The perfect motorcycling book for the holidays!
I love motorcycles – almost as much as automobiles – and especially motorcycle racing. When the opportunity arose to review Mark Gardiner’s “Bathroom Book of Motorcycle Trivia”, I jumped at the prospect.
Gardiner’s path to publishing this 365-day grouping of stuff we either never knew, never wanted to know, needed to know and even didn’t know we needed to know but now we do – was a roundabout one. He was asked to write the book by a small publisher who offered him a tiny advance (trust me, it’s the way to a writer’s heart) so he wrote the book.
The advance never showed up by the time this book was complete but the publisher did send him the advance some 120 days after the fact. Gardiner didn’t accept it and, after a suitably long, long, long wait, he self-published instead. The original paperback book had in excess of a year’s reading but this one, with nice large type that’s perfect for reading it in the poor light of the loo, covers a single year’s worth of informational trivia.
It begins with motorcycling’s first 10 decades (that takes 20 days!) and moves on to salute those people that made motorcycling a popular endeavor, those influential folks who took a two-wheeled motorized bicycle and made them work, plain and simple. You’ll recognize some of the engineering names but not all of ’em, I’d bet.
Gardiner’s next salute is to top stylists and customers, starting 50 days into the year and then he delves into the dark days of motorcycling, the disasters that nearly killed two-wheeling. By the 70th day we’re into ultimate races (my kind of subject) and then on to Isle of Man trivia.
Since I don’t want to give away all the plots, let’s just say that this book has remained open in my customary reading spot since the postman delivered it. It’s getting a bit dog-eared but I think that’s what Gardiner wanted? As I look at the chapter on America’s “must-ride” roads, I keep thinking I need to get on a bike and just ride, even if the weather outside is frightful.
Mark Gardiner, for those of you unfamiliar, is the author of “Riding Man” and a motorcycle journalist whose serious work has appeared in every major (and likely minor) magazine dedicated to two-wheeled motoring. He possesses an excellent sense of humor – found throughout this book – that clashes with his customary work.
I’m loving this book, as will any motorcyclist on your holiday list. This 244-page paperback sells for $12.95 and, if you get your order in early in the coming week, it should be home in time for those many necessary holiday readings. It’s available on http://www.bikewriter.com (with Gardiner’s autograph), on Amazon.com or by using a Kindle or compatible device for only $5.99.
By Anne Proffit