Joe Kurmaskie

Canada is big, but Africa is even bigger, and Joe Kurmaskie has pedaled across both. First he took his family—three sons, wife, various tow-along attachments—across the Great White North, as he documents in Mud, Sweat, and Gears (Breakaway Books, $23.95). It’s the kind of 4,000-mile odyssey where a dad has to change as many diapers as flat tires. And if the kids demand to stop and look at the cows, you stop and look at the cows. And there are a lot of cows in Canada. But the Portland journalist and author, known by his nom de bike “The Metal Cowboy,” relates it all with good humor. Tonight he’ll discuss and show slides from that journey and a trek across Africa, where bikes are critical to the rural economy—carrying goods to market on dirt roads where most of us wouldn’t risk our fancy carbon fiber. BRIAN MILLER

Tue., Dec. 8, 7 p.m., 2009

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