By Steve Hubrecht

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An Invermere businessman who has already published several children’s books has just launched another, this time relating the story of a local dirt biker’s rise to world fame.

Ben Sillem has known Invermere enduro rider Trystan Hart since Hart and Sillem’s own kids were friends many years ago. In Hart’s ascent to the very highest international levels of dirt biking, Sillem saw a tale worth telling, and specifically worth telling to kids. 

The result is the children’s book ‘Hard Enduro Hero’ written by Sillem with help from Hart, and illustrated by Ali Imran. The book begins with Hart dreaming about dirt biking as a young kid and follows him as he grows up, eventually mastering the sport through dedication and hard work.

“He (Hart) started in a small town and has climbed to the top of the pile in a wild and crazy sport. It’s quite a story in my opinion, and shows a path of possibility for kids, not just in dirt biking or in sports, but in any field,” Sillem told the Pioneer. 

Sillem concedes he’s no expert on dirt biking, but adds what is clear to even rank outsiders at a first glance is that “it’s hurdle after hurdle. One obstacle after another. Mud, boulders, insane uphills. The only reward you get for finishing a challenge is that there is another one waiting for you. There is an obvious adrenaline thrill in many sports. But not enduro. It’s like punching yourself in the face over and over again.”

But enduro can be seen as a metaphor for the obstacles and challenges of life, adds Sillem: if you work hard and keep improving, you can overcome any number of difficulties and frustrations.

“It talks about how Trystan always stays focussed, how he works hard to take care of his bike and take care of his body,” he said. “The message of the book, I hope, is teaching kids about the path to progress.”

‘Hard Enduro Hero’ is meant for kids ages 6 to 13, but is more specifically geared for Grades 3 through 7, explained Sillem.

“Hopefully helps some kids to hear Trystan’s story, and encourages them to pursue their own goals,” he said.

Sillem created the initial designs for the colourful illustrations that fill the book, and then took them to Imran who enhanced them and digitized them.

‘Hard Enduro Hero’ can be found at Four Points Books and other regional bookstores, as well as on Amazon.