single frame: My bike at Windswept Farm

Windswept Farms and my bike

My bike at Windswept Farm
Pentax IQZoom 170SL
Fujicolor 200

I put away my bike for the season the other day. It’s grown too cold for me to want to ride anymore.

I rode longer this season than I normally do thanks to Three Speed October. It’s an event put on by the Society of Three Speeds to encourage those of us who love three-speed cycling to cycle more in this autumn month. It’s not an onerous commitment: three rides of three miles or more, during any three weeks in October. The Society even defines October loosely, to include most of the last week of September and the first day of November.

I’m sure I would have given up riding sooner this season without Three Speed October. A few of my rides were a little chillier than I normally put up with! But I was determined to finish the challenge.

One of my usual routes takes me by this yellow barn. I had film in the Pentax IQZoom 170SL so I brought it along just so I could make this image.

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28 responses to “single frame: My bike at Windswept Farm”

  1. yuri rasin Avatar

    Well done for finishing and here’s to many more! Nice frame Jim

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Yuri! Being able to ride has been an unexpected benefit of the pandemic and working from home.

  2. brandib1977 Avatar

    Great picture and good job with the challenge. It’s funny how the word challenge changes everything. I will abandon a goal at will but challenges must be complete!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I might have abandoned it — it got very cold in my last week of riding. But I figured I could squeeze out three more rides, and I did.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        Good job!! And I really do love that picture.

  3. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    I LOVE the idea of “Three Speed” October! I used to work on bikes back in the 70’s, a LOT, and I’m a big fan of the “internal hub” “multi-speed” bike, especially after bikes started growing more gears over ten, and getting more ‘tweaky’. I love the upright sitting style of most three speeds, and actually planned to save this winter for more of a city bike profile with one of the new 5 or 7 speed internal hubs. Who needs more? I rode for years with a 3 and didn’t ride more when I bought a 10 or a 12. I’m looking over a Trek Loft 7i right now, but prefer that bike with a front disc brake.

    I’d buy a used 3 speed if I could find it reasonable in semi-mint condition, tho, and my sister adored her Raleigh 3 speed she had when she was a kid, full fenders and all, and she recently found a mint used version and bought it, same color and all!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I love the upright riding of the 3-speed too! I had a 5-speed Schwinn for some years and the extra two gears were very nice, but the bent-over riding was not.

      My Schwinn is not remotely in mint condition, but it’s mechanically sound and it’s complete (except for the rear reflector, which broke off this year).

      This is the bike I want new:

      1. Andy Umbo Avatar
        Andy Umbo

        I’m bookmarking that, and taking it under consideration! It’s a bueat!

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          If only there were a Bianchi dealer in central Indiana!

        2. Andy Umbo Avatar
          Andy Umbo

          There’s No Bianchi dealer here either, at least a “full brand” dealer…there’s custom shop that carry’s a few models from 900 bucks to 6500 bucks (!). I’ve noticed since I dropped out of the bike building, customizing fun in the 80’s, that cycling had become the new go-to sport for the carriage trade. The coffee shop I hang out in has two different morning bike groups, all doctors and lawyers, all wearing matching embroidered bike togs, with “cute” group names, and no bike is too expensive for these guys! The old bike messengers I knew are appalled!

      2. adventurepdx Avatar

        That Bianchi looks pretty sweet! They’ve had a decent track record of city bikes over the past decade or so. I’ve seen quite a few folks with the Bianchi Milano.

  4. marcusterrypeddle Avatar

    I really like this composition and the colours.
    I wish I lived in a place where having only three gears was an option.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks! Most of Indiana is flat; I’ve never truly needed more than 3 speeds.

  5. bodegabayf2 Avatar

    This pic makes me happy! Thanks for sharing it!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Mission accomplished then!

  6. DougD Avatar

    Nice, I like the photo and the bike. I have an Opus Cervin, which is a lot like the Bianchi you reference there. I live in a valley and every direction requires going up a hill at some point so I did not go for the three speed hub, as cool as they are.

    This fall I got a crank shortener to help with my sketchy knee, I’ve only tried it briefly but I’m hoping to do more riding next year, it really helps!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I didn’t know you have a bum knee and I’m glad the crank shortener helps!

  7. Roger Meade Avatar
    Roger Meade

    Oh man! The picture of your 3 speed took me way back. I once had a beautiful grey metallic Raleigh that gave me a lot of fun miles, but when I started riding out on gravel roads I decided I needed wider tires and more speeds, thus the 18 speed GT mountain bike that I still have. I really only used maybe 5 of those speeds, but the wide tires were necessary for safety. Raleighs are made for pavement.

    Here in Marquette County we have many great mountain bike trails that are challenging I am told, but also the Iron Ore Heritage Trail, a paved path from Ishpeming to the lake shore at Marquette.The trail loses about 800ft in elevation in roughly 14 miles, so generally downhill but with many dips, rises and curves. It generally follows the RR tracks that haul the ore to the lakehead, so you might see a train or two during the trip. Very scenic too. It extends out to the west to Republic too, perhaps another 20 miles, but that is mostly not paved I believe.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’d love to have an old Raleigh!

      I’ve done trails and open road and I prefer open road. I love to just see where the roads take me, and enjoy the feeling of wide open.

      1. DougD Avatar

        My dad had a beautiful old Raleigh 3 speed that he’d owned since the late 50’s. One day we visited and I noticed the bike was gone from the garage. I asked about it and he said “well I wasn’t riding it anymore so I gave it to a scrap metal drive” :(

        Hopefully someone had the good sense to save it..

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          Scrap metal? Aieeeeeeee!

          1. adventurepdx Avatar

            It’s sadly the fate of too many bikes. And scrappers, guys driving around in their pickups all day looking for metal, are ruthless. At one house we put out a couple of free kid bikes in front, hoping they’d go to good use. Within five minutes they were in the back of a scrapper’s truck. ;-(

            On the up side, I’ve known folks who scored some great bikes by finding them in/next to the metal dumpster.

    2. adventurepdx Avatar

      I wouldn’t say that Raleighs are only for pavement. When these bikes were being perfected between the wars, England had a lot of gravel roads and unpaved paths. It’s true that wider tires, like those seen on a mountain bike, are going to do better with unpaved. But the old three speeds are a bit more versatile than we now think. I’ve done a lot of unpaved riding on my three speeds, though no actual mountain biking.

      And tire choice is important. For a three speed with 26″ x 1 3/8″ (650A or 590 wheels), the Panaracer (yes, that’s Panasonic, which also makes Lumix cameras) Col de la Vie are wide and supple, the best for the rough stuff.

  8. adventurepdx Avatar

    Glad you enjoyed the Three Speed October Challenge! And also glad that it got you on the bike for a little longer this season. I’m looking forward to seeing the full report!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      The journal is on its way!

  9. Khürt Williams Avatar

    I don’t know why but I love this image.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That seems to be the prevailing sentiment among commenters!

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