I’ve been doing this Society of Three Speeds for over seven years. (I’ve been leading Three Speed Rides for nine!) During these seven years, over 220 fine folks have joined the Society. (Thank you, everyone!) I had figured that, by now, people would figure out who this “club” is for. But maybe I haven’t spelled it out enough?
Case in point: I recently got a letter from someone who found out about the Society. After letting me know that they liked three speeds yet disliked organized rides,* they concluded the letter with a point-blank question: “Why should I join your organization?”
I had never had anyone ask me this. Up until now, no one had asked me to “sell” SoTS to them (at least, not in that manner.) Instead, what I usually get is someone who tells me that they’d like to join the Society, but doesn’t live in Portland and therefore is disqualified from membership.** So then I have to tell them that yes, they can join, since this is an International organization. People join from all over the world, many (if not most) have not (and may never) set foot in the Pacific Northwest.
So this got me thinking: Who is this “club” for? And I came up with three (of course!) easily digestible reasons:
- You like getting cool stuff in the mail. The big thing you get when you purchase a membership is a swell amount of swag. It includes a patch, buttons, some stickers, a postcard or two, an introductory guide, etc. Oh yeah, the membership card. Most people don’t get anything cool in the mail anymore. Joining the Society remedies this.
- You like joining a pseudo-serious “bike club” of like-minded individuals. The whole idea of this thing is to not be (insert your local road-racing club here.) There are no boring meetings, no “minutes recorded”, no in-fighting. Instead, you are “joining” a group of folks who share a common interest, and in the name of fun. Think of similar groups like the Tarik Saleh Bike Club or the League of Caffeinated Wheelers.*** What have you do to become a member of either? For TSBC it’s “ride bikes, try not to be an ass”. For LCW, it’s “ride bikes, like coffee”. Nothing more to that. Do you want to be in a club of folks who like three speeds?
- You are a fan of three speeds. I guess the best and easy way to describe SoTS is that it’s a fan club for three speeds. It’s a way to show to the world that three speeds are viable and valuable. Why did people join the David Cassidy Fan Club? Because they liked David Cassidy. Why do people join Society of Three Speeds? Because they like three speeds!
Hopefully that answers the question. Yes, the rides and challenges are cool. But ultimately, it’s all about a love of the three speed bicycle. So, do you like three speeds? Don’t delay, join today!
*But curiously this same person asked if there were any organized three speed rides in their area.
**This, of course, is immaterial. You do not have to be a member to participate on my rides. I have never “closed off” the rides to members only. I’d guess about 50% of people who show up to my rides are members.
***Both of whom (Tarik and Brad) are members of Society of Three Speeds.