Meet Arunas Aras Gibieza, a man of great testicular fortitude. The 26-year old Lithuanian has become rather famous for his ability to trick gravity into leaving him and his motorcycle alone, while the two dazzle their audience with implausible stunts. We caught up with the two-time European Stunt Riding Champion, who was in the middle of his second Red Bull tour in India.
How old were you when you popped your first wheelie?
I think I was about 10 ten years old. That’s when I learnt how to ride.
What’s the best bike to learn the art of stunt biking on?
It’s not about the bike, it’s more about the rider. My first bike was a Suzuki GSX-650, and now I’m riding the Suzuki GSX-S1000. It’s about how much you train every day, and how badly you want to perform stunts.
How different is your stunt bike from a stock GSX-S1000?
Not too different, actually. We’ve put some crash guards around it and given it bigger brakes and sprockets, that’s about it.
How much do you train every day, to stay in shape?
I train in a gym for two hours and then I spend about three or four hours on the bike. I do this at least five days a week.
We’re assuming you’ve been injured during your stunts.
Yes, I have a few broken bones in my foot and in my wrist. Now that I’ve trained for so long, I’m constantly avoiding injuries. You know how it is, the day you don’t feel a 100 per cent, you can’t ride. If you keep safety in mind, you can stunt harder and perform for much longer.
Speaking of safety, there’s a huge biking population in India, some of whom ride quite dangerously on public roads. What do you have to say to them?
You know, in most of the cities I saw bikers riding without helmets, which is ten times worse than driving a car without the seat belt on. One small crash can cost you your life, so never play around with that. This is why I never ride without protective gear.
What’s the trickiest part of stunt riding?
A very big challenge for me is to ride in India, given how hot it can get here. Stunting outdoors on full power for 10-15 minutes, in this heat, can get very tiring. It takes a toll on the bike as well, because the tyres wear out faster.
What’s next on your schedule?
I have a few shows in my home country, Lithuania. After that, I’m heading to Austria and the Netherlands for the Red Bull Stunt Shows.
What age should a budding stunt rider start practicing, and how should they go about it?
It’s not about age – it’s how much you want it. If you really want it, then take care of yourself, take the sport extremely seriously. Wear a jacket, wear your safety gear, no matter how hot it is outside. Age doesn’t really matter. I started when I was 10, but you can start when you’re 30 or 40. If you have an opportunity and support – or even if you have a bike that you want to stunt on – it’s down to what you have in your mind.