This is the follow-up to author Parkin's "A Dog In A Hat" which recounted his life as an amateur and professional bike racer in Europe. "Come and Gone" picks up the author's story following his return to the States, including ups and downs on the domestic road circuit, and a shift to racing mountain bikes with the odd cyclocross race thrown in. For anyone who has followed the sport of cycling, and especially those who have had dreams of progressing through the ranks, the book is a good read. You can feel the emotions building as Parkin approaches the end of his professional career, his hopes to prolong it, and the inevitable conclusion.
"As bike racers we all to often look at race wins as stepping stones toward something else - something life-changing, perhaps. In reality, it seems that the experience of racing itself is the important part."
"Only champion bike racers get to retire. The rest of us just quit."
Parkin, Joe Come & Gone: A True Story of Blue-Collar Bike Racing in America Boulder, CO: Velo Press, 2010