The Mission: Will bungee-jumping push Nicholas Barber over the edge? Well, that's the general idea ...

he UK Bungee Club is based in Adrenalin Village, a Portakabin shanty town next door to Battersea Power Station in south London. Its inhabitants - the Adrenalin Village people - are unshaven, long-haired young men in fleeces, Aviator shades and No Fear baseball caps. In short, they are Australians.

For me, a Lots Of Fear baseball cap would have been more suitable. The presentation of a waiver averring that "bungee jumping ... involves the risk of death or bodily injury" is very nearly enough to make me back out. Resisting the urge to score out the word "death", I sign my name in quivering letters.

In the shadow of a 300ft crane - claimed to be the world's tallest bungee tower - I'm kitted out for my leap of faith. One harness loops through my legs and round my waist. An Australian fastens it pinchingly tight, but I stop myself complaining in the nick of time. Asking to be attached to a breathtakingly high platform less securely would quite rightly get me disqualified on grounds of gross stupidity.

Another harness goes round both ankles, which are strapped together. This is no doubt an important safety measure, but I can't help thinking that its main purpose is to prevent me running away, as I am sorely tempted to do. As far as I can see, all that's missing is the inflatable crash mat which will cushion my fall if the rope snaps.

Then the Australian explains that the crash mat is already in place: it's called the river Thames.

I shuffle into a cage the size of a small lift - which is, in effect, what it is. The bungee rope is connected. Along for the ride are Graham, the Jump Master (which must make me the Jump Slave), and another man with a camera on his shoulder, who is filming a souvenir video for me. His presence will turn out to be absolutely vital.

Within half a minute, the crane has winched us high above the rooftops of London and swung us out over the river.

I can see the Millennium Dome in the distance. I wonder if I'll live to see its completion. I can see a boat moored below me, so close by that I'm afraid I may soon be headbutting its roof. Graham opens the gate.

I can't move. The Pepsi Max commercials were never like this. If you want to know how it feels to stand on a ledge, 300ft up, with a rubber band tied to your ankle, simply imagine standing on a ledge, 300ft up, without a rubber band tied to your ankle. A primal survival instinct insists that stepping off is not a sensible idea. Then I realise that if I hesitate now, my moments of shame will be recorded for ever on video. Vanity beats sanity, and I dive forward.

It's a rollercoaster times 10: fast, frightening, exhilarating and supremely disorienting. "You're not supposed to be this way up!" screams my instinct. I bounce half a dozen times as the crane swings over solid ground again and lowers the cage.

Underneath me, two Australians scurry back and forth, ready to pull me down to safety, like Laurel and Hardy waiting to catch a piano. I'm grinning from ear to ear. But I have to say that the G-force on my face has a lot to do with it

UK Bungee Club (0171-720 9496)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
tech
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

    £25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

    Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

    £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

    £25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

    £25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas