July 13, 2009

Stunt rider jumps Thames

An Australian motorcyclist is the first to perform a back flip while jumping the River Thames via the Tower of London's famous lift bridge, local media report.

Stunt rider Robbie Maddison, 27, performed a no-handed back flip while flying through the air about 100 feet over the water at 2:55 a.m. Monday, The Times of London Online reported Monday.

Maddison was the first motorcyclist to jump the 25-foot gap between the spans of the bridge while it was raised for passing ships, the British newspaper said.

The whole experience was awesome, Maddison said. "We had a matter of minutes on the bridge and had to time everything to the second -- there were so many factors to get right, but we pulled it off.

It was an incredible feeling to fly between the two towers and over the Thames.

Maddison holds the world record for the longest motorcycle jump, 350.7 feet.

People say I'm crazy, but I just want to push the boundaries of my sport and my body to the limit and I love taking on these huge challenges, he said.