In a stunning new video, a 28-year-old trials cyclist Danny MacAskill tackles the never-before-ridden Cuillin Ridge in his native Scotland, to and from the pinnacle. The death-defying ride features sheer cliffs, rugged peaks – and unbelievable stunts.
MacAskill’s adventure was captured in thrilling cinematic fashion by Stu Thomson and his team at Cut Media, supported by Five Ten and ENVE Composites. The bike rider also used a first-person view camera offering dramatic views of heights and chasms inches away from his chosen trail.
To make his trip extra cool, MacAskill chose to arrive to the foot of the cliffs by rowing boat – and conquered the sheer Inaccessible Pinnacle at its apex, never parting from his bike.
The resulting seven-minute video called ‘The Ridge’ was posted on video sharing site YouTube on Thursday and instantly went viral, with the counter showing more than 3,300,000 views as of Saturday evening.
Fascinated viewers took to social media to discuss the effortless way the stunt cyclist jumps over huge rocky gaps and makes flips in places that few men would dare to climb. The rugged traverse on the Isle of Skye is a challenge for pro-level climbers, let alone cyclists.
“It should not be your first ambition in the Cuillin unless you are a highly competent mountaineer,” Sky Guides, a climbing company that specializes in the Ridge Traverse, warns on its website. “Like many aspects of mountaineering, the Traverse is fundamentally dangerous.”
The notorious traverse includes 12 Cuillin Munros ‒ meaning a rocky mountain along the ridge with a height over 3,000ft (914.4m) ‒ “which are acknowledged as the hardest to attain,” Sky Guides says. “The Inaccessible Pinnacle is one of the most revered and is equally popular with climbers and adventurous visitors alike.”
The Inaccessible Pinnacle is the hardest of the Munros to scale, the company notes.
In some places, the terrain was too extreme for biking, so MacAskill would carry his Santa Cruz full suspension bike over his shoulders, hiking past the gnarliest parts of the traverse.
“Ever since I was a kid growing up on Skye I have always dreamt about riding a bike up on the Cuillin Ridge,” MacAskill told PinkBike, a biking website. “The project took a lot of planning and was probably one of the most physically demanding films I have ever worked on! It was definitely a labor of love though, as I wanted to show off the island for how it is and make everyone who lives there proud to be from this amazing part of the world.”
A documentary about the attempt will air on the UK’s BBC One next Friday.
“It was certainly one of the most demanding locations we’ve ever filmed, but a rewarding one at the same time,” Thompson told PinkBike. “Danny and I are very proud of being from Scotland so it was great to be able to show off the amazing landscape along with Danny’s incredible riding.”
MacAskill is known as one of the world’s most fearless trial cyclists. He began documenting his exploits in 2009, when he released a 5:30 minute street trials video on YouTube set to ‘The Funeral’ by the Band of Horses. Since then, the Scotsman’s notoriety has only grown with each viral video. As ‘The Ridge’ was posted on Cut Media’s YouTube page on Thursday, it started gathering literally a million views a day, and attracted thousands of likes and comments on social media.