RIP Evel Knievel
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  1. #1
    Spicy Dumpling
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    RIP Evel Knievel

    CNN has announced that Evel Knievel has died. One of the great showmen of all time, I didn't miss a jump on Wide World of Sports when I was a kid. Jumping cars on a Harley instead of a dirt bike took big ones. He was a bit of a nut but a great entertainer. Doin the big jump now.
    If I were to beat you senseless with a tire iron, what color would you bleed?..The Missus

  2. #2
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    There will be some sad folks over in Butte tonight.

  3. #3
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    Nooooooooooooo!

    aw man, the last of the true renegades.
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  5. #5
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    I didn't miss many of his stunts either. He was always getting busticated up. It was like watching NASCAR before NASCAR. You knew there was going to be a wreck so you kept watching.

    I was bummed when the grand canyon jump poofed and ended up being a much about nothing.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnA
    CNN has announced that Evel Knievel has died. One of the great showmen of all time, I didn't miss a jump on Wide World of Sports when I was a kid. Jumping cars on a Harley instead of a dirt bike took big ones. He was a bit of a nut but a great entertainer. Doin the big jump now.
    I thought he was pretty cool as a kid. I found out later he wasn't all that great of a person.
    "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." -S. Hawking

  7. #7
    Spicy Dumpling
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bocephus Jones II
    I thought he was pretty cool as a kid. I found out later he wasn't all that great of a person.
    A bit of a 'Hole but a great entertainer. Good for a crash or two and always an interesting interview. He would tell it like it is, unlike a lot of todays Celebs. Jumped the shark when he tried to jump the snake river canyon tho.
    If I were to beat you senseless with a tire iron, what color would you bleed?..The Missus

  8. #8
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    I just saw this and was going to post this myself....

    It's sad when your childhood Hero dies. I idolized EK growing up as a kid. I still have the doills and motorcycles that you wind-up saved.

    I use to jump my BMX bike over garbage cans a later a old Honda civic thinking I was EK....

    May he rest in peace and we will miss you!

    I guess they come in 3's.

    First Sean Taylor, now EK...
    DIRT BOY

    "Pain is a big fat creature riding on your back. The farther you pedal, the heavier he feels. The harder you push, the tighter he squeezes your chest. The steeper the climb, the deeper he digs his jagged, sharp claws into your muscles." - Scott Martin


  9. #9
    Government Mule
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    Strange he went out in a manner other than a two wheeled crash. RIP! I remember when I was taught to jump on my Norton in a place we called the swamp. Keep your butt off the seat, stay on the gas until you get in the air, and make sure you land on your rear wheel. We didn't jump over anything but air and ground. My bud had a Harley CH and he could jump farther than any of us, he also went on to race bikes professionally.
    I'll give you my Vincent to ride...

  10. #10
    angel of the morning
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bocephus Jones II
    I thought he was pretty cool as a kid. I found out later he wasn't all that great of a person.
    doesn't matter ... as a kid my days and weeks were filled with fascination and wonderment over his stunts. we would all talk about his heroics and bravery and we (as kids) agreed there was nobody cooler than Evel ... not even the 6 million dollar man, not even elvis, not even mohammed ali, not even john wayne. there was Evel ... everyone else was a long distance behind and i for one am sad. i knew he did jumps and risked his life for us .... and i hope he passed easy and is in a special place.

    evel was The Man, cooler than cool, the stuff dreams were made of, and every boys fascination. I wanted to grow up to be like him and have the scars to prove it. f*** superman and them pantomime heroes ... I saw Evel fall, get badly hurt and return to try it again. that's someone to aspire to
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  11. #11
    Poseur
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    I always loved those XR750 flat track bikes of his. If I ever bought another bike, I would consider a repro of one(and no, not with the flag theme).
    "Drinking beer doesn't make you fat, it makes you lean........against bars, tables, chairs, and poles"

  12. #12
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    A sad day. I had the Evel Knievel stunt cycle too when i was a kid. He was my idol and like everyone else tried to imagine myself as Evel jumping my bike over plywood ramps propped up with bricks.
    I had a book about him that I would read over and over again.

  13. #13
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    Good read.

    Evel Knievel dies at 69; had long been in failing health

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ESPN.com news services



    CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Evel Knievel, the red-white-and-blue-spangled motorcycle daredevil whose jumps over crazy obstacles including Greyhound buses, live sharks and Idaho's Snake River Canyon made him an international icon in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 69.

    Knievel's death was confirmed by his granddaughter, Krysten Knievel. He had been in failing health for years, suffering from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition that scarred his lungs.

    Knievel had undergone a liver transplant in 1999 after nearly dying of hepatitis C, likely contracted through a blood transfusion after one of his bone-shattering spills. He also suffered two strokes in recent years.

    Longtime friend and promoter Billy Rundle said Knievel had trouble breathing at his Clearwater condominium and died before an ambulance could get him to a hospital.

    "It's been coming for years, but you just don't expect it. Superman just doesn't die, right?" Rundle said.

    Immortalized in the Washington's Smithsonian Institution as "America's Legendary Daredevil," Knievel was best known for a failed 1974 attempt to jump Snake River Canyon on a rocket-powered cycle and a spectacular crash at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. He suffered nearly 40 broken bones before he retired in 1980.

    "I think he lived 20 years longer than most people would have" after so many injuries, said his son Kelly Knievel, 47. "I think he willed himself into an extra five or six years."

    Though Knievel dropped off the pop culture radar in the '80s, the image of the high-flying motorcyclist clad in patriotic, star-studded colors was never erased from public consciousness. He always had fans and enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years.

    "I always wanted to live to about 70. I thought that'd be a good age," Knievel said in an interview with Vanity Fair for a story that will run in the magazine's February issue. "I have my tombstone already. A tombstone company in the East gave it to me when I jumped Snake Canyon. My plot is in Montana.


    Evel Knievel suffered nearly 40 broken bones before retiring in 1980.

    "All my life people have been waitin' around to watch me die. But I'm still here. I really think that there is a hereafter and this is just a testing ground. Years ago I was just helter-skelter. I defied death. And I'm still doing it -- only from a bed instead of a bike. There's just no quit in me. There's just no stopping me. I went through life big-bang-bada-boom-bada-boom. Now it's just bing, but I'm still Evel Knievel. I am. There's just nothing you could do to stop me."

    His death came just two days after it was announced that he and rapper Kanye West had settled a federal lawsuit over the use of Knievel's trademarked image in a popular West music video.

    Knievel made a good living selling his autographs and endorsing products. Thousands came to Butte, Mont., every year as his legend was celebrated during the "Evel Knievel Days" festival, which Rundle organizes.

    "They started out watching me bust my ass, and I became part of their lives," Knievel said. "People wanted to associate with a winner, not a loser. They wanted to associate with someone who kept trying to be a winner."

    For the tall, thin daredevil, the limelight was always comfortable, the gab glib. To Knievel, there were always mountains to climb, feats to conquer.

    "No king or prince has lived a better life," he said in a May 2006 interview with The Associated Press. "You're looking at a guy who's really done it all. And there are things I wish I had done better, not only for me but for the ones I loved."

    He had a knack for outrageous yarns: "Made $60 million, spent 61. ... Lost $250,000 at blackjack once. ... Had $3 million in the bank, though."

    He began his daredevil career in 1965 when he formed a troupe called Evel Knievel's Motorcycle Daredevils, a touring show in which he performed stunts such as riding through fire walls, jumping over live rattlesnakes and mountain lions and being towed at 200 mph behind dragster race cars.

    In 1966 he began touring alone, barnstorming the West and doing everything from driving the trucks, erecting the ramps and promoting the shows. In the beginning he charged $500 for a jump over two cars parked between ramps.

    He steadily increased the length of the jumps until, on New Year's Day 1968, he was nearly killed when he jumped 151 feet across the fountains in front of Caesar's Palace. He cleared the fountains but the crash landing put him in the hospital in a coma for a month.

    His son, Robbie, successfully completed the same jump in April 1989.


    In the years after the Caesar's crash, the fee for Evel's performances increased to $1 million for his jump over 13 buses at Wembley Stadium in London -- the crash landing broke his pelvis -- to more than $6 million for the Sept. 8, 1974, attempt to clear the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in a rocket-powered "Skycycle." The money came from ticket sales, paid sponsors and ABC's "Wide World of Sports."

    The parachute malfunctioned and deployed after takeoff. Strong winds blew the cycle into the canyon, landing him close to the swirling river below.

    On Oct. 25, 1975, he jumped 14 Greyhound buses at Kings Island in Ohio.

    Knievel decided to retire after a jump in the winter of 1976 in which he was again seriously injured. He suffered a concussion and broke both arms in an attempt to jump a tank full of live sharks in the Chicago Amphitheater. He continued to do smaller exhibitions around the country with Robbie Knievel.

    Many of his records have been broken by daredevil motorcyclist Bubba Blackwell.

    Knievel also dabbled in movies and TV, starring as himself in "Viva Knievel" and with Lindsay Wagner in an episode of the 1980s TV series "Bionic Woman." George Hamilton and Sam Elliott each played Knievel in movies about his life.

    Knievel toys accounted for more than $300 million in sales for Ideal and other companies in the 1970s and '80s.

    Born Robert Craig Knievel in the copper mining town of Butte on Oct. 17, 1938, Knievel was raised by his grandparents. He traced his career choice back to the time he saw Joey Chitwood's Auto Daredevil Show at age 8.

    "The phrase 'one of a kind' is often used, but it probably applies best to Bobby Knievel," said former U.S. Rep. Pat Williams, D-Mont., Knievel's cousin. "He was an amazing athlete. ... He was sharp as a tack, one of the smartest people I've ever known and finally, as the world knows, no one had more guts than Bobby. He was simply unafraid of anything."

    "He was no dummy," said high school classmate Sonny Holland, the former Montana State football star and coach. "I'll never forget a poem that he made up when we were seniors about his friends and the people he hung out with. It was incredible. Everybody was just astounded when he recited it in front of the whole school."

    Outstanding in track and field, ski jumping and ice hockey at Butte High School, Knievel went on to win the Northern Rocky Mountain Ski Association Class A Men's ski jumping championship in 1957 and played with the Charlotte Clippers of the Eastern Hockey League in 1959.

    He also formed the Butte Bombers semiprofessional hockey team, acting as owner, manager, coach and player.

    Knievel also worked in the Montana copper mines, served in the Army, ran his own hunting guide service, sold insurance and ran Honda motorcycle dealerships. As a motorcycle dealer, he drummed up business by offering $100 off the price of a motorcycle to customers who could beat him at arm wrestling.

    At various times and in different interviews, Knievel claimed to have been a swindler, a card thief, a safe cracker, a holdup man.

    Knievel married hometown girlfriend Linda Joan Bork in 1959. They separated in the early 1990s. They had four children: Kelly, Robbie, Tracey and Alicia.

    Robbie Knievel followed in his father's footsteps as a daredevil, jumping a moving locomotive in a 200-foot, ramp-to-ramp motorcycle stunt on live television in 2000. He also jumped a 200-foot-wide chasm of the Grand Canyon.

    Knievel lived with his longtime partner, Krystal Kennedy-Knievel, splitting his time between their Clearwater condo and Butte. They married in 1999 and divorced a few years later but remained together. Knievel had 10 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

  14. #14
    Lincolns!
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    I did a part-time gig at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Washington when I was in Jr. College. That year Robbie came out to do a stunt, and I had the opportunity to meet and hang out for awhile. Someone else asked the inevitable Q about Evel...I got the distinct impression that there was a little bit more to the story than the usual 'we've had our differences at times...' stories that we all seem to have with regard to our parents.

    FWIW...I've seen some commercials here over the past year with Evel hawking a roofing company. He didn't look like he was having any fun with life anymore. I'm with the others that I idolized him and his guts to do those stunts when I was a kid, but he certainly seems to have paid a hefty price...more than just the recovery time from all his injuries.

  15. #15
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    wasn't he having liver issues

    from dancing with the bottle?
    one nation, under surveillance with liberty and justice for few

    still not figgering on biggering

  16. #16
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    My father-in-law spent some time with Evel in a Yakima, WA jail cell way back in the day. Seems that Evel's son Robbie is an even bigger a-hole witnessing some of his antics.

  17. #17
    angel of the morning
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    I'm still sad about Evel dying !!!
    I watched him walking in and it was like they say, you know, he kind of glowed. Like a ray of light was around him. A kind of Jesus. - Spirito (interviewing Spirito)

    http://instagram.com/ciclispirito



  18. #18
    Eddy 53:11
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    He's what we need now!!!!!
    Live vicariously through yourself.
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    I refuse to be afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I'm down with today.

  19. #19
    Seat's not level
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    Quote Originally Posted by JetSpeed View Post
    He's what we need now!!!!!
    We just need to put Covid in a bus and have it try and jump the grand canyon...
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chain View Post
    We just need to put Covid in a bus and have it try and jump the grand canyon...
    I believe you're thinking of Snake River Canyon. Knievel never attempted to jump the Grand Canyon (he wanted to, but the fuddy-duddy Interior Department refused to let him, which is why he went to Snake River).

    Believe it or not, Mr. Knievel was a huge proponent of using motorcycle helmets, and mandatory helmet laws.
    More Americans wanted Hillary Clinton to be President than wanted Donald Trump.

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  21. #21
    Spicy Dumpling
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    Talk about thread dredging. At least they are making the Evel Knievel toys again

    Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle
    If I were to beat you senseless with a tire iron, what color would you bleed?..The Missus

  22. #22
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    That stunt cycle was one of my prized possessions as a lad.

    Coincidentally, I was at the Snake River yesterday and took my kids to see the spot. There was no way he was going to make that jump, the laws of physics cannot be denied. But Evil the showman was never about making the jump, just attempting the jump.

  23. #23
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    Neither I nor my brother ever attempted a jump at Snake River. However, after hearing the news about Evel Knievel we did build a ramp for our bicycles. Sorry, the length and height of our biggest jump escapes my memory.

    Probably in the range of 1 to 36 inches.

    I also remember getting out the long tape measure and marking out 100 meters so that we could try to match the sub-10 second time when that record was first broken.

    And setting up a tight rope to practice on. (we strung a cable that we found somewhere between a stout tree and the hitch on Pop's tractor.) Put the tractor in low gear and got it nice and tight about 2 ft off the ground. I cannot recall what event brought that on. Maybe Philippe Petit between the twin towers?

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