#threespeedoct2017 Week 3, Ride 3: 17 Oct 2017

Society Of Three Speeds

After three days of solid dry weather, we’re back into a wetter week. It didn’t rain on the way to work, but it definitely looked like it could for most of the day. While the high on Monday touched the high end of the 60’s F, the high today barely hit the high end of the 50’s. Yep, fall. And it feels more like fall each day, with the lessening amount of daylight and the leaves falling from trees.

The ride to work was uneventful, a well worn groove of a route I’ve done from my house in NE to SE Hawthorne Blvd. On the way home I stopped for coffee at Five Points Coffee Roasters, as I needed some beans and like to support my ex-roommate (he owns it.) After a stop at my post office, I got dinner. By this time, it was dark, so I took a…

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Bike Camping at Battle Ground Lake, 15-16 Oct (Also, Three Speed October 2017 Week Three, Rides One and Two, and Coffeeneuring 2017 Ride 2!)

Nice days in October. Seize the opportunity when you can, because in another month, you’ll be less likely to want to stay outside all day.

Earlier last week, I noted that the weekend was going to be sunny and dry, with a high around 65F/18C. This would probably be the last “real nice” days of 2017. So…bike camping? I thought about going somewhere different, like Champoeg. But at last week’s Three Speed Ride, I heard Todd B talk about going bike camping for the weekend of Oct 14-15. I told him I was interested, but it would work best for me if it was Sunday-Monday instead (Oct 15-16.) He could do it, and then suggested we do this as a Three Speed Camping Trip, he on his Brompton, me on my Raleigh Superbe. Sure! I hadn’t been on a three speed camping trip since June of 2016, the trip to Ainsworth in the Columbia Gorge, so I was overdue for some three speed camping action. I said we should go to Battle Ground Lake State Park in Clark County, Washington, since it’s relatively close but yet a “respectable” distance away (25 miles from my door), easy for Todd since he lives in Vancouver WA (so I can meet him along the way), and just a nice camping destination in general. A trip was born.

It’s been awhile since I used the Superbe as a camping bike, so Sunday morning was a furious whirl to set it up. Of course, I’d use my Carradice Camper Longflap saddlebag, as it basically lives on this bike. But I’d need more capacity. I thought about using my panniers, but felt I didn’t need that much capacity. So I put my Treetop small saddlebag on my handlebars. It’s about the size of a good handlebar bag, so it did the job well. The only issue was cable routing, as the bag got in the way of the cables. Everything still “worked”, but I figure if I do this setup more regularly, I need to get some longer cable/housing routings to give more room to the bag. For an overnight trip, I wasn’t sweating it too much.

I met Todd at his house in the Carter Park neighborhood of Vancouver around 1:30 PM on Sunday. From there, it was a ninety minute ride to the town of Battle Ground. Over the years I refined my route to be as “nice” as possible, which is a tall order for suburban and exurban Clark County, an area with a lot of strip malls and subdivisions, or a more rural landscape dominated with narrow roads and aggressive traffic. My route avoided as much of that as possible, though we did do a couple miles on ho-hum “Highway” 99 through the strip mall hell of Hazel Dell. It did have a bike lane, and a more gradual hill out of the Burnt Bridge Creek valley than my preferred route of Hazel Dell Ave. After Hazel Dell, it was some nice rural riding, except for the “road closed” section of Salmon Creek Blvd we managed to squeeze through!

We had an early dinner at Barrel Mountain Brewing, since Todd B wanted to avoid figuring out dinner at the campground. Growlers were filled, and we pushed our bloated bodies the final three miles to the campground. We got to Battle Ground Lake State Park at 5 PM, which meant we still had a little bit of daylight to set up. (Sunset was at 6:24 PM, yeesh!) Even though it was a Sunday night in October, there was a surprising number of folks camping, including in the walk-in sites where we stayed. (Guess everyone had the same idea we had! 😉  ) These sites were a third full, but since they are spaced out pretty good, we didn’t see our neighbors.

The night was good. We had a fire, talked about our lives while drinking some beer (and bourbon), and listened to shortwave. (Radio New Zealand came in good.) The sleeping was okay, it got down to about 40F/4C and I stayed pretty warm. The only disturbances came from Todd’s snoring (sorry!) and a distant pack of coyotes that was REALLY getting into the yelping and yowling thing.

In the morning we had a bit of breakfast. Since we are in the midst of the Coffeeneuring 2017 Challenge, of course my bike camping coffee was going to count towards this! So for Coffeeneuring purposes, this was Ride 2. I had some New Seasons blend via pour over, using my trusty Trangia 27 backpacker’s stove as the hot water method. It was lovely.

The ride back was good. We had a brief stop for coffee in Battle Ground, then got lunch at Heathen Brewing in Vancouver. Todd had to do some work, and I rode across the Interstate Bridge back to Portland, getting home around 4 PM.

And yep, the Raleigh Superbe handled the camping trip well. I had enough to be comfortable for a night. The riding itself was fine, too. There are a few small hills but the landscape was fairly flat to rolling. The only time we walked a hill was going south out of that dastardly Burnt Bridge Creek valley. (I almost thought I could ride the whole hill, but I mistakenly thought I had a flat at the base of the hill, and getting off to check it killed my upward momentum.) Todd also had no issues with riding his Brompton. So remember folks: Three Speed bikes are more capable than you think! 🙂

And yes, this ride counts towards my Three Speed October Challenge! Since the rules say that each segment of an overnight trip ride can be counted separately, this was Week Three, Rides One and Two. One more after this, and I’m done with the challenge!


This trip pretty much wraps up my bike camping/touring season for 2017. After this point, the days are just too short, and I don’t relish camping alone on a long and cold (and possibly damp) night. November and December are generally out of the picture. (It doesn’t help that I’m going to be fairly busy then, too.) I mean, there’s always the slight possibility that I could do another, as I have camped on Christmas Eve, but it’d have to be a camp out with other people. Once the New Year hits and days grow longer, and more importantly the itch to bike camp comes back again, it becomes increasingly likely I’ll go out to camp. But for now, time to put the tent in the corner.

Coffee Outside, 13 Oct 2017 (and Coffeeneuring Challenge 2017, Ride 1!)

Welcome to my participation in the annual Coffeeneuring Challenge! This will be my fifth year in doing it. Thank you Mary for putting this together! And what better way to start it off with a bit of Coffee Outside action?

I sure do like our local weekly coffee outside club, #pdxcoffeeoutside But I don’t go as often as I should. It has to do with time and logistics: Come Friday morning at 7 AM, I could be either in North Tabor or Woodlawn, and I may have to work at 8 or not. And #pdxcoffeeoutside has a rotating set of locations that is announced on Thursday. This week, I had Friday morning off and was staying at home in Woodlawn as Emee was out of town. And conveniently enough, they were doing it at Overlook Park, three miles from my house! Score! (Well, I did suggest that location. 😉  )

But getting up to go to coffee at 7 AM is easier said than done. (Unless you’re Stasia:) ) I am not a morning person. And it’s dark. But I made myself get up and go. Once on the road, things got easier. It was cool, about 45F/7C, so I had on a good amount of wool. And the threatened rain had stayed away, though Overlook Park had a picnic shelter if we needed it. I arrived around 7:30, and there was about eight folks there, drinking coffee and eating various baked goods. I got to work, pulled out the stove and kettle and ground coffee.

I had much more elaborate plans for food, hoping to have some breakfast taco action. I did pack my stuff the night before, but somehow I packed double of one thing and forgot another. And once I got everything going, I could not for the life of me find my pot grabber, even though I thought I had it. And no pot grabber meant no way to handle the pan or pots. Dang. So no tacos. (Of course, I found the grabber when I packed everything up.)

We all hung out to about 8:30 AM, until most people drifted towards work. Since I didn’t have to be at the hostel until 3, I went back home, taking a more leisurely way back.

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2017, Ride 1: Friday 13 October

  • Miles ridden: 7 (3 there, 4 back)
  • Bike: Raleigh Superbe
  • Destination: Overlook Park
  • Coffee drank: Ristretto Roasters Tres Burros
  • Prepared by: Pour over
  • Stove used: Trangia 27 with kettle

#threespeedoct2017 Week 2, Ride 2: Mon 9 Oct

Society Of Three Speeds

Fun fact about me: I don’t like going to SE on my days off.

Now, don’t read that as I don’t like going to SE. I do still like the southeasternmost “quadrant” of the Rose City. No, it’s because I live in NE, and work in SE. So five days a week I am required to head south of Burnside. So on my two free days, I like to stick to the north side if I can.

So it takes something special to make me head to SE on a day off, like a friend’s birthday. PJ was having dinner with friends at Harlow on SE Hawthorne, then people would play pool and then see the new Blade Runner movie at the Bagdad. I was only going to stick around for the first two, since the movie was at 11 PM. Don’t know if I can sit through a three…

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Three Speed Ride Report: 8 Oct 2017

Society Of Three Speeds

It was a beautiful day for a Three Speed Ride! Sunday October 8 started off with a spot of rain, then it cleared up, ending up with a day in the 60’s with sun. You have to grab these types of days this time of year.

Of course, I couldn’t even manage to get to the start of my own ride on time! 😦 This was due to some mechanical issues with Emee’s new-to-her Raleigh Sports. (More on that in a bit.) Thankfully, the ride was mostly “the usual suspects”, so a quick text warned the folks amassed at the Paul Bunyan statue in Kenton that I was on my way. Thankfully, no one was in a hurry!

The nine of us departed from Paul’s shadow at noon. We headed west along the Columbia Slough path, then headed to Smith Lake where we could have a tea and snacks break…

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#threespeedoct2017 Week 2, Ride 3: Tues Oct 10

Society Of Three Speeds

PLEASE NOTE: This week’s reports will be out of order, sorry.

The rain has returned, for a little bit. Chance of showers from now until Friday. It’ll be nice again this weekend, but this is how things are during this transitional season: rain then not, then rain again.

I don’t mind, but rain riding is not something for everyone. It does take some effort to figure out what works best for you. Many Portlanders who ride in the winter live in a Showers Pass rain shell from about now until May. In fact, I think some of these folks don’t own any other outer layers, you’ll see them still wearing these rain jackets during a week of sun and 40F/4C temps in the middle of January.

I do own a “regular” rainjacket, but I prefer to not wear it that much. For my bike rides, I’ll not wear any rain…

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Sunset Moonrise Ride Report: 5 Oct 2017

What a great day for a Sunset Moonrise Ride! It got up to 71F/21C, and it was a clear and sunny day. Of course, the big issue with an October full moon is that the sun sets so damn early.  Sunset was at 6:43 PM on Thursday 5 October. While not “super early”, factor in that the West Hills block the horizon, meaning that sunset is more like 6:30.

So in order to get to Broughton Beach in time, we had to meet up at 5 PM (anticipating a 5:30 ish departure.) It’s a five mile ride from Woodlawn to the beach, and that’s over 5 miles from downtown. So turnout was small, about six overall.* (and)** But it was a good and excited crowd! We even had a bike tourist travelling through town who came along!

And man, what a great event. While the sunrise was good, what was GREAT was the moonrise. It’s been a tough year for the Full Moon Rise here in Portland, so many times it’s been cloudy, or the moon made a fleeting appearance through a cloudbreak, or we had what happened in September with a smoke choked sky. But none of this would happen tonight, with it being so clear. And the moon is rising a bit to the north of Hood now, so we had the reflection of the moon on the water as an added bonus!

This will probably be the last Sunset/Moonrise Ride of 2017, as the time gets so early in the winter, and the weather unreliable. At least we ended the season on a high note.

*There was five people at the start, but Steven had to go home, then we picked up Stasia later.

**And there’s always Thursday Night Ride competing with anything on this night. 😦