A Texas motorcycle stuntman will attempt to do what Eevel Knievel couldn’t, jump a 1,600 foot-wide canyon in a death-defying stunt.
Big Ed Beckley, 63, of Bridgeport will attempt to jump Snake River Canyon near Twin Falls, Idaho while on a rocket strapped to a motorcycle. Growing up, he said he was a fan of Knievel and making the Canyon jump was always something he needed to see accomplished.
“To say that I am not scared, that it's not going to scare me that would be stupid,” Beckley said, “to say that I'm afraid of it ....that would be the person that said that.... because I’m not afraid of anything.”
Beckley bid $943,000 to the Idaho Department of Lands for the rights to the Snake River Canyon, outbidding several other stuntmen wanting the same chance.
“I wasn’t planning on bidding so high, but it was something that I’ve wanted the chance to do for a while,” Beckley said.
The jump is set for September 2014, around the 40th anniversary of Knievel’s failed jump in the 70s. But unlike Knievel’s jump, Beckley will use a rocket to help propel him over the canyon.
“We’re still working on the design of the bike, but it will be something no one has ever done before,” he said. “We will click on the solid rocket boosters it'll put it off the take off ramp at about 220, and reach a top speed at over 300 miles an hour and it'll be over 465 feet in the air.”
With a little less than a year to go Beckley will be working on losing 40 more pounds and undergoing countless simulations and gravity tests. He says the last the thing he’ll think about before he takes the jump will be a prayer to God.
“I’ll be going 170 miles an hour coming towards that rim of that canyon and I’ll have to be perfect,” Beckley said. “I’ll have to be straight and have all this stuff on kill ready to push the button and light that rocket as we go up that take off ramp.”
“I’ll take a deep a breath and let it rip.”