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If paragliding is an adrenaline sport, you're doing it wrong.

I went flying on Monday night after work. Two parts of the experience are worth sharing.

First, about an hour into the flight, I saw a kestrel hovering at the same height as me. I tracked towards it, and got within no more than fifteen feet before it stooped and dived out of the way.

Second, after about an hour and a half in the air, the other three people soaring the ridge made for the landing field, leaving me entirely alone above the fells. It was going dark, and the wind, which had been quite gusty, seemed to slot into a single smooth speed and fell silent.

I flew as slow as I dared, risking a stall, with both brakes applied hard, practically hovering facing straight into the setting sun. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. Holding the brakes as I was, I did not attempt to steer with them. I simply leaned left or right. Eventually, I was able to steer the glider simply by tilting my head left and right. The reaction was smooth and incredibly slow, like a dream. I flew like this for at least fifteen minutes, with not a sound from my vario (the instrument that indicates that you're gaining height) simply because I had locked into a position where my glider's sink rate was exactly matching the updraft off the ridge.

Eventually with the sun under the horizon it became really quite cold, and I made for the landing field. Aiming for a bucket in the middle of the field, I was very pleased to land within 5 metres of it, smoothly and under control, stepping out of the sky after a most relaxing and mellow flight.

smiley - angel

I used to feel like I was flying metaphorically. I can't do that any more. But I can do it literally. Strangely, it's not as good. Still pretty good though...


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ignore - test only

testing testing

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Had lunch with LeKZ today.

Oops. A628643. Say no more then.


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