Pass It On is a new, bi-weekly peek inside the heart and mind of Francis Pass…

Making the Jump

I’ve always had a mechanical mindset. Even as a kid, I loved to build and tinker with things.

Like the new Hubbly bicycle my parents bought me when I was young.

The mechanic in me took over. I broke it down, modified the seat, added a few bells here, a few whistles there, and voilà, I had myself a custom-made bicycle.

My mother thought I was nuts for taking apart a perfectly good bike and putting it back together again. She just didn’t understand.

man riding a bike doing tricks

Now, once you have a custom-made bicycle, the next logical step is to build a custom-made ramp!

After an afternoon of measuring, sizing, configuring, and hammering, I had built a ramp that was the envy of every kid in my neighborhood.

I couldn’t wait to fly through the air on my Hubbly.

man riding a bike doing tricks

Eyeing the ramp, I determined my landing spot. Then, I pedaled like I had never pedaled before.

As my front tire hit the ramp, I gave a little tug on the handlebars. Both tires came off the ground.

I was airborne.

I stuck the landing, too. A sense of relief came over my body, but I didn’t let it show. Instead, I let out a war cry that still echoes through the streets in Dongola to this day.

The neighbor boys were astonished.

man riding a bike doing tricks

So I kept stretching the runway to the ramp further and further back. And I gained a little more courage with each landing I stuck.

But what goes up must come down.

Thinking I was Evel Knievel, I stretched that runway as far back as I could. I was going to make the biggest jump of my life.

I hit that ramp with more speed than ever. I got more air than ever. And yes, I stuck the landing. But it wasn’t the landing I had hoped for.

When I hit the ground, the bike broke in half.

man riding a bike doing tricks

I had strawberries on my knees and elbows. And my ego got a little bruised, too.

But y’know... I wouldn’t trade those bumps, bruises, and scars for anything.

I was just a kid being a kid.

I wish we could see a little more of that these days.

Be well. Stay well. Thanks for listenin’/reading...

Francis Pass

P.S. – On December 31st, 1967, Evel Knievel attempted the longest jump in his career. He made the 141-foot jump... but then he hit the safety ramp, tumbled head over heels, and spent 29 days in the hospital. I bet his mom thought he was a little crazy, too.