Thursday, March 1, 2012

Awful Knawful

Awful Knawful was my brother, Billy's, nickname. It was a play on Evel Knievel. Billy was as awesome on a bicycle as Evel Kneivel was on a motorcycle. He did stunts back in the 70's that others have just started doing in the last 5 to 10 years or so and they are using modern day bicycles that are built much better than the old "banana seat specials" that we used to have back then.

Billy was always building ramps both big and small. There was NEVER a neighborhood contest that he didn't win. He could outdo anybody on a bike. Probably his greatest stunt was when he would sail out over the riverbank. It was easily over 50 feet horizontally from the top of the bank out to the river and there was about a 50 foot vertical drop as well! There was about a 25 or 30 foot drop to the first bank that was about 10 foot wide and then there was a drop off again to the river. He would consistently sail out over the bank and slide his bike sideways down the second bank stopping right beside the river without ever getting his tires wet!

Others tried. All failed. Most would just kind of flip over the side of the first bank which resulted in a nasty head over bike roll to the first bank. Even more painful would be the flying out and landing solid on the first bank. (a true ballbuster move which brought chortles of glee from all who watched). The few who did manage to land exactly on the slope of the bank like Billy (he was the gold standard after all) would invariably careen into the river and then we had the tedious task of digging their bikes out of the sucking river mud. (these rescues had to be conducted in secrecy because we weren't allowed over the river bank afterall).

Anyway Long Live Awful Knawful!

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