Tricks easier than walking with broken knee says Danny MacAskill

MacAskill injured himself while performing the Imaginate stunt.MacAskill injured himself while performing the Imaginate stunt.
MacAskill injured himself while performing the Imaginate stunt.
Street trials star Danny MacAskill has told how he is finding it easier to be back performing tricks in his Edinburgh Festival Fringe show than walking around with a fracture and a torn ligament in his knee.

The YouTube sensation has shrugged off advise to “rest and recover” from a crash to return to doing 80 per cent of the cycling stunts he was thrilling crowds with before a crash last week.

MacAskill, who is making his Fringe debut at the Circus Hub on the Meadows, was forced to cancel three performances and warn fans that his involvement in future shows would be limited.

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However MacAskill - who spent hours using frozen peas to try to speed up his recovery – has vowed to do as many tricks as possible to avoid letting down his fans and friends who have worked on the show with him.

Danny MacAskill. Photo: Steven Scott taylor / J P LicenseDanny MacAskill. Photo: Steven Scott taylor / J P License
Danny MacAskill. Photo: Steven Scott taylor / J P License

He insisted he was “lucky” not to have been completely sidelined after taking a tumble doing a flip over a giant ball, a trick made famous in his Imaginate video.

MacAskill called in a fellow street trials rider and close friend Ali Clarkson to help perform some of the most challenging tricks in the show, which has been selling out at the Circus Hub.

But since making a tentative reappearance on Monday, MacAskill said he had built up his involvement to the extent that he is only unable to take part in two of the main sequences.

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Recalling the crash, MacAskill said: “It was just a silly little crash. It’s always those ones that get you. I was riding the big ball we used in the film Imaginate, which I do various flips over.

“I put my leg out to catch myself, but I was slightly in the wrong position and the rubber mat we have is so grippy my foot just stuck to the floor when I landed on it.

“It had the feeling that I just couldn’t jump back up right away. Luckily it was right at the end of the show. It was a bit of a worry. There’s always a risk with these kind of shows when you are doing dangerous tricks. It’s all stuff that we are very well practised in, but these little things can happen.

“I got an MRI scan the next day. I’ve basically torn my meniscus, ruptured a ligament and there is a slight fracture in a bone the ligament was attached to.

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“I deal with sports doctors a lot. They know how to manage it. It’s more about what you can do rather than what you can’t.

“They told me to have a couple of days of rest. I iced it like crazy over the weekend. I actually just used regular frozen peas.”

MacAskill has brought his Drop and Roll show to the Meadows to mark the 10th anniversary of the release of his first online video, Inspired Bicylces. He was living in Edinburgh and working as a mechanic in a bike shop in the city when the then 23-year-old and his flatmate set out to film a series of stunts around the city.

Among the tricks MacAskill is back performing in the Fringe show is one where he rides along a set of railings.

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He added: “We’d just been getting into the swing of things in the show and it was obviously hard because of the feeling of disappointment for some folk who were travelling to see the show.

“I was struggling with walking and hobbling around a bit, but it’s one of those injuries where it seems to be easier when I get on the bike. I’m not needing to use a lot of painkillers to do it. I’ve been upping my level each time.

“I’d say I am doing about 80 per cent of what I was doing in the shows. I feel like I could probably do a bit more now. I’m wanting to do as much as I can for everybody. A lot of friends have been working really hard on the show.

“I’ve actually been lucky. If it had been just in the wrong place it could have been very different and I would have been sidelined completely.

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“I’ve been really happy with what I can do at the moment. There’s pretty much two sequences that I miss, but luckily Ali is there to take some of the forfeits for me.

“If anything, people are getting to see another amazingly skilled rider in the show, so it actually all works out real well. They’ve even got me on the microphone a bit, which is not really my scene.

“Injuries are unfortunately just part and parcel of it. The risk side is what makes the videos impressive, I suppose.”