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!