Pfeiffer, master of daring acts

Wheelies & stoppies

Then again, there are a few instances when you have no choice but to stand well behind and ask ‘how’? more than ‘why’? and whether gravity has lost its edge.

No, gravity hasn’t lost it. It’s just that these select bunch of people don’t seem to acknowledge its existence. And anyone who is gifted enough to view one of them in action often wonders if all the theories pertaining to gravity are true.

Chris Pfeiffer is probably the leader of this gravity-defying bunch. The 40-year-old four time World stunt biking champion from Germany, who had the crowd in a frenzy during his performance at the Palace Grounds earlier in the week, was on his second visit to India and Deccan Herald caught up with him for a chat.

Excerpts:

When and why did you start stunt biking?

I started when I was five years old. It’s a long story. In short, my dad had quit racing when I was born and returned to the track when I was five. So I got on the bike and I said I wanted to ride.


That’s where it began! My first bike was a Sachs 100 and we would just cruise around at that time. I really got hooked to bikes when I went off-roading. I had a whole lot of off-roaders when I was growing up but my first was the Suzuki 50 and during that time I took part in a couple of competitions, and I really got into the bike riding scene.

Given the abundance of asphalt, I started trying out some stunts around college when I was around 23. In 1996, I took it (stunt biking) up seriously. But after a point, it came to a point where I had to decide between off-roading and stunt biking. Off-roading was getting increasingly hard to compete in, and so I decided to give stunt biking my all and it was a great decision.

Does your off-roading background help your body get into a better position than most people while attempting such stunts?

Off-roading certainly helps in terms of keeping my balance and stuff. My advice to anyone
taking up stunt biking is to start off-roading first. Off-roading helps you get acclimatised to different conditions and that’s very important. Stunt bikers from California practice on perfect tracks and when you put them on a track with a little water and stuff they won’t perform. It’s a matter of getting your eye in for everything.

From the last time you came down to now, you seem to have added a whole lot more stunts to your art. How do these stunts come about?

I develop most of my stunts but some of them are borrowed and then improvised on. I keep practicing and I keep working on something or the other so I can entertain the crowd with something new every time. It’s about practicing hard and you know inspiration strikes when least expected.

Stunt biking in India...

The racing standards in India are really good. Some of the boys I’ve seen are very talented and they have these Pulsars to race on.

Those bikes are really good for stunts. Again, it’s about practice and not where you come from.

You’re 40-years-old now and seem quite fit and up for it but will there be an end-of-the-line moment not too far from now?

So long as I push myself and continue to innovate and come up with new stunts, I will remain in the sport. I’m waiting for someone young to come so I pass on the baton to but I’m still the only one. It’s only a matter of time but when that time is, only time can tell.


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