The Flying Scotsman

We watched this last night and it was quite good. I have to admit there were a few critical moments in the movie where ‘Graeme Obree’ was hammering away, in pursuit of the hour record, and I caught myself unconsciously tensing and relaxing my legs in that familiar pedaling cadence, helping a brother out.

The film is a biopic, mostly focusing on the events leading up to and following Obree’s attempt at the hour record in Hamar, Norway riding the now infamous “old faithful” in that iconic preying mantis body position. The movie also touches on his difficulties dealing with balancing his ambitions with reality, making a living as an amateur/courier/bike-store-owner and his battles with bipolar disorder.

If you haven’t already done so, I would recommend seeing it. No matter what angle you look at it from, the idea of a amateur cyclist building his own bike out of washing machine bits and cut-up frames and then beating Francesco Moser’s hour record is an amazing story. The rest is pretty good too.

The hour record has a long great history and some of the biggest names in cycling have set the mark:

Coppi warming up – 45.798km

Anquetil – 46.159km

Merckx – 49.431km

Obree (“best human effort” – due to unconventional bicycle) – 52.713km

Boardman (“best human effort” – due to unconventional bicycle) – 56.375km

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