Thursday, April 30, 2009

Book #18 - Dog in a Hat - Joe Parkin

This is a book recommended to me by my husband the cyclist. I am a huge cycling fan as well, although I'm not a rider, so this was a fascinating book for me to read. When my husband finished this book, he said it was sad, and I thought that would be because of the open way the author discusses how prevelant drugs were in pro cycling. While the discussion of drug use is pretty frank, in this day and age, it honestly isn't too much of a shock for those of us who are fans of the sport. We just continue to hope that science for detection speeds along as fast or faster than the science for new substances and that is how we deal. The sadness from this book comes more from the sudden awareness of how difficult being a pro athelete can be, especially in a sport like cycling, which at the time the author was a pro, was not that popular in the U.S. The author had a mediocre career as a domestique (or helper) rider in the pro fields in Europe. He never rode in a grand tour, he never won any big races, and he certainly didn't make all that much money in the sport. But he is passionate about his love of cycling even today. It is sad because even cycling fans in the US didn't know this guys name. But he had an interesting story and thankfully, we are learning about it now, all these years later. I loved that my husband and I had the same reaction to this book. Sad, but for different reasons than one might think.

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