It's been a while since my last post, but hearing that cycling legend, World Champion, Hour Record breaker, ever innovative and all round good egg Mr Graeme Obree would be in Glasgow to sign copies of his newly released training manual 'The Obree Way' I was jolted out of pre-crimbo stupor and braved the credit crunching multitudes and icy pavements to find the great man himself in the veritable cycling grotto of Alpine cycles.
Sitting amidst top-end carbon bling was the sparkley eyed guru himself, patiently and sincerely speaking to fellow pilgrims who had braved the shopping crowds and freezing conditions to get their mitts on some of the first copies of this newly published but much, and very eagerly awaited training manual from an author that certainly re-wrote the rules on how to push the feats of mind, body and bicycle past all known limits. That he was planning to write such a book was first mentioned in the little known but excellent documentary about Obree called 'Full Cycle' by Demus Productions for the BBC.
I'd decided to come back to my native city a few days earlier than planned for Christmas so it was serendipitous indeed to hear that he would be signing copies today and ever tolerant girlfriend also jumped at the opportunity to meet him whilst also securing my crimbo pressie (I've been giving her a hard time for giving me my birthday present some 9 months late so it's nice she's taken it to heart The path leading to its publication is not without a few hairpins, but therein lies the value of its content-nuggets of information mined from hard-won successes and years of persistence in the face of adversity. Obree himself was looking relaxed and vital, his bike parked outside despite the conditions though he confessed to having opted for the train after 7 miles rather than persist in the remaining glacier-like route from Saltcoats, and despite being ever so slightly star-struck, he was easy in conversation and spoke to us about the upcoming Graham Obree Ayrshire Sportive, which I'll certainly be clearing space in my diary for.
So, copy secured I'm looking forward to getting stuck into it and will report back to all you good road.cc-ers when I have... a quick once over shows it to be well presented, with clear headings, attractive layout and written in the clear, unpretentious but informative language we have come to expect from Obree. There's also some very nice hand-drawn illustrations that accompany the text (from the hand of the author?) and plenty of colour photos to stare at. Modest as ever, Obree doesn't do what many a cycling training guide does and present his word as absolute gospel, and is keen to stress where he is advancing his own opinion-which for me makes me more inclined to listen to what he has to say in the first instance. Not bad going considering once again Obree's spurned the road more often travelled and chosen to publish and market his tome of cycling know how all in-house. I'm not sure I'll be breaking any records but considering the accomplishments of its author I have every faith it will be an invaluable resource in lifting my performance up into a higher level.
Till then, best wishes for the festive season and here's to a fitter, happier and more productive 2012!