Profile When Chris Boardman used heart rates and power cranks to train for the hour attempts, Graeme Obree took to the hills of Scotland, old school. Obree – famed for his innovative techniques, re-invented the rulebooks so many times that the UCI locked him and his designs down. He is in the Scottish Sports Hall […]
When Chris Boardman used heart rates and power cranks to train for the hour attempts, Graeme Obree took to the hills of Scotland, old school. Obree – famed for his innovative techniques, re-invented the rulebooks so many times that the UCI locked him and his designs down. He is in the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame as well as the British Cycling Hall of Fame, recognising the massive contribution he has made to the sport.
Born in 1965, Graeme Obree’s career has been an inspiration for Scottish cyclists, including Chris Hoy. The two time world hour record holder, who was named BBC Sportscene personality of the year in 1993, developed a keen interest in cycling as a youngster and regularly won senior races as a junior. Inspired by the hour record set by Francesco Moser in 1984, Obree went on to break the record using his own ‘crouch’ position, which was banned twice, on a bike he built himself.
Additionally he has published two books, his autobiography, The Flying Scotsman – now a movie of the same name, and his acclaimed training manual, The Obree Way.
A unique talent, an individual who achieved extraordinary things grabbing the UCI World Hour Record twice, the 4000m world pursuit crown twice and a string of national records at 10,25 and 50 miles. His radical Superman cycling position was ridden to 8 gold medals at The Atlanta Olympics before it too was outlawed by the UCI. More recently Obree set a new mark when he claimed the IHPVA Prone Recumbent World Speed Record aboard the latest self designed and build bike, The Beastie.
But many know Obree as the man who designed and built the Washing Machine bike- recently voted the most famous bike in the world, Old Faithful. Graeme Obree is a legend in the world of Cycling and beyond. An innovator who uses the power of his mind and imagination combined with his extraordinary athleticism to reach a level few human beings can aspire to.
Obree, who has battled personal demons and depression all his life has shunned commercial gain in favour of following a value system based upon self determination, education and principled choice.
Graeme Obree earns his living as a writer, commentator, cyclist and speaker.
When I was approached regarding the role of rector of Glasgow University it brought back memories for me of my period as a student at the University. I was accepted to study Product Design Engineering in 1987 (28 lectures a week). I was young, carefree and in truth overwhelmed by the short experience. I lasted all of four months before deciding the university was not for me.
With the benefit of hindsight I can deduce now that my short university experience was in some way determined by the isolation I felt and experienced as a student. I felt small and insignificant in a theatre the size of Glasgow University and indeed felt isolated in huge and impersonal classes. I had not developed the self-confidence to get to grips with the challenges. There seemed to be no systems then available that would have been of help to me either, resulting in my rejecting the opportunity to complete my studies. So I returned to the world I knew – the world of cycling. I am sure my story from then is not uncommon; the literal stage fright of moving into a new world can result in a form of shock.
More than twenty years have passed and life has taken me on a great expedition. My cycling career took me on a new and exciting direction travelling the world to compete at the top level of world cycling representing Great Britain in Olympic Games and World Championships. This in turn has opened the doors for a career in writing, speaking and media. My education has been in large self taught. I am not advocating this as the solution to current student challenges. Instead the creation of a culture of support, diversity, understanding and encouragement is what appeals to me. A culture where wellbeing and healthy activity are seen as key components to a balanced life, a life that will enable students to build a solid base upon which they can face their own life challenges with confidence and vigour. I am prepared to stand up and fight for the students of Glasgow University. I am a profound advocate for freedom of expression, tolerance and inclusive thinking. Cultural diversity is a platform for betterment and The University of Glasgow should promote itself as a sanctuary for betterment. If elected to the position of Rector, I will listen to and stand up and fight for the rights of students.
- To be an active Rector, visiting the campus regularly to engage with students to assist develop a real understanding of the challenges faced by students
- To act as a representative of the Students of Glasgow University and to promote issues which are pertinent to the welfare of the majority of students
- Promote awareness of Mental Health issues and liaise with student services to ensure support services are available to students who need assistance in relation to any mental health issues
- Promote open access to sport, physical recreation and exercise which is vital in maintaining a healthy life balance
- Champion the development of sports facilities to ensure Glasgow University has the best sports facilities possible and which are accessible for all students
- Champion the causes of minorities particularly in relation to LGBT issues and to fight to promote a University culture which is informed and does not shy away from promoting and supporting diversity
- Working to promote diversity and facilitate developing an acceptance of the benefits of promoting an open and tolerant atmosphere on campus engaging with all students
- To assist promote the understanding of the core purpose of University (bettering human knowledge) to the public and media