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Danny the champion of the world

February 11th, 2010

This video of Danny MacAskill doing stunt cycling in Edinburgh was first released in April 2009 and put on this website in May 2009. I am putting back on at the request of nine-year-old son.

Danny, a 24-year-old from the Isle of Skye, has perfected a form of urban trials biking, or “parkour on two wheels”, which involves using objects such as trees and buildings as platforms, props and launch pads for stunts. In the five-and-a-half minute video, produced by Dave Sowerby, MacAskill defies gravity as he somesaults off a tree, rides across some railings, does a 360 going backwards down concrete steps, and leaps across two-storey shop fronts.

The video — complete with backing track, ‘The Funeral’ by Band of Horses — is a YouTube sensation, with more than 15 million views since being uploaded in April 2009. It may fall short of the 100 million plus views of Susan Boyle singing “I Dreamed a Dream” on Britain’s Got Talent, but it’s ultimately more impressive.

The film shows the Scottish capital’s landmarks — including David Hume Tower, University Library, John Lewis store, Commonwealth Pool, McEwan Hall, Tron, St Giles Cathedral, Standard Life House, Waverley Steps, National Gallery of Scotland and Holyrood Parliament — in an entirely new light. MacAskill, originally from Dunvegan, has acknowledged that he sees things differently. He told the Telegraph:-

“When I walk around I probably see the city differently from most people. “I’m always scouting out good places to do stunts. I’ll stop to examine every random ledge.”

It took 12 years of practice for MacAskill to reach this standard with quite a broken bones along the way. The opening stunt — where he rides across spiked railings — took eight hours of attempts to perfect. MacAskill has apparently already earned enough from sponsorship and show signings to quit his job at bicycle shop MacDonald Cycles, on Edinburgh’s Morrison Street, and is now riding full time with his five-man stunt crew, The Clan.

Short URL: https://www.ianfraser.org/?p=1027

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