More than one way to cross a bridge

Why go across when you can go over?

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, May. 26, 2008
For most people, a bridge is a convenient way to get across a river, but when youre a world champion stunter, you see another challenge.

Two-time defending Indoor Streetbike Freestyle World Champion Chris Pfeiffer is always up for a challenge. His many feats include becoming the first person to climb the Via Tina, a climbing route in Arco, Italy with a level 3 difficulty rating, using a trials bike.

Pfeiffer has come across one particular tied arch bridge in Italy several years ago and had dreamt about riding over the arch, which reaches a height of 65 feet above the water.The arch helps hold the bridge up by dispersing the pressure horizontally.

I had already walked over the top of this bridge several times during the past few years but somehow had never got around to actually riding over it, says Pfeiffer. Now with the BMW G 450 X, I felt that it would be possible to ride up, across and down the bridge arch.

Before he could attempt the crossing, Pfeiffer had to overcome one immediate obstacle: the start of the arch stands five feet off the ground. Even with his skills, leaping five feet in the air was impossible without the aid of a ramp. Fortunately, Pfeiffer was able to enlist the aid of one of his sponsors, Red Bull.

Chris Pfeiffer knows a shortcut for the next time traffic gets backed-up over a bridge.I was lucky, as they provided me with a Hummer and a driver, and I was able to reach the start of the arch by jumping from the solid roof of the Hummer, says Pfeiffer. This also meant that we were able to leave the scene fairly quickly afterwards, without attracting unwanted attention and having to worry about dismantling a ramp.

Pfeiffer first attempted the climb on a trials bike but found it wasnt suitable to the task. He returned with a BMW G 450 X. The sports enduro bike was more than capable of making the climb.

I hadnt actually been on the G 450 X since the Erzberg Rodeo last year where I rode the 450cc prototype, but this was the only BMW that I would attempt this stunt on the other bikes would be too heavy for the jump from the roof of the car onto the arch and for the run up and arch afterwards, says Pfeiffer. The arch was pretty steep and I was happy when I was on the top but I always felt in control.

Pfeiffer will now focus his attention towards completing a freeriding DVD and hopping on the G 450 X again for the European Hill Climbing Championships, June 13-15 in Obersaxen, Switzerland.