Crawling from the Wreckage by Eddie Kidd

Eddie Kidd was a motorcycle stuntman, the best in the world at one point, beating numerous global records, including those held by Evel Knievel and son Robbie. His records include jumping over 32 cars, 22 cars with no hands, 13 double-decker buses, and the Great Wall of China! It was a daring and high-risk profession; Eddie had even seen a few of his rivals killed. And in 1996, Eddie himself came very close to going the same way. At a Hell’s Angel’s rally in Long Marston, Warwickshire, Eddie performed another successful jump. But it was the landing that went wrong. He ended up being knocked unconscious and falling over a 20ft drop. The result was brain damage. It left him unable to walk, unable to speak properly, and with a reduced level of manual dexterity. Thankfully, his mental functions were still one hundred percent, and hence this book his here today.

I remember Eddie Kidd from when I was a kid, right here in Portadown. I was about ten years old and he was jumping at our town’s football stadium, Shamrock Park. I recall him circling the perimeter on his bike, waving at the crowd. I was near the front, and I wasn’t waving; I was giving him the thumbs-up instead. Suddenly Eddie’s hand changed to a thumbs-up as he passed by in front of me. That was a cool moment for a kid. There were “monster trucks” at the show, crushing other cars; there were cars circling the stadium on two wheels. But the moment we’d all been waiting for was of course when Eddie’s bike mounted up the ramp and went soaring through the air over a long row of parked cars.

I really enjoyed reading this book, for two reasons. One, the insight into a unique and very exciting life. And two, the insight into how a person can lose so much and come out at the other end with a love for life. Eddie Kidd is a guy who has fought through the hardship and depression of adjusting to his new life, and has discovered that life is well worth living.