03/12/2013 | by Alex Burd
Nitro Circus hit London with a bang on its recent live tour. In a display of death defying stunts Travis Pastrana and his crew did not fail to disappoint. To see the athleticism of the Nitro Circus guys and the jaw dropping stunts they manage to pull off is impressive on screen but a different ball game in the flesh.
BMXs, motocross bikes, scooters, roller blades, skis, tricycles, bathtubs, sofas, shopping trolleys and lots more were used to launch athletes down the steep ramp and high into the air while executing stunts that left the 14,000 strong audience completely in awe. Highlights of the night included a backflip of a 250kg snowmobile, a double backflip of a motocross bike and the first ever double backflip to be landed on a tricycle.
By far the biggest applause was given to Aaron ‘Wheelz’ Fotheringham who wowed the crowd with his double backflip. Confined to a wheelchair due to spina bifida this dude is one of the most inspirational characters on the action sports scene. He doesn’t see his wheelchair as a challenge but more of an asset and says he’s always seen himself as being on the wheelchair not in it. Last year, he pushed himself to the limit, executing the first ever double backflip in a wheelchair. MPORA were lucky enough to grab a few minutes with Wheelz. Here’s what he had to say for himself.
Describe yourself in three words
Ah I don’t know….eh…single, I don’t know, energetic, I just don’t know.
Where did the idea come from to start doing these epic stunts on your wheelchair?
It never went through my mind, like I am going to do this with a wheelchair but more I have always just seen the wheelchair as something fun, it was something that helped me so I just used it to my advantage. I started doing tricks and it just developed from there.
You have had some pretty epic crashes over the years, what’s been the worst?
My worst crash was almost exactly a year ago in Manchester, I knocked myself out during the show. I was totally knocked unconscious.
What goes through your mind when you know it’s all about to go wrong?
Well it depends how high you are in the air but you will have a lot of time to think oh no, I am going down. You’ll try and save it but sometimes you just can’t.
Do you ever get scared?
I’m always scared but it’s good to have fear, you just gotta learn to manage it.
You keep pushing the bar by doing stunts that are crazier and crazier, why?
I mean after you do a backflip or something you get bored with it so you always want to progress. It’s what I am passionate about so I always want to find the next new thing to do.
Do you ever take any downtime?
When I am not doing big jumps, I am riding skate parks so it’s pretty full on all of the time.
Do your family and friends think you are nuts?
My family and friends are super supportive, they’re always helping me out. My parents did everything to help me succeed.
What’s been your career highlight?
Landing a double backflip on my wheelchair.
So what’s next for you?
I am working on a whole bunch of stuff but really working on nailing a 360.