It must take a lot to make a daredevil like the Scottish stunt cyclist feel afraid, but then his heart-pounding descent of The Slabs in the Cuillins of Skye is quite the feat.
The steepness of the route is underlined by its classification as a “moderate grade rock climb”. Normally climbers spend hours going up it, but it took MacAskill just a few minutes of what he called “sustained peril” to go from the top to the bottom.
There are moments in the YouTube film when you might think “that doesn’t look so bad”, but then the camera angle changes to the view from his helmet and suddenly the drop looks almost impossibly steep.
With millions of views of his exploits on YouTube – a previous ride along the Cuillin ridgeline has now been watched more than 74 million times – MacAskill will have brought the splendour of Scotland’s countryside to the attention of vast numbers of people all over the world.
And the beautifully shot film really does make you want to be there, although probably not for the same reasons as MacAskill.
When the Covid lockdown allows, many of us who have been stuck staring at the same four walls for too long will be desperate to get away from it all.
And that pent-up demand to enjoy some of the greatest scenery of ‘the great outdoors’ anywhere in the world should provide considerable hope for Scotland’s beleagued tourist industry.