Dog in a Hat, a book about an American racing in Belgium, reads like the racer – Joe Parkin – was just telling you these epic stories on a ride, up a climb, or at a coffee shop. I guess that Joe’s friends convinced him to write this book after years of hearing his stories, laughing, embellishing them, and imagining themselves what it’s like to race the Hell of the North. Joe did that and more. I expect when you get dropped by Joe, the grumbles are, “yeah drop me on this local hammerhead ride, but he got dropped all over Liege-Bastogne-Liege, whatever … .”
And that’s the beauty of this book and story. It’s not a hero’s journey, but instead a racer’s tale, including drugs, betrayal, crazy stuff. A story about getting flat-ass dropped and waking up in a whorehouse to race again. Think about the determination it takes us to finish our local Tuesday night world championship and here’s Joe: a stranger in a strangeland, racing with some crazy-ass mofos.