It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life
 
 
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It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life [Paperback]

Lance Armstrong , Sally Jenkins
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (875 customer reviews)


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

People around the world have found inspiration in the story of Lance Armstrong--a world-class athlete nearly struck down by cancer, only to recover and win the Tour de France, the multiday bicycle race famous for its grueling intensity. Armstrong is a thoroughgoing Texan jock, and the changes brought to his life by his illness are startling and powerful, but he's just not interested in wearing a hero suit. While his vocabulary is a bit on the he-man side (highest compliment to his wife: "she's a stud"), his actions will melt the most hard-bitten souls: a cancer foundation and benefit bike ride, his astonishing commitment to training that got him past countless hurdles, loyalty to the people and corporations that never gave up on him. There's serious medical detail here, which may not be for the faint of heart; from chemo to surgical procedures to his wife's in vitro fertilization, you won't be spared a single x-ray, IV drip, or unfortunate side effect. Athletes and coaches everywhere will benefit from the same extraordinary detail provided about his training sessions--every aching tendon, every rainy afternoon, and every small triumph during his long recovery is here in living color. It's Not About the Bike is the perfect title for this book about life, death, illness, family, setbacks, and triumphs, but not especially about the bike. --Jill Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In 1996, young cycling phenom Armstrong discovered he had testicular cancer. In 1999, he won the Tour de France. Now he's a grateful husband, a new fatherAand a memoirist: with pluck, humility and verve, this volume covers his early life, his rise through the endurance sport world and his medical difficulties. Cancer "was like being run off the road by a truck, and I've got the scars to prove it," Armstrong declares. Earlier scars, he explains, came from a stepfather he casts as unworthy; early rewards, from his hardworking mother and from the triathlons and national bike races Armstrong won as a Texas teen. "The real racing action was over in Europe": after covering that, Armstrong and Jenkins (Men Will Be Boys, with Pat Summit, etc.) ascend to the scarier challenges of diagnoses and surgeries. As he gets worse, then better, Armstrong describes the affections of his racing friends and of the professionals who cared for him. Armstrong is honest and delightful on his relationship to wife Kristin (Kik), and goes into surprising detail about the technology that let them have a child. The memoir concludes with Armstrong's French victory and the birth of their son. The book features a disarming and spotless prose style, one far above par for sports memoirs. Bicycle-racing fans will enjoy the troves of inside information and the accounts of competitions, but Armstrong has set his sights on a wider meaning and readership: "When I was sick I saw more beauty and triumph and truth in a single day than I ever did in a bike race." Agent, Esther Newberg. First serial to Vanity Fair; BOMC main selection; foreign rights sold in the U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Holland and Japan. (May 22)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-When Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer, the prognosis was not encouraging. When it spread to his lungs and brain, most medical professionals gave up hope for his recovery. But not Lance. He studied his disease, interviewed doctors, chose a treatment, and fought for his life. This isn't a book for the squeamish as it spares few medical details but it isn't just about cancer. It's the story of the athlete as a young boy and his relationship with his single mother, his success as a world-class cyclist and his friends in that world, and his financial backers who supported him emotionally as well as monetarily. It records his winning the Tour de France, courting his future wife, and the birth of his son. This fabulous tribute to the strength of the human spirit is an inspiration to everyone.-Katherine Fitch, Rachel Carson Middle School, Fairfax, VA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Armstrong is a champion American cyclist who was stricken with cancer in his twenties and given little chance to live. However, he not only survived but won the rigorous Tour de France two years later. As the title indicates, this book is much less about Armstrong's triumphs on two wheels than about his successful struggle with cancer and its aftermath. Armstrong sees cancer as a part of life that is meant to improve us by making us focus on our difficulties with courage and indominability of spirit. His writing style is vibrant and immediate whether he is detailing events from childhood, racing challenges, the demands of cancer treatment, the in vitro fertilization process, or the joy of becoming a father. This should appeal to more than just cycling fans. Highly recommended.DJohn Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, NJ
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

It is such an all-American story. A lanky kid from Plano, Texas, is raised by a feisty, single parent who sacrifices for her son, who becomes one of our country's greatest athletes. Given that background, it is understandable why Armstrong was able to channel his boundless energy toward athletic endeavors. By his senior year in high school, he was already a professional triathlete and was training with the U.S. Olympic cycling developmental team. In 1993, Armstrong secured a position in the ranks of world-class cyclists by winning the World Championship and a Tour de France stage, but in 1996, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Armstrong entered an unknown battlefield and challenged it as if climbing through the Alps: aggressive yet tactical. He beat the cancer and proceeded to stun all the pundits by winning the 1999 Tour de France. In this memoir, Armstrong covers his early years swiftly with a blunt matter-of-factness, but the main focus is on his battle with cancer. Readers will respond to the inspirational recovery story, and they will appreciate the behind-the-scenes cycling information. After he won the Tour, his mother was quoted as saying that her son's whole life has been a fight against the odds; we see here that she was not exaggerating. Brenda Barrera
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Absolutely absorbing. -- Denver Post

Among cancer survivors, it is known simply as The Book. -- USA Today, May 22, 2002

Fascinating. -- New York Times

Gripping. -- St. Petersburg Times

Inspiring. -- People

It's not about the bike, or about the sport. It's about the soul. -- Cincinnati Enquirer

Stirring. -- Buffalo News

About the Author

Lance Armstrong established the Lance Armstrong Foundation in 1996 to aid the fight against cancer.

Sally Jenkins authored Men Will Be Boys, and co-authored Reach for the Summit and Raise the Roof (both with Pat Summit), A Coach's Life (with Dean Smith), Funny Cide (with the Funny Cide team), and No Finish Line (with Marla Runyan). She's also written for Sports Illustrated, Women's Sports & Fitness, and Washington Post.

From AudioFile

Lance Armstrong is a world-class cyclist and winner of the famed Tour de France the past two years. But he nearly died from cancer, and this book explores his grueling trip back up the figurative mountain, not only to life, but also to championship riding. He includes a section on his youth in Texas and how he started in bike racing. His illness taught him the patience he needed to become a winner. But the bulk of the book is about his battle with cancer. The book is conversational, which makes for an excellent adaptation to audio. The reader, Oliver Wyman, does a solid job. In fact, he reads with such emotion that listeners might swear they were hearing Armstrong himself--without the Texas accent, though. R.C.G. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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