Greame Obree, “The Flying Scotsman,” is famous for breaking the world hour record on a radically designed frame of his own creation. The bicycle, Old Faithful, was eventually banned by the UCI over concerns that it was making a disproportionate improvement to track records.

The legend is now attempting to break the human land speed record with an unconventional design. You’ll be surprised by his ingenuity and kitchen tinkering as he describes the process of building a no compromise vehicle tailored specifically to his body.

The video is rather long but you can read the entire interview at Humans Invent.


  1. Not to knock his ingenuity, resourcefulness, or passion, but for his contributions to cycling somebody please get this guy a shop space and some pro bono fabrication assistance.

  2. Obree is a great cyclist and thinker. He thinks out of the box and this was his road to victory more than once. But thinking out of the box is not enough in the world of human powered vehicles, where *everybody* thinks out of the box. Then you really need to use the experience of others, to climb on each others’ shoulders. This is where he fails. He works alone, has virtually no contact with the other teams.
    I think he makes no chance. The concept of a prone bike has been tried over and over again, and it simply does not work. You need to lie on your back.
    You’d better watch the Human Power Team from the universities of Delft and Amsterdam. They do use knowledge and experience of others, they are an active member of the HPV-community, and they do engineering, rider selection and training on a higher level than ever seen before. They have a former world champion skater as the engine and are designing what could easily be the most aerodynamic land vehicle ever. You should take a look at their blog:
    However, I think it’s a very good thing Obree is drawing attention to the most extreme branch of the cycling sport.

  3. Sadly, Mr. Obree is in for jolt of reality when he makes is attempt on the record. His kitchen derived aerodynamic theory of the importance of a teardrop shape misses the larger immutable physics of frontal area which doesn’t change regardless of the shape.

    The hubris of thinking he’ll attempt 100mph underscores his lack of comprehension of the forces required at those for the same frontal area to go from 85 to 100mph requires an additional horsepower..kinda tough to find when you are 46 years old competing with 25 year old monsters.

    A cleaver man..beyond his depth.

  4. It is funny how people criticise innovation and individual creative expression. Let the man create. Let the man dream. Let him express. See this manifestation as a unique individual attempt at breaking another record. His designs are open to view and share so others gain from his creativity. How can anyone criticise this man? Also, what does age have to do with it. You cannot follow your dreams if you are over 40?

    You could debate for hours if a team can be more productive or creative than the idividual. Would Edison have invented to light bulb if he was part of a team? Edison’s peers thought he was crazy and it seems Obree pocesses some very similar traights. I bet he hears that won’t work all the time.

    Greame Obree is a unique and creative individual like everyone on this planet. We should all dream and work towards or dreams like Obree. If we did the world would be a better place.

    Go and build your own dream instead of criticising a man’s desire to fufill his dream. Why don’t you go and create a bike that can travel more than 100mph?

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