A Bridge has 2 sides!

After entirely too long, Michelle and I started our vacation yesterday!  On the way down to Portland, she pointed out that the last time we had had more than just a long weekend was back in August when we went to Santa Rosa.

Folks that is just TOO long a time between breaks.  Luckily, my buddy Joe provided the reason for this one….

I am lucky enough at this point in life to be friends with 3 authors.  Jim Devitt, Renee Hazen (both of which you can do a search of my posts to see book reviews) and my buddy Joe Kurmaskie, the Metal Cowboy.


As is fitting for a man who has lived, loved and written about cycling, he sent out the word far and wide to his fans.  He was doing the first big book launch of A Guide to Falling Down in Public (Reviewed here) at Powell’s Books in Portland, OR.

Editors note: If you are EVER in Portland, and like to read, make the pilgrimage to Powell’s.  It is, bar none, the best book store I have ever been in.  New and old books, multiple floors, and rooms!  Plan to spend hours! 

What better way to celebrate the newest book in the Metal Cowboy series, than to gather together as many friends as he could to ride to the book store!

I read this message and asked Michelle her thoughts. In a split second she said, “You have to be there!” Plans were made, and I let Joe know he could count on me!

It turns out, our hotel was 2 blocks from the book store.  This gave us a chance to hit the store early, and sure enough we found his book!

imageHis directions were pretty darn clear.  Let’s meet at 6:15 beneath the Sellwood bridge on the Springwood Corridor.  OK I read that…  But I focused on the Sellwood bridge.  I started out heading south from the hotel with a general idea of where I was going.

Editors note 2:  OK there is a big assed river that splits


Portland and somewhere south of me is this bridge.  Really, how hard can it be….

It started out fine!  I headed south, and found myself on a well-marked biked trail  In fact, there were signs pointing me to said bridge! I followed these until I ran into a chain link fence that closed the trail!  DAMN!!  I had about 20 minutes to get there, no idea where I was, or how to get where I needed to be!

Well, these are the times when you separate the true riders from the wannabes…

I coulda just rode to the book store and met him there! But dammit, the ride was the part I was most looking forward to! So I found a road, put the river on my left side and kept going south! Sure as hell I found the Sellwood bridge! Only then did I figure out I was on the wrong side!  Yep, as the title says, Bridges have sides!

Luckily for me, I found a route across the bridge, and sure as hell, with 5 minutes to spare, I ran into Joe and company!


Now just a word about the lady in the photo here.  Yep she is in a dress, but she is also hauling 2 kids

GOPR0042-0001AND may I point out she is doing so in red pumps!


Truly a better rider than I will ever be!

Well we took off, behind our fearless leader


And headed for the bookstore! We did make one stop along the way, we needed at least one group shot!


As you can see, old and young alike we along for the ride!

As we approached Powell’s, I could tell there were not enough bike spots for all.  I peeled off and dropped my bike in the hotel with Michelle, then walked back.

What followed was 2 hours of laughing, clapping, shouting and pure enjoyment as the Metal Cowboy, with Mrs, Sister, and Momma cowboy in the audiences, wowed the crowd as always. I was only going to stay a short time, but ended up staying the full time and wanted more! My buddy Joe is SO full of energy I couldn’t catch him on film, he was too fast!


Folks, if you haven’t already, order or buy this book! You will laugh, you will think, and you will get to know Joe,  Better yet, its doesn’t matter if you ride a bike or not, you will love this book! I will point out there is a story about WWJD, but you will have to read to find out what it is!

Eight years ago I found one of his first books at a bookstore


Who knew that picking it up, laughing my ass off, and reading the rest of his books would lead me to Portland this weekend!! Sadly, the GoPro had a major hiccup, so I can’t share the beauty of the ride itself!  I was NOT happy!

Now that the ride is over, Michelle and I have gone to Cannon Beach to relax.  As I wrote this I took this picture from the hotel room!


Not only did I get to hang out with a buddy, Michelle and I now get time at our favorite place! Thanks Joe for one helluva good time!


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