Henry Grabar is a staff writer for Slate’s Moneybox and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.
The Scottish trickster takes his bike crazy moves to the Bay.
Danny MacAskill, king of the viral bike trick video, has crossed the pond and then some. His latest work finds the Scottish street rider on the hills of San Francisco, where he performs his usual hair-raising leaps and at least one death-defying railing run. MacAskill has a different perspective on San Francisco from most of us: "I always feel like I've had, definitely, a different way to view a city," MacAskill says in the video. "You're always looking round thinking: 'How could I jump that rail and jump to this wall?'"
MacAskill rose to fame the modern way. In the spring of 2009, his friend Dave Soweby filmed a video of him riding around Edinburgh, and set it to a song, "Funeral," by Band of Horses. On YouTube, MacAskill became an overnight celebrity, and the video, "Inspired Bicycles" -- which remains his best -- has been viewed over 31 million times.
Since then, MacAskill has won sponsorship deals, been featured in The New York Times, and released a few other cool videos, one in London and another tracking a journey from Edinburgh to his hometown of Dunvegan, "Way Back Home." The latter video does for the industrial landscape of Scotland's countryside what "Inspired Bicycles" does for the Scottish capital.
The new video, "Danny MacAskill vs. San Francisco," produced by Remington, features good music, cool S.F. footage, and crazy bike tricks. It also features commentary from MacAskill, which is a first.
Top image and video from Danny MacAskill vs. San Francisco.