The UK has got a lot of talented cyclists now, there are some that can beat allcomers in a sprint for the line, we have a highly talented team that can ride the velodrome and beat the world, a small number of top class riders who feature highly in the Grand Tours and some who can throw themselves down mountains in some sort of controlled terror.
Then there is Danny MacAskill.
If there was one guy who could be said to defy gravity, it would be him. He rides a trials bike, a sort of squashed mountain bike, that he can control in an unbelievable way. He has the ability to leap several feet in the air with it, using that height he jumps to climb vertical surfaces and clear gaps with a breath-taking ability. Couple this with a fertile imagination and a healthy disregard for safety he has created astonishing videos like Imaginate, Wee Day Out and Cascadia and become a You Tube sensation. They are the sort of video that you need to see twice, as you can’t quite believe that someone can do that on a bike.
In this book, MacAskill takes us back to his childhood, through his rebellious phase and brushes with the law on the island of Skye. He tells us of his initial venture into riding street trials and how he learnt his craft. His first video, Inspired Bicycles, was filmed by a friend and uploaded onto You Tube one weekend. He thought nothing of it until he received a call the next day from the BBC wanting to interview him. Overnight he had had 100,00 views of the video and from that moment on, everything went mad. Sponsorship deals followed and the quality of his videos increased dramatically.
It is an enjoyable book to read learning about his early escapades and how he has pushed what he can do on a bike to the very limit. If you’re expecting a lyrical narrative though, you might be disappointed, but MacAskill tells it how it is and it is quite refreshing for that. One for the fan, but even if you do’t want to read it you must see some of his videos. 3.5 stars