Hello, friends of Three Speeds. Right about now is when I’m usually seriously thinking about the Three Speed Adventure April Challenge. But after some contemplation, I am not going to be doing this challenge in 2020. I’ll still do Three Speed October, but for now, consider a separate challenge in April off the table. (There will still be a local Three Speed Tour here in Portland that month, details soon.)
When I started the challenges back in 2016, it was a way to generate fun and interest in three speeds outside of the Portland area. For years, I had heard from folks that they liked the idea of Society of Three Speeds, but were hesitant to join since they couldn’t go on one of my rides. So, a challenge open to anyone, anywhere in the world, was a way to get folks to belong.
So I started with the first Three Speed October in 2016. I had fun, folks had fun. Then I decided to do a separate challenge, the Adventure April one, in 2017. Now I had two challenges a year! I think I got swept up in the initial euphoria of it. Now I realize that they are a lot more work to administer. And because I have two a year, six months apart, it feels like I’m finishing up one and then promptly working on another. I realize that I don’t have as much time for this stuff, especially if I want to work on “things that make me money”. I’d rather concentrate on quality, not quantity.
And Adventure April just wasn’t as popular as Three Speed October. It’s easier to ride a bike 3 days a week for 3 weeks in early fall, after having several months to get into bike shape. It’s tougher to do a fifteen mile ride in April, when some folks haven’t ridden a bike since fall. And while April is a more advantageous month to three speeders in the Southern Hemisphere, I have never had a single person from south of the equator participate in any of the challenges. So October is a better month in general.
So, what to expect in the future?
- Unless something prohibitive happens, I’ll still have Three Speed October this year. There will be some changes this time around, and I will most likely put some elements of Adventure April into it (without making you have to do them.)
- We’ll continue to see the cool prizes like patches for the challenge. I like making the patches, but doing them for two challenges a year is a bit too much, especially since I pretty much “sell” them at cost.
- And unless I get super-inspired in 2021, we should have one big Three Speed October Challenge each year.
So look forward to a refreshed Three Speed October Challenge later this year. And please don’t think my dropping of the April challenge is any indication that Society of Three Speeds is “winding down” or I’m losing interest, it’s just a restructuring. I’ve headed this informal club for seven years, most of the time I’ve been making it up as I go along. I am not one bound for tradition. In the meantime, there will be more fun, like the local rides in Portland.
Now get out there and ride your three speed with immense pleasure!