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"The most authentic book ever written on making a living as a pro cyclist in Europe." — Bob Roll, Versus TV cycling commentator
“I saw my first pro kermis race during my first week in Belgium, and it felt like trying to escape a hall of mirrors but not being able to read the exit signs. Everything was larger than life and more grotesque than I had imagined. But kermis racing was not all about the drugs. If the grand tours are like classical music, kermis racing is punk rock, Belgian-style.
At some point during the season, our team was invited to a stage race in France, but our team director had made an agreement for us to race a big kermis in Brugge. My buddy Cocquyt decided that we should go as hard as we possibly could from the gun in the kermis, team time trial style, and then peel off at the end of the 11-kilometer lap, laughing at all the guys we had tortured as we took off for the other race. Of course, we all coughed up blood for the entire trip to France, but it was strangely worth it, as if we had smashed our guitars, poured beer on the audience, and walked offstage before the end of the first song.”
Joe Parkin’s life changed when he left America to become a professional bike racer in Belgium. In this brutally frank memoir, Parkin celebrates the glory of racing but doesn’t flinch from the cold reality of that life—the drugs, the payoffs, the betrayals by teammates, the battles with team owners for contracts and money, the endless promises, and the sheer physical pain of racing day after day.
Set in the hardest place in the world to be a bike racer, A Dog in a Hat is one rider’s story of his love affair with professional cycling.
We have here a true cycling story, but one that's not just for cyclists or cycling fans.
In fact, controversial subjects like doping and buying/selling race wins are discussed a flat way with very little moralizing.
I would recommend this book for any racing cyclist and for those interested in cycling culture.
Great read about someone I never heard about and probably most haven't heard about either. Word word word word wordPublished 18 days ago by Glen Osmond
A quick read with a lot of info and cool stories. The plot was...nonexistent, but then again, real life isn't very plotty anyway.Published 1 month ago by M.Cole
Good story of Joe's experiences on the Belgium circuit. Writing felt disjointed at times lacking the "golden thread" to tie things together. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Hilarious, conversational, and blunt I found it a refreshing read compared to the quintessential "Sports Hero" book, of "How I became, and why I am, the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by T. Bear
Enlightening insight into Euro racing in the eighties...and title says it all. Mud, drugs, blood and betrayal. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Scott
I have already passed it around to my friends who also have enjoyed it. The best part may be Bob Rolls forward!Published 10 months ago by Bruno
Thoroughly enjoyable journey through the less glamorous world of minor league cycling. Further proof that the combination of cycling and Belgium leads to a hard edged compulsion... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Charles Shepherd