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Last updated on July 13th, 2017 at 07:09 am
Mark Steyn farewells Evel Knievel:
The template was established at the first Knievel stunt. It was 1965 and he was selling Triumph motorcycles in Moses Lake, Wash., and business wasn’t so good. So he announced he would jump the bike over a bunch of parked cars and (in the Simpsons everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink spirit) a sandbox of rattlesnakes, plus a mountain lion. Hundreds of people showed up to watch. He came down on the rattlesnakes. Triumph and disaster simultaneously.
I rode Triumphs when I was a teenager. Also Nortons and Royal Enfields. If you’ve ever ridden British bikes, you’re never entirely at ease with a Harley. Nonetheless, I can’t say I’d want to fire a Triumph or a BSA over a line of trucks. Knievel switched to a Harley-Davidson, but amidst the rattlers at his Triumph dealership he’d found his calling. “Right then,” he said, “I knew I could draw a big crowd by jumping over weird stuff on motorcycles.” He got a garish red, white and blue jumpsuit, and unlike Elvis he did actually jump in it.
On other wheeled issues, the great Iowahawk emails: “Obviously you forgot the significant redesign of 1923. Reminder attached. Can’t knock Ts for reliability tho; here are a couple of 85-year-old Ts (belonging to a 17-year-old kid) I spotted in a Sioux City, Iowa parking lot this summer.”