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!

Three speed bike camping (with Three Speed Seattle)

I know it’s never the most “obvious” way to do a bike camping trip (or bike tour), but remember that “back in the day”, that’s how people did it! (Especially in the UK!) And you can still do that today, too. Check out this tumblr entry from 3 Speed Seattle on their recent bike camping trip via three speed on the Olympic Peninsula.

Three Speed Plans for 2019, a calendar and a road map

2019 promises to be an exciting year for Three Speeds! Whether you live in the Pacific Northwest or are somewhere else in the world, we’ve got some three speed fun for you! So mark your calendars (or just link to ours).

Full details on these events will happen within the month or two before the event. But the dates have been set!

  • April 1-30: Three Speed Adventure April (worldwide). Just like the past couple years, there are five separate challenges to complete: 1) Ride a three speed at least 15 mi/25 km 2) climb at least a 5% grade for 100 ft/30 m 3) unpaved/dirt for 1/2 mi/1 km 4) coffee outside 5) bike overnight. Registration will open up in March. Full details here.
  • Sat April 20: Three Speed Day Tour (Portland). A 25 or 35 mile ride, mostly along bike paths, to Oregon City and back. Full details and how to register for the ride here. Come on down!
  • Wed June 5: Three Speed Evening Ride (Portland). Our annual Pedalpalooza ride, a 10 mile romp after work. This is our one “open” ride for the year, meaning any bike is welcome. Full details TBA.
  • Sept 13-15: Willamette Valley Three Speed Tour (Portland). A multiple day ride southward using (mostly) the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway. This will be a self-supported camping tour. We’ll ride 35-50 miles a day and camp in campgrounds. Full details TBA.
  • Sept 27-Nov 3: Three Speed October Challenge (worldwide). Ride your three speed at least three miles, three days a week, for three weeks. Registration opens in September. Full details here.

Oh yeah, that image above is a new Society of Three Speeds postcard! All members who have either purchased the new 2019 Membership Kit or those who are in Postcard Club will get one! Want in? Become a member or renew your membership! Buy it here.

Hope to see you out there!

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


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.

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.


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

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

An early May report: Wrapping up Adventure April, planning for June fun, and getting ready for Pepin.

Hello friends of Three Speeds! It’s literally hours before Emee and myself hop on Amtrak’s Empire Builder and head east to St. Paul for the Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour. Fun! There’s a few items of housekeeping I want to get out of the way before I go:

  • Three Speed Adventure April: Thank you everyone who has participated. I’m seeing the reports roll in. If you have completed any of the challenges, there is still time to file reports! You need to first a) register then b) you’ll get a Report Google Form emailed to you. If for some reason you haven’t received it, please get in touch! You’ve got until Friday May 18 to get it filed. Full details here.
  • And yes, I am still working on prize packs. I know, a broken record I am. (skip…skip…skip…) I was hoping to have time the last few weeks, but getting this Pepin trip plus Pedalpalooza biz sorted was first priority. I will be working on it when I return home mid-month.
  • Speaking of Pedalpalooza, there is still PLENTY of room for our Three Speed Campout on June 2-3! We are heading to Stub Stewart State Park. Expect $10-15 in costs. You will need to register for this trip, you can do that here. Limit eight folks on the trip.
  • And a new Pedalpalooza first: I will be having a mid-week after-work Three Speed Ride! The Sunday rides have seen diminished participation over the years, so I’m trying something different. This ride will happen on Wednesday June 27th. We meet at 6 PM at the Paul Bunyan statue across from the Kenton/N Denver MAX station (Yellow Line). We depart at 6:30 PM on a 10 mile ramble. This is the one “open class” three speed ride for 2018, meaning ALL bikes are welcome, not just three speeds. Ride not a loop, but will end near food/drink/transit. And since this is an evening ride, it’s always wise to bring lights and layers!
  • And now, the burning question you may be asking yourself: What bike is Shawn bringing to Lake Pepin? Well, it’ll be the Robin Hood path racer project! I’ve already brought the Superbe, so I need to bring something different. 😉 I just got it back from Velo Cult as I had the rear wheel rebuilt with an aluminum (Sun CR18) rim. A few other minor tweaks happened, including new tires. Yes, I went fancy and got a set of Grand Bois (Grand Bois!) tires in the 26″ x 1 3/8″ (650A or 590 mm) size. These tires are nice and supple, and not cheap nor easy to get. Yes, an indulgence. Let’s see if they are worth it. They are narrower than most tires in this size (more like 32 mm wide vs the standard 35) which I’m not excited about…

Alright, hopefully I’ll see a few of you out in Minnesota or Wisconsin this week!