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Lance Armstrong adds another string to his bow next month thanks to his involvement in a children's book written by award-winning guitarist Michael Ward, who has played with The Wallflowers and Ben Harper. Armstrong has written the foreword to Ward's book, Mike and the Bike, which goes on sale in the USA on July 1, the day before Armstrong starts his defence of the Tour de France title.
The book begins: "This is a boy whose name is Mike. This is Mike's pride and joy - his bike." It goes on to describe the tale of a boy, his best friend and the adventures they share together, and is designed to introduce children to the sport, adventure and fun that surrounds cycling.
Armstrong writes in the foreword: "At a very young age I fell in love with my bike - and not much has changed! I have ridden thousands and thousands of miles around the world! I have made friends from all walks of life! And I have learned that many times in life the things that we enjoy most as children are the things that we turn to and enjoy most throughout our entire lives! To me, there really is nothing like riding a bike, and I am excited to introduce you to someone who reminds me a lot of myself - Mike! I think that you will like reading and riding with Mike, so when you are done, hop on, go for a ride and have some fun! Enjoy the Ride!"
Ward was encouraged to produce the book by his long-time friend Armstrong. There is an accompanying 30-minute music CD featuring original songs composed and performed by Ward and his son, Tennessee, and a special narration by the 'Voice of Cycling' Phil Liggett.
"I created Mike and the Bike as a way for parents to help introduce their children to the fun and fitness of cycling. The story - and the up-tempo rock songs accompanying the book - are written for both children and adults to enjoy. Introducing my son Tennessee, now six years old, to the sport has been a highlight of my life. Helping inspire children to discover the world of cycling would be a dream come true."
Mike and the Bike is published by Cookie Jar Publishing.
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