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.

Three Speed Day Tour Report

Saturday April 20th was a good day to be on a three speed. It was a mix of sun and clouds, a high in the low 60’s F. Myself and nine other riders (plus one dog!) departed from Ford Food and Drink in SE Portland after 10 AM. Our destination: Oregon City.

It was a sixteen mile ride to Oregon City. The first half of this was mostly on low trafficked streets in Portland, the second half was mostly bike path in Clackamas County. The Trolley Trail is a pleasant way to ride. We stopped around mile 9 at Rivervilla Park along the Willamette where we fulfilled two of the five Three Speed Adventure April Challenges: Coffee Outside and the Climb. Yes, it’s a short but steep pitch from the river back up to the Trail.

We had an extended break in Oregon City. First, we toured through downtown and took a ride up to bluff level via the (in)famous Oregon City Municipal Elevator. We cruised along the Promenade and climbed a small rocky outcropping to get a magnificent view of Willamette Falls, largest waterfall (by volume) in the Northwest. After this we had food and drink at the Highland Stillhouse, a Scottish Pub.

After our final viewing of the falls, we bombed down busy 99E back into downtown Oregon City. We rode back the same way until the Clackamas River crossing, then took the I-205 bike path. If I was going to do this ride differently, I probably would have taken the Trolley Trail back. But I like a good “loop” route, and trying to loop back via the west side of the Willamette is not ideal, with busy roads and some serious hills. The 205 path is serviceable, but lacks scenery, and like most “bike paths paralleling a freeway”, gets noisy. But it was pretty fast going.

We eventually got back into Portland proper. We had hit three Adventure April challenges so far (we completed the Distance challenge of 15 miles by the time we hit Oregon City), so time to complete a fourth one: Unpaved. We did so via SE Cooper Street between SE 62nd and SE 72nd Streets, a full half-mile of continuous gravel road, maybe the longest such continuous one in the city? (As far as I know, at least. And no, I’m not counting Leif Erickson Drive.)

After that, the few of us remaining (meaning myself, Emee, and Maria) ended the endeavor in the Montavilla neighborhood, where we enjoyed beer at the eponymous brewpub. My cyclometer read 33 miles by the time we stopped. A good long ride on a three speed!


Ok, since you are going to ask, here’s the bicycle breakdown (as far as I know):

  • Three Bromptons
  • One Linus
  • One Raleigh Grand Sport with S-A two speed hub
  • One Rudge Sports
  • One Raleigh Sports
  • One Raleigh Superbe (mine)
  • One Ross three speed
  • One mountain bike conversion

Three Speed Day Tour is this Saturday. You going?

46735832964_d2d2dfc114_oHello folks! The Three Speed Day Tour is happening on Saturday April 20th. This 25-to-30ish cruise will head down to Oregon City and back. Registration is required, you can register and find the full details here.

All the basics from the initial ride description remain. Here’s a few other pointers:

  • The long range forecast for Saturday April 20 is good: Slight chance of showers, high 60F. Now things can change between now and then, so…bring your rain cape!
  • I plan on having a “tea stop” around mile 10, weather permitting. This is a byo affair, so bring a stove and pot/kettle, hot water, or pre-brewed tea or coffee. I may have extra water to go around, so if you are one of those people who don’t have/carry a stove or thermos, please let me know. (You’ll need to bring a cup!)
  • Lunch will be in Oregon City, which is about 16 miles in. Adult beverages can also be consumed at this spot.
  • On top of that, there could be another possible coffee (as in coffee shop) stop. This is a leisurely ride!
  • This ride should hit up three of the five challenges of Three Speed Adventure April: Distance, Climb, and Coffee Outside. I’m seeing if I can incorporate some dirt to make that challenge too. Have not signed up for the challenge yet? Do that here:

And yes folks, there’s still plenty of space available. Hope you can come!

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!