It's Not About the Bike Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of It's Not About the Bike

Lance Armstrong, one of the world's most famous cyclists, shares the story of his life, his battle with cancer, and his amazing victory over it. Lance wanted to be a cyclist racer since he was a kid growing up in the suburbs of Austen, Texas. His road to success was a difficult one, but hard work, perseverance, and lots of training helped him to achieve his dream. He had become one of the best and then, at the age of 25 and on top of the world, he was hit with the diagnosis: testicular cancer.
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At first, like most healthy young men and especially athletes, Lance ignored occasional headaches and some other symptoms. When he began coughing up blood, he knew something was wrong, so he turned for help. The first doctor Lance called was a friend; he thought it was a sinus condition, so Lance did not get a serious warning he needed and undertook no treatment. He was getting worse, so the friend referred him to a specialist, and after many tests the true diagnosis was given. Things did not look good. The cancer had spread and reached the lungs and the brain. Lance was told that the treatment would require a brain surgery, and that he had a 40% chance of survival. (Later on, when Lance was cancer-free, the doctors admitted that they had lied to him: his real chance was only 3%).

It looked like his cycling career was over for good, and the only thing left to do was to take pain killers and try to enjoy whatever time he's got left, but Lance was determined to fight for his life and for his passion of a cyclist. He overcame fears and despairs and went through the treatments. His progress is described in the book. Lance had fully recovered, and not only that he went back to cycling. Two years after his recovery, he won the Tour de France race.
The review of this Book prepared by Laura Southcombe

It's Not About The Bike is Lance Armstrong's autobiography detailing his life growing up in Texas with a single mom, a bike and a passion for riding. He overcomes many hardships to become a famous world-class athlete only to face the possible loss of it all to brain and testicular cancer.

He survives the surgery and endures grueling chemotherapy and cancer fighting protocols. Only through his will to live and fierce determination to race again does he overcome cancer and the psychological ravages of the disease.

The review of this Book prepared by David Fletcher

After reading this book, (in which I stayed up until it was finished), I am just totally amazed at Lance's guts, determination and strength in fighting testicular cancer, which should have, according to the poor odds against him (less than 3%), killed him. Lance, instead of becoming a victim, chose instead to be survivor!

Here a story of inspiration that will bring tears to your eyes, tears of compassion, joy and triumph. This is one man's story of incredible challenge of digging down deep for inner resources in managing and conquering cancer. Lance refused to become a statistic and instead rallied and became cancer's worst enemy. He refused to give in and chose to fight the disease with all that he had. I admire his love and admiration for his mother, who continues to be one of his strengths in his life. He was fortunate, as well, to have loving friends support him throughout his entire ordeal.

"The one thing the illness has convinced me of beyond all doubt - more than any experience I've had as an athlete - is that we are much better than we know. We have unrealized capacities that sometime only emerge in crisis. So, if there is a purpose to the suffering that is cancer, I think it must be this: it's meant to improve us."

The book chronicles the emotional and physical changes Lance undergoes as he triumphs over cancer as well as his emotional coping both during and after. This is a book of true courage and determination. Lance set up a foundation to help other cancer patients manage and survive their cancer. Lance lives his mother's inspiration of "make every obstacle an opportunity."

Lance proves that the power of the mind, combined with taking control of one's disease, seeking different opinions and doctors, and becoming an expert on the topic can help one overcome and conquer cancer.

This is book is an excellent, poignant, and emotional testimony to one man's faith and determination. Finishing this book, I have nothing but admiration for Lance Armstrong. Thanks Lance for being an inspiration to everyone and with your work with cancer patients. The world needs more role models like yourself!

The review of this Book prepared by Judith E. Pavluvcik

Through writer Sally Jenkins, Lance tells us the very personal story of his battle against the testicular cancer that nearly killed him--and how he came back to earn the most coveted win in international cycling, the Tour de France.
The review of this Book prepared by S. Kay Murphy

Chapter Analysis of It's Not About the Bike

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Plot & Themes

Phys disability/mental struggle?    -   Yes Struggle with    -   physical disability/sickness Sports story?    -   bike racing Sports story    -   Yes Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   sports figure Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Texas    -   California Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   France Century:    -   1980's-Present

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   encouraged How much dialogue in bio?    -   significantly more descript than dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   0-25% of book

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