Courtesy of Red Bull
Following on from 2013’s mind-blowing ‘MacAskill’s Imaginate’, Epecuén is the latest film from Danny MacAskill.
Directed by long time collaborator Dave Sowerby, will see Danny take his riding back to the roots of trials riding, exploring the forgotten town of Epecuén in Argentina, a location that has been submerged for the majority of the past 25 years.
Pablo Novac, Epecuén’s only resident throughout the troubled times, gives a brief history of the location culminating with his thoughts that he ‘…can no longer see what use this place has for us now,’ MacAskill however has other ideas.
Danny MacAskill is renowned for pushing the levels of both his riding and filming with previous releases ‘Way Back Home’ and ‘Imaginate’ accumulating over 50 million views between them; Epecuén is set to raise the bar once again.
Imaginate, Episode 5
After the release of Danny MacAskill’s most anticipated film to date, the final episode of MacAskill’s Imaginate looks at some of the challenges around the project and finally lifts the lid on aspects that up until now, have been a guarded secret!
Trailer – Anthill Films’ ‘Not Bad’
This is a tale of epic adventure. A tale of seven brave riders who set out from the four corners of the globe to gather together under one roof in a town located at the ends of the earth. A tale with no beginning and no end but where a few things happen in between. Things like eel fights. Yeah that’s right… f’n eel fights. So watch this movie. Why? Because it’s ‘Not Bad… 30 days of bicycle tomfoolery in New Zealand’.
A new short film from the crew who brought you The Collective, Roam, Seasons, Follow Me and Strength in Numbers. Starring: Brandon Semenuk, Brook MacDonald, Brett Rheeder, Cam McCaul, Andrew Shandro, René Wildhaber and Ryan Howard.
This Is Peaty – Andorra WC Preview
Let Peaty take you down the 2013 Andorra World Cup course…
Cedric Gracia – Through My Eyes #1 – Punta Ala
The Brigade, with Cedric Gracia and Bryan Regnier, was at Punta Ala this week-end for the first Enduro World Series, in Italy.
Crankworx Les Deux Alpes
Air DHTweet Print
After exploding into internet stardom with his short riding films "Inspired" and "Way Back Home", Scottish trials rider Danny MacAskill’s latest work needed to top them all. Partnering again with Red Bull and Inspired Bicycles, MacAskill opened his sketchbook to revive all the ideas that had been bouncing around inside his head for years.
Given a clean slate, or as he called it "the biggest toy ever," he stars in what must be one of the most creative mountain bike films ever made. Take a look:
"Imaginate" didn’t happen overnight. It took years of planning and hard work. See how it all came together in the five-episode mini-series documenting Danny’s injuries, finding the perfect location, and more.
Danny MacAskill is back with a new project, Imaginate, in which he seeks to push the limits of his sport even further than he has previously.
Sometimes being told you can do whatever you want can be more intimidating than being held back and it’s the sign of a true champion to be able to grasp their dreams and make them come to life.
As Danny puts it himself,“With this project I’ve got the kind of free reign to build the kind of set up that will allow me to do the kinds of tricks that have just been in my dreams up until now.”
This trailer is for a six-part-series that has followed Danny as he has fought injury and operations in order to continue riding and make this project come alive.
You can find out more about Imaginate at imaginate.redbull.com.
A Scottish adventure with Hans, Peaty and Danny
By Hans Rey and photos by Andy McCandlish
Peaty and I had been planning a trip to the Scottish Isle of Skye for a long time. When things finally started falling into place, we invited YouTube sensation Danny MacAskill to join us. In whirlwind fashion, the Scottish native has been living the dream since his film clip debut on the Internet a little more than a year ago. It quickly became the most watched sports clip on YouTube of all time, with nearly 18 million viewers to date.
It was not my first time traveling and riding with the freshly-crowned downhill World Champion. With photographer Andy McCandlish, cameramen Rob Summers from Pro Active TV, Mark Huskisson from Reset Films as well as our guide and local tour operator Euan, from H and I Adventures, our team was complete.
With much luck I managed to land in Glasgow, ditching the volcanic ash cloud that stopped air traffic in many towns across Europe. Our crew and Danny picked me up from the airport and off we drove into the rolling countryside. First stop was the much filmed and famous fairytale castle of Eilean Donan, where we had a special permit for a trials session. Unfortunately, my trials bike was in Peaty’s van, whose arrival was delayed.
I was a bit limited, but still had a chance to sample some firsthand impressions of Danny’s fantastic riding skills and enthusiasm. Despite the bad weather forecast, we had sunny skies and enjoyed our ancient playground, almost until sunset, which is not until 10:30 p.m. in May. Steve arrived late that night; early the next morning we got ready to go across the bridge to the Island of Skye and hit some stunning XC trails.
Unlike many places around the world, cyclists are tolerated on all of Scotland’s trails. The scenery, landscape and trails were phenomenal—from the mountain views to the ocean views—a perfect synergy of highlands and islands. To be prepared for any style of riding we each of us brought several different bikes. I brought my GT Force Carbon all mountain bike, Ruckus 7 freerider and my trials bike; Peaty was Santa Cruz-equipped and Danny rode his Inspired and some Orange rigs.
The Quiraing are massive, broken up craggy rock faces that tower over the lush meadows, surrounded by breathtaking views only accessible by an ancient trail. We challenged each other to little trials riding problems and it was good to see how much fun everybody had, even though we were “just” cross-country riding. Next stop, the Talisker Whisky Distillery, where we enjoyed a private tour and sampling session. We learned some whiskey etiquette and all about the unique peaty flavor of this precious drink—some would say that it is an acquired taste.
The local pub where we spent the night had more than 300 different whiskys, but we didn’t manage to try them all. Preserving our heads for the morning, I instead gave the guys a private screening of the new Wheels 4 Life film. Danny told us about one of his ancestors, the giant Angus MacAskill, who lived some 150 years ago. According to the Guinness Book of World Records he was known as the largest true giant measuring an impressive 7’ 9” or 2.36m. Danny’s parents run a tiny local museum and it was a pleasure meeting them and listening to their stories about Angus and Danny and the similarities in terms of their success and fame.
Overnight the notorious Scottish clouds and rain arrived, which didn’t hold us back from doing another, very wet and technical XC ride through Glen Sligachan, and along the shores of a beautiful loch. The weather merely added to the dramatic and mystical landscape. We had been wondering why Peaty brought such a large backpack. Instead of the usual contents one would pack during a long ride, he pulled out a small coal grill, sausages, beers and some bottlerockets. Typical Peaty. Who needs a rain jacket when you can have a beer instead?
There are endless trails and very few people using them. We didn’t have to share the trails with any other riders all week long, just some sheep and shaggy Scottish highland cattle. Our next destination was Torridon, north of Skye, on the mainland in the Scottish Highlands. We stayed at a very remote fishing cabin on Loch Damh, a very peaceful and beautiful place, that is, at least until we got there. A chartered helicopter took us to some isolated mountain ridges, where we dropped in on our big bikes. It is something special to slice through the air in a helicopter; we all had big grins on our faces, we were just like excited little kids again.
It was very cool to have three generations of riders on this trip, we all have a different forte but are all influenced by each other and by the same common background of riding very technical terrain. Many things have changed since my early freeriding days. Not only the technology of the bikes, but the limits of what is possible, are at a level that I could have not dreamed of 20 years ago. Boundaries are constantly being pushed, and that continues to inspire us all. I’m thrilled to still be a part of the mountain biking movement, to see it and experience it firsthand with one of the fastest, and one of the most progressive riders ever.
It was a delight to follow Steve and Danny—even though I sometimes had to catch up—and it was with sheer amazement that I tried to comprehend some of Danny’s lines and moves. A gigantic bonfire at our hut burned late into the night, as the boys kept dragging wood out from the hills. Fireworks and other party supplies interrupted the silence of the night. The last day provided us with some more downhill trails, before we ended up in Aviemore, a Scottish mountain resort in the Cairngorms and the town where Danny lived for a few years.
At last I got to ride my trials bike at Danny’s old stomping grounds. Old school meets new school, and let me tell you, this is not the last we’ve heard of Danny. He has many goals and he definitely hasn’t reached his limits yet. Even Peaty busted out some trials moves before we raised a final glass of fine Scottish malt… Here’s to the good life!
This piece originally appeared in Issue #155. You can order a copy of this issue here. To make sure you get Dirt Rag content as fresh as it can be, please order a subscription, and help us keep it rolling.Tweet Print
It’s a safe bet that every time Danny MacAskill comes out with a new video it’s only a matter of hours before it goes viral, clogging the interweb and your social media feeds. And for good reason, Danny’s got skills.
While his videos are amazing to watch—stunning displays of ability combined with great videography—I can’t call them inspiring. Awe-inspiring yes, but they don’t "inspire" me.
Because the skills he’s honed are light-years beyond anything I could hope to accomplish and live to brag about. I am not about to walk out my front door as soon as this video ends, find a wall and hurl myself off it while attempting a front-flip. Not gonna happen. A strong desire for self-preservation coupled with a candid assessment of my bike handling abilities keeps me from being "inspired" to attempt these things.
That said, the average mountain biker would benefit from adding some trials moves to their repertoire. The basics: track stands, front-wheel pivots and bunny-hopping won’t land you Red Bull sponsorship. But they will improve your bike handling skills, make hike-a-bike sections rideable, keep you from dabbing and impress your riding buddies. All good things.
So I leave you with this video of Oliver Dunjic riding his rigid 29er singlespeed (he’s running 32:20 in case you were wondering…) up a mountain called “Schneealpe” (Snow Alp). It’s one of the eastern-most mountains in the Alps. "The mountain is quite flat at the peak, and has several steep and technical trails down, that are made for hiking and ski touring. Almost no mountain bikers, only a few ‘specialists,’ are riding this mountain," says Dunjic.
The trail,"Lohmgraben" is steep and rocky, with few opportunities to let off the brakes. "The trail is so technical that I would need an hour and a half to go down without filming. The guys riding here need—even with a full suspension—many breaks for relaxing the legs, arms and fingers and giving the rotors a chance to cool down. With filming we needed three hours."
Using basic trials moves, Dunjic expertly navigates his way through rockgardens and technical switchbacks.
This, I find inspiring.
Want to learn more? Pick up a print copy of the ‘Rag and check out our Skills Series.