Adventures with Neddow
Max Burns, together with Bruce Neddow, on last time

The overview
The stats
The reviews
The awards
Excerpts from the book
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Adventures with Neddow

Country & Cottage Water Systems

Unresolved Connections

These are a few of my favourite roads

Around the Bend (again)

On Any Wednesday

The Dock Manual

Cottage Water Systems

The Winged Wheel Patch

The home page

There was no thought given to collecting the stories when I started writing them, these adventures that I shared with Neddow. They were simply fun tales, a record of where we went and the laughs we shared doing it. Each was a giggle to do and a giggle to write about. I was getting paid to have fun with a friend, end of analysis. I didn’t even give any thought to how our friendship was growing, how much closer we were becoming as the years passed—it just happened. Taking stock of friendship, putting a value on it, rarely happens when a friendship exists, only after it ends, particularly in the case of the death of that friend.
My original intension was to simply gather the stories into some sort of handout for Neddow’s wake (or gathering, celebration of life, or whatever the heck the cutesy crowd is calling it these days). But it surprised me how often Neddow had eased into my story telling. I also realized what an entertaining read each story is. That’s when I decided to put them into a book. I wanted to let the rest of the world get to know Neddow, the grand character he truly was—friends and family already knew this. And I wanted everyone else to share in the fun we had.
So here they are, every story I wrote for Cycle Canada magazine that included Neddow, with scads of additional photos, most featuring Neddow. He was such a photogenic model. I never told him that when he was alive, but I probably should have—it would have pissed him off, which is what good friends are for, no?

 

 


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The stats
Title: Adventures with Neddow
Subtitle: Max Burns, together with Bruce Neddow, one last time
ISBN: 0-9730263-4-4
Publisher: Word Dust Press
Suggested retail: $24.95
Technical stuff: 6x9 paperback (fits nicely into a typical motorcycle tankbag or car glovebox), 128 pages, full colour throughout, plus colour cover front and back, 150 colour photos and 188 black-and-white.
Where to buy: Motorcycle Mojo Magazine. top

What Others Are Saying About Adventures with Neddow

“The adventures of Max Burns have long been a staple of Canadian motorcycle journalism. Max's stories carried many if us along journeys as though we were the ones riding close formation with him down rutted gravel roads ... So many of his memories have become our own through a writing style that feels more like speaking to a close friend than being regaled by a stranger ... Adventures with Neddow is a fitting homage to a great friendship shared over many kilometres and fuelled by a love for motorcycles, life and laughter. If you've never read the writings of Max Burns, then this will serve as the perfect introduction. And for those of you who are familiar with his work, this will bring great memories and serve up more than a few chuckles.”
Motorcycle Mojo Magazine

"Max is superior to anyone else in Canada who’s ever written about the pleasures, rewards, and general high-end feelings anyone can get from riding – he’s the best, and I believe that his columns and stories in Cycle Canada over the years and his books (check out Word Dust Press) easily support that contention.

... This latest book from Max is basically a memorial to his good friend, but with some light edits and additions to focus on Neddow’s contributions to the rides. The material dates back in some cases to more than two decades ago, and includes many hilarious references to currently famous Canadian motorcyclists, including nine-time Canadian superbike champ Jordan Szoke.

And of course, it’s doubtful you’ve been everywhere Max has with Neddow, so you’ll no doubt pick up some excellent touring trips as well, particularly if you’re thinking about heading toward Quebec or Nova Scotia sometime.

Great for yourself or as a gift for a riding friend."
Canada MotoGuide
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The Excerpts:
From the Back Cover

Within these pages is a collection of the shared adventures of Max Burns and Bruce Neddow, at least those adventures that previously got into print. A common interest in motorcycles, or more specifically riding them, was what initially brought the two of them together but it was a shared love of life, of fun, and the search for a good laugh that maintained and nurtured that bond. It was a bond that over the years occasionally pushed the limits of life, and sometimes maybe even sanity. But never the limits of friendship. Come join them for the ride, it has been a great one.

From the Foreword

The adventure started 28 years ago. At the heart of it, it is the story
of two people brought together through happenstance, and the ensuing friendship that grew with each encounter. Neddow and I shared much in common—a love of riding motorcycles (usually very fast), a warped sense of humour, an appreciation of the absurd (in all things), a philosophy that owed much to us both being born in 1948 and subsequently, during our formative early adult years, experiencing the unsurpassed freedoms of the late sixties and early seventies (which we separately explored and enjoyed immensely), and hundreds other things. Of course, there were many areas where we differed but those differences never intruded upon our friendship, and perhaps in an odd way even strengthened it.
Each chapter in this book documents a different adventure, each having appeared on Cycle Canada magazine before. Typically, Neddow isn’t at the forefront, the tales primarily reporting on the adventure itself rather than focussing on the participants, though certainly some of that comes through too. Yet by experiencing each adventure yourself through the words and pictures that follow (compliments of my biased and occasionally twisted point of view), you will come to know the man I called Neddow. He was a great guy who loved life, and loved living it on his own terms.
This one’s for you, Bruce. Shame you aren’t around to read it—I think you would have got a good chuckle out of it.


A few bits from "On the Road to Nowhere"

Back on the highway, we stop to take a photo of one of those spectacular panoramas that never seem to translate into film, and there on the rock-cut beside us is the loving, spray-painted commitment of Phil & Heather, ’94. Next to this graffitic endearment, we scribble Max & Heather, ’95, Neddow & Heather, ’95 1/2, and The North Bay Centennials Hockey Team & Heather, Tuesday, in hieroglyphic passion. Next time you feel the urge to express your affection, Phil, buy the girl a ring instead of a spray-bomb.
Hwy 129 lies down flat and straight, and instead of chasing apexes, we roll toward the horizon. We consider returning to the Frontier Lodge, but instead press on in hopes of finding a curve. A lone car appears in the distance, approaches and motors by. It’s a cop. The cop, Neddow, and I are the only humans using the highway. And fortunately, the cop is the only one of us speeding. What the hell is he doing out here, anyway? There’s no doughnut shop. Nor much of anything else except bush.

Darkness descends as we unpack Neddow’s tent—a borrowed two-man dome. Neither of us have erected a dome tent before. Amid dwindling light, swarming mosquitoes and blackflies, and a burgeoning rain, the dome rises along with tempers and we quickly squiggle inside. Lie No. 1 is the claim of two-man capabilities—one consenting adult, maybe. Lie No. 2 is Neddow’s claim to non-snoring status. I stuff in my ear plugs, cram into a corner while trying to sort ribs around gravel-pit stones, and listen to the wolves howl in protest over Neddow’s nasal uproar as thunder booms about in the distance. We resolve in future to leave the camping gear where it will do the most good—on the bikes, enhancing our image of rugged adventurists.


A bit from "Can't get there from here"
Neddow doesn’t avoid work so much as not actively seek it out. If you bring a project to his door, that’s one thing, but don’t expect him to knock on your door to see if anything needs fixing. Which is a pity, because he’s very good at fixing things, particularly weird stuff most people would never touch. Such as this Kawasaki 350cc industrial single-cylinder engine of mine, a sturdy chunk of internal combustion about the size of a ZX1000 engine producing the power of a 50cc scooter. When it needed repair, I took it to Neddow. Or the mating of a Velorex sidecar to my Seca 650 so that sidecar could easily be removed, returning motorcycle to its natural state in a few minutes, a job still not finished because we keep making changes to the connections. Or the hydraulic pump he connected to a 350cc Honda twin starter motor for his son’s low-rider, hopping bicycle (the truly weird thing being that neither he nor his son saw anything odd about this venture).
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