Weekend Report: A little bit o’ everything, both good and bad.

Hey folks! Yeah, life has been busy so I haven’t posted to here as much as I should. As always, the best day-to-day record of my life can be found on my instagram. With that out of the way, let me talk a bit about my past weekend, from Thursday April 26 through Sunday April 29…

  • Thursday April 26: Emee had the great idea of getting a hotel room downtown for the night to complete Challenge 5 of Three Speed Adventure April, the Bike Overnight.* We had done Challenges 1-4 on Sunday’s Three Speed Ride (report on that very soon), and Emee had a conference in the very same hotel that weekend! Convenience! It was fun wheelin’ the Raleighs into the first floor room at the University Place Hotel. Adventure April complete!
  • Friday April 27: Conveniently enough, the morning’s Coffee Outside (aka #pdxcoffeeoutside) was at Poet’s Beach, the public beach under the west end of the Marquam Bridge in South Waterfront. It was just a five minute ride from the hotel, and on the way to work! There were somewhere between a dozen and twenty folks, and Wildflower Baking brought sweet potato focaccia! I also swung by Breakfast on the Bridges on the west end of the Tilikum Crossing. BonB has been going on since about 2002, setting up near a Willamette bridge most last Fridays and serving coffee and pastries to passing cyclists.
  • Saturday April 28: Grant Petersen, main man of Rivendell Bicycle Works was in town at Rivelo. I stopped by, hung out with everyone while Grant gave a demonstration of that fancy tape and twine bar wrap he’s into. Also, on the way to work I flatted the rear of the Raleigh Superbe. When I took off the wheel, I noticed how worn the rear tire, a Panaracer Col de la Vie, was. Damn, no wonder why the tire had been feeling “weird” for awhile. Well, I got about two years of use out of it, and thankfully I have a spare tire at home, so I fixed the flat for the ride over to Emee’s house.
  • Sunday April 29: After a lazy morning into afternoon, Emee and I headed over to my house so I could swap bikes, as I was in no mood to swap tires today. I pulled out the Bantam, and we rode towards St. Johns to get dinner. And what happens? Of course, I flat. A nice industrial looking clip pierced the so-supple tire. We got food and opted to take the bus home, as I was in no mood for another flat fix.

Okay, just a few more days until we head west to Minneapolis!

*Yes, indoor lodging counts!


Three Speed Camping, June 2-3, registration now LIVE!

Society Of Three Speeds

Okay! It is official, Three Speed Camping to Stub Stewart State Park on the weekend (Sat-Sun) of June 2 and 3 is a go! And registration is now live. If you want to attend this trip, you will need to register via Eventbrite link below, even if you emailed me about this before. Registration is free, but expect to pay about $15 at the campground for the site and firewood.

This is a self-supported camping tour on three speeds, destination Stub Stewart State Park on the Banks-Vernonia Trail! A 22 mi one way trip (departing from MAX in Hillsboro around 11 AM on Saturday June 2nd) and one night of camping.

We’ll leave Saturday morning from downtown Hillsboro. The first 12 miles of the ride are mostly on rural country roads. In Banks we’ll have a supply stop at the Thriftway, where you can also get lunch. We may stop…

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A taste of summer.

The last few days we’ve gotten our first tease of summer here in the Pacific Northwest, a “spring heatwave” if you will. It’s been pretty nice since last week, but since Sunday we’ve seen the thermometer go up: 65F/18C on Sunday, 74F/23C on Monday, and 80F/27C on Tuesday. Eighty degrees! But it’s supposed to get even hotter tomorrow (Wednesday), topping out at 85F/29C. Wow! It’s supposed to be low-80s on Thursday, then showers roll back in on Friday and it cools down to 60F/16C, which is normal for this time of year.

When these previews of summer hit, I try to take full advantage of them. I’m glad that my Three Speed Ride happened on Sunday. On Monday I had an event to go to downtown in the evening so I rolled out the Bantam then headed north to St. Johns, over the bridge, and into Forest Park via Springville Road* to ride nine miles of the Leif Erikson Trail. It was great. I hadn’t been out there since fall, and thankfully the trail was pretty dry. Coupled with the ride up to Powell Butte on Sunday, I got quite a bit of “mountain biking” done recently!

Tuesday I had to work, so in the evening I pulled out the Trangia 27 Stormcooker stove set and headed over to Farragut Park to make a taco dinner outside. I love cooking outside for dinner, especially when it’s too damn hot to do it indoors. And using a camp stove gives me a little taste of camping. I wish I could get out this week, but work has gotten in the way.

I know I’ll think differently in August, but I can’t wait for summer. And there’s something about summer in the Northwest that you can’t know unless you’ve done one. It’s just the way it feels. Back home in Connecticut summer usually meant hazy humid days. When I lived in North Carolina for a year, it was even hotter and more humid. And the Bay Area? Ha! What’s summer?** But here we have long and dry days. Yeah, it can (and will) get hot, but you can find relief in the shade. And it cools down at night. So when I get that first feeling of that warm air, I just think of all the promise and adventure summer can bring. And I can’t wait.

*If you know Forest Park, you know that Springville from the St. Johns Bridge is ridiculously steep. I know this, but conveniently forget until I do it. (How steep? Well, the inclinometer maxxed out at 20%. Yes, I had to walk a bit.) Unfortunately the other option is Germantown Road. The grade is mellower at about 6%, but it’s a narrow and winding road with no shoulder and lots of fast traffic. Fun going down, though.

**If you don’t know what I mean, soak in this quote that it commonly (mis)attributed to Mark Twain, “The coldest winter I ever spent is a summer in San Francisco.”

REMINDER: Three Speed Ride is TOMORROW, Sunday April 22!

Society Of Three Speeds

Yes! Tomorrow, Sunday April 21st is the spring #threespeedride Meet at 1:30 PM at Rivelo, 401 SE Caruthers St. We depart at 2. Bring a hub geared bike of three, four, or five speeds. Ride ends at mystery destination and not a loop, but there will be transit options.Four of the five #threespeedadvapr2018 challenges will be met on the ride:

  1. A ride of 15 miles
  2. Climb of 5% or more grade for 100 feet of climbing
  3. Rough stuff/Gravel
  4. Coffee Outside (bring your own gear) which will happen nearer the end

A few notes:

  • It’s going to be 60F and sunny!
  • We will have a refreshment supply stop at the end
  • Coffee/tea at end, bring snacks and maybe a picnic blanket
  • There will be a few muddy spots!

See you tomorrow!😀


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That camping itch.

It’s been awhile. If you don’t count the cabin camping trip to Stub Stewart that Emee and I went on in December, it’s been exactly six months since I loaded my bike with camping gear and ridden to a campground. Yes, it’s been half a year since Todd B and I went to Battle Ground Lake. While those of you who may be digging out from a snowstorm (and waiting for the next one to come) can’t even fathom the idea of sleeping outside right now, the weather here is definitely more conducive to pitching a tent.

And man, I really would like to go camping, like, now. But that ain’t going to happen. I could have gone last week, but I was still getting over a cold. I could be camping during my days off this week, but I am currently manager on duty, so I need to be on call and available. (As it was, I almost had to go into work Tuesday morning on my day off.) Next week? One of my days off has the Three Speed Ride, which will be fun, but will also mean I won’t have the time.  That leaves April 29-30 as a possible window. After that, the next few weeks I’ll be out of town for the Lake Pepin Three Speed Ride. That will be heaps of fun, but not camping. So, late May? At least I know for sure I’ll be camping the first weekend of June, but that feels like an eternity from now.

Of course, it doesn’t help when I go online and see the awesome bike camping/touring adventures others are having, like Pondero. It’s hard to not get jealous and want to get out there now. Then that pesky life/health/work thing gets in the way.

What is it about sleeping outside that makes me this way? 😀

Three Speed Adventure April 2018: The report, so far.

Society Of Three Speeds

Hello friends of Three Speeds! We’re almost smack-dab in the middle of Three Speed Adventure April, so time for a quick status report. What’s going on?

Well, not much, at least yet.

So far, fifteen folks have officially registered. But no one has completed ANY of the Challenge reports. So there ain’t much going down as far as I know.

There have been some murmurs, though. Velocipedium (on Instagram and Wordpres) has shared some images of a few rides, but I don’t know what the stats are. Our friend Tarik Saleh (of the Bike Club fame) has obtained a Schwinn Traveler three speed that he is fixing up to do the challenge. And I heard rumors that Maria aka Bicycle Kitty is doing a Three Speed Camping Trip to Oxbow Regional Park on Saturday April 28th.

And…that’s it.

So, if you’ve been doing the Challenge, let me know! Please remember…

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Heading to Pepin again!

I’ve made hints at various points, and in various places over the past few months. But I didn’t want to make an “official” post until everything was, well, official. But now I can announce it: I am heading out to Minnesota in May to participate in the annual Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour!

I’ve been thrice before: 2014, 2015, and 2016. I took last year off. Much of the mechanics of the trip will remain the same since I’ve been going,  like a train trip to and from St. Paul via Amtrak’s Empire Builder, three days in Minneapolis, and a visit to Red Wing Boots so I can pose next to the World’s Largest Boot.

But there are a couple things that are different this year:

  1. Emee is coming along! Yay! This is the first time I’ll be travelling with someone else. It’s so much better when it’s with your girlfriend. 😀
  2. We’ll be taking the sleeping car both ways. I’ve generally taken Coach on every long distance train ride, though 2016 marked the first time I ever took a sleeper, when I took one on the way to Pepin. (I took Coach back.) Last year, I took the sleeper on the return from the Bay Area on the Coast Starlight. Such luxury!

Are you heading out to Lake Pepin, or are you in the Twin Cities? Let me know, maybe we can hang!