Skye was the limit for trials cyclist Danny MacAskill on his latest challenge as he rode the ridge of the Black Cuillin.
Danny – who hails from Dunvegan – spent 10 days on the shoot in June of this year, cycling the seven-mile length of the range for ‘The Ridge’.
The seven-minute-long film, a Cut Media production, was released online last Friday. It went viral within a matter of hours, and by Tuesday of this week one You Tube video had been viewed over nine million times.
Reeling from the success of the film, Danny (28) told the Free Press: “It has gone slightly better than we expected! We didn’t really have any expectations, it didn’t have a big backer or anything, but it has gone down quite well.”
In the video Danny comments: “Growing up on Skye the Cuillins for me have always been a very inaccessible place. There is a knife-edge ridge that runs right along the top of them and I have always wondered whether it would be possible for me to ride my mountain bike along there.”
Danny had never climbed the ridge, so a scouting trip with Skye Adventures took place two weeks before filming. “The weather was terrible, we couldn’t see a thing, but it was very clear by the terrain that I’d underestimated the path,” Danny said. “There was a lot more scrambling and climbing and only a few sections good for the bike.”
Thankfully the weather improved for the shoot. “The forecast was terrible but it cleared and we went up and spent five hours waiting for the view to clear – I actually fell asleep on the ridge! The shoot was pretty hard work, having to take the gear up and down every day, but it was great.”
One of the scenes which has attracted most attention sees Danny scrambling up the Inaccessible Pinnacle on Sgùrr Dearg, a feat most hill climbers wouldn’t contemplate without ropes – let alone with a bike slung across their shoulders.
He said: “The plan was to clamber up with ropes, but I knew with the GoPro camera on my helmet I would get good shots. I’m not scared of heights and I’m good on my feet so I unhooked the ropes and went for it. You will see in the documentary that not everyone was happy about that!”
A documentary, ‘Riding the Ridge’, following the making of the film will be screened on BBC One tonight (Friday).
Images courtesy of BBC Scotland/Cut media