Three Speed Day Tour, 18 April 2020: CANCELLED

I was hoping for a fun day of three speed riding on Saturday April 18th. But with a heavy heart, I’ve decided to cancel this ride. With the current situation of global pandemic, I don’t feel that it’s the time for the ride. While restrictions may hopefully be lifted by April 18th, there’s a lot of uncertainty of what’s ahead for the short term. Now is not the time for a group ride.

I still have a Three Speed Ride planned for October, which may be this route, or another. I’m also hoping for a Three Speed Campout this summer. Plus, I fully intend to do the Three Speed October Challenge if I can. There will be three speed fun in the future, I promise.

In the meantime, health officials still say it’s okay to go on a solo bike ride. I’ll be doing as much of that as I can. So, get on your three speed and go on a ride. We’re going to need bike rides for our mental and physical health.

Stay safe out there.

Three Speed Day Tour: Saturday April 18

Despite not doing the Adventure April Challenge this year, there will still be three speed fun here in Portland! The Day Tour to Oregon City returns for Saturday, April 18.

It’s time for a lovely day tour on three speed bicycles! Destination: Oregon City, where we can have a fine lunch, use America’s favorite municipal elevator, tour the promenade, and see the Falls. Then we ride back to Portland. Lovely!

This ride is open to all bikes that have a three speed internal geared hub. Hub and bike can be of any age and from any country. We also accept four and five speed internal geared hubs, but nothing larger. No derailleur equipped bicycles unless: a) it is on a Brompton or b) derailleur acts as chain tensioner.

You do not need to be a member of Society of Three Speeds to be on the ride. If you are not a member, you can purchase a membership on the day of ride for just $15!

The details:

  • This ride will happen on Saturday April 18 at 9 am. Location to be announced, it will be somewhere in inner SE or thereabouts. It will be close to a MAX station. All registrants will get the start location about a week before the ride.
  • We’ll meet at a spot with food options. If’n you aren’t into a full breakfast, just meet us at the cafe by 10 am. This will be the departure time.
  • The main ride is about 25 miles. The full route has not been finalized yet, but it will be (mostly) an out-and-back to Oregon City, much of it via bike path. There will be a small hill or two, no shame in walking.
  • This is a LEISURELY ride. We will take our time, we will have breaks. Don’t think we’ll be done by 1 PM. Nope, this is not that type of ride! Expect to be out until early evening and you won’t be disappointed or stressed.
  • We’ll have a good break in Oregon City to get sit-down food and adult libations.
  • We’ll have a tea stop at some point. This is BYO, either bring hot tea or be prepared to make it with a stove. Coffee and other hot beverages are OK too.
  • We plan on riding rain or shine. If it is truly stormy, this ride may be postponed or cancelled. But a little rain won’t stop us!

Are you interested in going? Please sign up via Eventbrite here. Registration is free, and only takes a couple minutes.

Ride Report: Three Speed Pub Crawl, Sat 25 Jan

What a weekend! It was what I needed after a week of rain and lots of work. As Mr. Rhodes has noted, despite a forecast that didn’t seem that promising, we got two days of mostly decent weather (at least during the day, it rained pretty hard later on Saturday night.) After a pretty wet January (making up for a drier than average November and December, I suppose), we hit 58F/15C on Saturday. Spring weather! Beats what they’ve been having out in the Midwest, I guess.

Saturday was the Three Speed Pub Crawl. Despite having about 10 folks sign up, 6 (including myself) actually showed. A few couldn’t make it due to sickness or schedule issues, a couple (whom I didn’t know) just simply no-showed. Oh well. We had fun.

We started at Scotch Lodge, a whiskey bar in the basement of the former La Luna/Pine Street Theater, a storied venue. Kurt played there (though he met Courtney at the long-gone Satirycon), and The Replacements performed a notorious set here in 1987, inspiring the song “Portland”. (Plus, they had “We’re Sorry Portland” etched in the run-out groove of their 1989 album Don’t Tell a Soul.) There would be no throwing couches out of second-floor windows tonight, though. We just enjoyed some whisky, beer, and each other’s company.

Second stop of the crawl was the Rose and Thistle Pub on NE Broadway. I had said earlier that the vague theme of the crawl was both Scottish and Lunar New Year. Stop number One hit up the first part, this stop hit up both. Y’see, Rose and Thistle is a Scottish (not English, not Irish) Pub, noted by the Scottish Flag on the door and Scotch Eggs on the menu. As for Lunar New Year, what year is it? It’s the Year of the Rat. And what’s the bar’s initials? 😉 (Don’t think I’m super-clever, there was a small Lunar New Year Party going on when we got there!)

Finally, we ended with the Barelic Brewing “Barley Pod” on NE 60th and Halsey. Barelic isn’t Scottish, though it is an Old English term meaning “of barley”. We had a refreshing beverage, and took off before the rains came.

Three Speed Pub Crawl is THIS SATURDAY, January 25. Spots still available!

Hey there! Do you like three speed bicycles? Like riding three speed bicycles? Like imbibing adult beverages? Then come on this Three Speed Pub Crawl presented by Society of Three Speeds!

The pub crawl is Saturday January 25 from 4 PM to about 8. We’ll hit up at least three pubs. The vague theme of the “crawl” is Scottish, with a dash of Lunar New Year thrown in.

We’ll let you know where the start is about a week before the event. The route will be a mystery. The locations will all be on the east side of the Willamette River, not going more than three miles north or south of Burnside, and not going east of 82nd. End spot will be transit accessible.

This event is FREE, but all beverages will be paid for by YOU. And maybe you should consider buying your ride leader a drink? 😉

Three Speed Bicycles recommended, but if you don’t have one, ride what you brung.

We’ll also have Society of Three Speeds memberships available for purchase, along with other swag.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Please go to Eventbrite to register.

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…