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It's Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life Hardcover – May 22, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; 1 edition (May 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399146113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399146114
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.6 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (864 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

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.

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Customer Reviews

This book was written very well and was an easy read.
Thomas R. Trueblood
I have to say it has really motivated me to take a good look at my life, and where exactly it is that I want to go, and how I should get there.
Sarah
The story of cancer survivor and cyclist, Lance Armstrong is truly inspirational.
Shannon Grant

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

263 of 279 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I'm a woman. I'm not a cyclist. I've never had cancer. I read mostly fiction. But this book absolutely blew me away. So much more than an athlete bio, this is a wonderfully told, brilliantly written story of a real American hero. The play-by-play cycling coverage is fascinating even to a non-cyclist and the detailed discussion of Lance's illness, treatment, and recovery is beyond inspiring. The look inside Lance's childhood, his love life, his amazing journey into fatherhood, and his role as a cancer activist is what brings the whole story home. So much more than a story of athletic achievement and cancer recovery, this is a story about triumph of the human spirit. I can't wait to root for Lance in this year's Tour de France and in the Olympics. Hopefully we'll be cheering him to victory for years to come. I have been talking about this book to anyone who will listen to me. Listen to me. Buy the book. You will not want to put it down. It is a story you will never forget.
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125 of 140 people found the following review helpful By Chad Spivak on July 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I had and beat testicular cancer just like Lance Armstrong, so I could truly relate to the incredible obstacles that he described in his amazing book.
This sincerely is an amazing story. I just wish I could have read it when I was going through my intense radiation treatments in my recovery, because I feel it would have made things easier for me. In his book, Armstong brings this disease into the public view, and allows people to see that it truly doesn't have to be a part of death, but, in fact, a part of life.
There are many stories within the book. His childhood, his attitudes towards his father figures, his early racing career, his battle with cancer, the stuggle to get back on top of his game, his love life, and, his extemely personal march towards fatherhood. Each and every one of these minor stories gives an overall inspirational journey into Lance Armstrong's remarkable life.
The writing is nicely detailed and allows for a good, easy-flowing read. The racing-scenes are action-packed, and make you feel as if you are right there on the bike with him. Armstong tells his tale using candid language and relates his stories of life with honesty and a pure heart. This book is a true inspiration to anyone. Please read this book. You cannot go wrong.
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110 of 124 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I'm a physician and a bicycle racer and when I heard that LanceArmstrong had metastatic testicular cancer, my first thought, likemany in my field, was "He's dead." But Lance Armstrong's story has the happy Hollywood ending nobody expected four years ago. This isn't Shakespeare, but I found it to be compelling reading (a stay up til you finish it kind of read). I am especially appreciative of the insight into the human condition, how one responds to adversity by either giving up or fighting back. Many of his homilies such as "turning negatives into positives" struck a nerve with me, as I've come to expect setbacks to be followed by unexpected success because it's happened to me so many times. I'm pleased that the book is so popular, because maybe the rest of the world will stop thinking people like me aren't such freaks riding our bikes 50 miles in January. It offers a glimpse into our sport that most people don't get to see. But I mostly hope others find the human message of hope as inspirational as I did.
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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Mona Lisa on October 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
I read this book 11 years ago or so, when it first came out. Good book. Well written, entertaining. But, unfortunately, as subsequent events have revealed, the book is fiction. Because it was, well...it was about the bike all along. The bike, the money, the power, and the ego. This is a man who would stop at nothing to feed his need for power, including treating former employees, fellow riders, friends, even wives and girlfriends like dirt. The doping could be forgiven, but the bullying? Never.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By "tdetulleo" on December 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
After recently recovering from Cancer, my wife suggested that my "story" would make for a great book. I told her that there aren't too many people who would want to read about a nobody from New Jersey who went through a miserable experience with Cancer. I'd have to be a "somebody." Well, Lance Armstrong and Sally Jenkins wrote my book.
When I most recently saw media coverage of Lance's story and book, I was angry. I didn't want the public to believe that Cancer had a hollywood ending if you work hard and don't give up. There's nothing hollywood about Cancer and I resented the attention Lance was receiving. Then, I read the book.
IT'S REAL. Through the wonderfully constructed words of Sally Jenkins, and the raw, honest sentiments of Lance Armstrong, this book tells it like it is. Lance Armstrong is just like anyone else who happens to be diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. He is not a hero. He is not superhuman. He is human. And, in this book, he doesn't pretend to be anything but that.
This book takes you through all of the emotions of being a cancer patient; fear, sadness, anger, resentment, pity, hope, and so on. Though every patient is different, Lance's feelings echo those of myself and countless others who are in the survivor's club.
As a marathoner, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Lance's cycling career. However, you don't have to be an athlete to appreciate his incredible drive, determination and accomplishments on a bike.
His story both on and off the bike is truly inspirational.
This book is for cancer patients and survivors. It is for their families and friends, who just can't fully understand what it is like to endure the physical and emotional challenges of the disease. It is for athletes of all skill levels, shapes and sizes. And, it is for ANYONE who needs a little perspective on just how precious life really is and what's important.
Thanks for reading.
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