In 1987, Joe Parkin was an amateur cyclist racing in California when he bumped in Bob Roll, then a pro with the powerhouse Team 7-Eleven. Bobke told him that, to become he pro, he must go to Belgium. Years later, riding along a canal in Belgium, Bobke encountered Parkin who he described as “a wraith…an avenging angel of misery, a twelve-toothed assassin.” Bobke barely recognized him. Belgium had forged Parkin into a pro. A Dog in a Hat is Parkin’s remarkable story of his unordinary education and his love for bike racing, set in the hardest place in the world to be a bike racer.
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