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Looking ahead to 2021: A blueprint for the Society

Hello, friends of three speeds! I hope you all are well. 2020 was not an easy year, and the least I can hope for is that 2021 will be better. As the year comes to a close, it’s natural for me to think about what lies ahead. So here’s a blueprint for what should happen. Of course, things can change so this is just an outline of what I hope to be.

Rides. Let’s get this out of the way: I won’t be leading any rides until the pandemic shows signs of departing. I’ve thought about trying to do small rides with limited ridership, but right now I don’t feel comfortable even with that. My hope is that I can be able to do one ride in 2021. Let’s see…

Membership. The supply of membership goodies from when I relaunched the kit in late 2018 has nearly been exhausted. Whatever I have left is still available in the membership shop. When that runs out, I plan on revising the kit. I’ll hopefully have a new patch design and may even get around to a fancy enamel pin! I’ll probably keep the logo sticker as it is. There should be a pre-order when all this gets sorted out. The earliest I foresee this happening is spring, but more likely summer.

Want to purchase the current Society of Three Speeds membership kit?

Challenges. This was definitely the highlight of the Society in 2020. And after years of talking about “how to bring Society of Three Speeds to the next level”, I finally found it. Yes, I’ve been doing the Three Speed October Challenge almost-yearly since 2016, but switching it to a “mail-in journal” reporting system seemed to get you folks excited! What can I say: analog lives! So this year both challenges will be done this way. And after skipping the regular April challenge in 2020 and substituting a photo challenge, the regular Adventure April Challenge will be back in 2021.

This is the tentative schedule for challenges in 2021. Dates and challenge rules subject to change:

  • Three Speed April: Thurs 1 April – Fri 30 Apr Five separate challenges
    1. Ride your three-speed at least fifteen miles (25 km) in one ride.
    2. A climb of 5% or more grade, with a cumulative elevation gain of at least 100 feet (30 m).
    3. A bit of unpaved/dirt action, of at least a cumulative one-half mile (1 km).
    4. Coffee outside via three-speed.
    5. A bike overnight or bike camping trip by three-speed.
  • Three Speed October: Sun 26 Sept – Sun 31 Oct The classic 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

Blog. I created the Society in 2013 after doing Three Speed Rides in Portland for a couple years. The first few years of the blog (2013-15) saw several posts a month, as this was all fresh and I had more enthusiasm. That enthusiasm waned in the following years, and blog posts became less frequent outside of the Challenge times. I want to get back to a more regular rhythm again and have something here at least weekly.

What would help this blog become more active again is submissions from you! Have something three speed related that you’d like to write about? It could be about your bike, repair stuff, Sturmey-Archer history, a report on a ride you did, etc. All of this would be welcome here! You don’t even have to be a member (though that would be nice!)

Interested in writing for the blog? Get in touch with me at urbanadventureleague@gmail.com

Okay! I hope you are all excited about riding your three speeds in 2021! I’ll be over here if you need me.

2 thoughts on “Looking ahead to 2021: A blueprint for the Society

  1. In doing our part to make 2021 a better year than last, I suggest doing more routine rides on 3-spd bicycles. I don’t see many 3-speed bikes in Kansas City, but am certain they are out there. Enough politics already–let’s hit the streets, trails and paths with our vintage bikes.

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