‘Bonneville Go or Bust – on the roads less travelled’ by Zoe Cano

BonnevilleHere at Overland Magazine we’re interested in finding out about other riders’ personal adventures; whether that’s laying down tyre-tracks where none have gone before or, in Zoe Cano’s case, by linking together the places she wants to find with some of the best tarmac roads available along the way.

Zoe Cano is a genuine traveller with years of experience, who puts her love of two-wheels and travel together for an ambitious and well-executed trip. In so doing she manages to more than scratch the surface of the places and people she encounters, coast-to-coast across the USA.

It might also inspire others who are interested in finding an alternative to the historic treasure hunt of Route 66 but aren’t up for the tarmac-less Trans America Trail.

Each of the 41 chapters begins with a black and white photo – some quirky, some atmospheric, others simply descriptive, but each reflecting the content to come. Providing immediate context like that has a lot going for it in a motorcycle travel book – it avoids having to hunt through a collection of plates set in the middle of the book and is neater than interspersing photos in the body of the text.

As Zoe says, some of the pictures have to stay in her own head, with no time to stop and point the camera before the moment was lost, but her written descriptions are vivid and detailed.

The writing style took me a while to get to grips with; while the pace is always well-suited to the events and her descriptive style is engaging, I found myself tripping-up over some of the phrasing just as I was getting in to the flow. Don’t let that put you off, these things can be a matter of personal taste and style (less forgivable is the reference to the first British pioneers arriving on the ‘Mary Rose’).

That aside, this really is a book well-worth reading, if only to find out what she intends to do with two and a half tins of beaver wax.

Includes a map illustrating the route and appendix giving background detail about the bike and trip.

Nich Brown

ISBN 978-1-890623-44-9

Paperback 452 pages 138 x 216mm

Road Dog Publications, Florida USA 2013