Deluxe membership prices increase by $5 on October 7

Many of you know that I changed the levels and price structure for the memberships. There is two levels, BASIC and DELUXE. Basic will get you:

  • Brand new membership card
  • One custom 2 1/2″ patch, expertly stitched by Falls Creek Outfitters
  • Two 1″ badges made by Button Arcade
  • Three 1 1/2″ stickers (decals) 
  • A postcard of most of the events for the year

Basic kits are just $20 plus postage/handling. You can buy one here.

The Deluxe level adds on a year of Postcard Club plus any bonus stuff I come up. Currently, you’ll get one three-inch diameter version of the SoTS logo sticker.

I’ve had the price set at $25 for the past few months. But now I realize that that price is just too low for the extras. So as of Monday October 7, the price will be $30 plus postage/handling. If you want to get in on the lower price, do so now! You can buy the Deluxe membership here.

Thank you for your continued support!

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Three Speed October 2019: Week One, Ride Two, Saturday September 28

Welcome to the second ride of my personal challenge! It all started off good, leaving the house mid-afternoon on Saturday September 28th. A beautiful early fall day, sun and 58F/15C when I departed to do some errands on the Raleigh Superbe. I felt almost overdressed with my thick sweater. I made some copies on Hawthorne.

When I came out I heard the crack o’ thunder and looked up to a dark sky. Checking the weather, I see a blob of red heading our way, National Weather Service warning of hail and lightning.

I rush off to my next destino, seeing if I can outrun. After a brief visit to Portland Bicycle Emporium the skies opened up. A big flash of lighting and crack of thunder was almost directly overhead, so I rushed to an awning in a parking garage to wait it out. A few other cylists had the same idea. The rain and hail came, and then lessened. The temp dropped a good 10 degrees F. Now I feel underdressed!

I headed over to SE Foster and decided to check out Foster Outdoor Whaddya know, a nice wool scarf for sale? To think, I thought September was too early for “scarf weather”, but what do I know?

On the way home, I caught a glimpse of the sunset. Nice sun, thunder and downpour, sunset. A good mix today. 11 miles total. I hope the next ride isn’t as “exciting”…

My first Three Speed October 2019: Fri Sept 27

Three Speed October is off to an auspicious start! As of last night, we have seventeen folks signed up. Good, good. No reports yet, but we’re only into the second day. So, how about my report?

I started my Three Speed October 2019 on the first day, Friday September 27th. The purpose of the ride was to do some afternoon errands: I needed to hit up two post offices, mine and Emee’s.* I also needed to swing by the library HQ to drop off zines. And I had to pick up some print outs at Kinkos.** What better bike than my Raleigh Superbe to do this?

Old British three speeds make such great city/commuter/utility bikes. The more laid back geometry means you’re not in a race position. And you can augment your carrying abilities with racks and baskets. While I’ve used my Carradice saddlebag for this bike in the past, I’ve lately been using my Carradice panniers, since they’re easy-on, easy-off. Saddlebags are harder to get on and off,*** which tempts me to leave them on the bike more than I should.

It was smooth sailing for the first few stops. But after the library HQ, I decided to pop into the library’s remaindered book store, Title Wave, which was just around the block. It’s located in the former Albina branch, a classic Carnegie library of the early twentieth century. I picked up a few books and went back out to the bike.

That’s odd, my water bottle was missing. Wait, I washed it this morning. Did I forget to put it back on the bike? I took out my phone to consult the last pic I took of the bike, which was before I entered. Nope, it was there. Someone took my water bottle?

Having stuff yanked from my bike in the city is nothing new. A year or so ago I went to a presentation downtown and found they yanked the bottles and pump, basically anything they could remove easily. I’ve had my rain cape yanked from the outside of a Carradice. And most critically, I had a handlebar bag yanked off the front of the Superbe on Election Day 2016, losing a good camera, tool kit, and moosemoose. (Sniff, moosemoose!)

Then I turned around, and saw my water bottle on the steps. Huh? The bottle was empty. I knew it was full when I left. So, someone either drank my water or dumped it, then left the bottle twenty feet away from the bike. Classy. At least it’s not gone?

Wait, where’s my map holder? Someone yanked that? Ugh.

There are two responses I hear when something gets stolen from a bike: Well, you shouldn’t have left it on the bike. Thank you, person of deep empathy. I get it, we live in a city, things get taken. But that doesn’t mean they should. And yeah, when I’m going into a high-theft area, or will be inside for awhile, I try to take as much stuff off as possible. But for a ten minute trip?

The other comment is Maybe they needed it more than you did. Theft is still theft, thank you. But I can understand that thinking a bit more if what they took was the water bottle. But the map holder? That’s more spite than anything else. You’re not going to “get” anything for it, it’s not a human necessity like food and shelter.

At least it was an inexpensive and easy to replace item. They didn’t grab my not-easy-to-find pump, which I feel would have had more “value” than a map holder. Nor did they grab my bike gloves, which I leave as more of a dare than anything else. You want them? Have it.

Anyways, the rest of the riding went off without a hitch. I got some pizza on the way back, and ended up doing 13 miles. A respectable first ride for this year’s challenge. Now eight more rides to go!

Are you doing the challenge? Please share your rides!

*Technically, she has a PMB, or postal mail box, which isn’t the same thing as a post office.

**Yes, I still call it that.

***Unless you use a quick release system.

Three Speed October 2019 starts TOMORROW. Now, let’s talk about “the calendar”.

Hello, friends of Three Speeds! The Three Speed October Challenge starts tomorrow, Friday September 27. The challenge will go on until Sunday November 3rd.

Here are the basic stipulations of this challenge:

  1. Ride a three speed bicycle
  2. Three times a week
  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 that centers around the month of October

You can find the full details (and how to sign up) here. This post is to go over a new wrinkle to the 2019 edition, mentioned previously:

You do not have to follow a traditional calendar week. It just has to be a seven day period.  For example, if you started your first ride on a Wednesday, your week ends on the following Tuesday. But most importantly, weeks cannot overlap. So if you start one week on a Wednesday, your next “week” can’t start until at least the following Wednesday. You just need to fill up three non-overlapping “weeks” during the duration of the challenge. (And yes, there can be gaps. The weeks don’t have to butt up against each other.) The first full week you can do is Friday September 27 through Thursday October 3rd. The last full week you can do is Monday October 28th through Sunday November 3rd.

I realize this new policy may confuse some folks. It would just be similar to go with a “calendar week” of Sunday to Saturday. And you can still totally do it that way, if you want. But I wanted to make the challenge flexible. I realize that not everyone works a Monday-Friday 9 to 5 job, or maybe they do and it’s harder to do stuff on a work day. So, this new “not traditional calendar weeks” has been born.

First off, let me talk to those of you who want to get it done as soon as possible. Maybe you live in Winnipeg, and the Deep Freeze will start on October 14th. Maybe you go to jail on October 14th. So, if you start the first ride tomorrow, the earliest you can get the challenge done is Sunday October 13:

And the above calendar is just an example, you don’t need to do the rides as “three in a row”, except for Week Three.

But what if you live in Phoenix, and it finally drops below 95F as a daily high on October 18th? Or maybe that’s when you get out of jail? Well, the latest you can start the challenge is Friday October 18th, as pictured below:

And note from this calendar above: The week doesn’t have to start with the first ride. No, this time the first ride on Week One isn’t until the fifth day of the week! The important thing is that the week has to fall within the parameters of the Challenge. And yes, the week has seven days. So your first week cannot start before Friday September 27, and the third (last) week cannot end after Sunday November 3rd.

And yes, it’s totally okay to have it so the weeks don’t “touch” each other, like so:

And of course I encourage people to ride more than three times in a week. (Heck, ride every day of the challenge, if you can!) But what if you are having a hot streak of consecutive days, and want these rides to count? Heck yeah! It is possible to do this with a six-day streak, like so:

See how the rider has a streak starting on October 5th (the fifth day of the first week) and it carries over into the second week. So you can only do this streak between Week One and Two, or Week Two and Three.

Finally, let’s show how the Make-Up Weekend of November 1st through 3rd (the final weekend of the Challenge) comes into play: During this “make up weekend” you can only do one ride and one ride only to make up for a missed one for any previous “biffed” week. So you’ll still need to ride two rides during a previous week. Please note you can still do part of a regular week during this time too, if your final week happens during November 1-3.

Here’s an example:

Note that the potential rider only got in two rides the first week, but did the qualifying three rides the next two weeks. The rider did a “make-up” ride on Friday November 1st, successfully completing the challenge.

As I said, the “regular” final week can bleed into the Make-Up Weekend, too:

This rider biffed the first week. Their third week starts on October 28, meaning that the last three days of that week are Make-Up Days. Totally fine! Not only did the rider do a “regular” ride on one of the Make-Up Days (Fri Nov 1), but did their Make-Up Ride on Sat Nov 2.

Okay! I sincerely hope this makes things clear. If it doesn’t, email me or leave a comment below. Or, just stick to traditional calendar weeks. That’s okay too!

Society apparel?

Rockin’ the Cat Six “AW hub cutaway” shirt.

I was recently posed a question by a Society of Three Speeds member:

If you could design some cool three speed T-Shirts and caps – we would be customers!!

It’s an intriguing question, and something I have thought about over the past seven years. But there’s logistical issues, since shirts and caps are not like stickers and patches. There’s sizes involved. Gone are the nineties, when I could just print shirts in XL and be confident folks would buy them. (Baggy clothing is one nineties trend that hasn’t really made a comeback.)

In order to get sizes for everyone, there’s two ways I can go about it. Both have plusses and minuses.

  1. I could use one of those services like Cafe Press that can print out a shirt at a time. This would guarantee the right size for everyone, and also mean I don’t need to invest in back stock. But the price for doing it this way is steep. Do I charge a high price so I can make some $$ from sales, or do I basically sell the shirts at cost, meaning all I’m doing is offering a service? Plus, the quality of these shirts isn’t always as good as regular screenprinting.
  2. Or, I can go with good ol’ screenprinting. This would mean having to buy a bunch of different sizes up front. The quality would be better, and the per unit cost cheaper. But there’s a big cash outlay up front. Currently I’m pretty broke, so I’m not looking forward to the big cash outlay. And it could take months to years before I see the return on that. Plus, there’s always the chance that the size you want will be the one I just ran out of, and I might not get to reprinting until months or years later. Will you wait?

The big question to ask first is: Are you interested? I’m not saying shirts are out of the question, but it would be much easier to move forward if I knew people wanted them. It wouldn’t just be a generic three speed image, like an exploded AW hub (if you look hard enough, you’ll find shirts with that already). It’d be more Society specific, like the logo. And I’d most likely do a pre-order so I can purchase the shirts with confidence.

Hats would be another good idea. I can easily get some made by RandiJo Fab. But it would be similar scenario of a SoTS logo and a pre-order.

So, what do you think? Are you interested? Feel free to drop me a line, or leave a comment below. The earliest I’d pursue this is sometime in 2020.

Three Speed October 2019 is coming! (Sept 27-Nov 3)

Hello, friends of Three Speeds! After taking a break for 2018, the Three Speed October Challenge is on for 2019!

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
  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 that centers around the month of October

And those of you who successfully complete the challenge will qualify to get something! If you are not already a member, successful completion of the challenge will qualify for a discounted SoTS membership.

For 2019, the Three Speed October Challenge will run from Friday September 27th to Sunday November 3rd. All times local.

You can find all the tl;dr rules here.

While the basics of the event remain the same, there are some tweaks and revisions to the 2019 Challenge:

  •  Starting with the 2019 challenge, you do not have to follow a traditional calendar week. It just has to be a seven day period.  For example, if you started your first ride on a Wednesday, your week ends on the following Tuesday. But most importantly, weeks cannot overlap. So if you start one week on a Wednesday, your next “week” can’t start until at least the following Wednesday. You just need to fill up three non-overlapping “weeks” during the duration of the challenge. (And yes, there can be gaps. The weeks don’t have to butt up against each other.) The first full week you can do is Friday September 27 through Thursday October 3rd. The last full week you can do is Monday October 28th through Sunday November 3rd.
  • The final weekend of the challenge, Friday November 1st through Sunday November 3rd, is designated as a Make-Up Weekend. During this “make up weekend” can only do one ride and one ride only to make up for a missed one for any previous “biffed” week. So you’ll still need to ride two rides during a previous week. Please note you can still do part of a regular week during this time too, if your final week happens during November 1-3.
  • In the past I allowed the possibility of doing two rides in a day. Since I made the calendar more flexible, I’m taking that away. So, you need to ride three separate and distinct trips in a week, each ride on a different day.

The prize pack for this year will consist of my new Three Speed October design that you see above. There are stickers, and there will be patches! These will be awarded to those who successfully complete the challenge. (Please note that there is a fee for getting the stickers/patches.)

And starting in 2019, there will be some bonus prizes! What can you do to get these bonus prizes? Well, I’ll be awarding one for each of the following:

  1. Longest single ride. This one is pretty straightforward. (Must be contained to a 24 hour period.) If two or more people tie, see tie-breakers in item four below.
  2. Best write up of your ride(s). Make them interesting!
  3. Best photo. Must include in photo a bike you rode. If you are posting pics to Instagram or flickr, tag them with #threespeedoct2019 and make sure I know about them!
  4. Most bikes used during the challenge. The maximum amount you can do is nine, one for each ride. (Sorry, you can’t switch out bikes during a ride to get more bikes in.) If two or more people tie, tiebreakers will include, in this order:
    1. “Naked” hub gear bikes will win over any bike with an attached derailleur (like a Brompton.) (Note: this does not include derailleurs used strictly as a chain tensioner.)
    2. Pure three speed hub gear bikes will win over four or five speed hubs.
    3. Age of bikes, i.e. older bikes win over newer.
  5. If you are mailing in your Challenge Reports, a prize for most interesting package.

And what is the prize pack for 2019? Take a gander at this years design! It will be available in both patch and sticker form. These prize packs will cost between $5 and $20, depending.

*****

Okay! You want to do this? Please fill out the Google Form below. Once you fill in this form, you’ll get the submission forms emailed to you! These Submission Forms will be sent after October 4, 2019.

The deadline for reporting your rides for the Challenge is 11:59 PM Pacific Time on Friday November 15 2019.

Don’t want to fill out online forms? You can submit reports via Post! If you want to do this, please get in touch first. You can email me at urbanadventureleague@gmail.com Or send me a letter or postcard to:

SHAWN GRANTON

P O BOX 14185

PORTLAND OR 97293

Do you have questions about the Challenge? Please drop me a line or comment below.