Putnam Books It's Not About the Bike Book

It's Not About the Bike

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. ISBN: 0399146113

User Reviews (21)

Showing 1-10 of 21  
Sprocketeer   Cross Country Rider [Mar 05, 2002]
Strength:

Hard cover withstands most crashes.

Quality paper repells bicycle grease better than most.

Just fits in my CamelBak M.U.L.E..

The ink doesn't run after riding in a typhoon, though it takes a long time to dry out the book.

The ink smells of adrenaline.

Weakness:

Heavier than a paperback, making hill climbs more difficult.

Dark blue cover is hard to see during a night ride--requiring the addition of reflective stickers or a flashing light for safety.

"Hey! This book really ISN'T about the bike. Dammit!!"

I had to stop myself from reading this book all in one day and managed to pace myself out to five days. I'm a rather careful reader, but this was one of those books that I couldn't put down--which is unusual for me.

For one thing, this book is SO GOOD despite that the writing doesn't come across as the work of a professional writer. Sally Jenkins managed to maintain Lance Armstrong's voice on the page, so that it mostly reads like a very long e-mail or conversation over beer with Lance Armstrong himself. You would never get this kind of personal-style expression and energy out a person in an interview, giving me the feeling that this really is a book BY Lance Armstrong with significant guidance and help by Sallie Jenkins. The ink smells of adrenaline.

A couple of the chapters do read like professional writing, but it's not overdone and strengthens the readability and enjoyment of the book.

I can only think of one chapter--which was entirely about the bike--that started to get boring because it was full of Lance Armstrong just blowing his own horn. On the other hand, it was kind of Mohammad Ali, "Fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee" of him, and showed the real mind of a competitive athlete. All of us who have competed in a hardcore sport on a national or international level have that attitude about ourselves, and it just serves to show that Lance Armstrong is/was no different. It served to connect all of us jerks to the one we admire the most, to evaluate our attitudes and then get a lesson from Lance Armstrong's experience of fighting for his life and his humanity rather than just fighting to win more.

What makes this book really great is that it seems like it's several books, but they're all tied together well. Yeah, it is about the bike at some points, about the Tour at others, about racing, cancer, and his mother--but it's not a jumble of these things. Nor is it some junkie book about a person who just happened to catch national attention, like The Amy Fischer Story or whatever crap is out there about Tonya Harding or some of our instantly famous heros who cash in on that first fifteen minutes of fame. It's not understated, and not overstated.

Will people who are not athletes or related in some way to serious athletes enjoy this book? I have no idea. Maybe they can't relate, maybe they'll like it for some other reason, but for us titans out there--in sports or business or whatever--this is a great read.

What the Book of Five Rings is to teaching people how to be more competitive, this book is to teaching competitive people to be more human.

Similar Products Used: I graduated from an ivy league college--OK, I confess, it was Harvard, commence hating me now. Needless to say, I've read hundreds upon hundreds of books--I could probably wear the maillot jaune in the Tour de Waterstone's--but I can only think of five books out of all of those that I enjoyed as much as this one.
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Al   [Oct 04, 2001]

Read it. I checked the book out from the library to have something to read on the airplane, but I couldn't put it down and read it in 24 hours. I had to read magazines on the plane. Lance portrays himself (appropriately) as a tough competitive racer, and he says some nice things about himself, but he also reveals sides of him that one would not want to emulate. You will find yourself inspired, but you won't find yourself wanting to imitate every aspect of Lance's character. I sensed that reflected honesty in the book and I appreciated it.

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5
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5
Neeek   Weekend Warrior [Jul 10, 2001]
Strength:

Inspirational, compelling.

Weakness:

Nada.

Read it. It'll make you think and re-evaluate what's important and what's not important.

Similar Products Used: Ummm... out of context??
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5
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Linda   Weekend Warrior [May 19, 2000]
Strength:

Very straight forward and honest

Weakness:

I want more

Lance has shared an amazing story in his book. I had a love/hate response to him the whole way through. He was so arrogant and cocky in his early years. Throughout his struggle with cancer and even afterwards he still seemed to have an edge, but it had softened. I started reading the book during my own triathlon race weekend and I drew a lot of inspiration from Lance's race stories.

There's a lot to be said for men doing their monthly self exam!! It's amazing how long Lance ignored the symptoms of his testicular cancer and things could have been much easier on him had he received treatment a lot earlier!

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5
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5
Talenthound   Cross Country Rider [Jan 22, 2001]

Similar to other reviewers I couldn't put it down once started. It is suprisingly well written and well laid out. I have never read an account of cancer with this amount of detail, what chemo is really like, what your body goes through and your mind. It increased my appreciated of his accomplishments tremendously. His account of his comeback is inspiring to anyone, cyclist or not. Well worth the read.

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5
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5
Wufei Chang   Cross Country Rider [Jan 22, 2001]
Strength:

Great Read, really good book

Weakness:

i failed a test at school cause i was reading and not studying

good book, go read it, just go get it, you'll like it, i Guarentee it, oh and ps, screw spell check, eh?

Similar Products Used: books?!?!
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Tom   [Apr 30, 2001]

I wish my mind and goals were as clear and unscattered as Armstrong's. There's a guy who doesn't suffer from option-induced apathy. Quick, easy read, inspiring, made me weepy.

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4
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5
Jorin   Racer [Jan 17, 2001]
Strength:

An excellent read!

This book should appeal to more than just cyclists. Funny, frightening (Chemo!) and a joy to read.

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5
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5
Duane Gran   Racer [Jan 07, 2001]

I devoured this book in 48 hours, unable to put it down at times. It has a natural appeal to cyclists, especially those of us who see a deeper meaning to what we do. Although I just finished reading to book, I feel comfortable saying that its inspirational effect will be long felt. I will be recommending the book to others.

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5
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5
Kenn   Weekend Warrior [Dec 05, 2000]
Strength:

Great Book, easy reading, captures you attention pretty quick. I read it just as the Tour de France started this year, which made it just that more interesting.

Weakness:

None to think of. More picture for those of us that have fallen on our heads once too many.

Great book. The title "It's not about the bike" is only partialy true. Living where Lance grew up and riding some of the same roads, made the book very interesting. Even knowing some of the people mentioned was surprizing. The main part of the book is about his battle with cancer, but you get a very good look at Lance, the man, and what it takes to be a world class rider. You see how brash he was and how he attacked the world. The reader is able to pick up a lot about riding and racing just from the little bit discussed. I found it very inspirational for my personal life as well as for my bike riding. Best book I have read this year. Come borrow my copy if you can't afford it yourself.

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5
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5
Showing 1-10 of 21  

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