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Book Review: Riding Outside the Lines

Posted on February 5, 2007

Riding Outside the LinesA while back I reviewed Metal Cowboy by Joe Kurmaskie which I thoroughly enjoyed. Joe is an amazing writer with a flair for getting to the best of a situation or person and he always has a way of making me laugh out loud while reading his tales. After finishing Metal Cowboy I immediately went out and picked up the follow-up called Riding Outside the Lines.

In Riding Outside the Lines Joe tends to focus more on his international adventures which made for a nice change of pace coming off of the mostly U.S. centric Metal Cowboy. One line in and I knew I was hooked again. I wouldn’t be able to put this book down until I finished it off.

The cast of characters this time around was impressive. I always wonder how he meets such interesting people time and time again. My favorite stories in Riding Outside the Lines took place in Ireland because I had spent a decent amount of time there and backpacked across the country with Laura (I hope to someday ride across Ireland but that’s a whole other story).

Joe is a masterful storyteller and this book showcases that talent. His descriptions truly bring the people to life in your mind and you begin to feel like you are there with him every revolution of the pedals. In fact, I call Joe by his first name now as if I we were lifetime friends. It’s pretty crazy!

From his run-in with the local lifeguard trainees in New Zealand to the the brush with death in Ireland that lead him to the best impromptu B&B in the country to the mountain biking trip that ends the journey in Mexico Joe shows us what it means to be alive and that people, while they have their problems, are generally good and kind. The book is a great read for cyclists and non-cyclists alike and I guarantee you’ll become engrossed in Joe’s stories within a page or two.

Needless to say I have since purchased Joe’s most recent and third book called Momentum is Your Friend and am eager to read it. In Momentum Joe takes along his two young sons on the journey which should yield some interesting stories.

Why am I not jumping into that book right away you ask? Well, I picked up Miles from Nowhere by Barbara Savage which I am going to read first. I actually got the name of the book from the chapter in Riding Outside the Lines where Joe nominates people for cycling sainthood. Barbara is one of the nominees and in the paragraph about her Joe calls Miles from Nowhere the cyclists bible. After that kind of recommendation how could I not read it?

Please go check out Metal Cowboy and Riding Outside the Lines when you have a chance. They are top notch reads and will really get you thinking about what you want out of life. Ride on!

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  1. […] you may remember from the last book review I did (i.e. Riding Outside the Lines by Joe Kurmaskie) I decided to read Miles from Nowhere by Barbara Savage and keep the cycling book […]