His passion for biking took root on the wind-licked Isle of Skye, where he grew up. Now a professional stunt cyclist, Danny MacAskill’s technical trickery and breathtaking videos have made him one of the world’s best-known riders
“Scotland and Skye are home to me. Even though I like to travel to other places around the world, it’s just great to be able to come back and ride Scottish trails with friends. There’s nothing more enjoyable than heading down those steep, muddy and rooty trails.”
“Skye might be rural, but I had the best time growing up there. My parents gave me quite a lot of freedom to tear around our garden, build things and explore. I’ve always been active, jumping off things since I can remember, and thank my parents for giving me those opportunities.”
“I enjoy seeing and exploring the world from different perspectives. I spend most of my days thinking about new trick possibilities and locations for videos. I have a long list of ideas which I hope to film at some point. I’ve been very lucky to have a number of partners to help me ride my bike for a living and also go out and do these projects that I dream up.”
“It’s a combination of happiness and relief. Some tricks can take hundreds of attempts so it’s a good feeling when it all works out in the end and I can give my friends a high-five. In Wee Day Out [MacAskill’s latest film], there is a scene where I ride on a rolling hay bale. It took me about 400 attempts to get it right. As you can imagine, it was a great relief to check that box off the list.”
“I wouldn’t risk my life for the sake of landing a stunt that’s out of my comfort zone. But when I’m attempting big tricks there’s a lot of fear involved, which I have to handle. I like to play a song I know well. When the chorus kicks in, I use it as a cue to set off and to commit to the trick or jump over the edge. Even with the cue it can take a number of run-ups to commit to bigger tricks though.”
“Well it did come as a surprise back in 2009. Working as a mechanic, as I was back then, was already pretty much a dream job. I just wanted to work with bikes. To be given the opportunity to ride for a living is something I would never have expected. I’m grateful to those who support me in realising my ideas and my dreams.”
King of the hill: 3 facts about Danny MacAskill
1) One of Danny’s videos, The Ridge, had more than 10m views in its first five days on YouTube
2) Danny released his autobiography At the Edge – Riding for My Life, in 2016
3) In 2012, Danny carried the Olympic torch through Glasgow
All images: Fred Murray/Red Bull Content Pool
Byline image: Lorenz Richard/Red Bull Content Pool
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