Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Go Graeme!

It is incredibly cool that Graeme Obree is going after the Hour Record again. The Beatles performing on a rooftop. That's the kind of level we're talking about

I've written about the Hour Record a few times, but have never gone into depth about Graemme Obree. In the 1990s, he was perhaps the quintessential outsider athlete: an undersponsored, penny-pinching where-are-you-from who launched a feverish assault on one of the most demanding records in the sport by challenging conventions and breaking paradigms - first with an unusual tuck on the bike, and then with the "superman" position.

His story is worth taking a look into. Click for Part 1 of an 8-part documentary on his effort, and don't miss the corresponding piece on Chris Boardman, Obree's insider friend/rival. Highly sponsored, Boardman used state-of-the-art technological analysis of his athletic performance. Compare this to Obree, pushing huge gears up hills, brazing his own bicycle frames.

And, coming back after quietly publishing his autobiography (adapted into a film starring a hobbit!), he's jumping back into the fray, challenging the Hour Record's classic category - the Athlete's Hour, which requires the use of traditionally spoked wheels, a diamond-framed bicycle, and drop bars.

And, like last time, he's built his own bike. His position looks good, too - very long, mimicing a conventional TT position. I wouldn't like to feel my wrists after spending an hour like that, but then again, I wouldn't like to time trial for an hour, either.

Good luck, Graeme!


  1. Clearly a man with ONE mission in life

  2. Saw that film -- not too bad. Definitely an interesting guy.

  3. I've been meaning to see the film. I should put it in my rental queue!

  4. One of the reasons why I like visiting your blog so much is because it has become a daily reference I can use in order to learn new nice stuff. It's like a curiosities box that surprises you over and over again.