Now Playing: No Age : Ripped Knees
It was about this time of the summer, 1974. Totally immersed in my obsession with Evel Knievel, my friend Brian and I decided to rig up some jumps and give it a go on our bikes. Our first set up was a plastic toboggan, flipped upside down on a cardboard box. I was somehow elected to hit it first. As I rolled down our gravel, downhill driveway, just before hitting this makeshift launcher, I proclaimed "I'm not gonna do it!". I did it anyway, and landed front-wheel first to OTB to some gravel-induced contusions. That was the first time I ever jumped my bike and I remember it very clearly. The next attempt came a week or so later at Doug Stahl's house. This time, a more substantial cinder-block and plank set up was in place. Again, I was the first to hit it. I was going too fast and again, over the bars. I remember seeing the ramp and my bike from an upside-down perspective. The next thing I remember is waking up in Doug's house, laying flat on my back to his horrified family looking down at me. TKO. I was a mess, scrapes and cuts all over my face, arms, back, you name it. My dad grounded me, literally, from ever jumping or even leaving the ground on my bike again.
Those were the first of many "first hits" that didn't go so well. I have a history of them now, as most of us do. I rebuilt the first set at Birdland last week and finally dialed it in this morning. I jumped it tonight. The first run, I cased it. Sprocket cased it. Holy shit, it's a lot higher and further than it was before. Second go, I cleared it but was so squirrely a little troll jumped out from under the spox waiving a flag with a dead sailor emblazoned across it. Third times a charm and of course, the lip recessed a bit and I got a handle on the speed needed. It feels awesome now. I hit it a few more times and I'm really happy with it. The set into the first turn is still not done so I was going around it. Night was creeping in and the grass was getting damp. My last run I locked into a fully sideways, speedway slide that was almost as much fun as hitting the jumps.
If you didn't already think I was a kook, this next bit will confirm it. I planted flower seeds on the sides and landing faces of the jumps a while ago--I want to say it was in May. I had just about given up on any flowers popping up, but sure enough, a couple came to life....
This one is almost dead center in the back side of the over/under take off. Nice.
Here's a box of "Devoted" Deliverance tees--available later this week from Dans Comp.
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