My Three Speed April 2021 ride: 2 April

You’ve probably heard about that Three Speed April challenge I run, where three-speeders have the month of April to complete one, several, or all of these five sub-challenges:

  1. Ride your three speed at least fifteen miles (25 km) in one ride.
  2. A climb of 5% or more grade, with a cumulative elevation gain of at least 100 feet (30 m).
  3. A bit of unpaved/dirt action, of at least a cumulative one half mile (1 km).
  4. Coffee outside via three speed.
  5. A bike overnight or bike camping trip by three speed.

Well, as Presidente of Society of Three Speeds, I must also practice what I preach. So I pulled out the trusty Robin Hood path racer, my most “rough-stuff” machine of planetary gear persuasion, and decided to do a ride on Friday April 2nd. It was a pleasant and mild spring day, sunny and a high of 62F/16C, the start of the good spate of weather for the month. I decided to head east and hit up the eastern reaches of the Columbia Slough. It would give me the distance I needed, and riding along the sloughside paths would meet the unpaved action.

And heck, might as well have some coffee too! So I brought my small coffee kit consisting of: Esbit stove/pot combo (about 1/2 litre capacity), pour over coffee bag, and mug. I rode through Luuwit View Park, so I figured that would be a great spot for it. I forgot the sugar and cream, which is par for the course, so I enjoyed the coffee hot and black.

From there I connected to the Columbia Slough path at NE 158th. This bit of rambling is pretty standard, but I went further, hitting up the path just east of Big Four Corners and south of Airport Way. I hadn’t been this far out since the Slough Country Ramble I led last year! I wanted to see if any of the lands at the very east edge of the slough offered further connection east to Blue and Fairview Lakes. It looks like it’s possible, as the land is open and flat. However, it’s all “private property” and signed as such, so I didn’t feel like pushing my luck. Maybe at night on a weekend I’d explore it more…

Initially I thought about going further east, perhaps to Chinook Landing or even Troutdale, but I wasn’t feeling it so I turned around and headed west to Level Brewing. Good thing: I was getting a slow leak in the rear tire (ah, supple Col de la Vies). I managed to make it to Level and assessed the situation. I could have tried to fix it there, or just take the bus. But Emee volunteered to pick me up, so that was that. I much prefer flat fixing at home if I can, especially with hard-to-source slow leaks.

It was a good ride nonetheless, a 16.5 mile/26.5 km ramble that took care of the distance, unpaved, and coffee sub-challenges. Maybe I can do some climbing and/or get in an overnight before the end of the month?

Pictures can be found in the dynamic flickr album below or click here.

Columbia Slough east of NE 158th Ave. 2 April 2021

2 thoughts on “My Three Speed April 2021 ride: 2 April

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  1. Good morning Shawn! I appreciate the look and function of your Superbe. Similar to my Phillips path racer, although it’s with a set of maes bend bars, which work well for me. Since I’ve been without motorcar the past two months, the bicycles have become primary transportation, and, oddly, I’m finding the dealing with motor traffic downright un-pleasant on the old Triumph when I must go someplace un-bicycle-able. In other bits and bobbins (to borrow from the LP3ST’s STO), I added an ancient Shimano Skylark derailleur to the path racer, with a 28-tooth low gear behind the 18 tooth high, and the combination is transformative. It worked well on the Bay City hill last weekend, and also the long climb to the bluffs above Wabasha on the alternate route back upriver. And, it is permissible under the Common Law of the Nutters, as a “3 x 2” variation.

    All warnings about torque multiplication of v large sprockets on the AW hub aside, I endeavor not to overload the works with, ehm, torque from start, and have found the best chain combination for the arrangement. I’ll send more detail and a few snapshots of the arrangement when I get the pictures back from the lab. More news about my b & w experience with the Minolta SRT, and the obtaining of a ’40’s vintage Kodak 35 rangefinder forthcoming, too.

    Thanks for the updates and news!

    Tim Long
    Just up the hill from Lock 15

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