by David Hayward
April 6, 2017
The Scotsman reports that a “major row” has erupted after Danny MacAskill and his cousin rode the Ben Na Caillich Horshoe on the Isle of Skye, on trials motorbikes.
They quote CEO of Mountaineering Scotland David Gibson as saying “[we] question his judgement about riding a motorcycle on the mountains. It’s irresponsible, it’s against the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and it results in erosion and degradation of the mountain environment.”
You can still see the video on Danny’s Facebook page if you want to. Reactions are very mixed, and Facebook comments are often a, *cough*, suboptimal place to go delving for opinions, but we’ve pulled these few out for you:
“No serious mountain climber wants to see these beautiful mountains ripped up by bike tracks, this shouldn’t be happening” – Lorne Graham
“Countryside is for living in, fed up of folk thinking that they can dictate what locals can do. Danny has been & is a great ambassador for Skye and for believing in his dream.” – Dorothy Morrison
“He’s on a trials bike with trials tyres. Not a 450 rip the clinkers out yer arse Moto x bike with rip it up chunky tyres. Galloping horses do more ground damage.” – Kenneth Macmillan
“As a trials rider of some 40 years I would love to ride this type of area as Danny has, but I would not without the permission of the landowner. It is thoughtless riding by unauthorised users that is loosing good trials land to competition clubs as land owners get fed up with illegal riding. We are not kill joys – we want land to ride on legally – don’t lose it for us…” – Dave Cox
This one event is unlikely to affect mountain bike access, but it is a part of wider access debates, and the comments certainly mirror many from similar debates around mountain biking. There also seem to be many places where national rules dictate one thing, but locals think and practice differently, both pro- and anti- certain types of access. Within fifteen minutes on one of our own local routes, there’s everything from mine tailings with motocross tracks up and down them, to signs on the next bit of land stating motorbikes will be confiscated and crushed.
What do you think? Deeply irresponsible in itself? Mostly harmless? Poor choice of video to post? Remote enough that it’s unlikely to attract people on motorbikes in large numbers?