Movie Reviews
The Very Best Bike Movies

The Flying Scotsman Cover The Flying Scotsman

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Good guys and bad guys; drama and illness; love and laughs. And bikes throughout.

The Flying Scotsman tells the true story of Graeme Obree, who in 1993 broke the world record for distance biked in one hour. What made Obree’s feat so remarkable is that he was an amateur rider. In addition, he won the race on a bike that he designed and built himself.

Obree accomplished so much primarily because he devised the crouched, tucked-in riding position that significantly reduced wind resistance. He took track racing to another level without the help of specialists, computer-aided design or corporate sponsors.

The Scotsman came out of poverty and wrestled with depression and self doubt all his life. This and his unorthodox riding position rankled the bicycle racing establishment, which challenged him all through his career. The Flying Scotsman portrays this tension, as well as Obree’s underdog status and illness, without resorting to sentimentality.

The fact that Obree was a commoner who succeeded on the strength of his will and wits – through perseverance and determination as much as through athletic ability – makes his story inspiring. The movie is wonderfully filmed around the world and includes several nail-biting race scenes. The story spins along, portraying Obree’s life as a struggle against adversity, adversaries and time – much like a bike race.

Sports heroes usually come from football or soccer, baseball or basketball. The best thing about this film is that it tells the story of a truly remarkable hero from the ranks of bicycle racing. There are many such champions around the world but they usually don’t get much attention, unless they win the Tour de France. This film not only makes us aware of Obree’s considerable accomplishments but also sends us out in search of other such stories.

Title: The Flying Scotsman
Year Released: 2006
Duration: 96 minutes
Language: English
Bike Content: 10/10 wheels

Posted by Greg Borzo on 09/03 at 10:18 PM