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.


New Stickers: Large SoTS and Three Speed Camping!

Hello, friends of Three Speeds! I just got in some new stickers for the Society.

First up is the large version of the Society of Three Speeds logo. This one has a three inch diameter (vs. the 1 1/2 inch of the regular one). Like the smaller stickers, this one is weather resistant. If you are a member, you can purchase one for $2 (plus shipping/fees), while supplies last. Not a member? It’s included in the Deluxe membership kit.

And I also made some of these nifty Three Speed Camping stickers! If you’ve been around here long enough you know I’m a big proponent of camping trips via three speeds. This three inch, weather-resistant sticker is here to celebrate that. Have you been on a three speed camping trip? If you have, you can grab one of these stickers for $2 (plus shipping/fees.) Haven’t been on a Three Speed Camping Trip yet? You can still get one, if you intend to go on one in the near future (let’s say by the end of 2020). I should be making some patches of this at some point, too! But if you buy one of these stickers, be prepared to tell me about your past and/or upcoming three speed camping trip!

Who is Society of Three Speeds for, anyway?

I’ve been doing this Society of Three Speeds for over seven years. (I’ve been leading Three Speed Rides for nine!) During these seven years, over 220 fine folks have joined the Society. (Thank you, everyone!) I had figured that, by now, people would figure out who this “club” is for. But maybe I haven’t spelled it out enough?

Case in point: I recently got a letter from someone who found out about the Society. After letting me know that they liked three speeds yet disliked organized rides,* they concluded the letter with a point-blank question: “Why should I join your organization?”

I had never had anyone ask me this. Up until now, no one had asked me to “sell” SoTS to them (at least, not in that manner.) Instead, what I usually get is someone who tells me that they’d like to join the Society, but doesn’t live in Portland and therefore is disqualified from membership.** So then I have to tell them that yes, they can join, since this is an International organization. People join from all over the world, many (if not most) have not (and may never) set foot in the Pacific Northwest.

So this got me thinking: Who is this “club” for? And I came up with three (of course!) easily digestible reasons:

  1. You like getting cool stuff in the mail. The big thing you get when you purchase a membership is a swell amount of swag. It includes a patch, buttons, some stickers, a postcard or two, an introductory guide, etc. Oh yeah, the membership card. Most people don’t get anything cool in the mail anymore. Joining the Society remedies this.
  2. You like joining a pseudo-serious “bike club” of like-minded individuals. The whole idea of this thing is to not be (insert your local road-racing club here.) There are no boring meetings, no “minutes recorded”, no in-fighting. Instead, you are “joining” a group of folks who share a common interest, and in the name of fun. Think of similar groups like the Tarik Saleh Bike Club or the League of Caffeinated Wheelers.*** What have you do to become a member of either? For TSBC it’s “ride bikes, try not to be an ass”. For LCW, it’s “ride bikes, like coffee”. Nothing more to that. Do you want to be in a club of folks who like three speeds?
  3. You are a fan of three speeds. I guess the best and easy way to describe SoTS is that it’s a fan club for three speeds. It’s a way to show to the world that three speeds are viable and valuable. Why did people join the David Cassidy Fan Club? Because they liked David Cassidy. Why do people join Society of Three Speeds? Because they like three speeds!

Hopefully that answers the question. Yes, the rides and challenges are cool. But ultimately, it’s all about a love of the three speed bicycle. So, do you like three speeds? Don’t delay, join today!


*But curiously this same person asked if there were any organized three speed rides in their area.

**This, of course, is immaterial. You do not have to be a member to participate on my rides. I have never “closed off” the rides to members only. I’d guess about 50% of people who show up to my rides are members.

***Both of whom (Tarik and Brad) are members of Society of Three Speeds.


The LAST membership sale: $5 off the basic and deluxe memberships until Sunday!

Well friends, ca$h flow around the Urban Adventure League/Society of Three Speeds headquarters is a bit strained these days. So I’m offering up the last sale (I hope) on Society of Three Speeds memberships!

Until 11:59 PM Pacific Time, Sunday July 21 2019, I’m knocking off $5 the memberships. Get the Basic Society of Three Speeds membership (no Postcard Club included) for just $15 plus shipping. Get the Deluxe version (includes Postcard Club) for $20 plus shipping. On Monday July 22nd they’ll be $20 and $25 (plus shipping), respectively.

And feel free to check out other great items in my store. While I don’t have any other sales running right now, you still get some great deals if you buy the multi-packs of items. My Comix/Zine six pack is just $15 plus shipping. If you bought each thing individually, you’d pay $20!

Plus, I am still very much available for art-for-hire commissions. Get in touch.

Any little bit helps. Thanks a bunch, folks!

Changes to Society of Three Speeds memberships

Hello, friends of Three Speeds! Thank you for the strong show of support for the revamped Society of Three Speeds membership kits! Since I started the pre-order last fall, I’ve sold about seventy of these kits. After having them out for about a half-year, I’ve got some thoughts about moving forward.

I’ve come to realize that I may have priced the kit a bit too generously, and for most folks (especially if they live outside of Portland), the year of automatic Postcard Club membership added to the SoTS kit may be unnecessary. Plus, the cost of international postage for each postcard in Postcard Club (currently $1.15) means that shipping costs to anyone outside of the US is pretty high. I have seen scant orders come in from outside the US, probably because of the shipping price.

So I’ve decided to offer two levels of the membership kit: Basic and Deluxe. The biggest difference for now is that the Deluxe will have Postcard Club packaged in, the Basic won’t. I may have some other goodies to offer in the Deluxe kit at some point.

All memberships will still offer:

  • One 2 1/2″ patch, expertly sewn by Falls Creek Outfitters.
  • Two one inch badges.
  • Three 1 1/2″ weather-resistant vinyl stickers.
  • A subscription to the Society of Three Speeds email list, where you will be notified of upcoming SoTS events and other items of interest.
  • And, a membership card with your member number!

The changeover for the different memberships will be on Monday June 3rd. Starting then, the Basic kit will be $20 plus shipping, the Deluxe $25 plus shipping. Please note that you’ll see a lower shipping price for the Basic kit to reflect the lack of Postcard Club. Though it still won’t be cheap for International members. That’s because all my packages have to go First Class Package rate, which is abnormally steep for International shipments.

Until June 3, all memberships will be $20 plus shipping, and include Postcard Club. So now is a good time to get in buying a membership if you want Postcard Club included! Purchase a kit here.

Memberships finally out!

Hello friends of Three Speeds! It look longer than I hoped or wanted, but I finally have gotten out ALL of those membership kits! If you ordered a SoTS kit since I started the pre-sale last fall, or if you are one of those few that managed to win/buy one during the couple years where they were not available, you should have received your kit in the mail. And if not yet, you should be getting it in within the next week or so.

If you haven’t received your kit by the end of the month, please get in touch.

And if you didn’t buy one, you still have a chance to get in on the $20 rate before it may raise again. Purchase your membership here.