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Local family embarks on cross-Canada journey

Posted by on August 2nd, 2007 at 12:48 pm


Kurmaskie family just hours before take-off.
(File photo)

Crazy bike adventures are nothing new to local author and nationally known speaker Joe Kurmaskie. The man who is known by his fans as the “Metal Cowboy” has biked all over the globe, but his current adventure might be his most daring yet.

This time he’s taking the entire family along.


Joe packs the trailer.
(File photo)

Yesterday afternoon, Joe, his wife Beth and their sons Quinn, 9, Enzo, 7 and Mateo (will be one next week), embarked on a two month, 3,000 mile journey across Canada. Bicycling magazine is already on board (they plan to publish regular updates and track the journey via GPS) and a book will likely follow.

I caught up with them just before they left.

The first thing I noticed was their “stretch limo” set-up . They’re rolling a triple tandem, connected to a tag-along bike, connected to a trailer. Most of the gear has been strategically packed into the trailer (leaving just enough room for little Mateo of course), but I was surprised at how little they seemed to have.

Joe says he limited the kids to one toy and one stuffed animal each saying, “there are no extras on this trip,” as he secured two panniers to the rear of the trailer.

They had considered putting Beth on a single bike, but she wanted to be “part of the team” and this way, she’ll be closer to the action.

Kurmaskie family send-off

Joe and Beth Kurmaskie.
(File photo)

Beth is going into this with a positive outlook, and looks forward to how the trip will bring the family closer together, “Riding in this arrangement takes a lot of communication,” she says. She’ll have a chance to share how it all goes in the upcoming book. The plan is to let Beth write a rebuttal after each chapter to act as counterpoint to Joe’s re-telling of events.

As for the route, Joe says they’ve planned for anywhere between 2-3,000 miles but that he doesn’t have every mile planned out,

“We’re starting on Vancouver Island and ended up in Nova Scotia…I don’t believe in over-planning because it takes the adventure out of it… but don’t get me wrong, I plan to stay safe… I won’t do things with the family that I’d do on my own.”

Kurmaskie Family send-off

Quinn seemed unfazed about
the upcoming odyssey.
(File photo)

While Beth is busy keeping the family in good spirits and Joe is making sure they’re headed the right direction, Enzo and Quinn will just be having fun. They’re used to bike adventures. Last year they joined their Dad on a trip across America that resulted in Joe’s latest book, Momentum Is Your Friend: The Metal Cowboy and His Pint-Size Posse Take on America.

While I was there yesterday, Enzo and Quinn were busy having a squirt gun fight and there was talk of how to put some holsters on the frame for easy access while riding.

And of course we can’t forget about little Mateo. He’s not quite one year-old, and he’s got the best seat on the trip. He either loves the trailer, or he’s just resigned to the fact that it will be his home for the next two months.


Mateo loves his spot in the trailer.
(File photo)

For a few more photos of the Kurmaksie family, check out my gallery. To stay in touch with their progress, read the Metal Cowboy blog and watch for updates in Bicycling Magazine.

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  • Darren August 2, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    Triple Tandem = Tripandem?

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  • Michael Wolfe August 2, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Tridem, actually.

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  • bearhat August 2, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    i like Tripandem 🙂

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  • Bryan August 2, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Wow… My one year old would not last long in that trailer day after day. Do they have a fold out diaper changing table?

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  • sh August 2, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    These people are insane!
    I love it!

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  • Walt August 2, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Looks like it\’s time for some disc brakes!
    Don\’t those trailers have a fairly slow suggested speed limit? How are they going to get down a mountain pass without using up a set of pads?
    I\’m sure it will all make for interesting reading.

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  • Tasha August 3, 2007 at 8:40 am

    Wow, this is very brave. Some people are just advneturers, I guess. They crave challenge. Again, Wow. I have to say I do not envy them. But good on them!

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  • Todd B August 3, 2007 at 10:36 am

    Its time for a Metal Cowboy Family edition of the Stoke Monkey power assist for triple tandem trains…with Bicycling Magazine airdroping new batteries everyday.

    Have a lot of fun! We are all rooting for you!

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  • Jim Labbe August 3, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    These folks are inspiring.

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  • Simon August 4, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    I just read \”Metal Cowboy.\” it was quite enjoyable, and made me long to do some serious touring.

    I look forward to reading about Joe\’s latest adventure.

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