Danny MacAskill admits 'honest mistake' over Playboy Mansion visit
His death-defying stunts and spectacular videos on his bike have won him millions of fans around the world.
But Danny MacAskill has admitted he blundered by agreeing to be filmed riding around the Playboy Mansion.
The Skye-born stunt cyclist admits he was unprepared for the online backlash from the “ill-fated adventure” in Beverley Hills - which he now says was “an honest mistake.”
Writing in his new autobiography, MacAskill admits he was stung by criticism from female cyclists and cycling magazines for being filmed surrounded by “Playboy Bunnies.”
It was shot in 2014 by MacAskill’s long-time backers Red Bull following a Los Angeles launch of his video Epecuen, which saw him explore a forgotten town in Argentina.
It was posted on YouTube with a message saying: “The legendary Playboy Mansion has seen more than it’s share of action over the years and Danny MacAskill has thrilled millions with his videos, so it was only natural the two came together for a clip sure to put a new meaning to the term ‘Bunny Hop.’ It was certainly a new experience for the masterful rider more used to balancing on treacherous ledges than entertaining a pool full of giggling beauties.”
In the video, now viewed more than 4.4 million times, MacAskill is shown jumping across a fountain, leaping from a bridge over a swimming pool and riding backwards down a hill. At one point he is chased by Playboy Playmate Raquel Pomplun as she wields a tennis racket.
At the time MacAskill said: “It turned out there were some decent bits to ride, but it was quite hard with all those girls distracting you, quite hard work doing all this riding. It was a surreal experience, definitely something I can look back on in 20 years’ time and laugh about.”
However, in his new book At The Edge, MacAskill, who is 28, writes: “I wasn’t entirely sure whether being associated with the Playboy brand was my thing. I was unsure of how anyone else in the trials world - and beyond - would take it. “
“What I had not expected was a backlash. I’d been under the impression that we were doing a photo session to help with the launch of Epecuen.
“It was just a day of shooting, a bit of fun, and very different from anything I’d done before.
"Of course, I imagined there might be some behind-the-scenes clips to accompany the pictures, but nothing more. So it came as a bit of a shock when a two-minute video of me razzing around the Playboy Mansion appeared on Facebook. Oh no, I thought, I wasn’t expecting this.
“The fact there was even footage in circulation had slipped my mind, mainly because I wasn’t involved in the editing process, or the musical side, which I was always passionate about.
“At first, there were quite a few positive comments from viewers. But a mini-storm gathered on some of the forums. A few female riders got upset and a couple of the big magazines ran negative editorials. I could see their points of view.
"At the time, the first edition of the La Course by the Tour de France was taking place, an elite race for women pro-cyclists. Equality was an issue in all aspects of cycling, so I understood why my working in the Playboy Mansion had upset a lot of people, though it was an honest mistake on my part.”