Sneak peek at Metal Cowboy’s latest book

Cover of Kurmaskie’s latest book,
on store shelves February 2010.

Remember two years ago when we checked in on local author and self-described “adventure dad” Joe Kurmaskie right before he and his family embarked on journey across Canada?

Well, somehow the family is still together (joke) and Joe has just finished a book about the adventure.

Known to thousands of fans across the country as the Metal Cowboy, Joe’s latest book, Mud, Sweat and Gears: A Rowdy Family Bike Adventure Across Canada on Seven Wheels, isn’t slated for mass release until February 2010, but he gave us a sneak peek at the cover art and copy from the bookjacket.


The Kurmaskie’s, pre-trip.
(Photo © J. Maus)

A quick refresher: Back in August 2007, Joe, his wife Beth and their three sons, Quinn (11), Enzo (9), and Mateo (3), embarked on a two month, 3,000 mile journey across Canada. That’s right. All of them. The initial bike set up was a triple-seater, followed by a tag-along, pulling a cargo trailer (see photo at right). (However, Joe says that proved a bit too long and dodgy, prompting a switch to a single bike for Beth.)

Speaking of Beth, the format of the book is unique. Under the typically humorous narrative supplied by Joe, Beth has written footnotes with her side of the story. Here’s the bookjacket copy:

After 17 years of bliss, who would road test a perfectly good marriage by putting it on a summer long, self-contained bicycle adventure across Canada?

Only Joe Kurmaskie, AKA the Metal Cowboy of course. Beth Biagini Kurmaskie, the woman behind the manchild has finally saddled up on her own volition – if only to bring a bit of parental supervision to the mix. She struggles and stumbles along the way while celebrating summer, speed, the simple pleasures of a road trip powered by ones own muscles, and family; what it means to be part of one stripped of the “comforts and noise” of the modern world, riding 16 feet of bicyle train. With three sons aboard, one celebrating his first birthday on the road, a nursing mother finds her inner Xena Warrior Cyclist and all the reasons whyshe’s stayed married to a whirling dervish of a husband.

Mud, Sweat and Gears brings together absurd and sublime moments, introduces an American family to the wilds of Canada, uncovers choice characters (man and beast) and finds all the humor and pathos a Metal Cowboy adventure is famous for.

If “Momentum Is Your Friend” was about Fathers, sons ans hometown heroes, “Mud, Sweat And Gears” is about Mothers, wives, family and the glue that holds the world together. With a twist: revealing and outrageous footnotes from Beth throughout, filling in the backstories to many previous Metal Cowboy tales, questioning Joe’s motives, manhood, recollection of events and whether he can even get the boys a proper haircut.

Joe will be taking pre-orders of the book via starting next week and it will be a cover story in the December issue of Bicycling Magazine. Once the book is available, we’ll put up a link to it in our Bookstore.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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14 years ago

Congratulations, Joe! This is great to see.

Nick V
14 years ago

I have Joe’s first book – a very quick and entertaining read. I keep meaning to catch up on his other ones.

I’d be curious to know if his wife took another vacation after that “vacation”.

14 years ago

Looking forward to the release of this book! It sounds like a great read, how can it not be with the combination of topic and author!


Joe Metal Cowboy Kurmaskie

Thanks for the teaser, Jonathan – just a note about the release of the book. We’ll be doing a limited run prerelease for the holidays starting December 1. So you can come to a local release party at River City TBA in December and a release party in Seattle at downtown REI DEcember 8th – and preorder it now from metal and get it to you early december for winter reading and holiday gift giving, I’m just saying 😉

14 years ago

I have been awaiting this book with great anticipation!