Showing posts tagged graeme obree

GRAEME OBREE: STILL A SUPERHERO 

The cycling press is having a field day with this headline from The Scottish Sun.  I guess I’m contributing to the hype by writing this post but for me, it doesn’t really change anything.

Though being a closeted gay man might somewhat explain Obree’s two suicide attempts, I still believe the mystique of the tormented champion is still there.  Gay or not, I think Obree still would have found the inner demons which kept his pedals cranking.  No matter what exactly it was that tormented him, he suffered AND he won.

For some, Obree’s coming out to the media might throw some mortality into the mythos of a mad genius superhuman.  But the guy built his own bike, took the laws of physics into his own hands and broke the Hour Record twice (among plenty of other awesome accomplishments).  For some, his coming out offers some kind of demystification to certain aspects of his character (“Ohhh so that’s why he was depressed”) but for me the man is still a complete legend, a Champion of the World, a super human.

So while the press is having a blast with this huge headline that says “I’M GAY”, I just sit here and think, “well that’s cool but what does that have to do with his super powers?”  It’s like this one part in The Rider by Tim Krabbé (read it!) where the narrator is convinced  that Charly Gaul was so good at racing under horrible weather conditions because he loves to suffer.

«  I paid a visit to Gaul’s former soigneur, Gerrit Visser, to find out how that worked.
  ‘Did Gaul ride so well in bad weather because he liked to suffer?’
  ‘Well… during bad weather, a lot of oxygen is released.’
  ‘But lightning and hail, for example, didn’t that perk him up?’
  ‘Of course!  Because he was able to assimilate a huge amount of oxygen.’
  ‘Sure, of course.  But wasn’t he a person who went looking for punishment?’
  ‘Yes… but oxygen really played a major role.  Oxygen!  You see, Gaul was able to assimilate more oxygen than most people so when the weather was bad…’
  ‘But didn’t you ever have the impression that rain and hail and that kind of thing gave him a sort of energy?’
  ‘Absolutely!  Because then there was more oxygen in the air!’  »

There was no convincing the narrator that oxygen was the reason.  In his mind, pain and suffering was Gaul’s oxygen.  That’s kinda why legends live forever.  For me, Obree is a legend…  gay or not — I understand that it was his own choice to “come out” but the cycling media was just all over that for no reason (and here I am contributing to it).

Having said all that, it’s still a very interesting story about how Obree struggled to come to terms with his own sexuality.  Read more about his revelation on Bike Radar.
GRAEME OBREE: STILL A SUPERHERO 

The cycling press is having a field day with this headline from The Scottish Sun.  I guess I’m contributing to the hype by writing this post but for me, it doesn’t really change anything.

Though being a closeted gay man might somewhat explain Obree’s two suicide attempts, I still believe the mystique of the tormented champion is still there.  Gay or not, I think Obree still would have found the inner demons which kept his pedals cranking.  No matter what exactly it was that tormented him, he suffered AND he won.

For some, Obree’s coming out to the media might throw some mortality into the mythos of a mad genius superhuman.  But the guy built his own bike, took the laws of physics into his own hands and broke the Hour Record twice (among plenty of other awesome accomplishments).  For some, his coming out offers some kind of demystification to certain aspects of his character (“Ohhh so that’s why he was depressed”) but for me the man is still a complete legend, a Champion of the World, a super human.

So while the press is having a blast with this huge headline that says “I’M GAY”, I just sit here and think, “well that’s cool but what does that have to do with his super powers?”  It’s like this one part in The Rider by Tim Krabbé (read it!) where the narrator is convinced  that Charly Gaul was so good at racing under horrible weather conditions because he loves to suffer.

«  I paid a visit to Gaul’s former soigneur, Gerrit Visser, to find out how that worked.
  ‘Did Gaul ride so well in bad weather because he liked to suffer?’
  ‘Well… during bad weather, a lot of oxygen is released.’
  ‘But lightning and hail, for example, didn’t that perk him up?’
  ‘Of course!  Because he was able to assimilate a huge amount of oxygen.’
  ‘Sure, of course.  But wasn’t he a person who went looking for punishment?’
  ‘Yes… but oxygen really played a major role.  Oxygen!  You see, Gaul was able to assimilate more oxygen than most people so when the weather was bad…’
  ‘But didn’t you ever have the impression that rain and hail and that kind of thing gave him a sort of energy?’
  ‘Absolutely!  Because then there was more oxygen in the air!’  »

There was no convincing the narrator that oxygen was the reason.  In his mind, pain and suffering was Gaul’s oxygen.  That’s kinda why legends live forever.  For me, Obree is a legend…  gay or not — I understand that it was his own choice to “come out” but the cycling media was just all over that for no reason (and here I am contributing to it).

Having said all that, it’s still a very interesting story about how Obree struggled to come to terms with his own sexuality.  Read more about his revelation on Bike Radar.

GRAEME OBREE: STILL A SUPERHERO


The cycling press is having a field day with this headline from The Scottish Sun. I guess I’m contributing to the hype by writing this post but for me, it doesn’t really change anything.

Though being a closeted gay man might somewhat explain Obree’s two suicide attempts, I still believe the mystique of the tormented champion is still there. Gay or not, I think Obree still would have found the inner demons which kept his pedals cranking. No matter what exactly it was that tormented him, he suffered AND he won.

For some, Obree’s coming out to the media might throw some mortality into the mythos of a mad genius superhuman. But the guy built his own bike, took the laws of physics into his own hands and broke the Hour Record twice (among plenty of other awesome accomplishments). For some, his coming out offers some kind of demystification to certain aspects of his character (“Ohhh so that’s why he was depressed”) but for me the man is still a complete legend, a Champion of the World, a super human.

So while the press is having a blast with this huge headline that says “I’M GAY”, I just sit here and think, “well that’s cool but what does that have to do with his super powers?” It’s like this one part in The Rider by Tim Krabbé (read it!) where the narrator is convinced that Charly Gaul was so good at racing under horrible weather conditions because he loves to suffer.

«  I paid a visit to Gaul’s former soigneur, Gerrit Visser, to find out how that worked.
‘Did Gaul ride so well in bad weather because he liked to suffer?’
‘Well… during bad weather, a lot of oxygen is released.’
‘But lightning and hail, for example, didn’t that perk him up?’
‘Of course! Because he was able to assimilate a huge amount of oxygen.’
‘Sure, of course. But wasn’t he a person who went looking for punishment?’
‘Yes… but oxygen really played a major role. Oxygen! You see, Gaul was able to assimilate more oxygen than most people so when the weather was bad…’
‘But didn’t you ever have the impression that rain and hail and that kind of thing gave him a sort of energy?’
‘Absolutely! Because then there was more oxygen in the air!’
 »

There was no convincing the narrator that oxygen was the reason. In his mind, pain and suffering was Gaul’s oxygen. That’s kinda why legends live forever. For me, Obree is a legend… gay or not — I understand that it was his own choice to “come out” but the cycling media was just all over that for no reason (and here I am contributing to it).

Having said all that, it’s still a very interesting story about how Obree struggled to come to terms with his own sexuality. Read more about his revelation on Bike Radar.

1994 World Championships - Graeme Obree Disqualified


If you’ve seen The Flying Scotsman (you should), then you already know how this goes down. I just watched it again last weekend and this event was (heavily) dramatized in the movie. It’s pretty cool to see how it happened in real life.

UCI spends half a day trying to ban the unconventional geometry of Graeme Obree’s Old Faithful. Obree goes so far as to grab a cheap saddle off a child’s mountain bike to meet their regulations. Then the officials just decide to ban Obree’s position.

Can’t this guy catch a break? I mean he broke the World Record TWICE during the previous year’s World Championships.

Oh by the way, did you know that Graeme Obree himself filmed all of the POV riding shots for that movie using a track bike with a video camera mounted on the handlebar? Neither did I until I read this awesome interview with Obree on Bicycle.net. Check it out!

1993 World Championships - Men’s Individual Pursuit


Here’s something I uploaded for you to enjoy while I take off for the weekend. Graeme Obree, Chris Boardman and Philippe Ermenault all compete in this historic Individual Pursuit tournament. Obree is riding his infamous home-made bike, Old Faithful before UCI had a chance to make it illegal. Oh and the World Record is broken three times!
Why does this look strangely familiar?

Christopher Robin’s newest project is an homage to Old Faithful — Graeme O’Bree's infamous home-brewed bike on which he slaughtered the Hour Record.

Here’s what Chris Robin says about his creation:

« I just want to let you in on my latest project.
Next year I’ll be doing a pretty serious attempt on the hour. My plan is to go at least 42km.
And I will do it an a home made bike in the Obree position.
The whole project is like a homage to him. On the pictures you can see the balsa wood core that will later be draped with carbon fiber. It features a mono blade fork. super narrow handlebar and a 40mm wide bottom-bracket. And of coures the Specialized trispoke wheels.
As soon as the is finished I will do the first test run on the only velodrome in Sweden which is located in a small town called Falun, about three hours from Stockholm. »

Found on Milano Fixed.
Why does this look strangely familiar?

Christopher Robin’s newest project is an homage to Old Faithful — Graeme O’Bree's infamous home-brewed bike on which he slaughtered the Hour Record.

Here’s what Chris Robin says about his creation:

« I just want to let you in on my latest project.
Next year I’ll be doing a pretty serious attempt on the hour. My plan is to go at least 42km.
And I will do it an a home made bike in the Obree position.
The whole project is like a homage to him. On the pictures you can see the balsa wood core that will later be draped with carbon fiber. It features a mono blade fork. super narrow handlebar and a 40mm wide bottom-bracket. And of coures the Specialized trispoke wheels.
As soon as the is finished I will do the first test run on the only velodrome in Sweden which is located in a small town called Falun, about three hours from Stockholm. »

Found on Milano Fixed.

Why does this look strangely familiar?

Christopher Robin’s newest project is an homage to Old FaithfulGraeme O’Bree's infamous home-brewed bike on which he slaughtered the Hour Record.

Here’s what Chris Robin says about his creation:

« I just want to let you in on my latest project.
Next year I’ll be doing a pretty serious attempt on the hour. My plan is to go at least 42km.
And I will do it an a home made bike in the Obree position.
The whole project is like a homage to him. On the pictures you can see the balsa wood core that will later be draped with carbon fiber. It features a mono blade fork. super narrow handlebar and a 40mm wide bottom-bracket. And of coures the Specialized trispoke wheels.
As soon as the is finished I will do the first test run on the only velodrome in Sweden which is located in a small town called Falun, about three hours from Stockholm.
 »

Found on Milano Fixed.

Graeme Obree + Yvonne MacGregor To Ride Johnny Helms Memorial TT

One of my favorite heroes of track cycling, Graeme Obree [pictured], will be teaming up with former Women’s Hour Record holder Yvonne MacGregor to ride in Warrington Road Club's Johnny Helms Memorial Time Trial on October 10th. Great to see these two legendary Brits coming back!

Read the article on Cycling Weekly.

It’s been a long week. Time to take your butt off the saddle and put it on the couch. I’ve got a great film for your Sunday evening recovery. If you haven’t seen this flick, you should really watch it right now.

The Flying Scotsman


"The true story of Graeme Obree, the Champion cyclist who built his bicycle from old bits of washing machines who won his championship only to have his title stripped from him and his mental health problems which he has suffered since.”

Watch it for free on Hulu.


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