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4.7 out of 5 stars86
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 8 October 2003
Graeme Obree's motivation to achieve the cycling one-hour world record must make him unique. His childhood left him feeling worthless, an emotion that has dogged him throughout his life as his personal barometer swings from high to low and back with alarming consequences. On high, he undertakes training schedules few could match, and combines his athleticism with an insight into bicycle design which is sensational, given that the machine has remain vitually unchanged for 100 years.
On low, he attempts sucicide, conflicts with those closest to him who are trying to help, and drinks to forget.
Reading this candid autobiography is compulsive, you just can't put it down. As you finish the last page you hope that the tide has turned, and the Obree family will live happily ever after. If you buy this book you will be helping to ensure that they do.
John Richards
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on 25 September 2003
Graeme Obree delivers exactly what you'd expect from a man who broke the cycling mould; an autobiography that breaks the well set mould of sporting biographies which too often seem to be ghost written half truths containing snipes at past colleagues and competitors. None of that in this book. Quite simply, Graeme Obree just tells his life as it has been. The bad times aren't accompanied by finger pointing, apportioning of blame or bitterness and the good times are reported with the modesty of a true sportsman. In my view, the greatest strength of this book lies in the absence of the author trying to influence the reader's emotions and opinions. He just gives you the facts of his astonishing life and you react. This book richly deserves the widespread acclaim and success of Lance Armstrong's "It's Not About the Bike".
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on 17 October 2004
At times appallingly honest, Obree's book is fascinating. How can anyone design, train and ride a bike into the record books? Obree is a one-off who not only proved all the sceptics wrong, but made cycling's ruling body invent rules just for him! As a personal history, a self-examination into his own soul, this book stands alone.
Thank you Graeme, and my best wishes for the future.
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on 16 February 2007
Wow! What a story that for the most part was hidden from view in the perhaps ultimately thinner shadow of Chris Boardman and his Tour antics. Even the cycling press depicted Obree as slightly odd, thankfully for the sanity of of the rest of us he is clearly a highly intelligent yet almost fatally flawed person, and that combination yields an autobiography of such compelling passion and roller coaster emotion that transcends cycling, or even sport.

Lance's book(s) not about the bike? Pales beside this. Obree is a person that many more of us can relate to and in that his achievements are so much more inspiring.

This book will make you laugh, cry, shout in anger and frustration! Bit like time trialling then. Way to go Graeme, let's hope you keep on riding old faithful's offspring for years to come.
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on 15 May 2004
Five stars are really not enough!!! Graeme Obree even in his native Scotland is only remembered for being a kind of mad inventor and is frequently only remembered as 'that washing machine bike guy'. I am ashamed to admit until reading his book i had little knowledge of his achievements. It is really quite amazing how the papers feed us a staple diet of over-paid footballer pre-madonnas who make million per year when an athlete so talented should struggle to make ends meet and received few column inches. A wonderful book that i read from cover-to-cover. Obree is comparable to lance armstrong except armstrong frequently cites that all his achievement were down to having a wonderful team around him. It would seem Obree's achievements are all the more remarkable since he received very little support, truly a personal victory. Buy this book.
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on 9 August 2004
I'm not a cyclist, but this book is absolutely extraordinary. Even for someone who is not interested in sports it's well worth a read because of the unflinching honesty with which it is told. It packs an emotional punch that far outweighs the normal sports autobiography fare, almost certainly because its very obviously not ghost-written. I feel sure that this will go down in history not just as a classic sports book but as an outstanding autobiography. To add to his many accomplishments, Graeme Obree has proved himself a wonderful chronicler of childhood, of cycling and of the impact of depression. Anyone who reads this book will I'm sure be rooting for Graeme in everything that he goes on to do in the future.
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on 5 October 2006
This book is a reflection of a true cycling hero. From the building of his own bikes to the show downs with Chris Bordman. Fantastic. Yet the story plunges the reader in to the depths of the author's inner being and exposes the reader to tragedy and a life story that makes the tale even more extraordinary.

You must read this book. Graeme O'bree is up there with the best and is my ultimate cycling hero.
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on 19 June 2007
What a story.

A remarkable tale of a lad from Scotland who took on the world and beat it. Though not without a cost.

Graeme grew up in hard times and found that he had a natural talent for cycling. He was a time trialist who was unconventional and after reaching the top of the UK pile decided to take on the ultimate challenge for any cyclist - the Hour. One man on a bike for 60 minutes and go as far as you can. He did this on a home made bicycle and shook the cycling world to pieces. So much did the authorities dislike his tucked up style they banned it. So Obree adapted and took on his 'Superman' style. Again this was banned. They said his bike saddle was too far forward so he cut off the front of it. Whatever they threw at him he overcame. But he couldn't overcome the depression that haunted him and this had a profound affect on his life.

This book is well written, though can be a bit uncomfortable to read as you follow the ups and downs of this remarkable mans life. This is a great story that will appeal to cycle fans worldwide but also to those who have no idea about cycle racing. There is a film that is due to be released about Graemes story very soon and i hope that it is half as good as this real life story.

A Flying Scotsman indeed!
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on 28 September 2003
As a keen cyclist I was already well aware of Graeme Obree's huge achievements as an unknown British amateur cyclist taking on the Holy Grail of solo cycling - the world Hour Record. Not only did he beat the then unbroken figure of 51.151km set by charismatic Italian campione Francesco Moser, but he did it using his will and a self-engineered cycle that challenged all the rules of technology,positioning and aerodynamics. With this achievement set against some truly unbearable emotional hardships suffered by Graeme and his immediate family, it makes this mans' bravery all the more inspiring to us all whether we ride bikes or not. What is it about the sport of cycling that brings forth the passion and desire to overcome physical hardships such as those suffered by Lance Armstrong, or the more insidious long term depressive states suffered by Graeme and millions of ordinary people? I hope that the planned major motion picture of Graeme's battles and glory shows him to be what he is, an honest,decent man and a beacon of hope for all those who have suffered depression in black silence.
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on 30 December 2003
I read this book in about two days, could not put it down. Graeme Obree always grabbed the attention with his amazing record breaking efforts, and competing at the highest level, whether successful or not. He is unique, and fired up interest and opinions from followers of cycling in his unconventional approach to training, preparation and competition. There was however always something that did not seem quite right about the 'roller coaster' results that he produced. Fantastic acheivements were often followed by disappointments. This book explains all, and gives the reader an insight into just what a struggle it was at times for someone with so much ability but many demons in his life. I wish him every success with the book, and the film if it is made, but most of all with his life.
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