Red Bull X-Fighters: Flying Bulls

The next day, we reach the venue – the grounds close to India Gate – and see two ramps, one for launching and the other for landing. While I’m figuring out trajectories and approach speeds, four riders appear, clad in motocross battle gear. The two Nicks start their bikes and begin warming up the crowd. They keep circling around, trying to get the crowd high on their exhaust smoke. And without warning, a bike’s gone off the ramp, heading, it seems, towards India Gate itself.

It’s a surreal feeling and my heart stops beating for as long as the rider’s in the air. The first backflip drives the crowd into a frenzy. I, among many others, have forgotten to pick up my jaw from the ground. These chaps don’t need Red Bull to give them wings. Even hardened Delhi cops forget to manage the crowd and whip out camera phones. I stand there watching them, thankful for having witnessed this, fully confident that I’m never going to try anything like this. Ever.

But Red Bull wants to bring the X-Fighters to India in a big way, and I hope it succeeds. Because, behind the endless cans of energy drinks and all the hats, sunglasses, colourful jerseys and two-stroke smoke haze, you realise these guys are a special breed. Goes without saying that we’ve got to get them back!

(Words: Kartik Ware, Photos: Nitin Rose and Red Bull)