He soldiered on anyway, completing that jump as well as the one in Sturgis. His “show must go on” mindset is taken from legendary motorcycle jumper and showman Evel Knievel.
“What would Evel do? He would get up and jump,” Freeman said.
The 2019 jump, while successful, wasn’t without incident either. Freeman landed long and slid into chain-link fencing bordering the jump zone.
“When you have a motorcycle with no speedometer, you’d rather go a little faster than slower. I’ll take the little longer jump. Going short is unforgiving and you’re not walking away,” he said.
Freeman, 35, is from St. Charles, Mo. He has been riding motorcycles since age 18 and started jumping them five years ago, following an accident in Sturgis that ended his career as a firefighter-EMT.
Money raised from Saturday’s jump will go to help firefighters who have lost their jobs because of injuries or to families of those who have lost their lives.
Freeman said he is thrilled to be performing at the rally’s first-ever closing ceremonies.
“I’m looking forward to drawing the biggest crowd for the closing ceremonies for the next 10 years,” he said.
Freeman also plays the daredevil persona to the hilt, knowing there are people who may come to see him fall short.