The oldest wheel known to man dates back to around 3500 BC. That particular era is known as the bronze age, which means the first wheel was of course made from – all together now – wood. C’mon guys; who’s going to make a wheel out of bronze?
Anyway, The design has come along a little in the 5515 years since then. When it was first invented, the wheel was used for pottery and making rad vases and ornaments you could show off on Bebo or MySpace, the two social media channels of choice in that time.
The professionals these days are measured madmen; they crash big and then get up and try again…
Nowadays, thanks to a lot of smart designers, a lot of crazy riders and a lot of innovation, the wheel is put to much better use – because it turns out that when you line a couple of the things up and put a whole lot of technology in between, you can have a lot of fun.
As the bicycle has progressed, so have the riders, and the stunts in the modern scene have become completely unfathomable. The professional ranks these days are filled with measured madmen; athletes who train hard, ride harder, crash big, and then get back up and try again until they’ve achieved the impossible.
The eventual reward for fighting through and defying the odds? Being able to claim a world first – a trick or stunt that nobody else has ever completed. Below are just a handful of the greatest examples. We’re betting Mr. Bronze Age didn’t foresee any of these…
1) Gavin Godfrey, The Mountain Bike Triple Backflip
Nitro Circus are probably going to pop up a few times in this list. If you haven’t heard of them, they’re the band of badass action sports mad men lead by Travis Pastrana, and they’ve been responsible for more world firsts than you can count on two hands.
This effort from Gavin Godfrey stunned the world when it dropped in August 2014, and quite frankly, it still makes for an unbelievable watch. Proof once and for all that the Nitro Circus crew are indestructible…
2) Mat Hoffman, The BMX 900 No-Hander
Mat Hoffman. The BMX legend. The global icon. He could be in this list for a whole variety of things, but the one that sticks out for us? This 900 no-hander at the X-Games, the year after most thought he was going to retire.
“I’ve been wanting to do that for about 13 years,” he said after. We’re glad you did Mat. We’re glad you did.
3) Josh Sheehan, The Motocross Triple Backflip
A year or so ago, the first ever motocross double backflip from Travis Pastrana in the 2006 X-Games would have been a staple in this list. And then Travis decided to persuade South African Josh Sheehan to go and do one better.
That double would still be a very eligible entry to this list as well of course, but a triple backflip on an FMX bike? Madness. The size of the ramp in this video along is enough to give us nightmares.
4) Danny MacAskill, The Front Flip Off Edinburgh Castle
It’s tough to pick one trick or stunt from Danny MacAskill that stands out more than any of his others. His videos make for stunning, inspiring, breathtaking watches time and time again.
So, to save us the hassle, we asked Danny about the scariest day he’s spent on a bike, and he told us it was the moment he frontflipped off Edinburgh castle while filming ‘Way Back Home’. We can only imagine.
5) Jed Mildon, The BMX Quadruple Backflip
A quadruple backflip? How? Just how? This video come Jed Mildon, and you guessed it, Nitro Circus, from July 2015, and we’re still struggling to come to terms with the physics behind it.
How you can turn that quickly and yet somehow maintain the control and timing needed to actually stomp the trick is completely beyond us. Any answers on a postcard to Mpora HQ.
6) Brandon Semenuk, The Downhill Bike Cork 720
Okay, so first thing’s first, the video above is of Nicholi Rogatkin nailing a cork 720 in Nine Knights in September 2015. It’s the second ever cork 720 stomped on a downhill bike.
Brandon Semenuk stuck the first in his awesome feature film Revel in the Chaos, but you’re going to have to watch that – don’t worry, it’s totally awesome – in order to catch it.
7) Kevin Robinson, The BMX Double Flair
“I just want to nail a double flair. That’s all I want to pull. I don’t care if I walk out of this place with nothing else.”
Big words from a big rider in the lead up to the 2006 X-Games. When it came to the BMX Vert Best trick and the lights were shining… he totally stomped it too. The stuff of legend.
8) Martyn Ashton, The Road Bike Party Series
We already told you that when the wheel was originally invented it was for pottery, not cycling. Well, when the road bike was invented, it was meant for, err, roads, not for Martyn Ashton, but that didn’t stop the trials cycling legend going mad on it during his much-loved Road Bike Party series.
We’d pick one first out of this video for you to enjoy, but there’s no point. The entire thing is absolutely bonkers, so have a watch and enjoy. If you want to see Road Bike Party 2, which features MacAskill nailing a loop-the-loop on a road bike… help yourself.
9) Thomas Pages, The Motocross Bike Flip
Red Bull X-Fighters. Madrid. 2014. Thomas Pages lands the first ever bike flip in competition, and it leaves the rest of the FMX community in absolute shock. Hell yeah!
10) Aguado Alba, The Mountain Bike Double Front Flip
Flying under the radar at the Martin Soderstrom Invitational in Sweden, Aguado Alba came out of nowhere and stuck an unbelievable double front flip – the first in the history of the sport. The GoPro footage is enough to take your breath away!
11) Nicholi Rogatkin, The Downhill Bike Cash Roll
Right. So we used a Rogatkin Nine Knights special earlier on to show a world first which wasn’t actually his. A bit mean, really, wasn’t it?
This time around, it’s all about Rogatkin. He is the cash roll specialist, and became the first person ever to stomp it on a downhill bike at Nine Knights. This. Is. Nuts.
12) Ryan Williams, The BMX Frontflip Bikeflip
Ryan Williams has a bit of a habit of breaking records and claiming world firsts. He stomped this bad boy in France when he was just 18-years-old back in 2013, and he hasn’t looked back since.
This footage is only 45 seconds long, but you’re going to want to clear at least five minutes of your day for pausing, rewinding and playing the clip to try and work exactly what just happened.
13) Chuck Carathors, The Motocross Body Varial
We finish with another legend, this time from the world of the motorcycle. Way back in 2004, when the sport of FMX was growing at a blistering pace, Chuck Carathors stepped things up when he nailed the first ever motocross body varial at the X-Games.
Not only did he take the top prize and write himself into history after nailing the trick on his first attempt, he also laid the path for a truckload more progression that would soon come to his sport.
The Indestructibles, a new TV show sponsored by G-Shock, is coming soon to Dave.