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"Deeply moving. His determination and single-mindedness was and still is a true inspiration to me". (Sir Chris Hoy). "This is a book that must have taken great courage to write, is a harrowing reminder of how little the public know about sportsmen, no matter how brightly the spotlight shines on them." (The Guardian Number 10 in Cycle Sport's Best 50 Cycling Books of All Time). It includes a foreword by Sir Chris Hoy. Graeme Obree's story begins with a tough upbringing in the Ayrshire valleys, where he found his escape by taking to the roads on his bike. He would emerge from total obscurity to smash Francesco Moser's World Hour Record, controversy hard at his heels for his unique riding style and pioneering construction techniques - famously using parts from a washing machine to build his bike, 'Old Faithful'. But amidst the record attempts, media feeding frenzy and thrilling head-to-head duels with Chris Boardman, Graeme was fighting another battle. With searing honesty, he recounts his biggest battle against depression which drove him to attempt suicide.
time I just slept or stared. I thought that Tallahassee must be one of the loneliest, most depressing places I had ever been to, and for me it probably was. Then we all went to Atlanta, Georgia – and boy, did it make Tallahassee look like a party! I was in the centre of the world’s media, public attention, and was fulfilling what would be the dream of a lifetime for most sports people, yet I felt more lonely, more cut off from the world, more pointless and more depressed than I had done for a
– I was completely disenchanted with it and I only rode when I felt like it. No sooner had I amassed a pile of component parts for my full-reach handlebars than the UCI acted to outlaw the riding style by applying rules to limit the reach that a handlebar can have. Pretty soon the time-trial governing body in Britain had followed suit and almost overnight most of the potential buyers had been taken out of the equation. Since professional cycling was out of reach, I was left with the handlebar
getting into business seemed to mount and time went by, my enthusiasm waned and my sense of failure and depression resurfaced. At this time an ideal building we were looking at on the Beach Park at Irvine turned out to be unsuitable for children since that area turned out to be quite heavily contaminated by toxic waste from old chemical works. Our business idea was effectively dead and my mood suffered as a result. Anne saw through my façade and one day, when she was driving, she told me not to
about it. A few weeks later, I managed to get a date with her at her university. We went to the Rocky Horror Show and on to a disco. I did not dance because I always feel like everyone is looking at me, and then I get a cold sweat and I feel like I can’t breathe, then I have to dance mechanically, as if at gunpoint. Then it gets so intense that I have to leave and get another drink. My date came to nothing and soon afterwards, I asked Gordon (Stead) if his offer still stood. I had been doing a
on my own ride and not waste my energy or focus on my opponent. Fourth place was not that bad, considering it was my first time at the event, and I had judged my pace badly and made mistakes. I did not leave with the same feeling of failure that I did at the ‘25’, partly because I felt I had so much more to give to the event. There was one thing that had been regularly commented on, though, in regard to my image, and that was my hairy legs. It had been quite a long time since I had disregarded