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 once again puts the reader in the saddle as he leaves the gritty blue-collar world of Belgian bike racing on a quixotic quest for personal redemption in the budding U.S. road and mountain bike racing scene of the 1990s. The race descriptions are so realistic, you'll need a heart-rate monitor.” — Sal Ruibal, USA Today
“Much like his previous saga A Dog In a Hat, Joe makes no effort in Come and Gone to candy coat his experiences, chronicling every high and low as he eked out a living on his bike. One part heartbreak, and two parts inspiration, his description of life in the trenches provides a glaringly honest perspective of every detail through the transition from one discipline of riding to another. It flawlessly conveys the myriad of emotions he felt, as if you were his sole confidant through the twilight of his career as a professional cyclist.” — AllHailtheBlackMarket.com
“Come and Gone is not the book of a champion but rather of the guy who had a few good rides over thousands of races. This is something that most bike racers can relate to.” — UrbanVelo.org
“Written in a light, colloquial tone… Come and Gone is tough to put down. A fun read. Parkin…isn’t afraid to make a little fun of himself while providing a first-hand perspective of riding with legends.” — GearJunkie.com
“Come and Gone is a superlative record of the mindset and career of a “blue-collar” pro cyclist… If you’ve read A Dog In a Hat and were left waiting mid-career, Come and Gone is the perfect bittersweet finish. Together, they are the perfect cycling memoir.” — TheWashCycle.com
“Come and Gone doesn’t romanticize the cycling world. What Parkin does well is capture how heartbreaking and frustrating it can be trying to break out of the amateur ranks. Come and Gone is an honest and unglamorous look at the effort required to be a professional cyclist and make a living racing your bike.” — DailyPeloton.com
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.
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.