The Day I Met the Metal Cowboy

The Metal Cowboy at the Bike Expo Blogger Lounge I’m sitting in our Bike Expo booth, while the Mobile Social is going on in Austin – trying to relax a bit, get caught up, and in walks Joe the Metal Cowboy. I don’t know him yet and over the course of a few minutes, I was sucked up into his world. I think that’s how Joe works. He wears you down initially with a flurry of stories about himself. When he stops for a breath is when you can say, “ok” and get in a brief response, like, “how did you hear about us, now what?”

Joe and I agreed to a book swap. His for mine and I read Mud, Sweat, and Gears, during the flights last week. It’s an enjoyable, easy read, and recommended. Last year, the focus of the talks I do was “do epic shit,” and by that I meant, “make meaningful, interesting stuff, challenge yourself, and work hard.” Taking a family of 5, including a nursing newborn, across Canada on bikes qualifies as epic.


Being in the blogging-intraweb-social-media-business, I’ve met my share of shameless self promoters and many of them have no shame or actually any talent. They succeed by endlessly talking about themselves and what they do. Your first impression of Joe maybe “do you have an off switch? A mute button?” Joe is different. His motivation is genuine. He believes in the bike and wants you to believe in it too. We’re not unlike each other in certain aspects. Why he wears socks and sandals on the bike I don’t know, but we’ll take that up in future ride.

More from Joe

On the hills

The burn of all-day rollers speaks two languages: hope and ruin.

On touring

People who haven’t tried it think the whole process is a chore, when it’s really the moment right before you start that’s the hardest thing you’ll do all day. Getting your mind to move out of its own way.

Regarding guidebooks

Every cyclist likes to bemoan tough hills and headwinds, but this guy wrote as if he’d been forces across Canada by bike to save his family, being held hostage on the other end by a small-press publisher.

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