Society of Three Speeds: What lies ahead

In my previous post I mentioned that no one should take the lack of a Three Speed October Challenge this year as a sign of Society of Three Speeds “winding down”. While I admit to being a little burnt right now, I do still have enthusiasm for the “club” and for events. I just have to figure out a new way to sustain, to make it better.

I thought doing the challenges would be the way. They’ve been fun, but they are not enough. I need to figure out a way to generate more excitement for my events. There was a lot more enthusiasm for my rides in the first few years of SoTS (2013 and 2014), but since then participation has dwindled. I’m very appreciative of the dedicated core group of folks who consistently come out. And it’s nice that there’s people from all over the world who say “If I was in Portland I’d definitely go on your rides!” But distant enthusiasm does not make up for a local lack.

So I’m implementing a two-fold strategy: First, post events as far in advance as possible. This is something that’s been hard for me up to this point. Having a full-time job with erratic hours and a lot of weekends meant I couldn’t easily predict my schedule. (The way around that would have been to ask for dates off in advance, but I didn’t want to seem too demanding.) But that has changed! I work at the hostel only couple days of week and not on weekends. This makes it a lot lot easier to do a bunch of advance scheduling! The further in advance I post events, the better the chance people can do them.

The second point of the new strategy is create some events that have regional appeal. I’m looking at events like Lake Pepin as inspiration. I don’t want to replicate Pepin exactly, but I do want to do some things that would get people from around the Northwest to attend. This means thinking bigger than a simple ten mile jaunt on a Sunday afternoon. Now there’s nothing wrong with that, and I will still be doing those. But I’m talking about full day and multi day events. What I’m thinking is this:

  • A nice day ride, maybe something along the lines of the London Cambridge Rural Ramble that happens every October outside of Madison, Wisc. This would be in the 25-30 mile range, a respectable day on three speeds that would explore the metro area. There are several options around that are suitable.


  • A tour! The Society has done a few overnight camping trips over the years. Now I want to do a multi day event that would happen over a weekend. The Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway would be a good location. (Since I didn’t do the planned Labor Day outing here, I still need to do a pre-ride.) This could be a camping tour or with lodging. This could be a regular summer weekend (probably later summer) or maybe a three day weekend. There’s a lot to think about with this one.


I’ll still do smaller events throughout the year, but these will be less intense than the events I’ve done in the past. I’m thinking along the lines of get-togethers and/or pub crawls. This means there will be less of the typical10-15 mile rides throughout the year. I’m going to save my energy for a couple marquee events.

But of course the Society is an international operation! So there are things that will happen for those of you who can’t make it to events based here in Portland:

  • The challenges will return! While I’m not doing Three Speed October this year, I still plan on doing Three Speed Adventure April and Three Speed October in 2019. There may be some changes, but the basic ideas will remain the same.


  • New membership kits! Yes, the thing I’ve been procrastinating about for a couple years now. Expect a fresh new membership kit in early 2019. Stay tuned!


Now this is where I want to hear from you, dear Three Speed Enthusiast! What do you think about my ideas and plans? Do you have any suggestions? Please let me know.

Now get out on your three speed and ride!


FYI: Still available for illustration and other work-for-hire opportunities

Urban Adventure League

Hello folks! It’s been awhile since I talked about illustration, that thing I do when I’m being an artist. I haven’t done that much in the past half decade, mostly because I had been working full time at the hostel and didn’t have much time/energy to devote to it.

But as I mentioned a little while ago, I’ve switched back to part time at the hostel so I can devote more time and energy to creative outlets. As such, I want to do more illustration!

You’ve seen my art on this blog over the years, plus over at Instagram and flickr. I work in pen and ink, and do color images (usually via Photoshop). I can do semi-realistic, I can do cartoony. I can draw comics. And yes, I know how to draw bicycles. Are you interested? Please get in touch! Email

But art isn’t the only thing I…

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No Three Speed October for 2018

Hello friends of Three Speeds. I’ve had fun the past couple years putting together both the Three Speed October and Three Speed Adventure April challenges. But I’ve decided to put the Three Speed October challenge on hold for 2018. I need to focus my Society of Three Speeds energy elsewhere for now–namely in creating new membership kits so I can reactive memberships. Plus, I’ve got a bunch of other creative projects on my plate, and I don’t want my time to be eaten up by the administration of this year’s challenge.

So don’t despair–I plan on doing more challenges in 2019. In the meantime, keep on riding your three speed!

And please don’t interpret the lack of Three Speed October as a sign that Society of Three Speeds is “winding down”. I’ve got some exciting ideas and plans for the future, which I will be detailing in an upcoming blog post.

A 20% Sale in my Store until Sept 14

Urban Adventure League

Hello friends! You may have read about my elected move to part time at my job. This was not only due to burn out, but to give myself more time to devote to creative endeavors. One of the things I will be working in the coming months is new publishing projects and other bits of art.

In the meantime, I still have plenty of comics, zines, buttons, postcards, and other ephemera in my Storenvy Store. And now is as good a time than ever to check out what I got and consider ordering something! Since I’m making basically half as much at my job than I used to, the cash flow has been a bit tight around here.  If you’ve enjoyed what I’ve been doing, now is a good time to show your support!

To offer you an incentive, I’m doing another little sale. From now through Friday September 14…

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2018 London to Cambridge Rural Ramble, Sunday, October 7th, 10 forenoon, Lake Mills, Wisconsin

It’s time again for the London to Cambridge Ramble in Wisconsin! One of these years I hope to go…


9th Annual British-themed Rural Ramble through Farm, Fen, Field & Fell 



We gather at 10 forenoon, at the Glacial Drumlin State Trail Headquarters for the Western Section, at the junction of State Highway 89 and Jefferson County Highway A, Lake Mills, Wisconsin.

Lake Mills is 30 minutes east of Madison, one hour west of Milwaukee and two hours northwest of Chicago, close to Interstate 94.

Simply take I-94 exit 259 to Hwy. 89 South (Main Street) through town to where 89 intersects with County Hwy. A (Topel Street).

bicyclingbackwards006003bicyclingbackwards006001Look for the former Lake Mills Railroad Station that is now Trail Headquarters.  Meet on the platform before 10.


–Your classic British bicycle, should you have one. And you should! If not, bring what you have. All are welcome.

–Vintage-style, “tweedy” clothing. Please avoid vile Spandex in all its forms.

–$5.00 in exact change for a…

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