Kevin Robinson hit the ramp at rocket speed and vaulted into the sky, flipping along the way. Robinson, a BMX superstar, broke the world record Thursday by soaring more than 26½ feet above the top of a 27-foot-high ramp on his bike. The stunt was part of an event in New York's Central Park, where Wes Welker and Lonie Paxton of the New England Patriots and late-night talk show host David Letterman were among the attendees. After more than an hour and six attempts, Robinson hit the mark when he and his bike flew 26.7 feet. He tried it one more time and added 5 inches to his record.
In all, Robinson soared about 54 feet above ground, the equivalent of a six-story building. To get that high, he descended a 60-foot ramp to build up the necessary speed, at least 47 mph, to fly above the lip of the second ramp.
"There is no better feeling than setting a goal and accomplishing it, no matter what adversity you have to face," Robinson told the media. "You persevere through and you will come out successful."
The 36-year-old father of two eclipsed the record held by BMX legend Mat Hoffman, who soared 26½ feet above the top of a 24-foot ramp in 2004.
The stunt was the second of the Red Bull Experiment, which sponsors athletes who perform death-defying tricks. The next one is scheduled for July 11, when freestyle motocross star Ronnie Renner tries to set a world record by launching himself five stories in the air on a custom-made quarter pipe against the backdrop of the world famous Santa Monica Pier. A record-setting trio
Here are other action-sports athletes who have wagered life and limb in pursuit of a world record during a trick. Robbie Maddison
In the first Red Bull Experiment, the motocross star set a world record for the longest jump on a motorcycle, clearing a football field and soaring 322 feet on New Year's Eve last year in Las Vegas.
Known for constantly pushing the limits in his sport, Metzger broke the world record for the longest motorcycle backflip. He and his 225-pound bike flew 125 feet over the fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in May 2006.
He took skateboarding to new heights in July 2005 when he took off on a 55 mph run down a ramp that carried him over the Great Wall of China, setting Guinness world records for the longest leap, highest air and fastest speed in a skateboard jump. The next year, Way set a world record by successfully landing a 28-foot "bomb-drop" off the neon-decorated guitar outside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas and onto a ramp below.