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Reyes On Tour:

Evel Knevel's Canyon Jump

story by Aaron Green, photos by Steve Reyes

This month "Reyes On Tour" rolls the clock back to September of 1974 here in "Mike Kelly's Cruise News". While this particular coverage may be a bit "off the beaten path" for us, we figured many readers would get a kick out of seeing it. Especially since Evel Knevel is rumored to be planning a "farewell jump" in the near future. The photos in this months "Reyes On Tour" have only been published once before, and that was back in 1974.

Lots of wild, weird, and wacky things happened in the seventies, but few topped Evel Knevel's planned jump over the Snake River Canyon in Idaho with his rocket powered "Sky Cycle". Knevel had risen to fame in the late 1960's and early 1970's with several spectacular and sometimes near fatal motorcycle jumps and crashes, along with a movie that told his life story. This writer has to admit that it was Evel Knevel's movie that sparked my own interest in motorcycles in 1970.

Knevel had made it clear in the movie about himself that he had a desire to one day jump the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It seems he decided to start with a smaller canyon first, so that was how he ended up in Idaho in September of 1974. Ace photographer Steve Reyes was there in 1974 to shoot the action. The day before these photos were taken a "test jump" with an unmanned "Sky Cycle" had failed, as it resulted in the vehicle crashing into the canyon wall opposite the launch ramp. The day of the scheduled jump was windy, and with people from all over watching on ABC television Knevel was under the gun to do the jump as planned, even though conditions were less than perfect.

So now, take a look at what happened on that September day in 1974 at the Snake River Canyon in Idaho. Certainly a wild, weird, and wacky deal, to say the least!! CN

Looking for a classic drag racing photo of your favorite car or star? Chances are Steve Reyes has it. Or if you would like a professional photo shoot with your car, you can contact Steve Reyes via e-mail at