Sunday, August 19, 2012

bike parkour ?!

DISCLAIMER TO MY STUDENTS:  I am in NO WAY endorsing this activity, or encouraging you to try it.  I just think it's one of the craziest things I've ever seen, and I encourage you to WATCH and not DO this.

Well, I expend enough vigilant energy biking up the SF hills and down Market St. during commute hours, but these guys take urban biking to a level I never knew existed.

The trial-rider best known for his "bike parkour" skill is 26 year old Danny MacAskill from Scotland (visit his webpage).  You can read a Twitter-esque interview with MacAskill here. His two most-viewed videos on YouTube are: Inspired Bicycles - Danny MacAskill April 2009 video (30 million views) and his more recent video Danny MacAskill - "Way Back Home" (21 million views).  The "Way Back Home" video is embedded here:

One of the newer guys on the block is Andrew Dickey from Melbourne, Australia.

Dickey made an earlier video, called Art of Bike, where he takes the viewer on "a bicycle tour of Melbourne's cultural icons."  It's pretty cool.

I guess, technically, what these guys do is not called "bike parkour."  In reality, it is a sport considered "bike trials," started in 1980.
CC-BY-SA by S. Bennett
Bike trials is an individual sport that incorporates the use of a special bicycle which the rider must maneuver and balance on in order to complete specially designed artificial or natural "sections." The objective is to pass through the sections with as little physical contact with the ground as possible, hence obtaining minimum penalty points.

Bike Trials comes from Motorcycle Trials. Motorcycle trials riders wanted to give their kids something to practice on before moving up to motorcycles, and some of the kids grew up to love bike trials more.

Of course, my question is, don't these guys break their bones all the time?  According to a Men's Health interview with Danny MacAskill, the worst injury he sustained was breaking his collarbone three times in a row in 6 months.  Other than that he "tries not to injure [him]self."!  (ouch)

Finally, MacAskill recommends "Some good tricks to start off with include the manual, track stand, wheelie, skid, stoppie and bunny hop. "

No thanks, I think I'll just watch.

1 comment:

Jansen Hickerson said...

That sure is the most extreme activity one could do with his bike. I mean, for me bike is something I could use to run short errands at the neighborhood or something I could use whenever I decided to go camping and stroll around the woods this would be the best form of transportation. Well, I guess, you guys just have the guts to do almost anything using your bicycles. Hope you're not hurt or anything.