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

Lance Armstrong
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 May 2001

"I want to die at a hundred years old after screaming down an Alpine descent on a bicycle at 75 miles per hour. I don't do anything slow, not even breathe. I do everything at a fast cadence: eat fast, sleep fast."

At twenty-four, Lance Armstrong was already well on his way to becoming a sporting legend. Then, in October 1996, he was diagnosed with stage four testicular cancer - doctors gave him a 40% chance of survival. On that day Armstrong's life changed for ever and in typical fashion, he met the challenge head on - this was one fight he was determined not to lose.

As he battled against the cancer invading his body and the chemotherapy that threatened to sap his soul, he focussed on his training and drew strength from the people around him who never gave up. Just sixteen months after Armstrong was discharged from hospital, he entered the Tour de France, a race famed for its gruelling intensity. Just a few months after that, he became a father.

It's Not About the Bike is the story of one man's inspirational battle against the odds, charting his progress through triumph, tragedy and transformation.

It's Not About The Bike was first published in May 2000. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013, Lance Armstrong admitted to having taken performance enhancing drugs in all seven of the Tours de France in which he competed between 1999 and 2005. He was officially stripped of these wins by the UCI, the world governing body for cycling, in 2012.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Jersey; New edition edition (3 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224060872
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224060875
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon 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 gruelling 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 training sessions--every aching tendon, every rainy afternoon, and every small triumph during his long recovery is here in living colour. 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.


"If you read one sports book this year, this is the one" (Express on Sunday)

"This is a gripping story" (Guardian)

"So darn riveting that it simply cannot be put down" (Time Out)

"Having nearly lost his life Lance Armstrong serves up his story for the rest of the world to wonder at, shudder at and learn from" (Guardian)

"Armstrong's tale of his recovery from cancer remains compelling and inspirational. It has already brought comfort to millions of sufferers and their families, and will continue to do so" (Daniel Friebe Outdoor Fitness)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars There goes my hero... 20 Jan 2013
That Armstrong beat cancer is something that cannot be taken away from him, and in that regard his tenacity and will to live is inspiring stuff. The rest? Pure fiction about a cycling career that was based on a lie that Armstrong fought every step of the way and didn't care who he destroyed to protect it.

Is this book still worth reading? Yes, the first part is compelling, the rest will chill your bones at the lie and the the myth that Armstrong sought the build.
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87 of 96 people found the following review helpful
It's not about the's about the EPO, cortisone, actovegin, testosterone and blood doping.
It's about bullying teammates and team staff to build a massive doping conspiracy, ridiculing and marginalising anyone that questions you or your unbelievable performances, and discarding and trashing the reputations of those that want no part of it.
Mind you, it's a groundbreaking employment of the unreliable narrator in a biography.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic first work of Fiction! 20 Jan 2013
By BarryO
Format:Kindle Edition
A truly remarkable debut novel by someone whose previous background would not have suggested such talent. It is humbling to think of him sat up all night creating this fantastic tale for us all as he waited for the drugs to wear off so he might sleep............. It really isn't about the bike is it Lance?.....
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This should be in the fiction section 5 Feb 2013
By Dyl
Format:Kindle Edition
I read this years ago when I saw Lance as a heroic figure. I watched him race, adored his ability to keep on battling, and admired his persistance in trying to prove his innocence.

I now only see him as yet another cheating sportsman who has robbed victory from others who don't cheat. I now utterly dispise him as a sportsman and it is only his charity work that lets him maintain a tiny shred of decency. This is a very tiny shred though as his charity success was obtained only as a result of his cheating.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational?.....not a jot 22 Sep 2012
Don't think his book deserves 20 words, I wouldn't waste my time reading this if you want to be inspired unless you think that success should be achieved at ANY cost....I think recent revelations confirm many peoples thoughts that illegal practises and supreme self-centredness sums up his mentality.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong Section 10 Oct 2012
Surely this should be listed under fiction?
Sadly, for previous purchasers of this, er, wonderfully imaginative volume, the truth about Mr Armstrong's achievements are being published as I type. I feel sad for the many people who have been duped into mistaking fiction for reality. An entertaining read, I grant you, but lacking a little in the accuracy department.
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89 of 102 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It takes a lot to win a record seven consecutive titles in the worlds most grueling sport. Add to that an extra-ordinarily strong body, surviving cancer, and founding your own charity, Lance Armstrong should be a role model to every lazy, greedy, or even spoilt individual out there.

So why did I complete this book finding it hard to like him?

A lot of factors distanced me from Armstrong - someone whom I've always heard of, but wanted to know more about. I like inspiring books and was persuaded to purchase by the string of positive reviews, many going as far as suggesting it's "life changing" (a bit over-ambitious). I also had the plan of handing it over to my dads-friend who has Leukemia, and had to go through Chemo herself.

The 'bulk' of the book entails Armstrong's experiences with surviving cancer - how he dealt with it emotionally, the people who he met, and his thoughts along the journey. The start of the book is dedicated to his childhood and growing up as an insecure, yet energetic kid who competed in almost every sport available to him, and the growing relationship he had with his mother; something I really could relate to as a male.

However, what becomes obvious even half way through his book is that behind his broody face is a severely arrogant, temperamental, and for the most part self-indulgent individual; traits that although have helped him win an amazing haul of Trophies and titles, inevitably make him a very difficult person to get on with or please.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Graham Pierce's review says it all! 2 April 2013
Read Tyler f*#!ing Hamilton's excellent book for an idea of what it is really about. Time to come clean Lance. If you do, I for one will forgive you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a true story as it turns out
The book was a reasonable read, somewhat hypocritical now we know "It was about the dope".
Can't say it was bad!
Published 20 days ago by Andrew Morritt
3.0 out of 5 stars Book
I bought this book for our club library, I'm afraid no one will touch it now after all the news about him.
Published 1 month ago by Vanessa Allen-johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
This book makes compelling reading, despite the revelations about the author since its publication. It gives a fascinating insight into the mind of a top-flight athlete as well as... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Snapper
4.0 out of 5 stars good to read
My husband for whom the book was intended enjoyed it and read it it one go- nothing more to say
Published 1 month ago by M. Steinmann
1.0 out of 5 stars Sad story
I read this book about 10 years ago now. Just on Amazon flicking through the latest cycling books, and its clear Armstrong has left an indelible mark. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dummyrun
4.0 out of 5 stars He may be a cheat.....
.....but he was the best cheater out of them all!

If you can look past the doping aspect (which it would seem everybody was doing) then this is still an inspirational... Read more
Published 2 months ago by scott falconer
4.0 out of 5 stars Bought before the revelations
Everything in here needs to be taken with a grain of salt now that the revelations of last year on the drug taking endemic in the sport. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ms Belle
1.0 out of 5 stars The bigest liar since Joseph Goebbels
OK, a penny a copy, but still...
Armstrong was a serial liar and cheat all the way through his career. Thsi book is simply his lying about just about everything in his life. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Franz Bieberkopf
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmm
It was hard reading this book even before the truth had come out so I guess you need to pick your way through the book trying to work out what's true and whats not. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dave P
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
This dvd is inspiring. You don't have to be a Lance Armstrong fan to enjoy it. It is well worth watching.
Published 5 months ago by Crystal
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