Date of Birth: 10/8/1972 Age: 30
Residence: Boulder, CO
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 137 lbs
World Cup – 1st place
World Championships – 16th place (road race)
First Union Liberty Classic - 3rd place
Grand Prix de Montreal
- 2nd place GC
- 2nd place stage 1
- 3rd place stage 2
- 4th place stage 3
World Cup - 24th place
US National Championships - 4th place (time trial), 7th place (road race)
Becky Leidy: What was growing up in Wisconsin like?
Dede Barry: Wisconsin was excellent. It is a beautiful state. The countryside is rolling and green. I come from a family of eight children. None of them are cyclists, but they are all very dynamic individuals. I am the youngest and most of my brothers and sisters now have young children.
I grew up in Milwaukee along Lake Michigan. Milwaukee is a fairly large city and we lived just a mile or so from the center. My parents have a law office very close to our house. I spent my summers swimming in our backyard pool and in Lake Michigan. My dad and I had a ritual of hiking down the hill to the lake each day, taking a dip in the lake, picking mulberries on the way back up and then finishing it off with a little swim in the pool. It was fun. Our pool was a centerpiece in the neighborhood. We always had kids coming over to swim. Sometimes I would organize swimming races or diving contests with all the neighbor kids. The swimming season only lasted about 2 ˝ months in Wisconsin, as the winters are cold.
I loved to ice skate in the winter. I figure skated for a short time when I was really young, but when I was eight years old, I was introduced to the sport of speedskating and instantly fell in love with it. We lived just a few miles from the Petit National Ice Center, where many of the best speedskaters in the world trained. I was inspired by Eric and Beth Heiden, Bonnie Blair, Dan Jansen, and Dr. Mike Woods.
BL: Were you always athletic and/or into sports?
DB: I was always super athletic, but I was involved in many other activities as a child as well. I played piano for twelve years. I took ballet and Irish dance lessons, did gymnastics, had art classes and sang in my school choir for a short time. I was an active kid. I think I pretty much did every sport as a child as my parents gave me a lot of opportunities.
The highlights for me in grade school were swim team races, speedskating, soccer and volleyball. As I moved on to high school, I played soccer my first two years, which was super fun, as it is more of a social sport than speedskating or cycling. My high school team was really tight. We laughed a lot and were extremely competitive as well. We pushed hard to excel and shared a State Championship title.
I stopped playing soccer after grade 10, as I was becoming increasingly committed to speedskating and beginning to travel more overseas with the United States National Team.
BL: Why did you start speed skating? And when/why did you switch over to cycling?
DB: I started speedskating because I loved the feeling of going fast on skates, the fluid motion, and I thought it was a beautiful sport. I started cycling in the summers to cross-train, and really enjoyed racing my bike. I liked the atmosphere at the bike races: racing on different courses each weekend in different cities, and smelling the summer barbeques during the races. I liked the tactics of the sport. I competed in speedskating and cycling throughout high school, but as I progressed in both sports, it was becoming too time consuming to do both.
BL: When/how did you meet Michael?
DB: I met Michael in Boulder in 1997. He was here training. At the time, we had the same coach and a close mutual friend, Clara Hughes, who introduced us. We got to be close friends, as we shared a lot of similar interests. He was living and racing in France at the time. We kept in contact after he returned to France. Our relationship grew from there. He had some terrible injuries later that summer. He broke his back and his hip and returned to North America. We spent more time together and it was all good.
BL: How long before you knew he was "the one?"
DB: Our relationship grew out of friendship. I always felt comfortable with Michael. I could talk openly about everything. We laugh together and have shared some incredible experiences.
BL: What was the wedding like?
DB: The wedding was an amazing experience. It brought our two worlds together. Michael grew up in Toronto, which is not too far from Milwaukee, where we were married. Most of our childhood friends and family were able to come for the wedding. The ceremony was at St. Roberts Catholic Church, which is where I went to grade school. The reception was at a private club that my parents have belonged to for years. It was a big wedding and our parents went all out to make it incredibly nice. After we told our parents we wanted to get married, our moms went to work and planned the wedding in just 5 months. We got married on Thanksgiving weekend and most of the out of town guests were in town for the long weekend. We had fun.
BL: Do the two of you train together?
DB: Michael and I train together often. I like riding with Michael, he is always willing to explore new roads and the conversation is always good.
BL: You must have a very efficient training schedule due to your time constraints? Can you tell me more about wattage training with Allen Lim?
DB: My days are quite full at the moment, as I am attending classes, training and studying. For this reason, I do not adhere to a strict training program, I have a good sense of a macro plan based on my race schedule and then I decide each day what I want to accomplish. Power is an objective measure of fitness. I use an SRM to collect data and measure where I am at during intervals and long rides. I consult with Allen regularly about training, as he receives all of my training downloads and analyzes them. This has helped me to understand my body better and aided me in preparing for races. Allen can essentially tell me if I will be fit enough for an event by looking at my files and seeing me on the bike. It is great having him just down the road. I think we have learned a lot from each other.
BL: Do you have a home in Europe? Do you enjoy it over there?
DB: Michael and I have an apartment in Spain. It is nice having a European home, as he races over there most of the year now and I race there occasionally as well. I love it in Spain. The culture is laid back; the riding is good; the food is amazing; the beach is nearby; and the architecture is appealing. The town we are in is beautiful. There are many buildings from the 15th and 16th centuries. The people in the town are very friendly to us and welcoming. There are many cyclists living in the area, and the weather is quite conducive to training.
BL: How is school coming along?
DB: School is going well. I hope to graduate this year. I am taking five courses this semester. It is keeping me busy, and I like what I am studying.
BL: Have you had a chance to look over the World Championships course?
DB: I have not yet had a chance to go over the World Championship course in Hamilton, but I do know the climbs. It will be challenging. We’ll see it at the Canadian Nationals in June. Michael knows the course well, and he has let me know how tough it will be.
BL: What is your "diet" like?
DB: I eat a balanced diet. I try to eat mostly organic, unprocessed foods, as I believe these foods are healthier and high in nutrients. We do a lot of cooking at home and this is something we really enjoying exploring together.
BL: Have you baked anything especially good lately that you would like to share the recipe of?
DB: Michael and I bake and cook every day and we have put some of our recipes on our websites (Dede’s and Michael’s). You can check them out if you are interested.
BL: What are you opinions on women’s cycling in the US?
DB: I feel fortunate to be a member of the T-Mobile cycling team. T-Mobile is making a huge contribution to women’s cycling in America by funding the elite and development riders. The support is superb.
I think the level women’s cycling in the USA is improving, but I do wish more women were willing to take risks in the races and attack more often, as this is what makes racing exciting. I don’t think that most women realize that the only way they will get stronger is by attacking, racing hard in the wind and taking chances.
BL: What do you think of the sudden cancellation of so many large solely women's races? (Tour de France Feminine , Vuelta a Espana Feminina, Women's Challenge, Tour de Snowy).
DB: It is unfortunate that several great women’s races have been cancelled this year. I think it is a tough year with the global recession affecting team and race sponsorship in both women’s and men’s cycling. I hope that these races come back, as they are some of my favorites.
BL: Thank you so much Dede and best of luck this season!