Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year's Eve With Robbie Maddison

Wow, it's been a long time since we've updated this Racer X travel blog! Now seems like as good a time as any. Production Manager Julie Kramer and I (Managing Editor Bryan Stealey) decided to jet out to Vegas with our spouses to watch Robbie Maddison attempt to break the distance record at the stroke of midnight tomorrow night. And by midnight, I mean East Coast time, as it'll be 9 pm out here. You don't want to miss "New Year, No Limits: New Year's Eve on ESPN," so if you'll be out getting your groove on tomorrow night and can't watch it live, be sure to set your Tivo. If you're at a bar or a party, tell 'em a dropping crystal ball's got nothing on this.

We just got in today and got the chance to check out a small bit of Robbie's dress rehearsal, which mainly consisted of Robbie doing little press junkets and climbing to the top of his custom-made ramp over and over for photo ops like this:

It looked kind of fun, so I gave it a try. Here's the view from the lip of the ramp:

Hard to believe Robbie's going to jump this, seeing as how it sort of freaked me out just to walk up it. Imagine hitting it at close to 100 mph on a CR500! You can probably tell that this "football field" isn't as wide as a real field, and that's because it's been specially constructed for this jump in the parking lot of the Rio All Suites Resort. The base of the landing ramp starts at about the far 45 yard line, but by the time Robbie lands on the down slope, he's hoping to nail 360 feet. That's 120 yards, which is a football field, from the back of one end zone to the back of the other.

Thing is, for him to get that much distance, he's pretty much going to need to break 100 mph, and Vegas is so cold right now that his mechanic is struggling to get that much power out of his Service Honda CR500. They're juicing the gas as much as they can, and tomorrow they're going to gear his bike down, so we'll just have to wait and see how much power they get out of it. Trigger Gumm currently holds the record at 277 feet, so Maddo could come up well short of his goal and still get his name in the Guinness Book of World Records. Again, that is. He already holds the top marks for a jump on a 125cc bike and for a jump with a trick.

I was just about to mention how much mainstream press this is garnering when I heard Robbie's name mentioned on ABC News on our hotel TV. He was on Good Morning America this morning. Here's a cool story on him on And whatever you do, don't miss this video. "Google News" him and you'll see just how much buzz this is generating. He's been working hard for years to establish himself as a top freestyle motocrosser, but he's getting more attention from this jump than from everything else he's ever done combined.

I can't tell you how much I hope everything goes well and he sets this record. This guy is smart, down-to-earth, and just extremely cool. He's also a hell of a jumper. I'm going to be crossing all of my fingers and toes for Maddo during his big moment.

That's a long enough blog post for now. I'll try to do at least a few posts during out trip. Comments are very welcome. Gotta go, now -- I don't want to miss this bit on ABC.


Bad Billy said...

Go Robbie!

Anonymous said...

Ryan Capes jumped 310 feet, first guy to do that right? Maddo obviously is the new record holder @ 350ft, thats awesome! Thats not breaking but smashing Capes jump. Im pretty sure the only way Trigger will fly over 300 ft. Is if he eats twice as many painkillers before he jumps next time! GOOD LUCK MADDO!

Anonymous said...

Trigger has never done shit - he got lucky once - and ruined himself the other times. Capes is a douche!