Lance Armstrong’s newest book, Every Second Counts, will be released in the US on October 14th but a Bristol-Myers Squibb sponsored website for The Tour of Hope, a Cancer awareness ride across America led by Armstrong himself, has the full first chapter...

Want a sneak peek at Lance Armstrong’s new book?

The condensed book extracts below are from…/book_chapter_1.htm

Every time I win another Tour, I prove that I’m alive—and therefore that others can survive, too. I’ve survived cancer again, and again, and again, and again. I’ve won four Tour titles, and I wouldn’t mind a record-tying five. That would be some good living.

But the fact is that I wouldn’t have won even a single Tour de France without the lesson of illness. What it teaches is this: pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever. To me, just finishing the Tour de France is a demonstration of survival. The arduousness of the race, the sheer unreasonableness of the job, the circumnavigation of an entire country on a bicycle, village to village, along its shores, across its bridges, up and over the mountain peaks they call cols, requires a matchless stamina. The Tour is a daily festival of human suffering, of minor tragedies and comedies, all conducted in the elements, sometimes terrible weather and sometimes fine, over flats, and into headwinds, with plenty of crashes. And it’s three weeks long. ******* My friends call me Mellow Johnny. It’s a play on the French term for the leader of the Tour de France, who wears a yellow jersey: the maillot jaune. We like to joke that Mellow Johnny is the Texan pronunciation. The name is also a play on my not-so-mellow personality. Sometimes I’m just Bike Boy. I ride my bike almost every day, even in the off-season, no matter the weather. It could be hailing, and my friends and riding partners dread the call that they know is going to come: they pick up the phone, and they hear Bike Boy on the other end, demanding, “You ridin’, or you hidin’?” One famous November day during the off-season, I rode four and a half hours through one of the strongest rainstorms on record. Seven inches of precipitation, with flash floods and road closures everywhere. I loved it. People thought I was crazy, of course. But when I’m on the bike, I feel like I’m 13 years old. I run fewer red lights now, but otherwise it’s the same. ***** Bill [Stapleton, Lance Armstong’s agent] was swamped with offers and requests and proposed endorsements. He struck some handsome new deals on my behalf, with prestigious sponsors like Bristol-Myers Squibb, Nike, and Coca-Cola. With the deals came new responsibilities: I shot half a dozen commercials, posed for magazine ads and the Wheaties box. I earned the nickname “Lance Incorporated” and now I was a business entity instead of just a person. It was estimated that the ’99 victory generated $50 million in global media exposure for the United States Postal Service cycling team. Our budget grew, and now we were a $6 million year-round enterprise with dozens of support staff, mechanics, cooks, and accountants. With success came the problem of celebrity, and how not to be distorted by it. There were invitations that left me and Kik amazed. Robin Williams had a jet. Kevin Costner offered his house in Santa Barbara. Elton John had a Super Bowl party. Kik and I felt like Forrest Gump, lurking in the background of photos with accomplished people. We were impressed, so much so that sometimes we would save the messages on our answering machine and replay them, awed. ****** The truck pulled up at a light. I braked and leaped off my bike. Just then a guy stepped out . . . and then another guy got out . . . and then another. The last guy pulled a knife out of his back pocket, just a pocketknife, I noted, but still, it looked ready to unfold. By now, however, I was too angry to be scared. “Are you trying to kill me?” I asked.

“You don’t belong on this road,” one of them said.

“What do you mean we don’t belong?”

“I pay taxes on this road,” another one said. I burst out laughing. “Yeah, taxes are a hot issue with me, too,” I said. Just then, fortunately, College arrived, and stepped between us, and advised me to calm down. We haggled about the tax issue a bit more, and all of us decided to get back to our respective vehicles and move on. The result of these adventures is that I’m more careful riding my bike around Austin. These days I travel with somebody following me in a car, or on a motorbike, to help shield me from the trucks, the rocks, and the cranks in their pickups. I can’t afford to get hit or hurt by some guy coming from behind. I still like to ride out on isolated roads with friends, though. We ride, and we think aloud, and talk. Once when {and friend} and I were out riding, we discussed risk, and recklessness, and the difference between the two. What’s adventurous and what’s plainly imprudent? To me, what I do on my bike or with my body is not high-risk, because I’m a professional. I have expertise in handling my own limbs, and what might seem risky to others is mundane to me. When I’m descending a mountain, I’m less aggressive than I used to be. In the old days I’d descend so fast, sometimes I’d catch cars. Now I don’t need to, I just get down the mountain, because the fact that I have a family is in the back of my mind. You can’t win a race on a descent, but you can lose one, and you can lose your life, too. I don’t want to lose my life, all I have, on a mountainside. The real reason I drive a family car now isn’t just for the kids. I drive it simply so that I’ll slow down.

But some things in me won’t change: I like to control things, like to win things, like to take things to the limit. A life spent defensively, worried, is to me a life wasted.

The above book extracts are from…/b>

The Tour of Hope is a Bristol-Myers Squibb initiative in association with Lance Armstrong and aims to raise awareness of cancer research. It’s a week-long, 3000 mile journey across the US from October 11 – 18. Lance will lead 20 cyclists touched by cancer to inspire and inform the public about the importance of cancer research. Armstrong is seeking 20 riders in the cancer community — survivors, physicians, nurses, caregivers, researchers or loved ones — to join the Tour of Hope team. Kicking off in Los Angeles on October 11, the Tour of Hope Team will relay ride day and night, spinning through cities such as Phoenix, Dallas, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and ending in Washington, DC. Cancer survivors, cycling enthusiasts, families and supporters are invited to help Armstrong launch the Tour of Hopewith a 62.5 mile/100 km ride through the streets of Los Angeles on October 11 and in Washington DC with a celebratory ride and educational health fair on October 18. All of the funds raised at the local rides will benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation and cancer research community programs. Registration for the local rides will open in mid-July. Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology is "dedicated to the discovery, development and exhaustive exploration of innovative cancer fighting therapies that extend and enhance the lives of patients living with cancer." Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global pharmaceutical and related health care products company whose mission is to extend and enhance human life.

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