The small Highland town of Dunvegan sits on the west coast of the Isle of Skye. There’s a good chance that you won’t have heard of this little plucky Highland community before, and for good reason. Aside from its award-winning fish and chips and a 13th century castle, there isn’t much appeal for anybody (under the age of 60) to pay a visit.
While Dunvegan may be lacking in the adrenaline kicks of Queenstown, or Whistler, it’s more than making up for it with the striking landscape that surrounds it. The crown jewel of this terrain is the Cuillin mountains, which rise straight up from sea level to a sky-piercing 992 metres. Stretching for 11 kilometres and taking in 11 munros, the Cuillin Ridge takes on alpine proportions.
“It is … the birthplace and training ground of one of the most creative mountain bikers in recent years”
This sounds like somewhere you’d expect the likes of Ueli Steck, or even Alex Honnold, to be brought up and fine tune their mountain craft in. But it’s not. It is in fact the birthplace and training ground of one of the most creative mountain bikers (I use that term loosely, of course) in recent years – Danny MacAskill.
Sitting down to chat to me from his Highland yard during the first national lockdown, Danny was quick to point out that Highland life has had a big influence on the rider he is today. “I think there’s a lot of different athletes, or musicians, or whatever, who have learnt what they do through having a lack of [things to do] when they’re younger, where they’ve been forced to work in some sort of constraints or something like that.