An interview with Mike Ward

Grammy Award-winning guitarist Michael Ward

Grammy Award-winning guitarist Michael Ward (Image credit: Mark Zalewski)

Mike and the Bike: A kid's guide to cycling

Grammy Award-winning guitarist Michael Ward, known mostly as a member of the band The Wallflowers and currently playing with Ben Harper, is not your typical rock star type. For one, he is a passionate fan of all things cycling - at times bordering on feverish.

After immersing himself into the cycling world during Lance Armstrong's first wins at the Tour de France, Ward became a father. His son's books gave the artist a spark, and with the encouragement of friend Armstrong, Ward decided to create a children's book about cycling, called 'Mike and the Bike'. Cyclingnews' North American Editor (and now rock star interviewer) Mark Zalewski sat down with Ward at the 2005 Interbike to talk about the book and where it's going.

More friends such as Phil Liggett and fellow musician Bob Thompson joined Ward and his project took off. The book has spawned a website which followed the Tour de France in 2005, giving younger fans their own perspective on the race and cycling. Now, with such quick success, Ward and his crew are riding the wave to create an entire series around the character, all with the goal of helping kids create a healthier lifestyle through involvement in cycling.

Michael Ward came into cycling, or even riding a bike, rather late in life. "I didn't ride much as a kid," Ward admits. "When I started cycling it was the early 1990s - I was about 24." Up until that point, the guitarist and musician was what you would think a touring musician should be like - waking up late, playing music, drinking 'adult beverages' and then repeating that in a new city the next day.

Click here for the full interview

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