Video: Graeme Obree on demons, the Hour Record and his Land Speed Record attempt

Flying Scotsman talks to Channel 4 News

by John Stevenson   September 2, 2013  

He’s already a living legend and national treasure for his many achievements on the track, but now Graeme Obree is going after the human-powered land speed record on a home-built bike dubbed the Beastie. In this report from Channel 4 news he talks about his demons and motivations.

Graeme Obree twice broke the World Hour Record, amending his bike design as the UCI banned it to try and prevent an unknown upstart from Scotland challenging cycling’s greats.

He walked away from a professional road contract because the team expected him to participate in a doping programe.

In retirement, without the self-medication of racing targets and huge amounts of training, he succumbed to severe depression and attempted to take his own life.

In 2011, Obree came out, explaining that suppressing his gay identity had been a major cause of his depression.

In this interview, Obree talks about what he will personally get out of breaking the 83mph speed record, and how it felt to attempt the Hour Record over 20 years ago. As ever, he’s fascinating.

6 user comments

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I've met many people who think doping should just be ignored in sport, let them all do it - this man is a great example to say why not. We've all been robbed of the chance to see him perform on cycling's greatest stage, who knows just how many more greats we could have had who's careers have been taken way before even starting that we could have enjoyed watching.

posted by Nick T [844 posts]
2nd September 2013 - 13:55


If Graeme Obree is thinking "maybe I could have done more with my life" what the hell does that say for the rest of us?

posted by DrJDog [182 posts]
2nd September 2013 - 14:45


and here I've been using my kitchen for cooking when I could have been building bicycles

posted by TeamCC [146 posts]
2nd September 2013 - 14:45


I met the man a while back. Talking to him (OK, listening to him) is an intense experience. I'm not sure if "genius" is the right word but the world certainly needs people like him.

Now to watch the video.

posted by SteppenHerring [231 posts]
2nd September 2013 - 17:44


Graeme Obree to play Lex Luthor in upcoming Batman Vs Superman pic.

You heard it here first.

I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1434 posts]
2nd September 2013 - 23:31


You're my hero Graham - you can do it but you might need some faster runners!!


posted by griggers [14 posts]
4th September 2013 - 17:28