Crazy man jumps over Las Vegas

Well, it sure looked that way.

In case you missed it because you were partying the night away, Australian Robbie Maddison jumped a motorcycle over a football field last night to set a new distance record. The attempt came 40 years to the day after Evel Knievel’s famous (and ill-fated) attempt to jump the fountains at Caesar’s Palace.

Since he was jumping into a stiff headwind Maddison only managed to clear 322 feet, 7 1/2 inches. You could tell he was disappointed at the effort, despite breaking the record, because in the post-jump interview he announced that he was going to get back on the bike and try again. Which he did, although the second jump wasn’t as good.

Here are some “key taekaways,” as we say in the business world.

  1. Maybe he was disappointed because he was hoping to jump 360 feet. He had done 350 in practice on Sunday.
  2. He made it look easy. Seriously – this is terrifying, spit-in-the-face-of-death stuff, but he made it seem about as difficult as hopping over a mud puddle.
  3. For perspective, the first Wright Brothers flight covered 120 feet.
  4. Somewhere, Evel is smiling. Maddison recently attended Knievel’s funeral despite never having gotten to meet the daredevil legend in person.

2008 is off to a flying start. Let’s hope the crazy bastard lives through it.