*** DEBUG END ***

Book review: Stories from the Road by Nigel Rostock

28 June 2024

Pat Ashworth navigates a dual-carriageway look at life and faith

THE biking subculture sits very much on the fringes of society, holding distinctive values of authenticity and true brotherhood, Nigel Rostock suggests. He is a biker with 160,000 miles of travelling on the clock, and a conviction that his European presidency of the Christian motorcycle club, God’s Squad, is a calling from God implicit in his ordination.

Harley Davidson bikers draw attention wherever they go: there’s something in the flamboyance of that upright stance which speaks powerfully about rebellion. Harley bikers are singular individuals. The book is a travelogue of Rostock’s journeyings in Europe in particular, with all the attendant exhilarations, frustrations, and mechanics.

He exults in the joy of the road: the beauty of the Alps, the rigour of the Dolomites, a ride down Route 66 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his wedding to Alison. But it’s really about “sermons in stones”. That can be faith-affirming — he likens the trials of a dislodged indicator, for example, to the “disconnect that can be experienced within our walk with God, as we gradually become disengaged from the source”.

A sandstorm leads him to reflect that we can be engulfed in our own spiritual sandstorm. He observes that petrol has the power to animate and bring the vehicle to life when the pump is clean, just as “God is able to bring our faith to life, keep our hearts pure.”

But I ardently wanted him sometimes to be liberated from the need to draw a spiritual parallel; for, sometimes, the journey can speak for itself.

Stories from the Road: Observations from the saddle of an ageing Harley
Nigel Rostock
Instant Apostle £12.99
Church Times Bookshop £11.69

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Church Times Bookshop

Save money on books reviewed or featured in the Church Times. To get your reader discount:

> Click on the “Church Times Bookshop” link at the end of the review.

> Call 0845 017 6965 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5pm).

The reader discount is valid for two months after the review publication date. E&OE

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Awards Ceremony: 6 September 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available


Inspiration: The Influences That Have Shaped My Life

September - November 2024

St Martin in the Fields Autumn Lecture Series 2024

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


Visit our Events page for upcoming and past events 

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)