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Flying Scotsman: Cycling to Triumph Through My Darkest Hours
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Flying Scotsman: Cycling to Triumph Through My Darkest Hours

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  186 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Little-known Graeme Obree became international cycling's most unlikely star, capturing the public's imagination with his innovative engineering and design skills and unique training regiments. When he broke world records and won championships, the cycling authorities outlawed both his bike and his tucked riding position. He invented the ""Superman"" riding style and triump ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published September 28th 2005 by VeloPress (first published January 2003)
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Hayley Fletcher
An incredibly brutal and honest account of his battle with depression and low self esteem. It's beautifully written with an honesty I've not encountered in biography for a while. I cried while reading it on more than one occasion but the writing never once sought that reaction or any pity.

Refreshingly, he didn't try to post-rationalise his thoughts and actions or absolve himself of what were often selfish acts or his inability to instantly embrace fatherhood. He gives the impression that the na
This is a very interesting story on Graeme Obree. It partly a sad book as he seem to have a difficult live. He achieved some amazing feats with very little support. How many cyclist could achieve what he did. I think it amazing he built his bike to beat the hour record.

If you like cycling book I read this for sure.
Alex Kintzer
I'm interested to see the film, but the book can sometimes be a bit dull. "Brutally honest" it is, but Obree never spends enough time on his downfalls to make his successes seem like real victories. He never loses - or at least never seems to be truly put off by a result. True, it implies that cycling was his "way out" but I read this book for the hardships of a professional athlete and I got a record of how much money he earned winning countless races. It came too easily; 007 has to get debilit ...more
Martin Linkov
Amazing and inspiring, yet depressing at moments book. Graeme suffers from the "Ithaca" syndrome - no matter how good he gets in the sport it is never enough, the hour-record, the world champion titles - all of these achievements quickly fade away and he easily gets depressed. This autobigraphy describes it all in a fascinating way!
Richard Graveling
A brilliant alternative to the all-to-common more recent cycling biographies. Probably this is the case as Obree never had anything to do with any established structures (except when the UCI outlawed anything he did as he was too fast for the 'stablishment').

His ingenious design and ability to think outside the box is inspirational and this comes through when reading. What makes this so interesting is the backdrop of Obree's mental heath issues which he is so honest about, this is very rare inde
It's not a fun read, and it's not really a sporting biography in the traditional sense of funny anecdotes and name dropping. Really, this isn't a happy fun book. However, it's a book that should possibly be mandatory 6th form school reading.

Yes there is cycling in there, but it's the story of a boy and then man battling with demons. Some of those demons are real and external, others are from inside, but these are the things that drove one man to fight the organisation that controlled the sport
Arron Hartley
A well written book and Graeme has an interesting story to tell however I didn't particularly enjoy reading the constant highs and lows of Graeme's manic depression (or severe personality disorder as his psychiatrist diagnosed him with). Not that I have anything against mental illness - it just wasn't enjoyable to read.
This was an interesting read about the highs and lows of Scotland's best cyclist before Chris Hoy came along. It details the terrible depression and self loathing that he coped with through his career and the effect it had on his career. It describes his inability to be happy with what he achieved and details his constant run ins with the cycling beaks who kept banning his bike and its parts.

The only down side is that is does not cover how he coped with being married and gay-as he only came out
A wonderful character, and I just love the story of an underdog who achieves so much, all in his own charismatic way.

A lot of people told me they felt his story was 'sad', and for sure it is certainly not all happy smiling moments of glory on a bike in front of the world press.

That said, I still found him and his story to be ultimately inspiring and his inner strength demonstrates what you can achieve against all the various odds stacked against you.

Having read it, I don't think I will bother r
Dan Cohen

Fascinating autobiography of a very interesting person and great cyclist. This does not read like the usual ghost-written autobiography and, at times, it's moving and compelling. At times it's also pedestrian and dull, but I'll take the variability for the sense of honesty that comes through.
If you know anything about Graeme Obree you might be wary of reading this book. I was, however it was interestingly written and despite what have been crushing events in his life this is a strangely uplifting book.I was lent this book by my next door neighbour along with Coppi's biography and Armstrong's autobiography. After recent revelations I just cannot bring myself to read a book by Lance Armstrong but I would recommend Obree's book as an accurate and honest account of what it is like to be ...more
A very interesting book, which illustrates the struggle Graeme had with the 'establishment' of cycling, and coming to terms with his own problems.

How he thought 'outside the box' to improve on existing bicycle design, and testing new riding styles.

This combination with his natural abilities, showed what a true champion and inspiration he is to other cyclists.
I found this to be a good insight into the life of a fantastic cyclist. It goes into how he lived with his mental health issues. How he overcame many adversities to become the world hour record holder.

In some ways I wish the book expanded into the mind of the man himself, not just his achievements. I know this would in some ways be a bit to personal.
Alastair Arthur
Obree is exceptionally honest and open in terms of his thoughts and feelings through his childhood and career. It's a fascinating story, especially in terms of how his childhood effected his motivations, and the personally developed psychology he uses in his attempts on the hour record.
Arwen Downs
Although some of the lengthier play-by-plays of training and racing induced skimming, the bulk of the text was not only moving but also incredibly amusing. Obree's self-effacing wit struck a chord, as did his sincerely objective view of his life.
Jan 28, 2013 Simon rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: sport
In not really being able to describe or explain the nature of living with depression he describes and explains it better than most.

A sod of a life and a hell of an achievement. I salute you Graeme Obree.
this is the most inspiring book i have ever read. Not just about cycling, that is just a career for him, just like anything else, but his life story is amazing. Anyone can overcome anything
Although not a bike fan like my husband, this is a wonderful courageous story of a man who battles through mental illness to set a new world record. The film is great too.
William Carter
A very good book, quite possibly the best sports book I have read.
Excellent and compelling story of Graeme Obree's life and career.
better than the movie, a real insight into the struggle
Chris Ditchburn
Very Good, interesting man.
The movie kinda sucks.
Jodi Jacobson
Jodi Jacobson marked it as to-read
May 03, 2015
Wyatt marked it as to-read
Apr 29, 2015
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