Post Pepin Peregrination: La Crosse WI, 17-20 May 2015

Society Of Three Speeds

The Wayfarer at Lake Pepin. The Wayfarer at Lake Pepin.

Most of you know that I’m going on the Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour on May 15-16. Only a select few of you (namely, Pondero and Graveldoc, who are already on board) know that I’m planning on a post-Pepin bike tour.

Until now.

Yep, we’ve got a fun little jaunt planned! It’s a three day bike tour starting and ending in La Crosse, Wisconsin, about 100 miles down the Mississippi from Red Wing, Minnesota, the start/end of the Three Speed Tour. This three-day, three-speed tour will take in some of the sights of SW Wisconsin, the Driftless Region, including two rail-trails (La Crosse River, Elroy-Sparta), rolling countryside, and the mighty Mississippi.

Three facts/details:

  1. This is a three speed ride, meaning that you must ride a three speed internally geared hub bicycle to participate. (We’ll allow four and five speed hubs, too.) The bike itself does not…

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13 thoughts on “Post Pepin Peregrination: La Crosse WI, 17-20 May 2015

  1. Sure you aren’t willing to open it up to non-3-speed riders? I’d really like to join this ride. Could I just follow behind you a quarter mile and pretend I’m not with the group? I’m a good pretender. What if I ride my mega-multi-speed IGH bike and promise to use only three gears?

  2. Wow, I could feel that “silent glare” from 1,754 miles away. There’s always one guy that wants to do his own thing and ruin it for everybody else!

    Truly though, I merely wanted to be a part of this ride because of the people that may take part and the for the fantastic route you have picked out. The driftless region of southwest Wisconsin/southeast Minnesota is one of my favorite biking destinations. True, I do have a Brompton with a 3-speed hub. With it’s 2-speed derailer, it’s really a 6-speed. And I didn’t buy the Brompton with touring in mind. I know Russ and Laura did it, but mine doesn’t have the rear rack. I was hoping to make a week long tour out of this ride. With my diet restrictions I have to carry most of my own food. So my first choice for a tour is the uber expensive custom commuting/camping bike I have that was designed with loaded touring in mind. A pure three-speed isn’t in the plans right now due to the lack of storage space I have available to me for my bikes.

    So just pretend my request didn’t happen. I’ll understand.

    • MnBicycleCommuter, I apologize if I offended. I’m not trying to be too much of a jerk about this, but I am adamant about it being exclusive to three speeds, no matter who wants in.

      To give a bit of background: I attempted to do a Three Speed camping tour back in September up on the Iron Horse Trail in Washington. The first two days went ok…until the pedal fell off, scrapping the rest of the tour. I know that it’s one of those “fluke” things, but I still feel a bit of a failure for not finishing it, and felt as the “President” of Society of Three Speeds, I need to walk the walk (or roll the roll?) and at least do one successful three speed camping tour.

      So when I decided to go back out to MN for Pepin, I also decided to attempt a small camping tour afterward, esp. since there are some great opportunities with all the rail trails. Then I found out Chris and Steve were coming back too, so I suggested the idea for the three speed tour. Even then, there was the suggestion to open it to non three-speed bikes (and also bring non three-speeds to tour on). And I wasn’t into it.

      I realize that this ride is exclusive. I realize that it’s going to leave some people out, some people that really would want to be on board, and honestly, people that I wouldn’t mind being on board. And I know that it’s a bummer. But I want to keep it to three speeds to hold it to the spirit of the event. I’ve been doing three speed rides in Portland since 2011. At first I left it open to anyone, figuring that for the most part ride interest would be heavily three-speeded, and maybe those who showed up sans three-speed would be encouraged to get a three speed of their own. But then the same folks kept on showing up ride after ride without three speeds because they like the rides I put on. And I definitely do appreciate that! But on one of the rides a few years back I realized that less than half of the participants had three speeds and I asked myself “Why am I doing this again?” So I decided to be more strict about participation with the exception of one ride a year where I’d open it up to anyone.

      So I’m sorry! Maybe if I do this another time I won’t be so weird about this, but I really, really, really want to keep this a pure three speed ride this time around.

      • And I would still say that you could possibly participate. Would it be possible to build a three-speed wheel and throw it on the the uber expensive custom commuting/camping bike you have that was designed with loaded touring in mind?

  3. “There’s always one guy that wants to do his own thing and ruin it for everybody else!”

    When I wrote the above statement I was referring to myself, tongue-in-cheek, as the guy who wants to crash your party. I hope you didn’t think I was referring to you. Anyhoo, no offense taken. I even hesitated for few days before asking because I didn’t want to put you on the spot to have to refuse. But I totally get it. I understand why you want to limit it to a 3-speed ride.

    I’m going to look into your suggestion about getting a three-speed wheel built up. It might be worth it to get a chance to do this tour with you, Chris and Steve (and anyone else that might join up). If Chris can build up a three speed wheel for a Quickbeam, why can’t I rig something up?

  4. Did some thinkering on the ride home. Temporarily converting a bike designed for disk brakes, Rohloff hub (with Rohloff specific dropouts), and belt drive to a 3-speed may simply be a crazy and expensive exercise. Prohibitively so.

    But I do have that Pugsley…..that I rarely ride during the summer….with an old set of wheels…that I almost threw out because I never thought I’d use them again…that could be rebuilt with a 3-speed hub….65mmm rims on the old wheels…..perfect for mounting up a set of Black Floyds….Hmmmm…..after the tour I could keep it set up that way for the summer to use as a summer cruiser………I need to keep thinking about this? A 3-speed fat bike?????

  5. I did quite a bit of research last evening. Unlike most of the newer fat bikes that have 170mm or 190mm spacing, Pugsley’s have always had 135mm spacing. Sturmey-Archer offers a disc brake 3-speed hub with 135mm spacing. Bam! The Pug has rear entry horizontal drop-outs too….Bam!

    The Pug with Black Floyds would make a nice bike for Wisconsin crushed limestone rail trails.

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