Pehota hits daring jump 

Stunt ahead of approaching train prompts call from CN

click to flip through (2) PHOTO BY ERIC PEHOTA - MINDING THE GAP  Logan Pehota backflips over rail tracks near Pemberton as a CN train approaches on Jan. 21.
  • Photo by Eric Pehota
  • MINDING THE GAP Logan Pehota backflips over rail tracks near Pemberton as a CN train approaches on Jan. 21.
 

Logan Pehota heard the train a-comin'.

It was rolling 'round the bend.

And in the winter sunshine on Friday, Jan. 18, the young skier from Pemberton backflipped over the tracks as the locomotive approached to land a stunt while his father, Eric, snapped a photograph.

The photo went viral on social media, though Pehota had hoped for an even more captivating shot.

"It was hard for me to time it because I (couldn't) see anything. I'm up in the forest and I couldn't see the train. My father was on the radio and we tried to time it and we honestly didn't time it that great," he said. "For the photo, it would have been nicer if (the train) was a little bit more underneath me."

Pehota had scouted the location earlier this winter, as mountain bikers regularly complete the jump—which he estimated at between six and nine metres, child's play compared to others he'd completed—in the summer months. However, it was only hours before that he decided to actually attempt the trick.

"I woke up with intentions of going snowmobiling, and then things fell through there. I thought 'I don't really want to go up the hill today, so why don't I go check this out and see if I can do this instead?'" Pehota recalled, described his preparation on a clear track as completing a couple of straight airs before doing a backflip.

In the days before, the 23-year-old had asked his mom, Parveen, to piece together the train schedule going south. Naturally, on the day he decided to attempt the stunt.the locomotive was an hour later than anticipated.

While she knew of his plans before, one of the most striking parts of Eric's post was about his decision call his mom declaring his intentions and asking her to send help if she didn't hear from him afterward. Parveen, instead of just waiting, sent husband Eric to act as a spotter as well as a photographer.

"I really did call her because I went out there by myself earlier," he said. "Nobody was there.

"I was like, 'Well, I guess I should tell somebody in case I try it and gaffe it and don't actually make it. I could actually get hurt really badly. I could get run over by a train when I'm just laying in the middle (of the tacks) unconscious.'"

Having been married to a risk-taker in Eric for a quarter century, Parveen said while she has some twinges of fear, both her husband and son have a strong track record of not biting off more than they can chew.

"It was a little bit nerve wracking but I'm pretty confident in Logan and Eric and what they do," she said.

Eric, meanwhile, witnessed Logan's backflip practice attempt and felt "100-per-cent confident" in his son's ability to complete the stunt.

"He's a pretty calculated individual. He'll take risks, but they are pretty calculated risks with him," he said. "Obviously, it's a little bit nerve wracking as a parent.

"If I thought it was undoable and super dangerous, I would be the first one to step in."

With more than 800 shares of Eric's original Facebook post and nearly 5,000 likes on Logan's Instagram post, Eric knew that the stunt wouldn't stay quiet for long. Sure enough, he heard from CN Police on Jan. 21.

"I always expected a call," he said. "That jump has been hit many times on bikes and whatnot, but I don't think it's really seen social media (coverage) like that.

"When it comes out in a movie or in a magazine, maybe CN doesn't see it, but when it goes on social media like Facebook and gets shared by however many people, I guess it leaked out."

The elder Pehota said the officer reiterated not only the danger to Logan if something went horrifically wrong, but the trauma to the train operator in that circumstance.

Logan also spoke with the officer later in the day. He was not charged and agreed to use his online clout to share information about train safety and to discourage others from doing similar stunts.

Those witnessing unsafe actions on CN property can contact police at 1-800-465-9239 while more information on rail safety is available at www.operationlifesaver.ca.

"We're responsible adults and we're not promoting young kids jumping over trains and endangering themselves," Eric said.

Meanwhile, the younger Pehota has taken a year away from competing on the Freeride World Tour, where he has two wins and was second overall in his 2016 rookie season, to stay at home and pursue some different paths, this trick included.

Logan didn't completely forgo the Freeride World Tour this season, however, as he is set to attend February's event at Kicking Horse as a wildcard. He's also registered for the second edition of the rebooted Saudan Couloir Ski Race Extreme as part of April's World Ski and Snowboard Festival. Pehota had signed up for its return engagement in 2018 but was forced to back out because of injury.

"It's been awhile since I've raced, so we'll see if I've still got it," he said.

Logan is also set to work with Matchstick Productions for an upcoming movie and is looking to get more involved in sledding movies with 509 Films.

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