Evel Knievel- Rest In Peace

An XR-750 in the Evel Knievel display at Madam...

An XR-750 in the Evel Knievel display at Madame Tussauds, Las Vegas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you were a boy during the 70’s you probably had one of these toys.

Evel Knievel was a household name. We loved to watch and talk about his stunts, not to mention pretend to recreate them. I can remember more than one occasion in which my mother specifically told me not to try and do what Evel had done.

The good news was that because I was just a boy I never had the opportunity to really imitate him, but my continual attempts to jump the Snake River, buses or through flames probably caused her and my father to lose a lot of sleep. For posterity’s sake allow me to clarify that these attempts were made using ordinary household products and all of the resourcefulness young boys could come up with.

So that meant building ramps out of wood and boxes, jumping on and off of the curb and doing all sorts of stuff that today would have made me and the boys contestants in the X-Games. Did I mention jumping off of the roof into the swimming pool? No, well let me add that we seriously considered riding our bikes off of the roof and into the pool.

Fortunately for us our parents always spotted our attempt to bring ramp and bike onto the roof so it never did happen.

Anyhoo, old Evel lived a lot longer than my mother said he would. Later today I am going to have to give her a call and ask her if she remembers telling me that sooner or later one of his tricks would kill him and that a smart boy wouldn’t try such silly things.

On a side note, I can just picture Evel doing his stunts in heaven, while Howard Cosell provides the color commentary. Perhaps I’ll add more to this later.

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  1. Jack's Shack December 2, 2007 at 7:22 am


    Fear of life is certainly something that had did not have.


    Quite true.


    That is a good story.


    If you remember Evel you must really be old.;)

  2. come running December 2, 2007 at 4:16 am

    I remember that white motorcycle and Evel that my brother begged for and got.

    Wow! Haven’t thought about that in ages.

  3. John December 1, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    Had the toys. The motorcycle and rubbery, wire-framed Evel were practically indestructible, and the stunts inevitably evolved into setting up a ramp a few feet away from a brick wall and revving up the motor 20 times before release.

    Amazingly, the toy was none the worse for wear (which only provoked me into finding something that would finally make it say uncle, using stuff like gasoline, matches, and a sledgehammer).

    My cocky older cousin got really inspired. He set up a little wooden ramp over a ditch with a four foot or so span and went for it with his banana-seated, v-shaped handlebar purple bicycle.

    Nice try. His front wheel cleared the chasm but had no shock absorbers so it just stopped when it hit the edge and the bike with its rider collapsed in a tangled heap. My cousin rolled over on his back and started to wail. You could see that a wet spot had formed on his groin from peeing in his pants. His older brother screamed “My brother! My brother!” and ran over to him waving his arms about while the rest of us just stared agape.

    The disillusionment coincided with the dropping off of the Knievel craze.


    Thank you for inspiring my next post (I wrote this here first).

  4. The Misanthrope December 1, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    I am sure there is a generation of kids who can blame their broken bones on Knievel.

  5. BarbaraFromCalifornia December 1, 2007 at 2:16 am

    Yes, I remember my mother saying that Evel would live a short live as well. He was not afraid of the world nor adventure, that is certain.

    May he rest in peace.

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