My second week of the Three Speed October 2016 challenge

Hello fine folks! I just wrapped up another week of riding my Raleigh Superbe to qualify for my very own Three Speed October 2016 challenge! How did this week look?

  1. Wednesday 19 October: 23.8 miles total, as my Coffeeneuring Ride 3.
  2. Thursday 20 October: 11.9 miles total, work commute.
  3. Friday 21 October: 15.9 miles total, about seven of those were part of my Coffeeneuring Ride 4.

Okay, one more week to go. I think I can make it!

Coffeeneuring Ride 4: 21 Oct 2016, in which I join PDX Coffee Outside

It seems like a lot of cities have gotten into the weekly morning bikes and coffee thing. Whether it’s the more refined East Coast deal of meeting up at a coffee shop, or the more western “let’s brew our coffee outdoors”, it’s become a thing. And while we’ve done random morning coffee outsides here, there has been nothing regular going on until pretty recently, when a bunch of dudes decided to do a Friday at 7 am Coffee Outside. (Check @pdxcoffeeoutside on Instagram for the down-low.)

This week I managed to actually go on one! Not only was the weather okay, but the destination of Peninsula Park* was just a mile and a half from my house! So I didn’t have to wake up that early and I could still make it to work (almost) on time.

I arrived at Peninsula Park at 7 and found a couple dudes making coffee by the (turned off) fountain in the rose garden. I got to work grinding coffee and boiling water via my Esbit stove. No time to waste, as I only had about a half-hour to spare. A few other guys showed up while I was prepping coffee. It seemed like most people had canister fuel stoves and were making coffee via AeroPress, though another dude was doing pourover just like me. The talk was mostly about cross (as it is the middle of fall) so I didn’t have much to add. But it was still fun hanging out with people making camp coffee, since it’s typically a solo thing for me. Hopefully I can make one of these again.

And the bonus: I got to zoom down N Vancouver Ave on the way to work. Since I commute from NE to SE, I don’t use any of the common “bike commuter highways”. So it’s fun every once in awhile to be on a big bike arterial during rush hour and see all the other cyclists!

By the numbers: Coffeeneuring 2016, Ride 4: Friday October 21

  • Destination: Peninsula Park
  • Miles: 7 (total from house to work, not counting after work commute)
  • Bike: Raleigh Superbe
  • Coffee: Trader Joe’s Tanzania (yet again!)
  • Prep method: Pour over (using Esbit stove)
  • Notes: Got to hang out with five other dudes

*Some weekly coffee things happen at the same place, whereas this one has a rotating destination.

Coffeneuring 2016, Ride 3: 19 Oct 2016

Wednesday, October 19. A break in the crappy weather we’ve been getting all month, though the nicest of the weather happened in the morning. When I woke up, it was sunny. But it was my day off, so I didn’t get going early enough to capture the sunniest part of the day. By the time I got going for my Coffeeneuring adventure it was closing in on two. The sun had turned to clouds, and the forecast called for a chance of showers. Oh well. I was going in a ride today, dammit!

The point of the ride (obviously) was to complete another ride in the Coffeeneuring Challenge, plus my own Three Speed October challenge. But where to go? I wanted something with a little bit of length, but not that far, and not that hard. How about head out to Kelley Point Park? It’s about nine miles from my house via flat bike paths for the most part. And I hadn’t been there in a bit, since it’s one of those “close yet far enough” destinations, and also since it’s not on the way to anything, since it’s the northwest tip of the eastside, at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. Why not?

I got out the door somewhere after 1:30, after I hurredly threw together something resembling a lunch, since there would really be no place to get food on this trip. (Why did I not pick up something the night before, when I was at store? Damn my stupid lack of planning.) The sunny weather had changed to the ominous high clouds that foretell more unsettled weather coming. Still, I got to take in awesome views of the snow covered volcanoes (in this case, St. Helens, Adams, and Hood) as I crossed the tracks on the Vancouver Ave Viaduct.

Rather than go directly to the Point, I stopped at a secret spot on one of the orphan channels of the Columbia Slough next to Heron Lakes Golf Course. Even though this is only three miles from my house, I had never been to this stone wall overlook until the Midnight Mystery Ride last month. See? There’s still plenty to explore in this town, even for someone so steeped in this town. I made some coffee here via my Esbit coffee maker and at some lunch. It was pretty peaceful here, it seems like no one knows about this spot except dogwalkers, blue herons, and possibly an otter. The drone of Interstate 5, barely a mile east, was easy to ignore.

More flat bike path action westward towards Kelley Point Park, with a pause at Smith Lake. It’s a seasonal floodplain lake connected to the Columbia Slough. In the middle of summer there’s no water in it, but after the good rains we’ve had this month, it’s starting to fill up, but nowhere near “full”. It’s a pretty peaceful spot despite the occasional clangs of industry and freight trains in the distance.

I got to a mostly deserted Kelley Point Park around 4. It was pretty quiet, only a few dog-walkers, so it felt like I had the whole park to myself. Even in the middle of summer, when it’s humming, it never feels quite “full”. By now, there were a few spits of sprinkles, so there goes the idea of a totally dry ride. The spot I gravitate to, the picnic table right at the confluence, is a great place to watch the ships plying the two rivers, whether giant ocean-going freighters or more humble river-going barges. There was plenty of both today, as it seemed like there was something big passing the Point every five minutes or so. While I know it doesn’t “count” towards the challenge, I decided to make some more coffee, this time with the integrated Esbit stove/pot to boil water for pourover. (And yep, still using the Trader Joes “Tanzania” that I used the last time!)

After my coffee, I hustled towards the St Johns neighborhood, about five miles down the road. I didn’t really feel like getting caught in the rain out here, and this part of the trip was mostly light-industrial with more traffic. I got some dinner at my favorite St Johns place, Proper Eats, then finished it with some fine German style beer at Occidental Brewing. At that point, it was dark and really raining, so no getting around it: put on the rain cape, grit teeth, and head home. I stayed mostly dry, thankfully.

By the numbers:

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2016

  • Ride No: 3
  • Destination: Kelley Point Park
  • Miles: 24 total
  • Coffee: Esbit coffee machine and pourover, using Trader Joes Tanzania.
  • Bike: Raleigh Superbe

Stuff for Sale, October 2016

Hello all! I just keep on finding more and more stuff to purge! All of these items are available for local pickup in Portland, Oregon, either the Woodlawn neighborhood (NE) or on SE Hawthorne. We can do cash payment for local pickup. If you are from afar, I will ship items in the US. Please let me know what your zip code is when inquiring, and I’ll figure out a shipping price. Payment can be made by Paypal. And let me know if you have any questions! That email is

  • Shimano Deore “deerhead” thumb shifter. Model number SL-M700. Yes, the legendary beefy first generation Deore shifters that came stock on many a decent mountain bike in the mid-80’s, before the advent of SIS. (The shifters I sell are only friction.) These were stock on my Crested Butte. They still work, but are getting worn and don’t perform as well as they should, so be warned of this. But these shifters deserve a refurbishment and I’m not the one to do that! $30.
  • Dia Compe centerpull brake, front. Probably 70’s vintage. NOT A SET OF BRAKES. $5
  • Coughlan’s LED headlamp. Batteries not included. $3
  • Tektro FL750 brake lever, right side. Modern “city bike” lever, has 22.2 clamp. NOT A SET, JUST ONE. $10
  • Midland saddlebag support. British made, 70’s vintage support that clamps to the seatstays. (In order to avoid scratching, I’d recommend taping the stays underneath the clamp area.) Good for keeping a bag from sagging on mudguards or tire. $20 SALE PENDING
  • Rubena Cityhopper Tires, 26×2.0″ (52-559) cream. The non “tourguard” version of these decent wide urban tires. A bit dirty from use. If you are on the less-light side, ride a heavy bike, or ride through less than ideal conditions, I’d advise using a tire liner, thornproof tube, or tube sealant. $5 FOR THE PAIR, OR FREE WITH PURCHASE OF ANOTHER ITEM. LOCAL PICKUP ONLY.
  • Jandd Fanny Pack. Pretty darn basic, medium size. $5
  • Swanndri Wool Vest, size L. New Zealand brand, full zip with hand pockets. Rear is longer than front, so good for cool-weather cycling! $10 SALE PENDING
  • Velo Orange steel rear fender, 700C size. No hardware included. $10, LOCAL PICKUP ONLY.
  • Shimano Deore XT MTB pedals, late 80’s vintage. Designed to be used with clips, or Powergrips, like the Powergrips included with the pedals! A bit scuffed but still work fine. $30 FOR THE PAIR.
  • Schwalbe Big Ben tires, 26×2.15″ (55-559) brown/brick color. Never been used! A bit wonky looking right now since they were shipped folded. I mounted both to rims and inflated tubes, and they fit good, so no issues there. $35 FOR THE PAIR, that’s about how much one costs new! SOLD.
  • Rivendell Brand V barrel bag. The older version before the current “Sackville Branding”. Canvas bag with velcro straps and two side loops, so can be mounted to handlebars or saddle. Pretty voluminous, the largest of the “barrel” bags I’ve found! There are three patches on the front, glued on with Shoe Goo, so they can be removed if you want. $35
  • Rivendell bicycle cap. Cotton, the “one size fits most” style. $5 SALE PENDING
  • RainLegs, size L. Had this pair for a few seasons, and it’s pretty delaminated. Good for maybe a couple miles in a shower. I’d try some of that tech spray stuff to revive the waterproofness of tech garments. Good if you want to try out RainLegs but don’t want to commit the $45 for a brand new pair. FREE, BUT MUST PURCHASE ANOTHER ITEM.

Three Speed Pub Crawl this Sunday! (Oct 23)

Society Of Three Speeds

threespeedpubcrawl23oct2016Hey all! Just wanted to remind you that we’ll be having our Three Speed Pub Crawl this Sunday, October 23! We shall meet at Kenilworth Park on SE Holgate Blvd at 32nd Ave at 4 pm. We’ll leave at 4:30, so there will be plenty of time to ogle three speeds!

Some things to note:

  • Yes, please ride a bike with a internal hub of three, four, or five gears. Nothing more, nothing less. Bromptons with a three speed are OK if you don’t use the derailleur. (I’ll be watching you!)
  • We shall hit up AT LEAST three pubs this year, yes! I know, last year we only got to two, but we had fun, didn’t we?
  • Make it easier on everyone and bring cash, preferably small bills.
  • Also bring a lock, lights, and some type of rain gear.
  • Ride route is as always a mystery but we’ll end near…

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Almost Ramble Time

If you happen to be in North Texas around this time, you should go! One of these years I sure hope to.



Ramble on roads like this, except in more Fall-like conditions

Now that my GAP tour is complete (more on that later), I am realizing that the 2016 Fall Finale 50ish Mile Country Path Ramble is rapidly approaching. I’ll be posting more details very soon, but the key reminder here is the date of the ride…Saturday, November 12. If you happen to be anywhere near Sanger, Texas around this time, we’d love to have you join us. Are you making plans to be here?

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Coffeeneuring Ride 2, 15 Oct 2016: Braving the “Ides of October” Storm

Saturday October 15, storm day. There was much talk that this storm passing over Cascadia, remnants of a typhoon, could be something like the fabled Columbus Day Storm of 1962. Unfortunately (or fortunately) that wasn’t the case, as the storm was weaker than initially thought. Still, it was windy that day. The ride I originally planned to go on that day (I got the day off) got cancelled, so I stayed home, working on projects.

But eventually I wanted to get out of the house, if even for a little while. And why not try a li’l coffee outside action? If not for anything else, I wanted to see if my Trangia 27 camp stove set lived up to the title of “stormcooker”. So I headed for the nearest park, Woodlawn Park. Woodlawn Park has the added benefit of shelter from the rain.

I left the house around 3, right when the peak gusts were hitting Portland. Not hurricane force like predicted, but still somewhere in the 40 to 50 mile range. Gusty. As I rode around the neighborhood, watching trees blow around, I thought to myself, “How stupid am I right now?”

I got to Woodlawn Park. The Bic lighter* was not doing the trick in lighting the Trangia burner, but the stormproof matches did. (Truth in advertising.) The teakettle got going while I ground some coffee (some Trader Joe’s Tanzania, which is pretty darn good if I say so myself.) My choice for brew method this time around was pour-over (via GSI thingee), which was probably not the best idea on such a windy day. (Using my small camping French Press would have been smarter.) Still, the water boiled, and I made some coffee, which I enjoyed. Well, enjoyed was a strong word, as it was more “drink it down before the wind kicks up again”.

And then home. Just a hair over two miles to qualify for the challenge. Next time my Coffeeneuring Challenge ride won’t be so exciting!

*I have a love/hate with Bic.

My first week of the Three Speed October 2016 challenge

Hey all! Just finished up my first week of the very challenge I created. It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t participate, right?😉 And for those of you who are all like “But Shawn, didn’t this thing start last week?” Well, if you read the rules as carefully as I wrote them (oh, snap!) you’ll know that you just need to complete three calendar weeks between October 2 and November 5. So there are five possible weeks to do this challenge!

So what did my first week look like?

  1. Monday 10 October: A pretty simple affair, about 15 miles round trip to and from work with a few errands on the way. I took my Raleigh Superbe since, well, it’s my only three speed! It was a decent October day in these parts, with a high near 60F/16C. I decided to class things up by wearing my Harris Tweed jacket. Now you don’t necessarily need to wear tweed when riding a three speed, but it sure don’t hurt!
  2. Tuesday 11 October: An eight mile ride done as part of the Coffeeneuring challenge. You can see the detailed report of this ride here.
  3. Wednesday 12 October: A 13 mile loop, hitting up work (due to work meeting). Another nice day, mid 60’s. It’s the last nice day for awhile!

So there you have it. Two more weeks to go!

And for those of you participating, make sure you log in those rides!