By Joe “Metal Cowboy” Kurmaskie – My Papa Wheelies Dad bicycle gang based out of Portland, Oregon met up along the Springwater Corridor near the Sellwood neighborhood. We were gearing up for an afternoon of wholesome fun. The plan: pedal our troop of eight cargo bikes, bakfiets and trail-a-bikes, totaling about 16-18 adults and children along […]
By Joe Kurmaskie – The genesis of my entire life was experiencing the complete control, abandon and ecstasy of that first afternoon on a bicycle. Even the streetlight’s flicker couldn’t bring me in. It opened me wide for everything after; love and reaching for things real and beautiful, trying even after the passage of hope, the […]
By Joe Kurmaskie – As I grow older, I grow younger… let me explain. The ice cream truck rolled by the pool as I swam with my kids – you gotta hand it to that industry, they know and locate their consumer base and exploit the heck out of them – it’s the first line in […]
By Joe Kurmaskie Alejandro Alverez had a way of moving a bicycle through space so effortlessly that, even though I stood half a foot taller than him, he dwarfed me with his skills. My friend from Monterrey, Mexico rode like it was the first AND last time he might own a pair of legs. I […]
By Joe “Metal Cowboy” Kurmaskie I’m just another traveller On another winding road I’m trying to walk some kind of line I’m trying to pull some kind of load. -Marc Cohn All explorers are convinced that there is something wonderful still to be found on this earth. I discovered that when the canyon is deep […]
That was Tom feckin’ Petty leaning against the bar with his sweaty, contorted cowboy hat pulled low, drinking a beer from Texas.
I lean the bicycle against a massive column. The main building is southern gothic plantation architecture. My backpack is heavy with mass-market tenth and eleventh editions, and used at that so Mr. McDonald didn’t see a dime from my recent purchases. I wait at the door. The surveillance cameras must be well hidden. I wait some more.
Winter commuting by bicycle; cold, wet, quiet mornings, just the sound of water slicking the fenders and one or more of my sons sniffling back a runny nose and asking me, from the back of the bike, about why only some of the geese have flown fly south by January. Sometimes the ride feels like that scene from Twelve Monkeys, when the Bruce Willis character comes up to the surface and finds snow and silence. There are still clashes between cars and riders trying to share the road, but winter seems to lower the frequency and intensity.
Having made the voluntary choice of weekend only access to a car, it’s also, at times, a harsh reality. Wind, rain, sleet, hail, sleety/hail, sideways rain, it doesn’t matter and it doesn’t last.
All I really need to know about how to navigate life starts and ends with the soothing meditations of a perfectly timed cadence. Here’s what I’ve learned at the University of Brooks and a few field courses at the College of Campy