‘Nearly 40 on the 37’ couldn’t be a more literal title for any book, and just perhaps it couldn’t be any worse. It’s a title that oozes ‘vanity publishing’ which is a shame, as it actually reads pleasantly, especially after you’ve passed the first few chapters, which are dedicated to the author’s biography and family situation. But it is the tale of a man about to have a significant birthday, riding a Canadian highway, numbered 37.
Don’t expect a mammoth journey, as Trevor recounts a two week excursion within his home Province of British Columbia. It’s an undeniably beautiful part of the world and his writing reflects this, but for me the main interest in this work is the insight into what’s happening to that natural environment, especially in the far north towards the border with the Yukon. There’s the development of, and battles to stop, the primary industries like mining, the struggle the First Nation peoples still have, and the difficulties all isolated rural communities experience. This is not however, adventure motorcycling as many would define it.
As with almost all North Americans, Trevor’s chosen steed is a KLR 650, but its abilities are never tested. The author’s abilities however, most definitely are, so you can feel for him as he nervously takes on a graded loose-surface highway. He is incredibly honest about how difficult he finds everything, from riding a bit of gravel to sleeping in a tent, and the book is clearly about his personal challenge. It’s well edited, so an easy read, but if you’re looking for engaging stories I’m afraid this isn’t where you’ll find them. You will meet shop attendants and discover how he slept though.
At 126 pages this isn’t a big book and it’s even smaller when you account for the 2 maps, 48 superfluous black and white images, the 9 blank pages dividing sections, and the fact that he doesn’t actually set off towards the ‘37’ until page 45.
It’s published in Canada but unless you are an avid book collector, get it on kindle to save the postage. If the pictures are included, they may add something when viewed on a screen.
126 pages including 48 B&W images
Published by Last Autograph Press 2013