1e5be46c-5fb5-40a6-9adf-30c2f82c9e71What does membership to Society of Three Speeds (SoTS) entail? Besides showing support for three speed bicycles, here’s what you get:

  • A membership card with your member number
  • 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.

Do you want to become a member? All you need is to pay the nominal membership fee and abide by the Three Rules of the Society of Three Speeds:

  1. I will endeavor to promote three speeds as a viable means of transportation.
  2. I will not denigrate three speed bicycles and will not allow others to disparage these humble bicycles.
  3. I will ride my three speed bicycle with pride and immense enjoyment. If I have not yet procured a three speed bicycle, I will do my best to obtain one posthaste.

Membership kits are $20 for the Basic Kit and $30 for the Deluxe Kit (plus shipping/handling.) What’s the difference between the two? The Deluxe Kit comes with one year of Postcard Club bundled in. That means you’ll get about four unique event postcards sent to you!

Don’t do the whole “ordering stuff online” thing? We can sell them “old school” too. We shall accept Domestic (US) Money Orders, International Money Orders in US currency amounts, and cold hard American cash through the post. We don’t accept personal checks unless we know ya. (And if you have to ask, we probably don’t know ya.) But hold your horses! Before you go ahead and send things willy-nilly through the post, contact us first for info. Email us here. Or, if you don’t even want to email, send a letter or postcard with your return address to SOCIETY OF THREE SPEEDS, P O BOX 14185, PORTLAND OR 97293-0185, USA. We’ll get back to you with prices and product info.  But please note that I check my P O box once to twice a week, and am frequently out-of town, so the fastest way to order a membership is online.

Here are some notes, clarifications, etc. Please check these first. If I didn’t answer your question regarding membership, email me.

  • If you are already a member and want to get all the new goods, simply purchase a membership kit and say you’re an existing member. This will count as a “renewal”. You will still retain your member number, you will not be a “new member” per se. (And no, you can’t get a new number if you are an existing member.)
  • As of January of 2019, existing members will be able to purchase individual stickers, buttons, and patches a la carte. However, I’ve designed it so that the “best” deal for current and new members alike is to purchase them all together as a kit. Go to my store to see what’s available.
  • You can “gift” folks a membership. In the notes of the order, please indicate full name, mailing address, and email address of the giftee. If you want me to let them know who gifted them the kit, indicate that as well.
  • Membership to the Society of Three Speeds is available to everyone, anywhere in the world. You do not have to live in the Portland area, or in Oregon, or in the Pacific Northwest, or in the US, or North America, etc. (You should live on Earth, however.) While you won’t be able to go on the rides I put on in and around the Portland area, you will still be part of a larger global organization of three speed enthusiasts. We have members from all over the world!
  • Speaking of rides, yes, please do a Three Speed Ride in (insert your town here.) I can’t be everywhere, and while the idea of having a ride in Kansas City or Winnipeg is appealing, I’m not going to be the one to make it happen. But maybe you can? Let me know what you’re planning, and I can try to help.
  • You don’t need to own a three speed…yet. You do not have to currently own a three speed bicycle when you join the club. But you should definitely be into the idea of them, and pursue getting one in the next year or three.
  • A note on membership numbers: Member numbers are given out in the order memberships are purchased. No special requests for a particular membership number, please. No requests to let me know when “we get close to a specific number”, either, because I’m not going to. This is supposed to be fun. Relax.
  • A note on asking questions about whether you “qualify” for joining Society of Three Speeds: You’re already here, you got this far, you dig Three Speeds. You qualify. Don’t make this any more difficult for yourself or for me by asking silly questions whether you’re “right” for this or not. Don’t delay, act today!

Updated 9 January 2020

27 thoughts on “Membership

  1. Tally-Ho! Shawn—- I have promptly and proudly joined The Society of Three Speeds. It very much reminds me of the road clubs in Britain in the ’30s sponsored by the leading cycling magazines—-Cycling’s “Fellowship of the Wheel” and The Cyclist’s “Cyclist Road Club.” Your buttons will take their place alongside those other two on the lapel of my Norfolk jacket. Godspeed! (All three of them) Yours awheel, Wrongway Pete

  2. Hi, again, Shawn—– I also have a suggestion for a new item—–a small sticker of 1,5″ to 2″ diameter for The Society of Three Speeds to be fitted on the seat tube or down tube of one’s cycle. The Cyclists Touring Club in Britain and the Rough Stuff Fellowship do this to great effect. Cheerio, Wrongway Pete

    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I have been thinking of a circular sticker, and may make on when I make another batch. For now, if you want a smaller sticker, you can simply (and conveniently) cut one of the regular stickers in half, giving you a nice 1.5″ square sticker.

      1. HEHE. I hope not, might have been the ‘fairly bad’ production run. I prefer the Always Works model. Great idea / site.

  3. Worried about the acronym — there go a bunch of old SOTS — ha! But mailed my check anyway, today.


    Mike McGettigan / trophy bikes phila
    (former hosts of the Great British Bike Weekend [“Three Days for 3-Speeds”] in Philadelphia, which ran about 1998-2005)

  4. “Please note that we can’t give you a number that has already been taken, no matter the price, and if you insist on the member number being all threes, like, say, Member #333, multiply that number by 3 to get the fee you need to pay. For example, to buy member #333, it will cost you $999, #3333 will be $9999, and so on.”

    Is this some backhanded shot at the lowly Shimano 333? Does this club have a bias in favour Sturmey Archer hubs or something?? :-p

  5. Call me overcautious but paypal and spending money in general gives me the fear! Can you confirm membership prices are back to normal, ie $15 for the rest of the world please? I think it’s a wonderful idea, I’m in England and surprisingly if there’s anything like it here I haven’t found it. Actually i did happen across something but still too far away! By the way…how do you feel about four speeds? Sorry to swear. I have a 1953 Raleigh Lenton Sports undergoing restoration and it’s got an FM hub. Is that ok? If I promise not use fourth..?

  6. Well…
    While the rides generally only happen in Portland, the whole gist of the “society” is that you can be ANYWHERE in the world, so long as you appreciate three speeds. We have members from all over the world. It’s all about supporting the appreciation of three speeds, not whether you can go on a ride I lead.

    Anyways Johann, after all your comments on my flickr stream, I think you owe it to me to purchase a membership! 😉

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