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things I learned from reading Lance's second book...(24 posts)

things I learned from reading Lance's second book...mohair_chair
Nov 19, 2003 7:40 AM
In just a few pages in one chapter, this is what I learned:

1. Mt Ventoux goes from 900 to 16,000 feet above sea level.

2. Stage 16 to Morzine in 2000 (over Joux Plane) was a "comparatively short" 122 miles.

3. When Lance crashes a Trek bike head-on into a car, it breaks up into metal tubes.

4. After Lance gave Pantani the win on Mt Ventoux, Pantani was so upset, he went out and won the next day on his own.

I hate to be picky, but the book isn't that good to begin with, a little too self-indulgent for me. When it appears that no one bothered to read it before it was published, I have to wonder why I should bother continuing.

For those who may not know,

1. Mt Ventoux tops out about 10,000 feet lower than Lance claims. The tallest mountain in Europe is only around 14,000 feet.

2. I'm not sure what he's comparing it to, but that was about the average stage length for the Tour (excluding time trials), and it was the third longest mountain stage.

3. I'm no chemist and I'm no physicist, but that's some collusion if a 100% carbon bike can break up into metal tubes ("some with Trek stickers" as it says in the book). We're talking about atoms splitting for that to happen. Carbon into metal, lead into gold, neither one is going to happen. Somewhere in Wisconsin, people are cringing.

4. Pantani won stage 12 to Mt Ventoux and stage 15 to Courcheval, three days later. Vicente Garcia-Acosta won stage 13.
So really, you learned five things.Roger2
Nov 19, 2003 8:02 AM
whoever the publisher's editor was, was clueless or at a minimum very distracted and verified no facts. Pretty sad. I say read the rest of it, you paid for it! ;0)
Heh... interesting...kevinacohn
Nov 19, 2003 8:04 AM
His books do seem just a tad self-indulgent, don't they? ;)
yeah I passed on it even at Costco prices (nm)ColnagoFE
Nov 19, 2003 8:04 AM
So he's a bike rider, not a journalist.Fredrico
Nov 19, 2003 8:16 AM
He should have hired a better ghost writer--or a more thorough editor. But anyone with five TDF wins under his belt might have such supreme confidence in his facts that he wouldn't have to.
but he can still read...mohair_chair
Nov 19, 2003 9:14 AM
The typos and trivial errors are meaningless, laughable mistakes not caught by a good editor, but how could Lance let the part about his bike breaking up into metal tubes stay in? Lance loves that bike, helped develop that bike, loves Trek, and he's famous for being a tech-head with his equipment. He KNOWS his carbon bike wouldn't break up into metal tubes. It would be as glaring an error to Lance as saying he rides for Swiss Post or Fed Ex, instead of the US Postal Service. I'm a big Lance fan, but it bothers me that it seems that HE has not read the book.
exactly...seems as if he just put his name on it (nm)ColnagoFE
Nov 19, 2003 9:59 AM
Learn Floyd Landis's thoughts on the book...Chicago_Steve
Nov 19, 2003 8:22 AM
Here's what Floyd had to say about the book...

CN: Have you had a chance to read Lance's new book "Every Second Counts" - you are in it quite a bit?

FL: Yeah, I read a little bit of (Every Second Counts)... it was good. The way I was portrayed in the book comes off kind of like I'm just a dude that happened to get there by accident, which isn't the case, but I'm not offended by it... Lance's book is just for entertainment. And at that time, I was angry at cycling and just wasn't that focused. But I was surprised that he wrote so much about me.
There was more to the story than just the one day where I drank too much coffee... the whole year before that (2001) was stressful for me and I wasn't very focused or relaxed in the beginning of my time at USPS in 2002 - I wasn't really even into bicycle racing, honestly. I had a job and I was happy about that, but 2002 wasn't really like other years where I actually had some goals or anything. I was on the team and I was left with a bad taste in my mouth after the Mercury experience, so there were a lot of things (going on), but the cappuccinos didn't help. When Lance heard about that, he probably decided he should tell me I should relax a little!
Just finished it too....namaSSte
Nov 19, 2003 8:27 AM
and erroneous facts aside, I think Lance is a man who is desperately searching for something in his life despite his claims that cancer has taught him so much. He talks about faith for instance. I ask faith in what? Doctors, himself, the frailty of human nature? His whole, I'm spiritual but believe in basically nothing other than myself theory is a bit tired and very misguided in my opinion. I'm not going to get on some religious rant here because oftentimes, the church (any church regardless of beliefs) can serve to turn people away due to their focus on issues of administration rather than issues of faith. Still, Lance talks out of both sides of his mouth when he discusses his "faith" and that really rubbed me the wrong way. Seems to me, he's angry and scared still and that much of his "introspection" occurs at nothing more than a surface level. In a pragmatic sense, men who have "faith" don't cheat on their spouses, or maybe that's just the world I choose to live in.

It's a good read only because it prompts thought and does discuss racing, but I find Lance to be a bit "smaller" because of many of the things he says. To each his own, I guess.

Peace and light,

Sorry if I was too outspoken about this, I guess I have strong feelings about these issues.
Angry? Scared?Fredrico
Nov 19, 2003 8:47 AM
What about? He's a millionaire, will never have to work for a living, and he's won a prominent place in the history books. When he stops competing, so many doors will be open to him.

His bios always mention that his father abandoned him and his mother and that his step-father was abusive. Things like this have driven others to feats of accomplishment like Lance's. "Overcompensation" is a great motivator.
true but you are missing something huge....namaSSte
Nov 19, 2003 8:53 AM
money and career advancement do not heal emotional wounds - ever. No matter what one may think, success is not the antidote for that and Lance is a posterchild for that pov if there ever was one. Sure, he's a millionaire and famous. He also has no relationship with his father, is divorced from his wife, and shares limited time with his kids if he can find time away from his "successful" career to be there for all the little things. If that's how he defines success, he can have it. Like I said before, to each his own but that's not the world I choose to live in and afterall, life is just a bunch of choices.

true but you are missing something huge....S-U-B
Nov 19, 2003 10:25 PM
sounds like something a poor person would say to me. No, Money doesn't buy you happiness, but it sure as hell doesn't buy you unhappiness either! and I'm sure no man with faith has ever "cheated on his wife" or done anything else wrong. I'm not saying these things to stick up for Lance, I have read the book and I saw some of the errors and giggled a little bit but it did not concern me. Lance does not hold himself up to everyone as being perfect and nobody else should either. What I like about Lance is that he says what he believes. Is he a little full of himself? I would hope so, you dont have that kind of success without believing in yourself 100 percent. would you rather he just said "shucks, i just got lucky 5 years in a row" when we all know that's bullshit? when I see athletes being politicly correct I just tune them out because I know they are just shoveling a bunch of you know what. Are all divorces caused by the Tour? She knew who he was when she married him, then wanted him to become something else, sounds like a typical woman to me!(J/K) of course that lifestyle is hard, but it isn't forever. there were obviously other problems that caused the breakup that had nothing to do with cycling. maybe she actually had something to do with it as well? hmm... couldn't be.
true but you are missing something huge....namaSSte
Nov 20, 2003 6:05 AM
"sounds like something a poor person would say to me. No, Money doesn't buy you happiness, but it sure as hell doesn't buy you unhappiness either! and I'm sure no man with faith has ever "cheated on his wife" or done anything else wrong."

C'mon man, "something a poor person would say"? That not only is groundless but it's out of context in terms of this discussion. I said it and I am anything but poor. Also, don't kid yourself about money causing unhappiness, if you don't believe me, I'll get you an airline ticket and you can go stay with my parents for a week.

While you are also correct in sarcastically commenting on "faithful" men cheating, you are driving some of points straight home. Points about apathy and being pc. This is EXACTLY the problem today. Everyone is so pc that it's now "uncool" or whatever to point out that the guy f'ed up! I don't care if other men of faith have cheated or not. IT's wrong, plain and simply, wrong. Just because someone else has done it, doesn't give Lance, or anyone, carte blanche to do it too. It su@ks that he did it, whatever the reason, you just can't justify cheating and in the end, it's really a sign of character.

Look, I'm not trying to blast you it's just that Lance is a public figure and a hero to many. Fair or not, he's ehld to higher standards, it goes with the turf. I'll stand by my comments before. Lance is searching for something and isn't finding it. Why? Because as much as a man might think he's self reliant, it's simply not true. Emerson and Thoreau proved that as well in the end. Chasing money, chasing women, chasing career are simply band aids that bring temporary relief to a cancer that won't be cured with any chemo.

OK, before this turns into a mini novel, I'll be done. Again, I'm not attacking you, just trying to state a point that, to me, is as clear as a bell. Maybe I'm misguided but I don't think I'll ever go wrong being faithful to my wife, around for my kids, and never becoming a slave to money or career. It's just the way I choose to live.

Peace and light,
Yeah he's got the material stuff...Chicago_Steve
Nov 19, 2003 9:13 AM
Your right that Lance is pretty much set for life from a materialistic standpoint; however, I agree with Scott that he seems to be looking for something beyond the fame and fortune and he doesn't seem to be finding it. Maybe we're all reading between the lines too much but that was the impression I got...
Nov 19, 2003 8:52 AM
I enjoyed the book. I to noticed some of the "factual info" was off. I didn't attribute that to anything other then mistakes happen in books ALOT. You know this if you read alot of bios etc. As far as Lance and his convictions I bet the guy is great company, has alot to say concering life experience and wisdom about being a human being and is a helluva good time.

Lets face it, to many people out there especially in the USA have an undeserving chip on thier shoulder. Modesty is unusual especially in the spotlight and 90% of most starts statements are either misrepresented or taken out of context. To bad we can't all start a foundation or spend more time with the sick and keep our heads/perspective. Think of how many times you have had to explain something you were trying to convey to someone close to you. Or better yet, how about a list of the Intelligent (lol) statements you have said in haste or to people in anger or just loquaciously and carelessly talking over a beer with your friends.

I know I would be horrified at some things that have found thier way out of my mouth since 1999. Especially when I said " can have it, I don't need the money" LOL! I'm not referencing to the book, but Lance doesn't shy away from apologies or being accountable for much of what he says thats goes public.

Don't get me wrong, I don't entirely agree with everything he says but who gives a sh!t. He is as entitled to belief as I am and who wants a world that sees everything the way they see it?
VERY well said, thanks for the perspective...namaSSte
Nov 19, 2003 8:56 AM
besides, I don't even know Lance so it's really hard to take anything I am saying with more than a grain of salt. I might be way off base because you can only tell so much from reading a book. Thanks for that dose of perspective.

Who are we to pass any sort of judgement...BigFatSal
Nov 19, 2003 9:47 AM
Sure, we can form opinions about the guy from reading this book, but there's a couple things that incline me to cut him some slack. He sounds to me like a guy that's going thru a helluva tumultuous point in his life and feels lost. Anyone who's been thru a divorce could probably identify with this. It's a horrible experience no matter what or who caused it. It's something that makes you second-guess yourself, who you are, what you've done, where you're going, etc. It is truly a hard, hard, hard experience. Granted, it's something which usually allows or causes people to grow into becoming better, more self-aware and considerate human beings, but as you're going thru it, it's a terrible mess of confusion. Combine this with all the other stuff in his life and I'm surprised the guy is able to function at all professionally. Riding is probably his only constant. So, yeah, take the book with a big grain of salt. I guarantee you, he's learning a lot about life these days and they're not all easy lessons like how to have fun with hot female rock stars and actresses....
Who are we to pass any sort of judgement...namaSSte
Nov 19, 2003 10:24 AM
Sal, that was my point. I have an uninformed opinion on it based on observations gleaned from reading text. From what I gathered though, I expressed those opinions. It's not a commentary on the difficulty of divorce or his life. Let's faec it, everyone, and I mean eveeryone, has hurdles and difficulties to overcome. Some move past them, some don't. My feeling, from reading the book, is that Lance needs a little help on the latter. That's not a judgement, it's an observation. Lance has many good insights as well and certainly does great work on behalf of his foundation. I am, in fact, a fan of his. I just think he's searching and that it comes through loud and clear in the book.

Again, grain of salt needed but I don't buy into the apathy of a pc society. I'd rather state my beliefs and do my best to live according to them. Hopefully, in some small way, it might help someone else who needed a kick in the @ss rather than a (metaphorical) drinking buddy saying "Im ok, you're ok" all night long find some answers or perspective.

Hopefully that's not too strong a way to word that but hey, it is what it is.

Peace and light,
Scott (often needing a kick in the @ss myself)
Who are we to pass any sort of judgement...BigFatSal
Nov 19, 2003 11:33 AM
Hi Scott -

I wasn't intending my comments to be directly aimed at your thoughts. Actually, I agree with you. I've just seen a lot of people on this site passing some pretty harsh judgement on this guy over the last few months. So, I guess I finally felt like I had to say something... I'm not making excuses for him by any means. Some people just seem to get so righteous and it irks me. No offense intended toward you.
no worries Sal, we're cool....namaSSte
Nov 19, 2003 12:34 PM
I really didn't take it that way either. I agree that ppl can get a bit self righteous (Im no exception) and if there is one thing I felt Lance did do well in the book, it's admitting to some of his own mistakes/flaws. Takes a big person to do that. I guess it was one of those situations when you believe you have some intuition about something.

No offense taken at all. Besides, I work on a trading floor where direct personal attacks are pretty much standard fare, you tend to get kinda thick skinned about things, lol!

Peace Sal,
Pax et Lux? Did you go to Tufts? (nm)53T
Nov 19, 2003 1:06 PM
I was disappointed but...biknben
Nov 19, 2003 8:41 AM
The chapter with all the insight into the most recent tour was hillarious. The jokes and pranks had me in stitches. I also enjoyed the insight into the Pantani realtionship and "the look" at Ulrich.

Other than that, I wasn't very happy. It had no timeline. It ran off on endless tangents. When I read the first book, I couldn't put it down. When I got the the end of a chapter, I couldn't resist turning the page. When reading this book I felt like I was wasting my time hoping for payback on time spent reading it.
perhaps read a bit moreblackhat
Nov 19, 2003 8:41 AM
finish the book and then pan it if you want. I just read it last week and on the whole really enjoyed it. I thought it was loads better than "its not about the bike". less angsty at the very least. it gets progressively better, imho, as you continue. it may be self indulgent in parts, I didnt reall get that vibe but perhaps its there, but hes absolutely more self depricating and less "texan" in the closing chapters. As I said, I like it alot and I'm definitely no lance fanboy.
Hinault's book.orange_julius
Nov 19, 2003 11:41 AM
If you want a more straightforward account of a cyclist,
I recommend Hinault's book. He clearly believes firstly
in himself, but at least it seems that he wrote the book
himself, instead of through a ghost writer.