Product Review: Inside the Postal Bus

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08/5/2005| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin

Product Review: Inside the Postal Bus

Review of Michael Barry's popular book bringing you the action taking place inside the US Postal/Discovery team bus.


Ian Melvin reviews Michael Barry's popular book " Inside the Postal Bus " bringing you all the action taking place inside the US Postal/Discovery team bus.


 

Ten years ago, the concept of a team travelling in a luxury coach would have been ridiculed but today it is common practice amongst the top teams within the sport.  It is a place for riders to prepare for a race, to enjoy a coffee during the final team meeting, a place of celebration and a place to shower off the days disappointments after a 5hr slog over cobbles and up mountains.

 

At any race across
Europe, one bus destined to enjoy more attention than most others is that of the US Postal/Discovery Channel team, thanks to the race winning exploits of Lance Armstrong.  Whether or not Armstrong is competing, the rush to view the riders as they depart the bus is a common sight, the chance to acquire a photo or autograph from one of his teammates is too good an opportunity to let it pass by.

 

 

As a support rider for the US postal/Discovery Channel team for four seasons, Canadian Michael Barry is in as good a position as just about any rider to spill the secrets about the more light-hearted moments within the team.  Moments shared amongst a select few, often in the confines of hotels or team vehicles, away from the glare of the gossip-searching media, relaxed and often at their most natural.

 

For months now, Barry has posted a very amusing and often intriguing diary on velonews.com and when the powers that be at Velopress approached him to write a book based on his experiences, it seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up.

 

Armed with his new laptop , courtesy of team sponsor AMD, notes were taken from behind the smoked windshields; from the early season training camps, spring classics through the Tour, Olympics and Vuelta before the final end-of-season races, moments of joy and celebration and moments of sadness.

 

In the book excerpt below, Barry recalls when, in his first year with his new team, he was introduced to the world of the team bus:

 

The first time I saw the bus, I was both impressed and nervous. It was my first trip with the team in
Europe; we were heading to training camp in
Javea, Spain, from the airport in
Alicante
.

?How do you like the 1980s strip club?? Christian asked.

The bus has a grey, blue, and red interior and exterior, is covered with logos on the outside, and lined with grey leather chairs with red trim on the inside. In the front there are 12 seats, two pair facing the front window and two sets of four facing each other with a table in between. The tables are rarely used for much other than a leg rest. Two long benches stretch toward the back of the bus, about 4 meters in length. After a race has ended and we?re driving to a

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