In the Oct. 23 edition of Boise Weekly, we met with "Big" Ed Beckley and State of Idaho officials about Big Ed's plans to propel his motorcycle across Idaho's Snake River Canyon Sept. 8, 2014—the 40th anniversary of an ill-fated attempted by Evel Knievel (BW, News, "Leap of Fate," Oct. 23, 2013).
"Oh yeah, this is serious money," Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa told BW. "Big Ed wired $943,000 to the state of Idaho on Oct. 4 and that was on top of the $25,000 he'll pay each year in a two-year lease. And then, Idaho will get its percentage of his revenues on a number of things."
Meanwhile, Beckley and his team of engineers are busy putting together his vehicle that will launch him across the canyon.
"I'll hit that takeoff ramp next October and boom! It will be a rocket engine that will get me to maybe 240 mph and it will kick my bike out of gear," said Beckley. "It will burn for 3.4 seconds and then at an apex of the arc over the canyon, I'll run out of [rocket] fuel. Then we'll deploy a chute, just like a parasail, and I'll click the bike back into gear and when I touch down, I'll ride away."
But the State of Idaho only owns the far side the canyon—the parcel of land where Beckley would presumably touch down. Beckley still needs to negotiate with the City of Twin Falls to use the "near" side of the canyon where he would launch his cycle.
And this morning's Twin Falls Times-News reports that the Twin Falls City Council unanimously approved a motion Nov. 4 to annex the land. The Times-News reports that a number of other jumps are still trying to compete with Beckley to get Twin Falls' approval to launch a rocket from the city's parcel of land.
"City officials want to make sure they have full jurisdiction over the site," according to the Times-News.