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…Evil Knievel will be missed?

Robert Craig “Evil” Knievel

The world lost a legend on Friday, as Robert Craig “Evil” Knievel died at age 69.

Always a self-promoter, Evil’s Caesars Palace jump is a great example of the type of man he was:

    While in Las Vegas, Nevada, to watch Dick Tiger fight a middleweight title fight, Knievel first saw the fountains at Caesars Palace and decided to jump them. To get an audience with the casino’s CEO Jay Sarno, Knievel created a fictitious corporation called Evel Knievel Enterprises and three fictitious lawyers to make phone calls to Sarno. Knievel also placed phone calls to Sarno claiming to be from ABC-TV and Sports Illustrated inquiring about the jump. Sarno finally agreed to meet Knievel and the deal was set for Knievel to jump the fountains on December 31, 1967. After the deal was set, Knievel tried to get ABC to air the event live on Wide World of Sports. ABC declined, but said that if Knievel had the jump filmed and it was as spectacular as he said it would be, they would consider using it later.

    Knievel used his own money to have actor/director John Derek produce a film of the Caesars’ jump. To keep costs low, Derek used his then-wife, Linda Evans, as one of the camera operators. It was Evans who filmed Knievel’s famous landing. On the morning of the jump, Knievel stopped in the casino and placed a single $100 dollar bet on the blackjack table (which he lost), stopped by the bar and got a shot of Wild Turkey and then headed outside where he was joined by several members of the Caesars staff, as well as two scantily clad showgirls. After doing his normal pre-jump show and a few warm up approaches, Knievel began his real approach. When he hit the takeoff ramp, he felt the motorcycle unexpectedly decelerate. The sudden loss of power on the takeoff caused Knievel to come up short and land on the safety ramp which was supported by a van. This caused the handlebars to be ripped out of his hands as he tumbled over them onto the pavement where he skidded into the Dunes parking lot. As a result of the crash, Knievel suffered a crushed pelvis and femur, fractures to his hip, wrist and both ankles and a concussion that kept him in a coma for 29 days.

RIP Evil; you will be missed.

[Robert Craig “Evil” Knievel]

[Wikipedia – Robert Craig “Evil” Knievel]

[Via: CO-ED Magazine]

…It’s Things Thursday: Valentine One?

Alex Roy

When Alex Roy drives, Alex Roy drives fast.

The veteran of numerous rallies, races, and records, he recently drove from New York to Santa Monica in 31 hours and 4 minutes, beating the previous transcontinental record by over an hour. To give you an idea of the kind of speed it takes to break a record like that, think about this: Roy needed a sustained speed of almost 90 miles per hour.

For 31 hours!

So what kind of technology does it take to pilot a four-wheel rocket through 31,000 highly trained highway patrol?

  • Tasco 8 x 40 binoculars with a Kenyon KS-2 gyro stabilizer
  • Military spec Steiner 7 x 50 binoculars
  • Bumper-mounted L-3 Raytheon NightDriver thermal camera
  • Flush, bumper-mounted Blinder M40 laser jammers
  • Redundant Garmin StreetPilot 2650 GPS units
  • Preprogrammed Uniden police radio scanners
  • Ceiling-mounted Uniden CB radio with high-gain whip antenna
  • And last but not least, a Valentine One radar/laser detector

Valentine One

Since 1992, Valentine has been making a radar detector that refuses to loose. It’s a company that only makes radar detectors, only make ones model of radar detector (constantly upgraded with the latest technology), and only makes the best radar detector, so you know that they mean business.

On my recent trip to Las Vegas for the SEMA show, I had a chance to check out the capabilities of my newly purchased V1, and I must say, I was beyond impressed. Not only did it constantly keep me aware of what was going on around me (the patented arrows tell you with amazing accuracy if the radar is in front of, beside, or behind you), but it also saved me from at least one sure-fire ticket.

Coming down a hill with a clear lane and a tailwind, my car was more than happy to break the posted speed limit, and trusting in the powers of the V1, I was more than happy to oblige.

Suddenly, the V1 flashed Ka band, and maxed out the signal strength indicator, showing sure signs of a cop ahead. Heading the warning, I quickly brought the car down to posted speeds, and peered ahead for the awaiting cruiser. After about a mile of driving, I came upon the hidden cruiser, tucked neatly under an overpass with his radar gun pointed directly down the road that I had just traveled. Just past him though, there were three other cruisers parked and waiting to pick up what the radar gun picked off. It was a speed trap, and thanks to the V1, I had easily avoided it.

Chock one up in the V1 win column.

Though you can’t exactly call the Valentine One cheap, it’s a definite case of you get what you pay for. (And it’s also probably cheaper than getting a ticket.) Plus, if Alex Roy trusts it to drive across the country, shouldn’t you trust it to drive the kids to soccer? (Quickly.)

Also, having tested out a few other radar detectors over the years, I can confirm Valentine’s claims that the V1 is the easiest to use, most reliable, and gave the best warning time out of the bunch.

Your driving record will thank you.

(For more information about Alex Roy’s record run, check out his book, The Driver, and his documentary, 32 Hours 7 Minutes.)

[Valentine One]

[32 Hours 7 Minutes]

[Wired Magazine – The Pedal-to-the-Metal, Totally Illegal, Cross-Country Sprint for Glory]

[Team Polizei 144]