Thursday, June 30, 2005

Another Bike Stunt

In a previous post, I told about My Evel Knievel Bike Stunt. I didn't do this stunt, but like mine, it was done accidentally. It was when my boys were pre-teens.

Some of my boys, and a neighbor boy were playing in front of the house, and I was working in the back yard. One of the boys came to the back yard and asked me if it would be all right to borrow some of the bricks laying at the edge of the yard. They had been there since we bought the house, and we hadn't found any use for them. They explained why they needed them, and I said "Yes", but I went to the front yard to see for myself exactly what they were doing with them.

They wanted to make a ramp to do a small bike jump. They had already found a plank about five or six feet long. And they needed the bricks to support one end of the plank to make the ramp. The neighbor boy wanted to ride his bike up the plank and be airborne for a second or two. It was the sort of thing I'd done with a sled when I was a kid. They had only enough bricks to raise the plank about 6 to 8 inches at one end, so it didn't seem too dangerous a thing to try. He had practiced riding the length of the plank when it was flat on the ground, and it was clear that he had no problem going straight down the middle of the plank for its short length.

The plank was now in place. propped on a double-wide stack of bricks. He rode up the street, turned around, and came back in a straight line toward the ramp. As his front wheel hit the front edge of the plank, the plank trembled, even jumped a little off the pile of bricks, and the brick pile fell down, leaving the plank now flat on the ground. His bike rolled squarely down the center of the plank, but at the end, it hit the pile of bricks.

What we saw next was brief, but amazing. As his front wheel hit the brick pile, it refused to go any further. The bike and rider now did a perfect somersault together and landed right-side up on the other side of the brick pile, and continued rolling forward for a few feet until the stunned rider hit the brakes and stopped quickly.

He had gone perfectly straight, and had prepared himself to be airborne briefly. That much was planned and done with skill. But hitting the brick pile and doing a somersault was accidental. Fortunately, his speed was exactly right to turn just 360 degrees in the air -- no more, and no less. Else, he could have landed on his head.

We were all relieved that he was OK, and it was obvious that the ramp would not be used again. But I couldn't resist teasing him. "Well done! Would you please do it again after I get my camera?"

2 comments:

JC said...

If any of you boys recall any more details, let me know.

Quit Smoking said...
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