Daredevil backflips motorcycle between barges on London's Thames

LONDON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Extreme sports rider Travis Pastrana performed a backflip motorcycle jump over a 75-foot gap between two barges floating on London's river Thames on Thursday, 11 years after the last rider who tried the stunt suffered serious injury.

Set against the backdrop of London's O2 arena, Pastrana had only 150 feet to accelerate to takeoff speed before jumping, with only 36 feet to come to a stop before he would have fallen into the river.

12 PHOTOS
Travis Pastrana backflips motorcycle over London's river Thames
See Gallery
Travis Pastrana backflips motorcycle over London's river Thames
Action sports performer Travis Pastrana somersaults on his motorbike as he jumps between two barges on the River Thames with the O2 Arena sports venue seen behind, in London, Britain, October 5, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Nitro Circus ringleader and American professional motorsports competitor and stunt rider Travis Pastrana performs back-flips on a motorcycle between two floating barges in the River Thames, London, ahead of the opening at the Birmingham Arena in November of 'Nitro Circus: You Got This', which will visit 10 cities in six countries across the continent. (Photo by John Stillwell/PA Images via Getty Images)
Action sports performer Travis Pastrana somersaults on his motorbike as he jumps between two barges on the River Thames with the O2 Arena sports venue seen behind, in London, Britain, October 5, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Action sports performer Travis Pastrana somersaults on his motorbike as he jumps between two barges on the River Thames with the O2 Arena sports venue seen behind, in London, Britain, October 5, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Nitro Circus ringleader and American professional motorsports competitor and stunt rider Travis Pastrana who performed back-flips on a motorcycle between two floating barges in the River Thames, London, ahead of the opening at the Birmingham Arena in November of 'Nitro Circus: You Got This', which will visit 10 cities in six countries across the continent. (Photo by John Stillwell/PA Images via Getty Images)
Action sports performer Travis Pastrana somersaults on his motorbike as he jumps between two barges on the River Thames with the O2 Arena sports venue seen behind, in London, Britain, October 5, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Nitro Circus ringleader and American professional motorsports competitor and stunt rider Travis Pastrana performs back-flips on a motorcycle between two floating barges in the River Thames, London, ahead of the opening at the Birmingham Arena in November of 'Nitro Circus: You Got This', which will visit 10 cities in six countries across the continent. (Photo by John Stillwell/PA Images via Getty Images)
Nitro Circus ringleader and American professional motorsports competitor and stunt rider Travis Pastrana performs back-flips on a motorcycle between two floating barges in the River Thames, London, ahead of the opening at the Birmingham Arena in November of 'Nitro Circus: You Got This', which will visit 10 cities in six countries across the continent. (Photo by John Stillwell/PA Images via Getty Images)
Nitro Circus ringleader and American professional motorsports competitor and stunt rider Travis Pastrana who performed back-flips on a motorcycle between two floating barges in the River Thames, London, ahead of the opening at the Birmingham Arena in November of 'Nitro Circus: You Got This', which will visit 10 cities in six countries across the continent. (Photo by John Stillwell/PA Images via Getty Images)
Nitro Circus ringleader and American professional motorsports competitor and stunt rider Travis Pastrana performs back-flips on a motorcycle between two floating barges in the River Thames, London, ahead of the opening at the Birmingham Arena in November of 'Nitro Circus: You Got This', which will visit 10 cities in six countries across the continent. (Photo by John Stillwell/PA Images via Getty Images)
Nitro Circus ringleader and American professional motorsports competitor and stunt rider Travis Pastrana performs back-flips on a motorcycle between two floating barges in the River Thames, London, ahead of the opening at the Birmingham Arena in November of 'Nitro Circus: You Got This', which will visit 10 cities in six countries across the continent. (Photo by John Stillwell/PA Images via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The vessels used in the attempt were fitted with a steep ramp for the rider's take-off and a more gently inclined one for him to land on.

In 2006, motocross rider Mike Metzger fractured a vertebrae while attempting to backflip between two barges in a stunt for a television program in Long Beach harbor, Los Angeles.

Organizers of Pastrana's attempt said he was the first person to try to perform the trick since then.

Pastrana is known for competing in the X-Games extreme motocross competition and in the U.S. NASCAR motor racing series. During his career he has broken more than 90 bones and suffered 25 concussions.

Pastrana will be touring with his live stunt show "Nitro Circus" in Europe in November and December.

(Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London, editing by Ed Osmond)

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.