I picked up a signed copy of the book at the Tour de Georgia this spring. And don’t get me started about how stupid it is that they call it the Tour de Georgia. Puh-leeze. Michael Barry is a member of the Discovery Channel Cycling Team (formerly the US Postal squad).
Michael Barry is not a great writer. He says as much in the introduction. It doesn’t really matter though. If you are a cycling fan, then reading about the workaday world of professional cycling from an actual professional can not be beat. VeloNews has recognized this, and they publish diary entries of various cyclists on their web site throughout the cycling season to provide first hand insights into the sport. Think of it as “reality reading”. It’s very cool if you are into that sort of thing.
It was an enjoyable read, and I learned lots of interesting tidbits that I’ll carefully break out, one at a time, for the fans at home while watching the three weeks of The Tour. Here’s an example. Manuel Beltran, a Spaniard and one of the Discovery Channel riders, is known as “Triki”. Such is my command of the Spanish language that I always thought that he got the nickname because he was “crafty” or something. It turns out Manuel has a sweet tooth, and Cookie Monster is called “El Triki” in Spain. There ya go.
This is a rabid fan boy book. Read it if you fall into that category or if you long to become a skilled cycling tufosi. Otherwise take a pass. Tonight I was practicing for the Tour. I was able to switch between the Braves game and pre-Tour TV coverage all night long. I love July. I’m afraid the reading is going to take a hit. See you guys in August.