What is ahead for Society of Three Speeds in 2020

Hello, friends of Three Speeds! You just read about how our 2019 shaped up. What about the future?

Well, I intend on having another robust year of events and challenges. I have a general blueprint of what I want to do. I’m refraining on setting all the exact dates just yet, since things may change and I don’t want to run into a situation with the 2019 postcard, when I had events listed that got changed.

So, here’s what is going to happen, so far:

  • January. We’ll have the Three Speed Pub Crawl on Saturday January 25. Register here.
  • April. The Adventure April Challenge will return again. We will also have a Three Speed Day Tour from Portland to Oregon City on Saturday April 18th. It’ll be like the one we did in April 2019 with some changes. Registration will be required, and should be live by February.
  • Mid-summer (probably August): A Three Speed Bike Campout weekend! This should be going again to Stub Stewart State Park, about 35 miles NW of Portland. Registration will be required, and should be live by June.
  • October. The October Challenge will return once again! And I plan on another Portland area Day Tour (somewhere in the 20 mile vicinity) that will probably be in an area we haven’t explored yet, yet still accessible by transit.

While the overall blueprint of 2020 is pretty similar to 2019, there will be some changes:

  • Adventure April: I’m toying with the idea of going with “paper reporting only” for the challenges. There’s been enough headaches with online forms and I don’t particularly enjoy looking at spreadsheets. Basically, you’ll have to mail in (via post!) your reports. I’ll have specific instructions closer to the challenge. Also, I’m probably going to reduce the amount of challenges down to three.
  • Pedalpalooza: Unless I get a wild hair up my arse, I don’t plan on doing a Three Speed Ride during Pedalpalooza, Portland’s month-long bicycle fun celebration every June. I’ve done a ride every PP since 2012. The first couple seemed to be great, but it’s been diminishing returns since then. The big reason is that I open it up to “all bikes”. While this means I can get decent numbers of participants (in 2019 I had 20 people), it also means that three speeds constitute a third to under half of all riders. I had hoped that doing this open class ride during the primest time to do it would mean publicity for the Society and people getting “turned on” to three speeds. But I don’t really feel like that’s been the case. Part of my 2020 strategy is to keep my Pedalpalooza events capped at four so I don’t burn out. Somethings got to give, and in this case it’ll be three speeds.
  • Bike Camping. I’ve threatened to do a Three Speed Willamette Valley Tour a few times, but never have pursued it fully. There doesn’t seem to be a real interest by people other than me (and Tim). I hope to tackle it on my own at some point, but I still want to promote Bike Camping via Three Speed. That’s one of the reasons why I made the Three Speed Camping sticker! So it’s time to do another group camping trip! Stub Stewart is a great spot for one because it’s about a 22 mile ride from the end of light rail on either quiet country roads or a bike path. And it’s not that hilly, either. So I’m hoping to schedule it in later summer, perhaps in August.
  • October Challenge. Like the April Challenge, I intend on doing paper reporting only. I also may shorten the timeframe from the five-plus weeks it is currently at. And it seems like my changes to how the weeks were counted confused more than it helps, so I may go back to a Sunday-through-Saturday week structure again. And I’ll probably ditch the “extra challenges”.
  • Out of Town Rides: Despite the rain, the Seattle Three Speed Ride was lots of fun. I want to do another one up there, but probably in summer when there’s less a chance of getting poured on. I also want to do a ride in at least one more city, which shall be determined.

Okay, an ambitious year ahead! Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Feel free to post them in the comments. Happy New Year and hope to see you on the road in 2020!

A Three Speed Year in Review: 2019

Hello, friends of Three Speeds! It’s been an eventful year ’round the SoTS HQ. With bike rides, challenges, and membership kits, it’s one of our biggest years yet. How did it shape up? Here’s a blow-by-blow of the milestones:

  • January: We had a modest Three Speed Get-Together at Montavilla Brew Works. A half-dozen people showed up, and of course we chatted about three speeds!
  • April: A big month. The Three Speed Adventure April Challenge took up a good deal of my time. About 20 people participated. I also led my first Three Speed Day Tour to Oregon City. This was a smash, with ten people joining me to see the fabled Willamette Falls. And finally we had our first Sturmey Archer AW Hub Overhaul workshop at the Community Cycling Center. Patrick Loftus showed about ten people how to fix this fabled hub.
  • June: As has been my custom since 2012, I led a Three Speed Ride during Pedalpalooza. We had a good crew of 20 turn out, and I led them from the Vera Katz Statue to Sellwood via the Willamette River Greenway. It was a fun time, but since this was my “any bike can join ride”, there was less than half on three speeds.
  • October: Another big month! This was the time of the Three Speed October Challenge. This year we had about 30 people successfully complete the challenge, a record! On top of that, I led a Three Speed Ride here in Portland and my first “out of town” one in Seattle.

And I’ve done a brisk business in new memberships. This year we’ve welcomed about 60 new members to the club! We now stand at 245 members from all over the world.

It was an exciting year, and more excitement is on the horizon for 2020…

It’s deadline day for reporting for this year’s Three Speed October

Hello friends of Three Speeds, today is the day. If you have done rides for this year’s Three Speed October Challenge but have yet to finalize it by completing your Google Forms, now is the time.

If you have signed up for the Challenge, you should have at least gotten the form to fill out for Week One. Please go ahead and fill that out, and you’ll get the subsequent forms. If for some reason you haven’t received the form, get in touch.

If you completed the challenge successfully, you should have received a Completion form, in which you indicate which prize pack you’d like. If you haven’t received this form, let me know. If you have, please fill it out ASAP and when you receive the PayPal money request, please pay! I need to get the prize pack order finalized.

If you are doing the challenge via papernet (aka through the mail), today is the day to mail it all in.

Are you confused? Need more time? Etc? I will be accommodating. But I need to hear from you!

For all of you who have filled out your info, THANK YOU!

Prizes should go out in December. Also, I will be announcing the results and those who won the special prizes in December.

Three Speed October: Wrap it up, plus SoTS renewal discounted (still) until Nov 11th

Hello, friends of Three Speeds! Yes, Three Speed October is officially over, so no more rides can be done. But you can still report the rides you have done!

If you haven’t signed up yet, go here:


If you have signed up, but haven’t reported, now is the time! If you signed up, you would have gotten a Google Form emailed to you for Week One. Fill that out to get the Week Two report. If you haven’t received it, first check junk/spam, and if it isn’t there, let me know.

The deadline for reporting your rides for the Challenge is 11:59 PM Pacific Time on Friday November 15 2019. If you are mailing in reports, they must be postmarked no later than November 15th.

The sooner you report, the sooner you are eligible for the prize pack! We’ve got an awesome patch made by Falls Creek Outfitters, plus stickers!

And I’m also extending the sale on the “renewal” of Society of Three Speeds memberships until Monday November 11th. The regular price to get another year of postcards and special stuff is $16 (plus shipping/handling), but until November 11th, get it for just $12! (Plus shipping/handling) You can order that here.

Three Speed October 2019: The final weekend!

Hello friends of Three Speeds! This is a short-but-sweet post. Apologies for not doing a Monday update this week, I’ll have a more substantial Three Speed October post next week.

This is the final weekend of the challenge. Meaning: If you are finishing up your third and final week, now is the time to do so! Keep on filling out your Google Forms. If you haven’t received one for your appropriate week, please get in touch.

For those of you who have missed one (and only one ride) during one of your weeks: This is Make-Up Weekend. From now until 11:59 PM your time on Sunday November 3, you can make up one biffed ride from a former week. You can only make up one ride from one week, so if you biffed more than one week, or you had a week with only one ride, then you are out of luck, alas. There is a special form for the Make-Up Weekend, so if you need it, please get in touch.

And yes, if you missed a ride from Week One or Two and are still finishing Week Three, you can do both a regular ride (or two) plus one Make-Up Ride this weekend. No, you cannot use a Make-Up Ride from Week One or Two as also a Week Three Ride. No double dipping! Confused? Please get in touch.

So far, we have seventeen people who have completed the challenge. Yes! If you have completed the challenge, you should have gotten a Completion form emailed to you where you can select your prize options. Haven’t received one yet? Please get in touch.

And a reminder: It’s totally groovy that you’ve been posting your #threespeedoct2019 reports to your blog, Instagram, Tumblr, flickr, or even Facebook. But remember, to make it count, you MUST fill out the Google Forms! Please fill them out sooner or later so I can get all this business sorted out, and get prize packs made!

Alright, have a great weekend, three-speeders!

Three Speed October 2019, The Monday Report for Oct 21

Hello folks! We are closing in towards the end of the challenge. Meaning: if you haven’t started already, it’s too late. There’s not much of a report for this Monday. Not that things aren’t happening (they are!) But since I’m traveling sans laptop, it’s hard for me to write something really extensive and intensive. You’ll get a better report next Monday.

For now, here’s a few details. As of 7 PM Pacific Time on Sunday October 20, we have:

  • 46 people who have registered
  • 24 people who have completed Week One
  • 16 people who have completed Week Two
  • 5 people who have completed Week Three, meaning we have five people who have successfully completed the challenge!

For those of you who have completed the challenge; I’ll be sending the info on prize pack ordering later this week.

For everyone: Keep on filling out those forms! I won’t be able to send/resend forms until I return to Portland (the earliest date will be Wednesday). But for pretty much everyone who has registered for the challenge (except Recycled Android), you should have gotten an email sent with the form for Week One. Check your junk/spam if you haven’t seen it, especially if you have hotmail, yahoo, or aol addresses. If you can’t find it, let me know.

And: If you registered and haven’t done a ride yet, you won’t be able to complete the challenge. So let me know that you are out, so I don’t keep on nagging you.

Everyone: Ride your three speed, challenge or not!