Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Flying Scotsman: Cycling to Triumph Through My Darkest Hours” as Want to Read:
Flying Scotsman: Cycling to Triumph Through My Darkest Hours
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Flying Scotsman: Cycling to Triumph Through My Darkest Hours

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  259 Ratings  ·  28 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Flying Scotsman, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Flying Scotsman

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 433)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Hayley Fletcher
Aug 30, 2014 Hayley Fletcher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Jun 30, 2015 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in an almost simple "what I did last summer" essay style it is sometimes hard to identify the monumental points that are buried. He mentions many important details in passing which is a shame. But he is also very honest and open.
Some sections seem repetitive but I guess as it's a biography the narrative cannot be changed.
I'm really glad I hadn't read this when I met Obree earlier this year as I would not have had such good and helpful conversation.
Martin Linkov
Aug 07, 2010 Martin Linkov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cycling
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
Jan 05, 2014 Richard Graveling rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 01, 2015 Johnpingham rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 18, 2012 Duncan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Alison Quinn
Jul 02, 2015 Alison Quinn rated it really liked it
What a journey, I'm exhausted reading about the giant highs and extreme lows of Graham's life! Reads like interval training. Very inspiring though.
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.
Sep 09, 2011 chucklesthescot rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true, sport
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
Apr 17, 2013 Fraser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 12, 2014 Dan Cohen rated it liked it
Shelves: sport, biography

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.
Oct 25, 2012 Reginald rated it liked it
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
Jul 14, 2010 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 19, 2013 Phil rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
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.
This book is as honest as a biography can get, which is incredibly refreshing and engaging. Beyond that, Graeme Obree is not just a great cyclist, but also a very good writer. The pages flew in and I really enjoyed it every chapter.
An inspiration to anyone who is trying to do things a different, their own, way and to every bicycle lover.
Alastair Arthur
Aug 29, 2011 Alastair Arthur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 10, 2008 Arwen Downs rated it really liked it
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 really liked it
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.
May 31, 2009 Steve rated it it was amazing
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
May 11, 2009 Philippa rated it really liked it
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
Oct 05, 2012 William Carter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
A very good book, quite possibly the best sports book I have read.
Sep 25, 2010 Steve rated it it was amazing
Excellent and compelling story of Graeme Obree's life and career.
Apr 21, 2009 Jesse rated it liked it
better than the movie, a real insight into the struggle
Chris Ditchburn
Aug 28, 2014 Chris Ditchburn rated it it was amazing
Very Good, interesting man.
Mar 26, 2008 Kevin rated it liked it
The movie kinda sucks.
Kalwinder Dhindsa
Aug 20, 2013 Kalwinder Dhindsa rated it it was amazing
Pete Lambert
Pete Lambert marked it as to-read
Apr 27, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 14 15 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Fallen Angel: The Passion of Fausto Coppi
  • In Search of Robert Millar: Unravelling the Mystery Surrounding Britain's Most Successful Tour De France Cyclist
  • Boy Racer: My Journey to Tour de France Record-Breaker
  • Rough Ride: Behind the Wheel With a Pro Cyclist
  • The Death of Marco Pantani: A Biography
  • Eddy Merckx: The Cannibal
  • In Pursuit of Glory
  • Racing Through the Dark
  • A Race for Madmen: The History of the Tour de France
  • Every Second Counts
  • Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape: The Remarkable Life of Jacques Anquetil, the First Five-Times Winner of the Tour de France
  • The Rider
  • A Dog in a Hat: An American Bike Racer's Story of Mud, Drugs, Blood, Betrayal, and Beauty in Belgium
  • We Were Young and Carefree: The Autobiography of Laurent Fignon
  • French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France
  • 23 Days in July: Inside the Tour de France and Lance Armstrong's Record-Breaking Victory
  • Between the Lines: The Autobiography
  • Bobke II

Share This Book