Legendary leap inspires bicycle shop pilgrims

Liam Dawson with the bike used by Danny MacAskill
Liam Dawson with the bike used by Danny MacAskill
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TO most passers-by it may be little more than a humble bike shop – but to millions of others it is the birthplace of a global phenomenon.

Macdonald Cycles on Morrison Street has become one of the city’s most unlikely tourist attractions, with no need for a multi-million-pound advertising campaign.

Danny MacAskill performs his famous jump at Macdonald Cycles

Danny MacAskill performs his famous jump at Macdonald Cycles

All it took was an internet video of an ex-employee jumping off the roof on his bike.

Bike mechanic turned stunt sensation Danny MacAskill shot to fame in 2009, thanks to a five-minute clip shot on his lunch breaks.

More than 29 million people have since watched his famed leap from the roof of the bike shop across an alleyway to the neighbouring Copy Stop.

And such is the esteem in which he is held the Chuckies Pend location has now grown into an unoffical landmark among his legion of fans.

Stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill

Stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill

Shop manager Liam Dawson said: “You see people turning up all the time to take photos from across the street. It’s like a shrine. Danny was kind enough to give us the bike he used for that jump too, and people regularly come in wishing to have a look and photograph it.

“It’s turned into a nice wee piece of folk memorabilia. It’s good to have the castle and the Old Town and all that but this is where most bike fans make for.”

MacAskill, who worked as a mechanic at the bike shop for three years until his overnight stardom, returned to the city earlier this month to shoot another video around some of his favourite haunts.

The 26-year-old is now a professional street trials rider for Inspired Bicycles Ltd.

Speaking from California where he is recovering from back surgery he said: “It’s amazing that folk turn up looking to have photographs taken outside the shop. I’m glad I can repay Macdonald’s in some way for all the long lunches I used to take when I went cycling around the city.

“The video back in 2009 was shot with a load of mates during those lunchbreaks, I never thought it would prove as popular as it has.

“Edinburgh played a big role in my progression as a rider and I’m grateful that I can give something back, however small.”

Asked whether he’s witnessed any daredevil fans attempt the dramatic jump, shop manager Liam added: “Not that I’ve ever seen. Danny’s the only one I’ve ever heard of landing it but, who knows, someone might have had a go after dark.”

A spokeswoman for Visit Scotland said: “It’s fantastic to see that where Danny MacAskill first became a world-wide star has become a mecca for cycling fans everywhere and further adds to Edinburgh’s portfolio of great things to see and do.

“Edinburgh & Lothians is home to world class attractions and is loved the world over for its exciting programme of year round events that take place.

“However as highlighted here the city and surrounding area is also home to unofficial attractions which can provide people with another compelling reason to visit which can often help to enhance the visitor experience.”