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

Flying Scotsman talks to Channel 4 News

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.

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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griggers | 10 years ago

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

Leviathan | 10 years ago

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

You heard it here first.

SteppenHerring | 10 years ago

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.

DrJDog | 10 years ago

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?

TeamCC | 10 years ago

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

Nick T | 10 years ago

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.

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