Chris Pfeiffer is back in India again, having first experienced the wonders of this amazing country last year, when he performed his streetbike freestyle riding shows to more than 35,000 fans across five different cities. Chris received a fantastic reception everywhere he went. “You unload the bike and people just go crazy. I needed special security just to get out of some of the places because you would be mobbed!” said Chris. Therefore, for 2011, it was decided that the Red Bull Chris Pfeiffer Street Tour would be even bigger, with an ambitious plan to return to India and perform in 10 different cities on a 15-day trip around this huge country.
Indians love their sport and the whole nation is currently going ‘Cricket World Cup crazy’ for this international tournament which has been taking place for the last six weeks and is being co-hosted with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Fortunately, India has made it all the way to the final, which will take place on April 2 against Sri Lanka, so this passionate nation is currently enjoying a non-stop party atmosphere.
Motorcycles arouse similar amounts of passion too, with literally millions of them on the streets, used for commuting or as taxis. Fortunately for Chris, Indian bikers have taken to streetbike freestyle riding with immense enthusiasm, so news of his return to some of the major cities has been spread via the social network sites and prompted massive crowds of enthusiastic supporters wherever he has performed.
“The crowd response has been absolutely amazing – they go crazy everywhere and celebrate me like a rock star,” said Chris. “Yesterday 100 motorcycles followed us in our BMW car all the way to the hotel until they were stopped at the gate!”
So far on his specially modified BMW F800 R, Pfeiffer has performed shows in Kolkata, Jaipur, Delhi, Chandigarh, Coimbatore and Ahmedabad, with shows still to come in Pune, Mumbai, Cochin and Bangalore in early April. Furthermore, true to form, he has also been performing some impromptu ‘guerilla’ shows in special locations.
Along the way, Chris has been welcomed by a troupe of Dhakis (musicians) in Kolkata, met Bollywood superstar Saif Ali Khan at his palace in Pataudi, performed to thousands at the Malaviya National Institute of Technology, fooled about on a rickshaw on the streets of Jaipur, and enjoyed a pillion ride around Delhi, courtesy of Indian motocross champion Maninder Singh Prince.
“Citywise, I liked Jaipur the most so far,” said Pfeiffer. “There are many monkeys and even some elephants in the city. It’s in the desert – a beautiful, peaceful place with mountains around it. Generally though, the whole country leaves a big impression on you. Poor and rich are living so close together but there’s not a lot of violence or crime. That’s the positive side. But it is shocking to see how millions of people live very basically and just try to earn a little money for some food and water. However, everybody has a mobile phone here – even those who can’t afford shoes!”
As the tour enters its second half, Chris is delighted at the response he has received so far and can’t wait to head for the big crowds in Mumbai, Cochin and Bangalore, especially with the Cricket World Cup final celebrations now reaching fever pitch.
“On 30 March India played Pakistan in the semi-final, and that was more than ‘just’ a match. The public roads were empty, markets and malls were closed, and everybody was glued to the match all day. After India won I heard fire crackers for at least one hour, as everybody was celebrating. On 2nd of April the final against Sri Lanka takes place in Mumbai, and as I’m due to ride in Mumbai the following day, I’m really looking forward to being in the city at this historic moment. Furthermore, we’ll also be getting a BMW S1000RR in Mumbai, because we want to do a drag race against a very rich guy who has not yet decided if he’s going to be using his Bugati, Ferrari or Lamborghini – it should be interesting!”
Here’s a video from Red Bull of Chris Pfeiffer’s Street Tour in India: