Located between the mainland of Scotland and the Isle of Skye, Raasay is a tourist destination known for its mineral-rich geology and ancient rock formations. But street trials rider Danny MacAskill was interested in the island for another reason. He spent nearly a week with friends digging out the remains of an old iron mine to create a course for Way Back Home. “It was probably scrapped about 80 years ago and still had some of the concrete foundation left in the hillside,” MacAskill says. “I didn’t know exactly what it was going to be, but I knew it was going to be something.”
The excavation took three times longer than planned. “It couldn’t seem to stop raining, and the midge flies were biting like mad,” MacAskill says. His team resorted to using blowtorches and setting the jumps on fire to try and create a surface dry enough for MacAskill to ride. Then, on the last available shooting day, the cloudy skies broke open and they were able to get the footage they’d hoped for. “So it wasn’t just madness,” MacAskill says, “but something we were actually able to use for the film.”
Street Trails Rider
Danny MacAskill rides a bike like no other—cruising up tree trunks, leaping between train cars, and balancing across fences. A short YouTube video showcasing his audacious stunts in 2009 went viral, with more than 31 million views. Subsequent films, including Way Back Home and Industrial Revolutions, have made MacAskill legendary and brought the sport of street trials out of obscurity. See his Adventurers of the Year profile.
Danny MacAskill's Gear Pick: Helmet
“My helmet. I’ve broken so many over the years—broken as in rendered unusable—that it’s not even a question. If I didn’t have my helmet on, I wouldn’t necessarily be dead, but I wouldn’t exactly be in a very good way.”