Nat's brother Cyrus is a biker, a crack mechanic, and a sort of non-intellectual devotee of the zen of motorcycle maintenance. Here, after a six-year absence, he returns to the Italian deli where Nat works weekends for his uncle and guardian and whisks the cautious, instinctively conservative teenager away for a whirlwind summer bike tour. The pace is forced: their second day on the road sees Nat and Cy riding in a funeral procession with 68 Hell's Angels (acquaintances of Cy's from the coast); then they proceed directly to a motorcycle mass; debate the biker image with a cross-section of open readers they meet in a diner; are joned by Ms. America, a very independent and classy lady cyclist; attend a motocross meet; and finally end up at the Nationals in Loudon, where crowds of rowdy spectators and a rip-off management make for a very bad scene indeed. . . . The bike lore is satisfying--everything from excerpts from Lee Gutkind's book to Nat's first fumbling efforts on oil-slicked Boston streets. And if the contrast between driven, experience hungry Cy and his inner-directed-brother wouldn't provide novel-length momentum in a more relaxed setting, it's a jump ahead of the nuts, bolts, and wheelies that the speed demon competition relies on for effect.