Throwback Thursday: Gee Atherton Hunted by a Peregrine Falcon

Dec 13, 2018
by James Smurthwaite  

A few weeks ago we looked back at bike vs machine, now we're doing bike vs bird. In 2012, Gee Atherton took to Antur Stiniog to be chased down by the world's fastest bird, a peregrine falcon.

The bird is apparently capable of 200 mph but Gee has the advantage of a twisting track to keep the bird on its talons. Time for a look back on a truly wild video.


28 Comments

  • + 24
 Impressive cornering, impressive acceleration and braking, immense control at speed.... Gee wasn’t bad either.

See what I did there?
  • + 14
 yeah, i seen it. by the way, if you had been talking about the bird's mom, i probably would've told you that was one good mother falcon joke. i prey you tell some more, there's no talon how many upvotes you'll get. did you think alot about that joke or just wing it? maybe santa claws will bring you something good from xmas........chickenf*cker!
  • + 14
 Birds love chasing pros. Cougers too.
  • + 7
 I remember this squirrel that hid on top this fence that paralleled a trail. The squirrel would race in front of you and then jump from the fence to a tree right in front of me. Not quite the same as being chased by a falcon. But squirrels can be cunning.
  • + 1
 Was that a black squirrel? I love this, trail dog, trail squirrel, trail falcon!
  • + 1
 @landscapeben:
He just happens to be black.
Why you think only black squirrels are athletic and hang well?
I calling you out on this!
Rodent profiling!
  • + 1
 @Sshredder: lol you know black squirrels have like a mythical status to us in the UK, many people believe they're like unicorns, that they don't even exist Wink
  • + 1
 @landscapeben: those coloured squirrels are new residents brought over from Europe.
Mostly grey and a few black squirrels.
They then breed with the local squirrels. One day they plan to run the planet.
Never turn your back on a squirrel or a unicorn.
  • + 2
 @Sshredder: I could be wrong but I've never seen a black squirrel in Europe, only grey and red. Good advice though thanks, I've also always been told that you should never get conned into a game of leapfrog with a unicorn...
  • + 1
 @landscapeben: I found that perplexing as they are not rare here.
So I googled the rodents.
The black squirrels are mutations of the European grey squirrel.
But every black squirrel I have seen is smaller than the greys.
Our indigenous squirrel is a very small guy with huge attitude and no fear. The Douglas Squirrel.
Which looks very similar to the European red squirrel.
  • + 1
 @Sshredder: Huh, well we lived near 'Trono' for 3 years and that was the first time i'd seen the black squirrels and the one's round there are always a good site bigger than the grey's in Europe, plus the native red's we have in the UK are tiny, like half the size of a Canadian Black squirrel! Never raced any colour squirrel on my bike yet though so that's on the bucket list Wink
  • + 1
 @landscapeben: yes your native red squirrel is like our native Douglas squirrel. Every ones thinks they are baby squirrels.
Nope just tiny.
Black and grey squirrels are descendants from the gods. Just like unicorns .
  • + 7
 Frig me, this was in 2012? God I'm old...

I raced a horse the other day. I won because fences.
  • + 3
 I accidentally rode with a horse and rider behind me once. The first part if the trail was flat and the horse was snorting in my ear. I admit I was scared and redlining my heart. Its rider wouldn't overtake me and I asked several times on a narrow trail. Once I got to the downhill it was goodbye horsey. It was fantastic in hindsight.
  • + 4
 Maybe this should be a new analogy for bike testing. 'Climbs like a mountain goat, descends like a peregrine falcon'........
  • + 2
 Gee has some classic vids out there - the one of him taking on Dave Night down Fort bill and him and Stevie Smith hammering are super cool. Gees alright!
  • + 2
 That overshoot on the snow jump? That was laaaarge!
  • + 2
 @jaame: You mean at Tignes? Did make for a good article in Dirt (and desktop wallpapers) but it could have been pretty horrible. Glad he got away with it well enough to pick up another few WC and Worlds titles.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM6eI4B9oho
  • + 1
 @vinay: yes this one. Insane! And how young he looks.
  • + 1
 @jaame: Yeah, I wonder whether he had flashbacks when he won his second world champ title (as Bryceland placed second).
  • + 3
 Racing Rumors 3.0: Gee Flocks to Team Made Up of Falcons
  • + 2
 Aluminium bike? 26er wheels? HHOOOO the horror !!!!
  • + 1
 Some of the magpies back home in Aus make that falcon look like a tweety bird
  • + 1
 Gee should try to escape with a 29er, probably this time would be better ..
  • + 1
 Going to be chased down the mountain by the fastest bird aka Rachel atherton
  • + 3
 RIP One Industries
  • + 2
 The Falcon and The Snowman
  • + 1
 What the f*ck is this all about?

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