It's Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life

It’s Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life

The inspiring journey of world-class hero Lance Armstrong, from the dark night of advanced cancer through his dramatic victory in the 1999 Tour de France, and beyond.

In 1996, twenty-four-year-old Lance Armstrong was ranked the number-one cyclist in the world. But that October, “The Golden Boy of American Cycling” was sidelined by excruciating pain. Tests revealed advanced testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain. His chance for recovery was as low as twenty percent.

Armstrong embarked on the most aggressive form of chemotherapy available and underwent surgery to remove cancer that the treatments couldn’t reach. Five months after his diagnosis, he resumed training under a cloud of uncertainty, and the path back to competition wasn’t smooth. It took a ride with friends through the mountains of North Carolina for Armstrong to rediscover his genuine love of the sport, and to rededicate himself to its pursuit.

Scarred physically and emotionally, Lance Armstrong considered his cancer “a special wake-up call,” one that crystallized for him the blessings of good health, family, friends, and marriage. In October 1999, just months after his astonishing triumph in the Tour, his wife, Kristin, gave birth to their son, Luke David Armstrong.

Filled with the nutritional, physical, emotional, and spiritual details of his recovery, It’s Not About the Bike traces the wondrous journey of one of America’s greatest athletes to a singularly inspiring appreciation of life lived to the fullest.

Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; 1 edition (May 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399146113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399146114
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (911 customer reviews)
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5 comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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