Willamette Valley Three Speed Bike Tour, Sept 1-3 2018

Featured Image -- 2287Hello friends and foes of three speeds! Ever since I created Society of Three Speeds over five (five!) years ago, I had hoped to create something like the Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour here in the Northwest. Maybe not something exactly like Pepin, but something in a multi-day format that explored the countryside. And for five years, I have been racking my brain for something appropriate, something that would have that mix of nice roads, scenery, services, and (most importantly) not a lot of hills.

And finally, I think I may have hit on something close to my goal. Something that has been sitting in front of me for all that time: The Willamette Valley! Okay, I have thought of something in the valley for a long time, but I had been thinking of custom two day loops that would start and end in the same spot. Why don’t I just use something that’s already there? And that “already there” is the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, a 135 mile back road route stitching many of the points of interest in this region via fairly flat, low traffic roads. Sold!

So this is an inaugural test of this route via three speeds. I’ve ridden the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway before, back in 2009, but that was with my Long Haul Trucker. I know barely a month is not the most notice, and summer is a busy time. But maybe you can join me? And if this is successful, I hope to do it again next year, maybe Labor Day, maybe some other three day span during nice weather.

Interested? Please register via the link below. Questions? Email me at urbanadventureleague@gmail.com


This is a self-supported camping tour on three speeds down the Willamette Valley! Starting at Champoeg State Park south of Wilsonville, we will mostly follow the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway (WVSB), ending in Eugene. https://traveloregon.com/things-to-do/outdoor-recreation/bicycling/road-biking/willamette-valley-scenic-bikeway/

The total length of the WVSB is about 135 miles. We will be using the route as a guide, but we may deviate from it at points. The route itself is pretty mellow, using mostly back roads. Since it’s in the valley, it’s pretty flat too, for the most part, though there are a few hills. Nothing a three speed can’t handle! (And don’t worry, we are avoiding the big hill around Brownsville.)

And this will be a LEISURELY tour. We’ll emphasize the experience. We’re not concerned about “making good time”, and we’re going to be on three speeds so we ain’t gonna be fast! Expect some meandering, lots of stops, and breaks for food and beer.

We’ll be riding from Champoeg on Saturday morning, September 1st. Champoeg has a campground, so you can camp there the night before. (I will be camping in the hiker/biker site!) The getting to Champoeg will be up to you, and there is no public transit that goes near there. If you decide to drive, you’ll need to secure parking with the park and figure out a way to get back to Champoeg. (You can take Amtrak to Salem, but it’ll be about a 30 mile ride.)

Day One (Sat 1 Sept) will consist of riding through Salem to Independence, approx 40 miles. (If you decide to take Amtrak to Salem, you can meet us here.) We should have a good break for food and beverage in Salem. We’ll camp in the Riverview Park in Independence, which has a bicycle camp site.

Day Two (Sun 2 Sept) will consist of riding from Independence through Albany to outside Shedd, approx 40 miles. (You can depart ride at Albany and take Amtrak home from here.) We should have a good break for food and beverage in Albany. If time allows, we may detour into Corvallis. We’ll camp at a rural and primitive property in Shedd.

Day Three (Mon 3 Sept) will consist of riding from Shedd to Eugene, approx 30 miles. We should have a nice dinner in Eugene. Depending on how early we get into town, you may be able to take Amtrak home that night. However, we can crash with Three Speed Tim for the night. Or, you can camp at Armitage Park outside of town, stay at the Whiteaker Hostel or other lodging facilities. If you decide on those options, you will be responsible for making reservations. I’d encourage you to book NOW, as it can be a busy weekend.

I’ll be taking Amtrak home on Tues Sept 4. Maybe you will, too? Please note that booking Amtrak tickets is your responsibility, and there are only 10 bike spots per train. The sooner you book, the better.

COST: It is FREE to participate in this tour, i.e., I am not charging YOU to come. However, there will be costs involved, all of which you will be responsible for. This is a ROUGH ESTIMATE of fees, but it can be more:

  • Champoeg hiker/biker campsites are $7 per person
  • Campsite in Independence is $10 per site. We may need one to three sites, split up appropriately.
  • There will be at least one ferry ride, maybe two. We’ll definitely ride the Buena Vista Ferry across the Willamette and may use the Wheatland Ferry. The ferry fee is $1.00
  • Plan for a meal break on Saturday in Salem, Sunday in Albany, and Monday in Eugene. These will probably be at brewpubs. There may be other stops.
  • We should be making dinner at the campsites. We’ll stop for groceries at some point on the ride.
  • If you choose to stay somewhere other than the “official” spot on Monday night, you’ll be responsible for all fees and you’ll need to book it.
  • Amtrak Cascades trains from Eugene to Portland can be as low as $25 ($20 for seat, $5 for bike) if you book far enough in advance. The closer we get to Labor Day Weekend, the higher the ticket price will be. Also, if you decide to use the Coast Starlight train, bike fee is $20. Book as soon as you can, trains and/or bike spots can sell out.

The fine print and other details:

  • Only 3 through 5 speed hub geared bicycles allowed! Sorry, no exceptions.
  • You must carry all the gear on your own bike. There will be no “sag” wagon or vehicle support. Nor can you cheat by asking your friends, family, spouse, significant other, etc.
  • But don’t worry, there will be several opportunities for resupplying on the way.
  • There are free showers at Champoeg. Independence and Shedd will not have shower facilities, so be prepared for this!
  • There may be a bit of dirt/gravel roads and paths on this trip. Your three speed can handle it.
  • If you haven’t done so yet, now may be a good time to lower the gearing on your three speed. If you have never swapped out the rear cog, you can go with a larger toothed one (22 inch) which will lower the overall gears.



For Sale: Tires (Schwalbe, Compass, Grand Bois), plus Alfine wheel

Urban Adventure League

It’s time for some purging. All prices quoted DO NOT include shipping, please let me know your zip code when inquiring so I can estimate shipping price. Payment can be made via PayPal or Square Ca$h. Local pickup in Portland OR with cash payment also available, pickup in Woodlawn in NE or Hawthorne in SE.  Please email me at urbanadventureleague@gmail.com if you are interested, or have questions.


Here’s a set of Schwalbe Delta Cruisers in cream. 26″ x 1 3/8″, or 650A, or EA3, or 37-590. Basically the size for vintage British three speeds. This is a well loved set, but still some good life in them! $15 for the pair.

Here is a single Compass Rat Trap Pass tire, size 26″x2.3″ or 58-559. This tire has been well loved but still has life in it. $20.

Here’s a very esoteric Grand Bois tire, a 650Ax32. Aka 26″x 1…

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Three Speed Adventure April prize packs are HERE, finally!

Hey folks! I emailed a bunch of you about this, but there’s always a chance you didn’t get. And if you participated in either the 2017 or 2018 Three Speed Rides that happened in April, you qualify for Challenges 1 through 4.
After much procrastination, I have finally gotten around to getting the prize packs for both the 2017 and 2018 Adventure April challenges done! Woot! And if you have completed some of the challenges, you qualify for the prizes!
​A word about the prize pack: Basically, it’s a “merit badge” for each challenge you completed. These are one inch buttons depicting the challenge. So you get one for each challenge you completed. Alas, no patches, since the participation has been light (just 10 for this year), and I can’t justify the expense right now.
Also, the design is the same for both years. If you did Coffee Outside in both 2017 and 2018, you’ll get the same button, but twice.
So, if you would like the prizes, this is what you will need to do:
  • Paypal me at urbanadventureleague@gmail.com the appropriate cash for buttons plus shipping.
  • Each button is $1. You get one button for each challenge you complete for each year. If you did Distance-Coffee in 2017 and then Climb-Rough Stuff-Coffee in 2018, that’s $5 total.
  • Shipping is $4 for US, $10 for Canada, $14 for anywhere else. Please add this to the button cost.
  • Unfortunately, buttons have to go first class package, and that’s expensive. I’m not trying to make money off of this, but if I try to “sneak” it by with postage for a first class letter and it gets returned, I’d be eating the additional shipping cost. And yes, this has happened to me.
  • Either in the notes when you Paypal me, or in a separate email to this address, include your mailing address, and what buttons for what year.
  • I’m trusting you to tell me which challenges you have completed, but if you have forgotten, let me know and I’ll figure it out.
  • If you don’t have paypal, I can send an invoice via PayPal that you can pay with a credit card.
  • Oh yeah, I also can accept payment via Square Cash. Let me know if you want to do that.
  • If you don’t want to do Square Cash or PayPal, get in touch and we can figure something out. Be advised I don’t like taking personal checks.
  • If you live in Portland, we can arrange a pickup for cash so you don’t have to pay shipping. Please note that this pickup is either going to be at my work on SE Hawthorne or at my house in NE (Woodlawn), at a time that works for me. I’m not going to deliver buttons, my life is too hectic.
  • Also, if you live in Portland, I’ll have the buttons at the Three Speed Ride this Wednesday June 27, and also the Sunset/Moonrise Ride on Thursday June 28.
  • And if you just don’t want the prize packs, that’s fine.
If you have any questions, please let me know. Thank you for participating!

Three Speed Ride/Slough Country Ramble, Wed June 27

It’s the final week of #pedalpalooza2018 and I’ve got my two-in-one ride on Wednesday June 27! Meet me at 6 PM at the Paul Bunyan state in Kenton (N Denver/Interstate near Argyle, across from Kenton MAX Station). We depart at 6:30 for a 10 mile jaunt in the Columbia River bottomlands. Ride not a loop, will end near food/drink/transit. It’s a Three Speed Ride, but at the same time it’s NOT a Three Speed Ride, so ride anything! Now all of you folks who facetiously/incorrectly claim “ALL my rides are Three Speed Rides” don’t have a valid excuse to miss this one!😉 #pedalpalooza #threespeedride #sloughcountryramblers #societyofthreespeeds


An end of Pedalpalooza sale in my store: 20% off with code until July 8!

Urban Adventure League

IMG_20180619_144131-01-01.jpegHello friends! Pedalpalooza is entering its final stretch. And I’ve also got some new buttons in the store and a full button restock thanks to Button Arcade. So why not have a little sale?

From now until 11:45 PM PDT on Sunday July 8, 2018, everything in my store is 20% off! Yep, comix, zines, buttons, postcards, and posters. Use code PP2018 in the checkout to get the discount.

The fine print:

  • 20% discount applies to the cost of item, there are no discounts on shipping and/or Storenvy fees.
  • You’ll need to spend at least $5 on an order to qualify for the discount.
  • Discount on stock on hand, no backorders.

So head on over to my store at Storenvy to check out my stuff.

And thank you for your support!

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Three Speed Bike Camping June 2-3: Spots STILL available!

2018-04-05_06-38-50-01.jpegHey folks! It’s just two weeks until the big Three Speed Bike Camping Trip to Stub Stewart State Park. We’ll be doing this the weekend of June 2 and 3. There are currently six available openings. So if you want to go, you still have a shot!

This is a self-supported camping tour on three speeds, destination Stub Stewart State Park on the Banks-Vernonia Trail! A 22 mi one way trip (departing from MAX in Hillsboro around 11 AM on Saturday June 2nd) and one night of camping.

We’ll leave Saturday morning from downtown Hillsboro. The first 12 miles of the ride are mostly on rural country roads. In Banks we’ll have a supply stop at the Thriftway, where you can also get lunch. We may stop at the brewpub in town to/from. The last 10 miles are on the Banks-Vernonia Trail, a rail-trai! We’ll camp in the Brooke Creek Hike-In Camp in the park. We return home on Sunday.

I’m expecting the total cost per person to be about $15 (which would include firewood.) You do need to register for this trip, and registration is FREE. Please register via Eventbrite link below. Having difficulty with the link? Email me at urbanadventureleague@gmail.com

Eventbrite - Three Speed Bike Camping at Stub Stewart, 2-3 June 2018