What are you doing for New Year’s Eve? Tom Pastrana has you beat. He is going to try to jump his little Red Bull rally car more than 200 feet off the end of a pier in Long Beach to a floating barge, all with the Queen Mary in the background. All so he can set a new world record, that or go for a New Year’s swim.
You want to come watch? Red Bull is bringing its New Year:No Limits party west (it was in Vegas last year) to Long Beach. And like Vegas the show is free (and this time you don’t pay for it later at the tables).
“Every year, Red Bull asks their athletes what is the craziest thing they can think of doing for New Year's Eve,” said Pastrana, who was craziest this year. “The last couple years, Robbie Maddison and Rhys Millen won with their jumps which were amazing. I guess you can say I won this year.”
Depends on how you define “won.” Pastrana is going to get his car up to about 100 MPH — racing past grandstands and restaurants and a Ferris Wheel and spectators — out on to the Pine Avenue Pier, and off a ramp at the end of it. A couple hundred yards out in Rainbow Harbor will be a barge with a specially-built landing ramp, which Pastrana hopes to make.
Pastrana is a daredevil’s daredevil — he has a closet full of X Games Gold Medals and awards for doing the extreme on motorcycles and in rally cars. He also has a medical file thicker than your grandmother’s from some missed attempts. But why not try to set a new jump record on New Year’s Eve at a big party with a national television audience (ESPN)?
“I wouldn't call myself crazy, but because I do things that most people don't do, I understand,” Pastrana said. “I just love waking up each day and living life.”
The jump is taking place about 9 p.m. — New Year’s Eve on the East Coast but plenty of time for us out here to party after the jump. There will be a big Red Bull sponsored party right there on the waterfront with live music and more, or head up on to Pine Avenue or into Long Beach’s East Village for other free parties. It’s easy to get to, just head south on the 710 Freeway and follow the signs. One word of warning — especially if you’ve never been to downtown Long Beach for a big event — get there early. The streets will be blocked off for this and the traffic will be a bear. There will be signs to parking, but be ready to pay and walk.
If you need a boost of energy after all that, good chance you can find some Red Bull. That, or just watch a guy try to jump his car 200 feet.