41 thoughts on “Dude. Whoa.

  1. I wonder how many lives it took…
    (I also think you meant to type “I couldn’t *do* any of this”)

  2. Someone needs to make a zombie apocalypse movie starring this kid – it’s easy to escape when your bike can defy gravity. And yes, his movie character should have sharpened blades on the wheels so he can decapitate the shambling undead. I know I would buy a ticket…

  3. Is there a German word to express admiration at the skillful performance of a feat that is senseless and borderline suicidal?
    And what comedian had a joke about the point at which the helmet is now actually wearing you for protection?

  4. On the one hand, it seems like a silly way to spend one’s time. On the other hand, like Scalzi said–Dude. Whoa! In other words, I can appreciate the artistry and technical expertise without actually wanting to either do it myself, or search for it on Youtube myself.

    :-)

  5. He’s perfectly safe: he’s wearing a helmet!

    (More seriously: how in the world is this guy not dressed like a goalie?)

  6. One of the most famous Bike Trials videos is this one of Danny MacAskill:

    What I love about the video is that he seems like he is just out having fun.

  7. It’s actually somewhat safer than it looks. Also, bikes today are much lighter and stronger than they were back when I was young and trying that stuff. At the same time, skill levels have gone way up and expectations have too. I suspect there are more serious injuries now from people watching videos like that and trying to emulate them.

    I too would be more impressed if there were fewer cuts and more long sequences. Which is harder on the cameraperson, but dud,e if the cyclist has that much skill is it too much to ask that the monkey holding the camera puts a bit of thought into it? Some of that I had to think about the mechanics of setting up the shot to decide whether it was hard to do or just a matter of enough takes. It’s where some of Danny McAskill’s stuff is truly astonishing, because you get 2 minute no-cut sequences where he’s doing some freaky stuff. Not so much risky as skillful – a 2m side jump is a 2m side jump even 20m off the ground. But a 2m side jump to a 5cm wide rail is impressive even 10cm off the ground.

  8. It’s in Melbourne. I did laugh at one bit because he was doing it right across the road from a big hospital.

  9. This is amazing stuff. He’s an astonishing athlete.

    Am I a bad person because I was thinking about how strong his glutes must be? Bet he can crack—no, crush—a walnut with them.

  10. I want to point out, to anyone considering trying similar stunts, that he has a helmet on. Helmets can be cool if painted all black. As I keep trying to tell the kids who skateboard outside my office.

  11. He’s not dressed like a goalie because he’s not going super fast most of the time. Plus, heat exhaustion is bad mkay?

    I know it *looks* impressive as all hell, but most of those jumps (not all obviously) are things we wouldn’t think are terribly difficult on 2 feet. On a bike it seems scarier, because if you’re not used to biking, you assume it’s really easy to fall. The tricky part is not so much the jumping, but the doing things slowly… in a lot of the shots, it’s clear the only reason why he’s able to do the trick is because he’s on a bike that can’t coast. If you know what you’re doing, a bike like that gives you a lot more slop for going very very very slowly.

    Which does not mean I’m about to go out and try to duplicate it :). He’s clearly put in an incredible amount of time and practice. And I have a terribly hard time going as slow as I can walk on a bike… my sense of balance is nowhere near as good.

    Must… Drill… More…

  12. couldn’t have been that many takes as both his kneecaps appear intact… failure at a number of these attempts would result in a lot of breakage

  13. “…I wonder how many takes each of these stunts took.”

    Possibly even fewer than you’d think? To my amazement, regular competition at this stuff seems to take place at a level not far removed from what’s in the video, and to be decided by things by foot-touches, rather than spectacular wipeouts:

    http://www.uci.ch/templates/UCI/UCI5/layout.asp?MenuId=MTI2MDQ&LangId=1

    Besides, I’m not sure how many failed attempts at some of those tricks anyone could actually survive. Though I’m not prepared to assert that that this fellow can’t have additional superhuman abilities.

    Thanks for sharing this. It’s wonderful in the best possible sense of the word. This skill, and the people who manage to cultivate it, are to be wondered at.

  14. I’d have to say that the majority of these takes took one cut, simply because the consequences of getting it wrong would probably preclude further attempts. Impressive stuff! Great music, too.

  15. Torrilin, unless I’m misunderstanding what I read on the web, trials bikes are almost never fixed gear. Apparently the ability to freewheel is essential for getting the feet into the correct position (9&3) for the next maneuver.

    To me, that makes this even more amazing. I once managed to track stand a freewheel bike. Once. For possibly as much as two seconds. On a hill (easier). And I was ON BOTH WHEELS. I honestly would never have guessed that anyone could do the same thing, on a two inch rail, on one wheel.

  16. Very cool. If you liked that you might try this one, similar but with one little difference:

    Both riders have amazing talents.

  17. There were parts that were hard for me to watch, because they made me nervous. I had to keep saying to myself, “If the guy had been seriously injured, they wouldn’t have uploaded this to YouTube.”

  18. Dude, whoa indeed. I just bought a bike and quickly found out how out of shape I am. I couldn’t make it up longer hills without a break. It reminded me of when I was little and just beginning to explore on my bike. I couldn’t make it up many hills in one shot and sometimes even had to push the bike up the hill. I haven’t had to push the new bike up any hills but I sure have stopped on quite a few and looked towards the top much like I did forty odd years ago.

  19. I fully expect to see this somehow used in the next James Bond movie, lol. Very interesting.

  20. Well, since he’s not increasingly covered in bloody bandages…I’m guessing not too many!

  21. There were parts that were hard for me to watch, because they made me nervous. I had to keep saying to myself, “If the guy had been seriously injured, they wouldn’t have uploaded this to YouTube.”

    Certainly this. I get the same thing on rollercoasters – half of my brain is going “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH” and the other half is going “Don’t fuss. Their Lawyers wouldn’t let you ride the thing if you weren’t perfectly safe.”

    Mind you, it wouldn’t have been the first time a horrendous accident has been posted to YouTube – Rick Perry’s Brokeback Mountain Ad comes to mind.

  22. Impressive! One thing I noticed is that the bike doesn’t have a seat, so in some ways what the guy is doing is using a large wheeled spring, so I assume that makes for slightly different dynamics. (He’s got more room to move up and down, for example, in response to the jumps.) It was still incredible to watch though.

  23. The Danny Macaskill videos (links in previous posts) really are awe-inspiring. I find slack-lining just as amazing – and you (the royal you…) can do it virtually anywhere http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPpDN0coscA
    There are loads of other videos – the manufacturers’ sites probably have great ones too. I’ve seen some with people basically breakdancing on the line, but can’t find it now, drat.

  24. As someone who occasionally trips over flat sections of floor, I think I find his sense of balance to be the really impressive thing. He’s not moving all that fast in most of these, and that makes it soooo much harder to stay balanced.

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