) each trip
  4. For at least three weeks during the duration of the challenge
  5. During a five-week period from Sunday October 1st through Sunday November 5th, 2017
  6. At least one ride a week should be for utility/errands/commuting

And those of you who successfully complete the challenge will qualify to get something! If one isn’t a member, successful completion of the challenge will qualify for a discounted SoTS membership.

For 2017, the Three Speed October Challenge will run from Sunday October 1st to Sunday November 5th. All times local.

You will need to sign up! Please submit your details through this online form. If this form does not work for you, or you prefer to submit your details through the post, let me know. Form is also below.

You will need to document your rides! After you sign up, you will need to document your rides through an online form. You can also document through your blog, or post on Instagram, tumblr, or flickr. If you do post on blogs and/or social media, please include the tag #threespeedoct2017 EXACTLY like that!

Regardless of how you publicly document your exploits, you will still need to fill out the form for every week you complete. It was too much of  a headache in 2016 to search all the internets for people’s accounts. You should include AT LEAST ONE photo of your three speed from one of your trips!

In the trip account, you should include:

  1. Date
  2. Distance of trip
  3. Location
  4. Describe the trip. What was it like? What did you do? Where did you go?
  5. If it was for utility, what specifically? Grocery shopping? Dentist appointment? Ride to work?

If you don’t like doing the internets, you can send me the details through the mail. Please note that this adds extra work for me, so please please please only do this if it’s too complicated to fill out the form or you’re just that way.

Okay, simple enough! But you’ve got questions. You want details. So here goes:

  • Why October? For many in the northern hemisphere, it’s the last good month before cold and unsettled weather really settles in. For some, this will be the last time they regularly ride a bike before spring. Or, if you live in a place like Phoenix, it’s the first tolerable riding weather since April! And if you live in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s spring. In any case, it’s generally an OK time to be riding a bike in most places on this planet.
  • Why three speeds? If you are already here do I need to answer that? Okay, it’s because three speeds are totally reasonable and practical bikes for many an application. This challenge is to encourage you to think about them in this way, rather than a “show” bike for your Tweed Ride.
  • Is this just limited to three speeds? Well, yeah. A three speed internally geared hub is what should be ridden for this challenge. We’ll also accept four and five speed internally geared hubs, hubs that were available from Sturmey-Archer by the mid-70’s. But no more or less speeds than that! To be clear, it doesn’t have to be a Sturmey-Archer hub, it can also be a Sachs, Sram, Shimano, SunTour, Hercules, or (insert brand here.) But it can only have three, four, or five speeds!
  • Any exceptions? We’ll allow Bromptons that have that infernal Sturmey-Archer with deraileur combo, but that’s it. And if you use a Brompton, you will need to disable the control of the derailleur, and provide proof of it. Sorry, it’s too easy to cheat otherwise. And note I said “disable” the derailleur. You don’t have to remove it, just make it unworkable.
  • What if I ride more than three trips in a week? Great! And you should. But these trips don’t count towards anything. You can’t use “extra” trips towards another week.
  • What if I ride more than three miles in a trip? That’s great as well, but all that matters is hitting three miles in a single trip. And you can’t use “extra miles” towards another trip. To be clear, you need to ride three separate and distinct trips in a week. They don’t have to be on a different day, but you can’t do a nine mile ride and take a one hour coffee break at the third and sixth miles.
  • Can I do more than one ride a day? You can do two in one day, with these stipulations: 1) There must be a gap of at least three hours between the completion of the first ride and the start of the second ride and 2) It can’t just be a three (or more) hour break on a longer ride, the two rides need to be unique. If you are unsure if what you are doing qualifies, check in with me. But try your darndest to make those two rides unique! And no, you cannot do three rides in one day.
  • What if I try to ride three times in a week, but something comes up and I can’t do it? Can I ride an extra trip or two in the following week to make up for it? For the most part, no. There will be five full calendar weeks in the challenge, so if you “biff” one week, there is still time to complete three other weeks. (Of course, it’s best to not wait until the third week to start the challenge for these reasons.) We will have a “make up day” at the very end of the challenge, this year on Sunday November 5th, 2017. You can complete one ride on this day that can be used to one of the previous weeks. You can only do one ride on this day to make up for a missed one. If that doesn’t work, you can file for a “hardship” exception. You’ll need to get it approved by me first though. I will only make the exception if: a) Something personal comes up that doesn’t allow you to complete the challenge in the aforementioned timeframe, b) Weather related issues (see below) and c) Bike related issues (as in a breakdown). You won’t get a pass if you forget to follow through or you get too busy with other things in your life.
  • Well yeah, what about the weather? What if the weather simply sucks, we get a blizzard, etc? I know that winter can come early in certain parts of the world. For those of you who live in early winter locales (like, say, Winterpeg, er, Winnipeg), try to do your three weeks of riding during the first three weeks of the challenge timeframe. If something weather related comes up that prevents you from fulfilling the challenge in the time constraints given, contact me and we’ll see about the “hardship” exception. But the weather has to be something real. It can’t just be “well ,it sprinkled a bit today”. The British rode their three speeds through all sorts of miserable weather, a little rain ain’t going to kill you. Just get out your rain cape and brake before you need to stop!
  • What if my ride starts Saturday night and continues into Sunday morning? It will be considered for the week that the Saturday falls in.
  • I don’t typically bike commute to work because my job is too far away, and I wouldn’t have time after work during the week to do a ride. How can I participate in this challenge? Starting in 2017, I will allow “Weekend Three-Speed Warriors” to complete. You can use Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday to complete the ride. And this is the Sunday following the Saturday, so it has to be the consecutive days of one weekend. For example, the first weekend you can do the challenge is Friday October 6 through Sunday October 8. The Sunday the 1st won’t count towards it. ( If you can only ride Saturday or Sunday, you can complete two rides in one day, see “Can I do more than one ride a day” above for details.)
  • I do bike commute to work. Would each individual segment (one to, one from) count as a separate ride? Or would the commute count as one ride? The commute will count as one ride. Though this is in your favor if you have a commute less than three miles, hopefully each segment is at least 1.5 miles, so you can hit that three mile threshold easily!
  • Why the weekly utility trip? Well, we’d like to showcase the fact that three speeds are practical bikes! And it’s easy to take three “fun rides” of three miles in a week on your local bike path. But we want to make you “use” your bikes for good too! So hit up your dentist, pick up your prescription, pick up some WD40 from the hardware store, ride to work, ride to school, ride to jury duty, ride to your parole officer, etc. If for some reason, you can’t do a “utility” ride, don’t sweat it. But at least try.
  • Does the ride have to be a “standalone” ride, or can it be incorporated with another ride? Whatever ride incorporates a three speed  and is at least three miles qualifies! So if you decide to do a “club” ride or a gnar MTB adventure with friends, or go on a 200K brevet, or on a coffeeneuring adventure, it doesn’t matter! In fact, I’d love to see you do the 200K brevet on a three speed!
  • I don’t have a cycle computer/Strava/GPS. How will I know if I’ve done three miles? You can use a mapping program before or after the ride to figure out distance. We recommend using Ride With GPS. If not, use a paper map to figure out a rough estimate of mileage.
  • Ok, I completed the challenge successfully! What do I get? Everyone who successfully completes the challenge will be able to get a small award, probably a sticker and/or button. This is not free, and will cost anywhere between $5 and $15. Those folks who are not already members will qualify for a discounted rate for Society of Three Speeds.

Okay, simple enough! Really, I tried to make this challenge not that hard. If that doesn’t satisfy ya, feel free to pull three centuries a week on a three speed!


Mark yer calendars: Three Speed October is happening Oct 1st through Nov 5th. First, here’s what’s different in 2017.

It’s just a week and a half until Society of Three Speeds will be holding our annual fall (or spring, if you are in the Southern Hemisphere) challenge! Some of you may have completed it last year (thanks!) and some of you will be totally new. Full details will be published on the blog by this Friday, September 22nd. So hold your horses–er, three speeds!

First off, the Three Speed October Challenge will happen from Sunday October 1st through Sunday November 5th, 2017. Five full weeks to complete the challenge. The basics will remain the same: Ride your three speed, three times a week, for three weeks, each trip at least three miles.

So here’s what’s different:

  • Forms and online registration. It was too much a pain in the ass to look at flickr, or Instagram, or a blog to keep tabs on everyone’s progress. So this year, there will be an online form to register for the event, then online forms to track your progress. The registration form will be online by this Friday! In the meantime, please refrain from emailing me or commenting on the blog about your intent to complete the challenge. Patience, patience.
  • Weekend warriors need not apply. I realize that not all of you folks ride a three speed as transportation, maybe because you live too far from work to make commuting practicable. And with the days getting short, you might not have the time after work  So this year I’m opening up a “Weekend Warrior” clause: You can complete your three rides of the week on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • Derailleur derailment. The heart of this challenge will still be based around internal gear hubs of three, four, or five speeds. I know that Bromptons often come with a derailleur on top of that, and others have home brew setups with IGH plus derailleur. That’s fine with your day-to-day, but you will need to be able to disable your derailleur (and prove it) to participate. Note that I didn’t say “remove”, just disable.
  • A commute will count as one trip. Since you’re most likely going to ride home after riding to work, a commute will be counted as one trip rather than two separate ones. This is good news for those of you who have short bike commutes, as it will be easier to hit the target of three miles if your one way trip to work is less than that.
  • The make up day: Sunday November 5th is designated as a make up day for those who missed a ride in a previous week. Please note that you’ll only be able to do one make-up trip, so you would have needed to ride two rides that other week. And this will be the only day for make ups.

Okay! Stay tuned for full details. And get your three speeds ready!

Snohomish Tweed Ride, Sat 23 Sept

snohotweed2016.jpgHello, folks! With this decidedly fall-like weather we’re having here in the Rose City, I’m now thinking about wearing tweed for the first time in months. And conveniently enough, there is a Tweed Ride coming up! Not in Portland, but up in Snohomish, Washington, which is north of Seattle.

The Snohomish Tweed Ride will be happening at 10 AM on Saturday September 23rd in downtown Snohomish. They do require a $15 per person entry fee (details on the site), but you do get some cool swag with it. The four-hour event will be a leisurely cruise on the Centennial Trail, and will conclude with a picnic. How lovely!

And the weather should be lovely on Saturday, highs in the low 70’s and sunny. So a good excuse for a Tweedy roadtrip.

Now we just need to see if Seattle ever gets their act together and have another Tweed Ride…

Newly discovered blog: Three Speed Seattle

3spdseattleHey folks! It’s always exciting to discover a three speed themed blog, especially since they are few and far between and many of them have a short shelf-life. So here’s a new one: 3speedseattle. It’s about…what else? Three speeds in Seattle. This is great, not just because Seattle is Portland’s little sister, an easy three-and-a-half hour Amtrak Cascades train ride away. But because Seattle isn’t considered an ideal three speed city due to hilly topography.

3speedseattle is a blog by a guy named Ed. His primary blog is extraghunt. Its profile lists him as “a sailor and theatrical costumer living in Seattle…(blogging) a lot about boats and trains, also cars and bicycles and anything that catches (Ed’s) fancy. (He likes) dieselpunk, steam, and old bad movies.”

So go check it out!


And since I’ve been bad about blogging here (unless it’s April or October), here’s a couple other regularly updated three speed blogs worth checking out:

  • The Bike Shed: Mike is in Virginia and has an impressive collection of roadsters, both heavy and light, British and American, three speed and single speed.
  • Three Speed Mania: Greg is Toronto based and also finds a lot of cool three speeds.

And if you do want to keep tabs on me, the best place to follow me is on my Instagram.

Next Three Speed Ride: Sunday October 8!

37097720402_8f1f1c7d9d_o(blows off dust)(coughs)

Yes, it’s been a pretty quiet summer on the Three Speed Front, especially since the last Three Speed Ride in June was pretty much a bust. But that’s about to change! I’ll be releasing deets about Three Speed October very soon. But first, details about the next (and probably last) full Three Speed Ride of 2017.

This ride will happen Sunday October 8 at 11:30 AM. We’ll meet at the Paul Bunyan Statue in the Kenton neighborhood of North Portland. This is at the intersection of N Interstate and Denver Aves, near Argyle St and just across from the Kenton/N Denver Ave MAX station on the Yellow Line.


Meet here. Yes, this is not a three speed.

We’ll depart from Paul at noon. We’ll then depart on a 20 mile leisurely cruise around the lowlands of the Columbia River. We’ll do a tea stop (byo tea and snacks) somewhere down the line, then end at a place (or two) with food and (adult) beverages.

This ride is rain-or-shine. Not a loop, but will end near transit.

Oh yeah, this one will be an “open” category ride. This means while three speed hub geared bikes are preferred, this one is open to ALL bikes. So no excuses! 😉 But as always, if you have the choice between a crabon-fibred machine and a Huffy, go with the Huffy.


While this may be the last “full” ride of 2017, I’m not ruling out the possibility of a winter get together and/or pub crawl. A three speed event for every season!