I started my career in 1976 after seeing Evel Knievel jump at Wembley in 1975. At that time there were no tutorials, no handbook of how to make ramps, and no internet for hints and tips. I started practicing on waste ground, using a bank to elevate me. On my first jump, I then I cleared 40 feet using a Suzuki TS250, on road off road enduro bike. I progressed on to building my own ramps. My first ramp was two scaffolding planks on an A frame. On the third jump off that particular ramp I collapsed my front wheel. I realised then that I needed to get a competition bike. That was a Suzuki RM400. That and a change of angle to my ramps was the kick start to a twenty two year career.
In that time I saw a load of great jumpers, such as Gary Wells, Robbie Knievel, Johnny Fogwell (alias Johnny Wonder). Sadly a lot of riders met their end through jumping, such as Robin Winter Smith, Earl Majors.
In 2016 I was supposed to attempt a new world record, jumping over 20 double decker buses. My former manager was dealing with a sponsor from Paris. All was taking place nicely, than Brexit happened and coincidentally the French sponsor pulled out. Everything was prepared my end, my ramps extended to 50 foot long, a new bike all geared up and shock absorbers set up by RG3, but alas it was not meant to be.
Over the years I changed my bikes for each jump. Not forgetting in the old days, myself, Eddie Kidd and Evel Knievel were all using one angled ramps, which cannot be compared to the ramps that they use now. I have been trying to get the Guinness Book of Records to recognise that these two different types of ramp should be judged separately. This is the reason why:
The bow shaped ramps that were born from freestyle give an accelerated lift with very little impact. This is why the modern day jumper has to build big mountains to land on. Without it they would be killed instantly through the impact. The difference between the two ramp styles can’t be judged as one of the same. A comparison to this would be a land speed record attempt in a car driven by a jet engine and the same record attempted in a car with a piston engine. Youngsters today are doing incredible things, my hat goes off to them, but I think that the Guinness Book of Records should recognise it as two different jump categories. After all, without the bow shaped ramps that cause very little impact, they would never be able to achieve the distances that they do today.
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