It's not about the bike. Book cover with Lance Armstrong.
The New York Times #1 Bestseller. "It's not about the bike." Now a very ironic book title. The consolation is that Lance Armstrong is, as the cover says, just a human being after all.

Lance Armstrong Bicycle Quotes

Un/Inspirational and ironic Lance Armstrong bicycle quotes

I’m sorry to have demoted Lance Armstrong’s quote to this secondary page, but here is why:

Lance Armstrong interview with Oprah Winfrey
Lance Armstrong as seen in the Oprah Winfrey interview about the scandal.

Update: I did try to give Lance a chance to explain himself. I wrote a follow-up letter and sent him a copy of my book (with the touching story mentioned below) but I still haven’t heard anything.

For me, he was always an inspiration, so I’m as heartbroken as anyone. If you’ve found this page, you probably know the story: he had all 7 of his Tour de France titles revoked for doping. Recently, I met his crew and later saw him ride past me during RAGBRAI. I wished could have met him, because I would have liked to share a heart-warming story in my book Falling Uphill about a woman with cancer that I met. I gave her Lance’s book, “It’s not about the bike,” which talks about his battle with cancer. The woman said it gave her hope. Nonetheless, in fairness, I felt obligated to demote Lance’s quotes. You be the judge. As for me, I like to think if I were in his shoes that I’d understand. There are a lot of things I wish I had never done, but seemed like a good idea at the time. And it does seem the Tour de France organizers needed a scapegoat. Even some of his rivals, like Jan Ulrich, believe his wins should be reinstated because he would still have been the best had the playing field been level, so to speak, meaning that everyone cheated so Lance’s actions did level the playing field. The worst part were all the lies. But what can you do when you’re backed into a corner? Despite having lied to his fans for years, losing his Tour de France wins, all his sponsors and his “street cred”, Lance still inspires many. I do believe the following:

Hard work, sacrifice and focus will never show up in tests.
~

It’s not like we all just went to Saint-Tropez every day and sipped rosé and then just showed up to the Tour de France and won.*
~


Inspirational quotes from before Lance’s fall from grace

Editor’s Note: I believe any quotation from Lance Armstrong’s book, “It’s not about the bike,” should be viewed with skepticism. In light of the scandal, I have little doubt that Lance Armstrong’s ghostwriter glorified his words as well as his actions. It’s unfortunate because I actually read and enjoyed the book. In fact, during my travels by bike, I constantly reminded myself that “It’s not about the bike.” It was like a mantra that kept me grounded.

If you worried about falling off the bike, you’d never get on. ~

Chasing records doesn’t keep me on my bike. Happiness does. ~

I went in and just looked up the definition of cheat and the definition of cheat is to gain an advantage on a rival or foe that they don’t have. I didn’t view it that way. ~

Anyone who imagines they can work alone winds up surrounded by nothing but rivals, without companions. The fact is, no one ascends alone. ~ It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life.

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? ~ .

Pain is temporary, quitting is forever. ~

Cycling is so hard, the suffering is so intense, that it’s absolutely cleansing. The pain is so deep and strong that a curtain descends over your brain…. Once, someone asked me what pleasure I took in riding for so long. “Pleasure?” I said. “I don’t understand the question. I didn’t do it for the pleasure; I did it for the pain.”

Hard work, sacrifice and focus will never show up in tests. ~


Ironic quotes from Lance Armstrong

Perhaps the most ironic quote ever.

It’s not about the bike.

~

Extraordinary allegations require extraordinary evidence. ~

This is my body, and I can do whatever I want to it. I can push it, study it, tweak it; listen to it. Everybody wants to know what I am on. What am I on? I am on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?

I figure the faster I pedal, the faster I can retire. ~

If I had a dollar for every time somebody yelled, ‘dopé, dopé,’ I’d be a rich man. ~

“Two things scare me. The first is getting hurt. But that’s not nearly as scary as the second, which is losing.” ~ Playboy, June 2005.

A boo is a lot louder than a cheer. If you have 10 people cheering and one person booing, all you hear is the booing. ~

For most of my life I had operated under a simple schematic of winning and losing, but cancer was teaching me a tolerance for ambiguities. ~ It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life.

There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say: ‘Enough is enough.’
~


Un-inspirational quotes from Lance Armstrong

I will simply restate what I have said many times: I have never taken performance-enhancing drugs. ~ 2005.

I took performance-enhancing drugs for the greater part of my cycling career. ~

I’m not the most believable guy in the world right now.

The ultimate crime is the betrayal of these people who support me and believed in me and they got lied to. ~


Footnotes
*A candid Lance Armstrong reflects on his ‘colossal meltdown’ in CU-Boulder visit

More deconstructed bicycle quotes

It's not about the bike. Book cover with Lance Armstrong.

Lance Armstrong Bicycle Quotes

Un/Inspirational and ironic Lance Armstrong bicycle quotes. I’m sorry to have demoted Lance’s quote to this secondary page, but here is why.

A wood engraving of a penny farthing from the 1870's.

Taming the Bicycle by Mark Twain

This humorous essay by one of America’s greatest authors gave birth to many famous quotes about riding a bicycle. And it was written in 1884 shortly before women suffragists.

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