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Roadside Ron
by Ron Cox

Category: Fiction / General
363 pages; ISBN: 0966258606

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Paul Lappen


This is the story of Ron, living near Chicago, with two grown children, and happily married, or so he thought. Finding himself suddenly divorced, he packs up his van and motorcycle and heads west to start life over again. He gets as far as the town of Borrego Springs, California, and finds himself fixing carburetors in a small gas station owned by an elderly man named John. One of Ron's dreams is to buy a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle and drive it across the country. His girlfriend, Billy Jo, who runs a local ranch with her widowed father, is not happy about it, but she understands.

In a nearby town, Ron runs across another biker, Maddog, with a sick carburetor. Maddog is a big, hulking type of person whom one does not want to make angry. After Ron gets Maddog's bike to purr like a cat, the two become fast friends. Later, Ron is set upon by a group of thugs who want to separate him from his bike. Maddog comes along at the right time with an escape route. Now that his bike is working properly, Maddog decides to visit his mother in Indiana, so the two ride together.

The other reason Ron wants to make the journey is to visit Gloria in New York, a woman with whom he has been carrying on an e-mail correspondence for the past year. After some interesting adventures along the way, and a couple of days spent visiting his kids near Chicago, Ron meets Gloria in the rich Scarsdale section of New York City. Ron is very surprised, to say the least, to learn that Gloria is in an abusive marriage to a rich, powerful man who treats her like pond scum. Ron convinces her that she doesn't have to take it; she gets on his bike, and, after selling her wedding ring back to the jeweler where it was bought, he gets Gloria on a plane back to her home in Minnesota.

On his way back to California, Ron calls Billy Jo. Her father, who barely acknowledges Ron's existence, says that she is gone for a week. Ron can't help but think that his trip has destroyed his relationship with Billy Jo.

This is much more than just a biker novel. It's a tale of following your dreams, of things, and people, not always being what they seem, and being on a motorcycle with no particular destination, a rarity in this rush-rush world. Anyone who has ever been on a motorcycle, or even just drooled over a Harley in a cycle shop, should read this novel. It is strongly recommended.



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