Watch: Brightons biker, 8, becomes latest star of stunt team founded by Danny MacAskill
A young Brightons cyclist has become the star attraction of a stunt group founded by renowned Scottish bike rider Danny MacAskill.
Eight-year-old Thorfinn Whalley’s eye-catching and, at times, jaw-dropping performances as part of The Clan: Scotland's Cycle Stunt Team have earned him considerable acclaim – and a strong online following to boot.
The precocious youngster first took part in one of the group’s shows just before his fifth birthday after his passion for pedalling saw Thorfinn plucked from the crowd and invited on stage at the European Championships in Glasgow.
Thorfinn, who’s also a member of Falkirk Junior Bike Club, hasn’t looked back since.
Recalling how his son shot to cycling stardom, dad Tom said: “I got a message from the head coach of his bike club.
“The coach was volunteering at Glasgow Green as part of the European Championships, so we went along with the intention of having a go on some bike obstacles.
“There was an announcement over the tannoy that a stunt team was about to start.
“Thorfinn was absolutely captivated. He screamed the loudest and won a t-shirt for being the loudest member of the crowd!
“The event was happening for two weeks and we went back because he loved it so much. On our third visit the manager, Iain Withers, said, ‘Do you fancy a go?’
“We took his bike on the next visit and he did a skit where the adult members all do bunny hops over a bar in little increments to see who can win this competition and he cycled under it as a limbo and stole the show!”
Since his big breakthrough, Thorfinn has taken his talent to new heights – quite literally – and found himself pulling off stunts alongside top names at events such as the Royal Highland Show.
In late August, he also starred in The Clan’s performance at Newhailes House and Garden's Classic Car and Transport Show in Musselburgh.
As a parent, Tom says he’s adjusted to seeing his boy fly through the air on a bike as he’s watched Thorfinn’s progression first-hand and fully trusts the youngster’s judgement and, most importantly, his ability.
He explained: “It just becomes normal.
“It’s always very safety conscious. He’s not risk-averse but he will calculate the risk and decide whether he’s capable or not.
“Up until Covid, he was doing the thing of being the cute kid but, during that time, he has developed lots of skills on his bike. He practically lives at Falkirk Skate Park doing all the jumps.
“He’s now dropping in from The Clan’s 5ft jump box, so it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster.
“He’s a fully fledged member. He was at a show at the Royal Highland Show. That was the first time he’d been allowed to go on the big ramp but it’s amazing how quickly he steps into it.
“It’s something he’s picked up himself. Leisure cycling was something we’d do when he was younger – the hardcore cycling has come from his interest.
“Who knows what he’s going to do with his life but he loves doing the stunts. If it’s not a career, it could at least be a hobby.”
Search @thorfinnismighty on Facebook or @thorfinn_is_mighty on Instagram to see his latest stunts.