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

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  26,470 ratings  ·  1,650 reviews
This is the story of Lance Armstrong, the world-famous cyclist, and his fight against cancer.
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published (first published November 8th 1999)
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Julie
This review will probably upset some people, but here it is: I had more respect for Lance Armstrong before I read this book. Now I just think he's pompous, self-absorbed, and egotistical.

So you survived cancer...big deal. What, do you think you deserve a friggin' cookie? People survive cancer every day. People are diagnosed every day. People are re-diagnosed every day. People suffer from treatment every day. People fight insurmountable odds every day. But nobody writes a book about them. Nobody...more
Lobstergirl
There is no more remarkable story of surviving cancer than Lance Armstrong's, and perhaps there is no better athlete in history. His rise from poverty and being raised by a young single mother is quite impressive too. But I have to give his memoir 2 stars, because

1) He's such a cocky son of a bitch. Really, it gets quite annoying.

2) He couldn't keep his marriage and family intact, especially after putting his wife through the IVF, twice. Before they even began dating, she was concerned about his...more
♥ Marlene♥
Feb 27, 2013 ♥ Marlene♥ rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: If you like fairytales
On Wednesday, November 17, 2004 I wrote on bookcrosing:

I had to decide what to read next and decided to read this book. Although I do not like Lance Armstrong I love The Tour de France and want to know as much as I can of the event and the participants.I have heard that this is a very good book and while reading I noticed I forget the arrogant guy who treats the other cyclists with not enough respect. Now I just want to read how he dealt with the cancer and I know a lot of the names and persons...more
Emir Never
Raised alone by his mother, who at some point had to juggle waiting at KFC and manning the cash register of a grocery store to make ends meet. Difficult childhood, never-say-die attitude. Triathlon, bike racing, winning. From Texas to the world, through his bike. That, basically, is Lance Armstrong's initial story. At 25, he's on to a promising career in competitive cycling. Then, like a cruel joke, he's hit by stage four testicular cancer.

"One minute you're pedaling along a highway, and the nex...more
Buggy
I really enjoyed this, a fascinating and inspirational read even if you’re not a cycling fan or into sports biographies. As the title states this is “not about the bike” well not completely anyways, of course the bike is always present (even on Lance’s sickest days when he could barely stand from the chemo treatments he still managed to go for a wobbly ride around the block) but I would say more than half of this story deals with Lance’s brutal battle with cancer and his miraculous recovery. We...more
Chad Sayban
Call this revisionist history if you like, but there are consequences for completely misrepresenting yourself in print. I originally gave It's Not about the Bike 3-stars, feeling that it did a good job of explaining his fight against cancer and recovery, it came across as Lance being a bit full of himself. Oh boy, was that an understatement in retrospect.

The revelations of just how low Lance Armstrong stooped to win titles and make millions sounds almost like fiction. Worse is the list of people...more
Dave
It's great that he survived cancer and all, but Lance Armstrong is a self-centered, egotistical jerk. He is so obnoxious and he doesn't even realize it. One review I read said something like "he's just smart enough to realize his story should be inspiring, but just too dumb to know why." The title is appropriate--it's not about the bike, it's about how awesome Lance is and always has been in every way! Don't waste your time reading this. That about sums it up.
Stefani
So...I understand that Lance is not a writer - but why hire a ghost-writer that cannot write either?

That aside - "Its Not About the Bike" is a combination cancer survival against the odds/sports prodigy story/inspiration.

Lance seems like an arrogant asshole, its true, but I couldn't help getting all ferclempt when he wins the tour the first time...I love cycling, I am truly fascinate by the mental and physiological processes of true athletes, and this book *did* give a little insight.

Maybe with...more
Otis Chandler
I read this right after my dad passed away from cancer. Lance was a hero of my dad's for some time, but I'd never seen his autobiography until I found it on my dad's shelf. Lance's drive to survive and win against all odds is an inspiration to anyone, but especially to cancer survivors & their family. It really helped me get through a difficult time, and inspired me to start doing triathlons with Team In Training (a great organization which helps benefit cancer victims).

Oh - and Lance is th...more
Anbu
I pick up this book to read when I was feeling low with the certain things happened in my personal life. Lance, thru this book helped me realize that anything is achievable and any hurdle could be overcome. Thank you Lance.

I have heard of Lance Armstrong, the man who won the Tour de France record-breaking seven times after recovering from life threatening cancer. So what I expected from this book was a fairy tale of a rider who survived cancer and became successful in the tour. But what I got wa...more
Farnoosh Brock
On second thought, Lance, I stripped the extra 4 stars I gave you when I first read the book. It just so happens that you were a big fat liar, and now feeling sorry or happy for you is really hard to do.

But here's the original review of the book I wrote, when I had assumed the author was an honest and hard-working person without all the issues he developed during the Tour de France, all of which are entirely 100% his fault.

---- the old review ----
I picked up this book in the juice store in San J...more
Jamie
A friend of mine loaned me this book years ago; he enjoyed it and recommended that I read it. This friend had never loaned me a book before, and since he's a bit more of a jock than me, I thought I might not get the same satisfaction as he did. So I put it on my shelf and considered it from time to time over the years, but finally picked it up when there was nothing else of interest on the shelf.

This book was a pleasant surprise. I have never read any sports books before, and didn't know what to...more
David
Lance Armstrong was 25 years old and starting to achieve fame and fortune on the world cycling tour, when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He wrote this account in 1999, three years after the initial diagnosis, describing his fight against the disease and the highly improbably comeback that led to his victory in the 1999 Tour de France, cycling's greatest event.

The book describes his youth in Texas - slight of build and not suited for the football that was the passion in his Texas hometo...more
Kimberly
Talk about an inspiring book. He didn't hold back any details when it came to his treatment and struggles with cancer. It makes his accomplishments with the Tour de France that much sweeter in my mind hearing what he went through. I think my biggest take home from the book is that your mindset and attitude towards struggles can make or break you.

I will say that he also showed signs of being quite arrogant and prideful, but in his defense lots of competitive athletes are. If they're not going to...more
James
So, Lance can't write for toffee. I guess that's fine, he's a cyclist not an author. But why hire a ghost write who's only marginally better. That's an assumption actually, maybe Lance would have done better on his own...

Points are clawed back to OK because it's a genuinely interesting story, it's just a shame that it's presented in such a wooden and smug book.
Jayme
This book made me strongly dislike Lance Armstrong. It is terribly written and after all that his wife did for him and his kids, he leaves at the end and basically choses the life of a celebrity instead of a good husband and father.
Daniel Solera
It was three years ago that I first read Lance Armstrong’s autobiography, a heart-pounding narrative that details his rise to fame and precipitous fall from grace. I wasn’t a budding endurance athlete at the time, so the chapters devoted to training didn’t resonate as closely as they could have. This time around, whenever Lance would wax athletic, I would nod with a better understanding, fully aware of the reasons people decide to go the distance.

The book is informally divided into three section...more
Juan
You will read a lot of bad reviews stating that the guy is an asshole and that the book is bad because he is a such cocky SOB. Buy you know what? if all of the people that are saying that, together, can even finish the Tour the France, they will write a book about that.
Lets face it, if you can win the tour 7 consecutive times you can write a book about anything. And if, on top of that, you did that after surviving the kind of cancer that this guy had, the book can be 300 pages with just your nam...more
Chantal
Oct 21, 2008 Chantal rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chantal by: Bret Gadberry
The strangest thing for me in reading this book was realizing that I was right in Paris when Lance won for the first time. I was eating at a restaurant with my grandparents when the Tour de France was going by. My grandfather, who doesn't speak a lick of French, was proudly trying to show off my French to the waitress...I had to say something about the Tour de France to her. He didn't realize that I could barely speak French. I kept praying that she would at least pretend she understood me, and...more
Melanie
In early 2002, I was going through a rough time--I had just dropped out of college after a semester marked by panic attacks, the inability to leave my room, and a variety of reckless behaviors, and I was convinced that my life was over. I was also convinced that my parents hated me because I was such a failure. It was in this weakened state that I agreed to read It's Not About the Bike (and, later, The Hobbit), because they were recommended by my stepmother (Bike) and my father (Hobbit), and I w...more
David
"It's not about the bike." For some reason, those 5 words are passed from cyclist to cyclist hundreds, if not thousands of times a day. But is it rightfully so? Lance Armstrong's autobiography set out to inspire cyclists and cancer patients all around the world; and although many may have been inspired by his autobiography, I can't help but wonder how many people lost respect for a man who accomplished two of the most impossible things in the world- overcoming cancer, and winning the Tour dé Fra...more
Emanuella
След случаен разговор за жълтите гривни Livestrong, колоезденето и силните духом, един колега ми даде книгата да я прочета. Бях впечатлена и си я купих. Започнах да я раздавам.

Докато четях отделните глави и части от живота на Ланс, чувствата ми към него непрекъснато се променяха - ту ми се струваше егоист, отворко, самохвалко, ту му се възхищавах колко упорит, смел и борбен тип е. Животът му е чудо и стискане на зъби. Голям късмет е да имаш такива хора до себе си - амбициозна майка, всеотдайна ж...more
Lawrence Windrush


Respect for beating cancer and becoming a great athlete, you are good at fighting battles and winning at great odds. But now your afraid of facing hostile ex dopers in an open hearing, I've list all respect for you if your truly innocent then you would crush this biased testimony.
Thanks for destroying my faith in one of the worlds toughest sports, I have watched the Tour de France since 1984 and the great Robert Millar. Never again, it's a shame Bradley Wiggins win happened in the same year you...more
Alastair McDermott
Despite believing that Lance Armstrong was a drug using cheat, I really enjoyed his first book "It's Not About The Bike". It was a well written, compelling story. Lance is an example for everyone not to give up, not just cyclists or cancer patients, regardless of whether he's using performance enhancing substances or not.
Nicola Howarth
An autobiography which takes the reader on a roller-coaster of emotions; following one of the worlds most famous athletes as he battles his way to the top of his game despite the devastating news that, at the age of 25, and at the peak of his fitness, he had cancer. Whether you have an interest in cycling or any sport for that matter is irrelevant, because as the title suggests, "its not about the bike". It's about the man riding that bike and how the illness swiftly took hold of his body, his m...more
Silpa Parmar
I got told that after reading this book, I would see Lance Armstrong in a 'different light'. At that point in time, I didn't see him in any light at all as I knew close to nothing about him. After reading his autobiography, I see him as an extremely strong, committed, passionate and confident human being. I understand how he might come across as arrogant and boastful to some but I rather liked his cockiness. I thought it showed character and personality.

The book does lack some sophistication in...more
John Cass
The book tells the egocentric tale of Lance Armstrong's early life, how he got interested in endurance sports (for which he was obviously gifted), his diagnosis with cancer, recovery, and remarkable comeback to win the Tour de France.

By his own admission, professional athletes tend not to be the nicest people, or especially easy to get along with, and this comes through in many parts of the book which may irritate some readers. To be fair, this may simply be as a result of their single minded fo...more
Kennedy K
It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life was a good interesting book that makes you keep wanting to read it instead of stopping and putting it down. Lance Armstrong told his life story about his obstacles he had to face while going through the process of getting diagnosed with testicular cancer. He talked about wanting to deny the fact he had cancer and wanted to keep riding. It was hard for him to stop riding for a while, but he maintained to try his best to fight for his life and he ex...more
Macy M.
In my opinion, this book kept me intrigued to continue to read it because of all the motivational lessons to be learned, all being hidden in deep detail of the book. Common followers to this book would most likely be people diagnosed with similar diseases, they can use Lance as an inspiration to carry on. Although I am not a cancer patient, I do not have to battle through the struggles that he or others have to everyday but by reading this book, it allowed me see life from a different perspectiv...more
Brooke H Holt
The book, Its not about the bike; My journey back to life by Lance Armstrong is an Amazing book. It is about Lance’s biking career and how cancer took it all away from him when he was finally getting to where he wanted to be in the sport. The storys tells us about the difficulties he had when he had cancer and what it was like through the chemo process. Lance was told he had only a 20% chance of living and a very little chance of having children, but he never once thought of giving up. When he...more
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Motivating? 10 165 Feb 26, 2014 11:20AM  
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Lance Armstrong (born Lance Edward Gunderson) is a retired American professional road racing cyclist. He had won the Tour de France seven consecutive times, from 1999 to 2005, but in 2012 he was disqualified from all his results since August 1998 for using and distributing performance-enhancing drugs and banned from professional cycling for life. Previously, he also survived testicular cancer, a g...more
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“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. That surrender, even the smallest act of giving up, stays with me. So when I feel like quitting, I ask myself, which would I rather live with?” 279 likes
“Anyone who imagines they can work alone winds up surrounded by nothing but rivals, without companions. The fact is, no one ascends alone.” 97 likes
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