Three Speed Day Tour Report

Saturday April 20th was a good day to be on a three speed. It was a mix of sun and clouds, a high in the low 60’s F. Myself and nine other riders (plus one dog!) departed from Ford Food and Drink in SE Portland after 10 AM. Our destination: Oregon City.

It was a sixteen mile ride to Oregon City. The first half of this was mostly on low trafficked streets in Portland, the second half was mostly bike path in Clackamas County. The Trolley Trail is a pleasant way to ride. We stopped around mile 9 at Rivervilla Park along the Willamette where we fulfilled two of the five Three Speed Adventure April Challenges: Coffee Outside and the Climb. Yes, it’s a short but steep pitch from the river back up to the Trail.

We had an extended break in Oregon City. First, we toured through downtown and took a ride up to bluff level via the (in)famous Oregon City Municipal Elevator. We cruised along the Promenade and climbed a small rocky outcropping to get a magnificent view of Willamette Falls, largest waterfall (by volume) in the Northwest. After this we had food and drink at the Highland Stillhouse, a Scottish Pub.

After our final viewing of the falls, we bombed down busy 99E back into downtown Oregon City. We rode back the same way until the Clackamas River crossing, then took the I-205 bike path. If I was going to do this ride differently, I probably would have taken the Trolley Trail back. But I like a good “loop” route, and trying to loop back via the west side of the Willamette is not ideal, with busy roads and some serious hills. The 205 path is serviceable, but lacks scenery, and like most “bike paths paralleling a freeway”, gets noisy. But it was pretty fast going.

We eventually got back into Portland proper. We had hit three Adventure April challenges so far (we completed the Distance challenge of 15 miles by the time we hit Oregon City), so time to complete a fourth one: Unpaved. We did so via SE Cooper Street between SE 62nd and SE 72nd Streets, a full half-mile of continuous gravel road, maybe the longest such continuous one in the city? (As far as I know, at least. And no, I’m not counting Leif Erickson Drive.)

After that, the few of us remaining (meaning myself, Emee, and Maria) ended the endeavor in the Montavilla neighborhood, where we enjoyed beer at the eponymous brewpub. My cyclometer read 33 miles by the time we stopped. A good long ride on a three speed!


Ok, since you are going to ask, here’s the bicycle breakdown (as far as I know):

  • Three Bromptons
  • One Linus
  • One Raleigh Grand Sport with S-A two speed hub
  • One Rudge Sports
  • One Raleigh Sports
  • One Raleigh Superbe (mine)
  • One Ross three speed
  • One mountain bike conversion

Reminder: Sturmey Archer Hub Overhaul Workshop is Wednesday!

Hello friends of Three Speeds! Just a reminder that our first workshop, the Sturmey Archer Hub Rebuild Workshop, is just two days away. And while we’ve sold half of the spots, we still have space available for you!

This class will be taught by expert mechanic Patrick Loftus, who has overhauled many an AW hub in his day. It will be held at the Community Cycling Center (1700 NE Alberta St) on Wednesday April 24 at 7 pm.

Learn how to overhaul a Sturmey Archer three speed hub! Veteran bike mechanic Patrick Loftus will open up an AW hub, dismantle it, and reassemble it in working order during this ninety minute workshop. Participants will learn about lubing and adjusting cables while learning some theory and history. Bring your own three speed as we may be able to help with adjustments. Please note that this is otherwise NOT a hands-on workshop.

Limited to nine people.

Price: $20 for Society of Three Speeds members, $25 for non members, plus service charge.

Society of Three Speeds memberships MUST be purchased previous to purchase of member-rate ticket. You can purchase membership here:

(Please note: You just need to PURCHASE membership, not receive in the mail. So yes, you can purchase membership and then immediately purchase member-rate ticket.)

Thank you to the Community Cycling Center for giving us the space for this event.

Register for this workshop here.