Danny MacAskill Rides the Thames


Since his breakthrough in 2009, the Scottish street trials rider has racked up over 150 million views on his online videos. The most recent video "The Ridge", filmed on his home island, the Isle of Skye reached over 20 million views in just 2 weeks, making it one of the most watched sporting videos ever on YouTube. For Danny, riding is about making the most of the natural surroundings. Jumping over benches, riding up trees, hopping over walls and down stairs comes naturally to him. However, there are some features that have to be especially made – one of these is the loop. Follow Danny on his journey to create the biggest loop he has ever ridden in this legacy clip:

Danny first rode a loop in his 2012 Red Bull project, "Imaginate". He later repeated the stunt on a road bike for the video "Road Bike Party 2". When he got the idea to take this to the next level, Microsoft was more than happy to help. The plan was huge, bigger than ever before. To celebrate the release of Cortana, Danny was going to ride a 16-foot (5 meter) loop, on water, in the center of London.

"This is one of the biggest set ups I have ever ridden and the location is amazing. To have a 5-meter loop floating on a barge is something surreal. I always look for new challenges and the chance to ride this massive loop is another achievement I can be proud of."

Indeed – the set up was the biggest he had ever been a part of. It took over 10 days for the ramp and loop to be built. The build crew had the momentous task of making 120 tonnes of track material float on the rocky Thames. After a 5-day build in the docks, the construction floated down into position in front of the London Eye next to London's Westminster Bridge. Starting from the 15-meter (49 foot) roll in, Danny had to accelerate to at least 19.5 kph (12.1 mph) to make his wheels stick to the loop – this is a stunt that requires full commitment.

A week of practicing in an aircraft hangar and then two late night rehearsals on the inky waters of the Thames all boiled down to the one run in front of the London crowd. The challenges were far from few. The crew worked hard to keep the ramp dry from the settling air moisture. The head wind also meant Danny had to maintain his speed with an extra pedal or two. Then of course let's not forget he had to loop a track, which was only 1.5 meters (4.9 foot) wide on a structure that was floating and swaying from side-to-side! As the amazing light sequences lit up the London sky, crowds gathered on The Embankment. The music kicked in and the show was on! This was Danny's big moment; it was time to #MakeItHappen.

It is hard to imagine what it feels like to stand on the top of the tower, in the center of London with lights flashing, music blaring and hundreds of spectators cheering for you. You can see how Danny's idea became a show stomping reality right here: