Skye's the limit for Danny MacAskill. And he doesn't need a plane to soar. He flies just fine on a mountain bike in this seven-minute dazzler called "The Ridge."
The gorgeously shot vdeo finds the cyclist back home on Scotland's Isle of Skye, his epic adventure captured by helmet-cam, drone and lenses that are seemingly everywhere.
This outing shares the spirit of the exhilarating clips that made him a star, while supplying MacAskill with an infinitely more stunning visual canvas. It provides an intriguing contrast with his "Imaginate" film from last year, where he performed stunts in a fantasy recreation of his childhood bedroom with giant toys, books and loop-de-loops for props.
That voyage was internal, a trip through MacAskill's mind to share the cyclist's youthful dreams. But in "The Ridge," we're treated to the ethereal but very real grandeur of the Cuillin Ridge, a fog-bound, craggy stretch of mountains, 3,255 feet at its peak, that resembles the terrain of some distant planet. That effect is heightened by MacAskill's row-boat arrival at the hauntingly beautiful spot.
No other humans are in sight, strange creatures splash in the shallows, and Martyn Bennett's hymn-like vocals ring out on the soundtrack. It's as if MacAskill trekked across the void, or perhaps journeyed back into prehistory to perform and explore.
MacAskill's passage through Cuillin's awe-inspiring topography is sure to thrill fans (the clip's already approaching 10 million YouTube views in less than a week) and delight brand sponsors (Five Ten, Enve Composites, Red Bull and Santa Cruz Bikes, among them). Which is all for the best, since the shoot was an intense labor for everyone involved.
"It was a serious effort to just get to the filming locations," says Stu Thomson, who directed both "The Ridge" and "Imaginate." "The Cuillin Ridge is seven miles long, and to get to the easiest summit is at least two hours of hiking up, and then two hours back. We had to carry food, water and all our camera gear, including the drone and eight batteries for it, in and out each day. The longest day on the mountain was 8 a.m. until 1 a.m., and included a total of seven hours of hiking for five shots in the film."