Though I grew up in the era of the Mods and the Rockers (and, indeed, around the time of “The Wild One” too, for that matter), my interest in motorcycles didn’t get kindled until later, and so I missed out completely on that rebellious, Fonzie-esque style.
The other night I watched a documentary on Evel Knievel. Richard Hammond, from “Top Gear” travelled to Butte, Montana, Knievel’s place of birth to witness the annual carnival celebrating the man’s life. It takes place each year in July and Hammond was there in July 2007. he was horrified when he got there to find that Evel was suffering in the advance stages of emphysema and was quite debilitated.
Hammond documented Knievel’s career and, most of all, his sickening accidents. He interviewed Robbie, Knievel’s son, who now also makes his living as a stuntman, following in his father’s footsteps. The overwhelming question was, “Why do you do it when you know it’s going to hurt you?”
Both of them replied in a similar vein, “Because that’s what people expect of Evel Knievel.”
No I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t punish my body like that just to please others, it’s just not in my nature. I punished it accidentally in March and I’m still paying for it. No, my ego is just not big enough to put myself through that risk just for the enjoyment and entertainment of others and the massaging of my sense of self-worth.
Sadly, Knievel died in November 2007, not long after Hammond filmed his documentary. Quite how history will remember him I don’t know, but his achievements in motorcycle jumping will probably be long forgotten when his achievements in surviving horrific injuries live on.
If Knievel’s motto was “Born to be wild”, then mine is in the heading of this article. 🙂
In other news, the post-Brno test took place yesterday with Lorenzo topping the charts. Bautista was too badly beaten up after his last-lap accident and his place was taken by WSBK regular, Sylvain Guintoli.
1. Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 1:56.269 (44 laps)
2. Casey STONER Ducati 1:56.844 (37)
3. Dani Test PEDROSA Honda 1:56.944(6)
4. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1:57.129 (50)
5. Dani PEDROSA Honda 1:57.424 (28)
6. Colin EDWARDS Yamaha 1:57.512 (41)
7. Ben SPIES Yamaha1:57.575 (42)
8. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda1:57.691 (48)
9. Loris CAPIROSSI Suzuki1:57.700 (51)
10. Nicky HAYDEN Ducati 1:57.991 (38)
11. Hector BARBERA Ducati 1:58.017 (47)
12. Marco MELANDRI Honda 1:58.070 (42)
13. Marco SIMONCELLI Honda 1:58.091 (35)
14. Aleix ESPARGARO Ducati 1:58.612 (53)
15. Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda 1:58.830 (46)
16. Mika KALLIO Ducati 1:58.926 (62)
17. Alvaro BAUTISTA Suzuki 1:59.454 (30)