January 28, 2005 – Michael Barry is a 28-year-old professional cyclist with the Discovery Channel cycling team. He has written for a variety of cycling magazines and this past year, Barry took on his latest venture, a book.
Pedal caught up with Barry to discuss his upcoming book.
You’ve been working on this book for a while. Dede [Michael’s wife], you and I were working on a cookbook some time ago, but along the way this idea came up. Tell us about the genesis of your new book.
MB: Velo Press contacted me in June of last year and asked if I was interested in writing a book titled “Inside the Postal Bus.” The title essentially summed up what they wanted me to write about. The book takes readers through the team’s last season and tries to capture the ambiance within the team, the different personalities, the race strategies, our approach to the season, and life on the road. My goal was to give readers a glimpse of what it’s like to race on a professional squad.
Has it been difficult? I personally know writing a book of any length takes a lot of time. How did you manage it in between racing?
There were some difficult times. One of the toughest was facing the fact that I had a deadline of November 1st. Friends motivated me to keep at it. I tried to write as much as possible between races or while traveling and managed to get a large portion of it done at the end of the season.
When is the release date?
MB: It set to be released in April of 2005 and will be available in most English speaking markets. It can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com, Chapters and a few other online bookstores. There will be a two photo sections as well as pictures to accompany the text. In total I think there will be about 50 photos.
I understand that George Hincapie, Christian Vande Velde and Dede contributed sections or sidebars.
MB: Yes and I was fortunate to also have some great editors to help in the process. Dede, my parents, my agent Bob Mionske, my buddy Joe Finkleman and several other friends and family read the manuscript and helped with edits as the project progressed. Matt, you were also a great help during the entire process helping to sort out the piles of paper that I had written that were in no specific order.
So, do you have the book-writing craze now? What’s next?
MB: I think I’ll take a break for a bit but I would like to write another book at some point. Now that I have figured out the process I think the second time around would be a lot smoother.
Do you foresee a career in journalism or writing after cycling?
MB: I have always enjoyed writing but I am not sure what I’ll do after cycling. Racing remains my focus, writing is simply something I do to relax myself and keep my mind occupied after the race. I would like to go back to school at some point but I am not sure when that will be and where it will land me.
Thanks Michael, and best of luck with the book.
MB: Thank you very much.
For more about Michael Barry visit www.michaelbarry.ca