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.