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[about the author]

Above, Dan. Below, Dan and son Aidan riding Alpe d'Huez.



Daniel Coyle was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. After college, he worked as a sportswriter for the Anchorage Times then attended journalism school in Chicago, where he landed a job at Outside magazine. In 1992 he took a leave-of-absence to write about his experiences coaching little league in the Cabrini-Green housing projects, which resulted in the book Hardball: A Season in the Projects (Putnam), which later resulted in a Keanu Reeves movie of the same name. (FYI, the Keanu character bears little resemblance to Coyle, but schoolteacher Jen Fisher, who soon became Jen Coyle, provided the inspiration for the Diane Lane character.) In 1996 the Coyles moved to the seaside town of Homer, Alaska, where they built a house that was shortly overrun by four children, Aidan, Katie, Lia, and Zoe. Coyle continued writing for magazines and also wrote Waking Samuel (Bloomsbury), a novel based on a true-life crime in the Alaskan wilderness.

In February of 2004, the Coyles set off for Girona, Spain, to spend a year following Lance Armstrong and the professional bike-racing circuit. They settled in an apartment across the river from the city’s medieval center, and enrolled the kids in local school. Coyle attended training camps and races, and soon found himself receiving advice from Armstrong’s trainer, Dr. Michele Ferrari (aka Dr. Evil, Armstrong's controversial trainer, who was later convicted on doping charges). In May of 2004, accompanied partway by nine-year-old Aidan, Coyle rode the famous climb of Alpe d’Huez in a time of 85 minutes – five minutes faster, he is obligated to point out, than Armstrong’s girlfriend, Sheryl Crow. 

Now a contributing editor of Outside, Coyle has won The Sporting News Book of the Year award, been nominated twice for National Magazine Awards, and has been featured in The Best American Sports Writing.

Email Coyle at danielcoyle@booknoise.net.

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