Why does Graeme Obree go it alone ?

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  • Why does Graeme Obree go it alone ?
  • Premier Icon hairyscary

    Maybe he sees it as an achievement in doing it alone.


    It’s just the way he is I guess.


    He doesnt tow the line. Bc tried to help him . If he disagrees with their methods he doesnt do it their way

    Fairplay to him i say – you can hardly say he was shit because of it.


    Because you can’t put a price on everything.


    Graeme who?

    I’m going to have to confess I don’t follow all his adventures all that closely. I’ve read the book, seen the film and follow him on Facebook, but that’s about it. Maybe this has all been explained somewhere and I missed it.

    One thing I remember from the book is that the Specialized wheels get mentioned a few times.
    Considering the amount of support even an average rider in the TdF peleton gets, I was surprised that one pair of wheels was so significant.

    His latest Beastie has got some sponsors logos on it, although not names I have heard of before.

    So, is it his own choice ? Has he turned down offers of help and support ?
    Or, has he been overlooked by the entire British cycle industry ?

    Wouldn’t it be good to see a Renthal or Hope sticker on Beastie for example and know that he had been given a one off custom Chainring or brake ?

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu

    Maybe because he’s a ****/genius?
    Either way he’s awsums.


    His choice. All the way. I’ve been watching his career since the beginning and he has always impressed me. I have a lot of respect for someone who knows there own mind and has the courage to follow it no matter what the challenge.


    I think it is because he wants to constantly get better, through his own endeavour and learning from others along the way. Reading some of the stuff he wrote when he was in Battle for the land speed attempt, that he learned from other competitors he, seemed genuinely delighted to be learning how to improve Beastie. Not a hint of disappointment or regret because, I suspect, all the gains and losses are his along with the lessons they bring. And he loves learning.

    Premier Icon somafunk

    As Stu says the man is a genius, and with his very structured mindset along with his bi-polar condition it favoured him being out there by himself testing and pushing his own abilities rather than ensconced in a very strict team with set rules and methods. For example his fav energy food was a jam sandwich, unless he got sponsored by hartleys i doubt the gel/energy bar market would take kindly to him saying it’s a load of pish for 95% of riders.

    He is genuinely amused and often perplexed that folk are interested in him or wish to hear about his (mis)adventures but he’s an utterly fascinating individual and when he gets going in conversation you’d better hang on for the ride as it could go anywhere but wherever it ends up you’ll be educated afterwards.

    He was asked recently up at the last talk he gave at Oran Mor in Glasgow why didn’t he teach or coach kids in cycling?, his response was “do you really think BC would want me to coach kids?, i just want kids to be happy and grow up happy, forget about this competitive nonsense and do it for the right reasons”. He carried on with his reasoning for a while and i heartily recommend heading to the GFT in Glasgow on the 12th november for his next talk about the land speed record, should be a good night and very entertaining.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge

    bikeneil – Member
    Graeme who?

    Ladies and gentlemen, the nominees are in for bellend of the week…

    I don’t know the man, though wish I did, but I put it down to the fact that his personality – troubled and of course bi-polar doesn’t naturally put him in the ‘team player’ camp.

    From what I do know about him (his book, interviews nod endeavours) he is without question a man who has always and will always achieve far greater things on his own under his own terms. He is indeed a genius in my opinion and unashamedly not for this world.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Seems to me that the same things that make it possible to achieve what he’s achieved, will also make it very difficult for him to work with others and for others to work with him.

    Premier Icon tomd

    Been to one of his talks, followed him over the years.

    His mind and objectives are hard to grasp. In my opinion, the “process” of doing something is more important to him than the thing itself. Looking at the Beastie, a lot of people think “Why don’t you get an expert in composites / aerodynamics / mechanic etc. help you make it better?” That thought is just completely alien to him. Not interested at all. He is a genius though.


    Nobeerinthefridge – Member
    Ladies and gentlemen, the nominees are in for bellend of the week…

    I wasn’t going to post something derogatory.
    Actually I was, but you’ve saved me the bother.
    Cheers! 😀


    For the love of it. Go obree. You’re a fucken beauty.

    plus one

    Doing it his way from the beginning ….. Respect !!!!!!


    He’s not a team player. People with his attitude and approach don’t fit into the rigid structures of organised sport. For most that would mean they’re doomed to obscurity but Obree had the talent and determination to rise to the top by his own route.


    I can see how Graeme’s way of working wouldn’t fit in to a conventional team structure.
    And I can see the attraction of the achievement of doing something alone, from building a bike to winning races on it.


    Another bit I remember from the book is that he was lucky to have a boom tube from a tandem lying around the shop to use as the main tube on Old faithful.
    Now, if I was in charge of public relations at Reynolds or Columbus, I’d be on the phone to Graeme saying “What projects have you got planned ? Give us a list of what you need and we’ll put it in the post FOC” ?”
    Same for manufacturers of bearings, rims and any other bits that’s it’s not practical for an individual to make themselves.

    So, I just wondered, is he asking them and they are turning him down ?
    Or are they offering and he’s turning them down ?


    Graeme who?

    Graeme Obree – one of he finest bike people the world has ever seen, and he’s one of our own. But you knew that already.

    Glupton, we all know there’s only one REAL Lone Wolf in cycling…


    When I first got into biking as a young lad in the early nighties, my cousin worked at our LBS, so we used to spend weekends hanging around there, looking at bikes and asking stupid questions. We were probably the most annoying kids in the world. Obree used to pop in occasionally to use some tools (as far as I can remember anyway). Watching the TDF, I had all road/track cyclists down as big media circus Big Mig looking types, so Obree went pretty much unnoticed in my mind. When my cousin used to tell me about the records he’d just set, I didn’t pay too much attention since I didn’t understand the significance of what he had achieved, he was just another local in our wee bike shop, admittedly one who could actually ride a bike.

    Truly inspirational man.

    Premier Icon franksinatra

    i love this quote from him:

    the fear is not actually not reaching 100 miles per hour, the fear is being 90, in a chair, in an old folks’ home, saying ‘I should have gone for that …


    He and I cycled from Largs to Saltcoats once a few years back and its one of the rides that really sticks in my mind. Finished it with a big smile on my face.

    Regarding the OP’s question, I think its a combination of things. I reckon that corporate bodies may think that he’s too much of a risk in terms of his character. If they were to sponsor him, would they get a person to toe the company line so to speak? Unlikely, so why bother. Maybe in the past as well, the turn downs from sponsorship requests has left him thinking i’ll no do that again.

    I agree with MTG’s comments that possibly the best approach would be for companies to say to him “what do you need, what can we do for you?” rather than “you should do this cause we think its best”. But what happens there is red-tape within companies to do that sort of thing. You generally need smaller companies with a bit of spirit in them to make that effort.


    He has just announced his retirement from competition cycling on this programme


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