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Come & Gone: A True Story of Blue-Collar Bike Racing in Americaby Joe Parkin
Synopses & Reviews
After five years of busting my ass in the Belgian gutters, I said goodbye to Flanders knowing that I might never go back. I never did.
I flew back to the U.S. with empty pockets and no contract. For several years, I was unable to watch a Belgian spring classic without a lump in my throat. I died a little bit watching my teammates in the Tour de France in 1992.
Eventually, I landed a spot with the Coors Light team. After the years in Europe, though, racing in the U.S. didn’t really do it for me. I was never able to rise to the level of dedication I had mustered each day in Europe.
Until I started racing mountain bikes.
Come and Gone is the long-awaited sequel to Joe Parkin’s widely praised bestseller, A Dog in a Hat. Picking up the story, Come and Gone follows Joe through three hardscrabble seasons chasing wins on the U.S. road racing circuit before he changes course and tastes victory as a mountain bike pro. A gritty, authentic, and heartfelt personal memoir, Come and Gone is also a chronicle of the rebirth of professional bike racing in America.
“Parkin shows you life on the edge of the peloton. We know the great champions’ stories, but Parkin’s experience is far more illustrative of what a ‘pro cyclist’ really is.” — PodiumCafe.com
Joe Parkin has been an airplane pilot, sharpshooter, and professional cyclist. He represented the United States at the World Cycling and Cyclocross Championships. Come and Gone is the follow-up story to his previous novel A Dog in a Hat. He lives in Santa Cruz, CA and is the editor of BIKE and Paved magazines.
After five years of blue-collar cycling in Belgium (A Dog in a Hat), Joe Parkin returns to the United States looking for a ride. He joins the elite Coors Lite road team as a key member, but the adjustment to domestic racing, with small crowds, inexperienced teammates, and poorly promoted events, proves difficult. Disillusioned, Joe is ready to hang up his cleats when he is offered a contract with a pro mountain bike team. The freshness of mountain biking proves to be an elixir: Joe's career blossoms and he rediscovers his love of the sport. Come and Gone will instantly appeal to all readers of A Dog in a Hat, while winning a new audience held spellbound by this rare, frank, and intimate sports memoir.
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