A creative mind high above the ground – riding with Danny MacAskill
Danny MacAskill is a household name to many and undisputedly recognized as a bike riding pioneer. Anyone who is less aware about the biker from Skye, and why he can claim such a place in people’s minds, simply have to watch any one of his highly successful films featuring limitless skill, creativity and fearlessness.
His films will leave you in awe, and possible discomfort, as it mixes incredible bike skills with precarious lines high above street level. Vertigo is clearly something he does not suffer with! One of his recent films, Imaginate, has already surpassed fifty million views since release in in 2013, which places him in the spotlight and at the forefront of progression in bike riding.
His first video, released in 2009, introduced him to the world. Inspired by trials bike legends like Hans Rey and Martyn Ashton the short film blended traditional trials with street bike riding and produced a web sensation. Since 2009 his films and road show, Drop and Roll Tour, have become ever more popular, all of which are underpinned by his creative thinking.
’I like to create new ideas that bring out the best in bike riding, mixing up street, trials and mountain biking. My approach has always been to create something memorable and inspiring, a little bit like trying to tap into my childhood thoughts and ideas, such as in Imaginate, which was set around my bedroom.’
’Not everything happens immediately, sometimes an idea I have and that I know would be fun or unique could stay in my mind, being refined and distilled, for years before I find the right project or place to try it out. Recently, I released Cascadia based around riding the rooftops on Gran Canaria, which was an idea I had a while ago but getting right place and details took some time. Luckily the final product is always worth it and working with amazing film and edit teams makes it easier for me to concentrate on riding.’
A film ‘POC bike excursion’ produced in 2011 by POC brought together some of the bike world’s leading stars to ride together in and around Stockholm and its surrounding archipelago. Swedish dirt star, Martin Söderström, leading BMX rider, Daniel Dhers, and Danny spent a few days together pushing each other’s respective bike disciplines.
‘The video from Stockholm was really interesting. Daniel and Martin are so good on their bikes that being able to look at lines from three riding perspectives made it really creative. Sadly a hand injury during a big drop cut my participation a bit short, but watching them was still inspiring. I have recently continued my relationship with POC so I hope we will be able to do a similar video again in the future.’
‘Injuries are part of the game however. I am lucky as I have been involved with POC since 2009 and have been using their helmets ever since. You could expect me to say that helmets are really important only because of that. But I have always been an advocate of wearing a helmet as it’s such a simple approach to looking after your health, especially when you are pushing your limits or trying new things. I have retired nearly fifteen helmets over the years so I have some experience with what could have been and I know well what works.’