The 2018 20″ elite world champion, Thomas Pechhacker (25) has released a video where he overcomes new obstacles in a totally new environment. Instead of jumping over obstacles which are more or less on the ground, he’s now balancing on a 5 cm wide rail 120 meters above the certain death.
A challenging year made the Austrian seek new challenges, and Bashguardian spoke to him about the stunt, and how he can bring the experience to the conventional race arena in the future.
[Interview below the image gallery]
What made you do this stunt? 100% for yourself, or do you feel pressure to come up with something this spectacular for sponsors and media coverage?
Actually two friends came up with the main idea that I could do something with the bike up there. I did not take me long to agree to this project. When we first visited the viewing platform, to take a closer look on what was possible, the railing caught my eyes. Whereever I am, I always look for the biggest thing to do – there it was. The idea was born.
The drive behind this project was the challenge. This season was so different. The usual challenge of riding a competition was gone so I had to find a new one.
That’s a great answer! How has the general population reacted to this? Only positive, or did you get any negative comments?
Only positive so far. That really surprised me to be honest. I expected to get a lot of “Omg that’s too dangerous, are you stupid?” kind of reactions, but nothing. One reason is for sure that I did not want to hide the safety measures. For me it was important that people can see it. I love my life, I’m not tired of it.
That’s really good to hear! How was the preparation before the jump? And how many tries did you need to make it?
Well, I set up some beams on the ground, which where the same size, the day before. It worked quite well from the first try, so I was optimistic for the next day.
When I was on the railing 120 meters above the ground, it was a different story. The first few attempts I fell off after the first meter. That was the moment where I first doubted if it was possible. At the 10th try it finally worked.
Nothing comes easy, that’s for sure! Do you want to do more of these stunts? Did you enjoy it?
Definitely yes. I like to force myself into situations where there is no way out, in which you have no time to think about anything else than the current moment.
Very interesting perspective! And last but not least: How do you think you can use the experience from a stunt like this into competitons?
Mentally it’s the same thing. There are doubts of failure in your mind which you have to overcome. It’s about practicing it.
Thanks for the interview! We wish Thomas good luck in his future projects, may his safety harnesses never break!
Enjoy some behind the scenes photos:
All photos by Martin Bihounek.