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Momentum Is Your Friend: The Metal Cowboy and His Pint-Sized Posse Take on America Hardcover – September 1, 2006

4.9 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"As Melville is to the sea, MarkTwain to the raft, and Kerouac to the car, Kurmaskie is to the bike." -- —Andrew Lewis Conn, Author of P and The Last American Novel

"Give Huck Finn a bicycle, give Lance a sense of humor, give Kerouac a good editor and you have Joe_Kurmaskie." -- —Tom Lang, author of Coffee, Cat, and Mrs. Claus

"Intimate, ironic, worldly, wise, and most of all, fun. It reads like a wild, downhill ride with lots of switchbacks." -- —Robert Ferrigno, author of Prayers for the Assassin and Horse Latitude

"Joe Kurmaskie rolls with a keen sense of comedy and a big heart." -- —Christopher Moore, author of Lamb, Fluke and A Dirty Job

"Kurmaskie treats us to a reader’s trifecta: a humorous travelogue, a stirring adventure tale, and a touching family story." -- —Bart King, author of The Big Book of Boy Stuff

About the Author

Joe Kurmaskie is the author of Metal Cowboy (Breakaway, 1999) and Riding Outside the Lines (Crown 2001).
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Breakaway Books (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891369652
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891369650
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,101,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. D. Gabrielson on January 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I read 30-40 books a year, mostly non-fiction. This is easily one of my favorites in a very long time. If you like Bill Bryson's travel stories, you'll love Joe Kurmaskie's style of self-deprecating humor coupled with his observations about people and places along one hell of an adventure. I first saw the story when it was an article in Men's Journal in 2005, half-convinced that no one in their right mind would do something this hard. I'm sure my reaction was pretty much right in line with countless others; when I read, or should I say devoured, the book over a year later, I couldn't help but think that Joe knows something that most of us forget or perhaps never learn, that life is meant to be experienced fully, as opposed to taking it in small nibbles when it's convenient. We all underestimate our potential. Quinn and Enzo are the heroes who teach the real lessons in this story - they will totally amuse and challenge your imagination of what can be accomplished at any age. Joe gave me a fresh set of ideas on being a father, and it certainly made me think about my own dreams in new ways. Now where did I put that light saber...?
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Format: Hardcover
I am a big fan of the "Metal Cowboy," his books, website, and his postings to Touring@Phred. This book is his best as far as I am concerned, and it has my 9 year old son hooked, too. We have done some overnight tandem trips, but as we read about Joe, Quinn and Enzo on their adventure, Evan is warming to the idea that we need our own adventure. Hopefully we will be setting out for Grandma's house (500 miles) this June. Not quite the cross country adventure the Kurmaskies undertook, but if we have half the fun they had, or half the fun we have had reading about their fun, it will be a grand time.

Thanks, Joe, (and Posse) for helping inspire Evan, and me, to take the next step and extend our range. I hope others read it, enjoy it , and benefit as much as we have.
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Format: Hardcover
This is my favorite Metal Cowboy book because here we get to see the real Joe. He takes his boys on a bike ride across the US and does a lot more peddling than he ever thought. While the narrative about this feat is hysterical, it's the experiences that he shares with his family that makes this special. His boys become his audience and he theirs. It works becuase he's an entertaining writer and character. Let's face it. How could anyone who quotes from "Say Anything" and creates his own What Would Lloyd Dobler Do (WWLDD) T-Shirt for the trip not be great?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read a few of Kurmaskie's books and he's just a really good writer. I'm a cyclist, so I enjoy that aspect of his books, but he is a good story teller so there is a lot to like about this adventure even if you don't cycle. Riding across America on a bicycle pulling your two kids?? That's the making of a good story!
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Format: Hardcover
My friend Joe "Metal Cowboy" Kurmaski writes wonderful books that are both funny and wise. His latest book, Momentum Is Your Friend, is the story of Joe bicycling from Portland Oregon to Washington DC with this two sons, second-grader Quinn and five-year-old Enzo, literally in tow. Joe has a reporter's eye for detail, a poet's way with words and a genuine interest in the people he and the boys meet along the road. Over the course of a few thousand miles and a few hundred pages, Joe and the boys take the reader on the ride of a lifetime. I really felt like I'd met the watermelon whiz-kid, the grumpy and grizzled bicycling vet, the midwestern cheerleader in the mysteriously empty town and all the other people too real to be called characters.

But of all the real people in this book, the one we get to know the best is the one telling us this story. This is not a mid-life crisis book but it is a good story, well told, by a man in the midst of his life. With his kids in tow, his wife in grad school and the ashes of his father in a Tupperware bowl tucked somewhere in a pannier, Joe wonders about the things we all wonder about. Am I being a good dad? A good husband? A good son? And can I make it up this hill with this 250 pound contraption? OK, maybe not everyone wonders about that last one.

B. and Roy, a kind-hearted couple in a huge RV voice the concerns of many about Joe and his cute kids, "you wouldn't want anything to happen to them." But Joe explains that this isn't categorically true.

"I want all sorts of things to happen to my children.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Any man with the testicular fortitude to ride coast-to-coast is worthy of note. But to strap on all the equipment necessary to make the trip with a five- and seven-year-old in tow? It smacks of outright insanity, even if the boys are your sons. Joe Kurmaskie does it with style and grace (well, most of the time) while giving us view of America most of us would see as a blur through a windshield. His family outing illustrates the joys that are still out there waiting for the dedicated wanderer. Make no mistake, this is every bit a father's adventure with his sons as it is an account of the open shoulder (of the road.)

The Metal Cowboy's story has kept me sane through a deployment in Kuwait and inspired me to make my own trans-american journey. I can only hope my trip will be as forfilling as his.
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