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I'm still alive, but I'm working on that!
Hi folks! Well, I'm doing something pretty exciting, and its definitely something I should share about, including text and pictures (please provide your own sound... you have better taste in music than I do, anyway :) )

Thanks to a friendly hint from Kreggan (do you have a LJ?) I'm taking up hang-gliding! Certainly a lot cheaper than those motor-propelled things, for sure.

Have had three or four lessons so far, and decided that, yes, this is something I'm very interested in pursuing. Kreggan's been doing this for a while now; he's progressed to being allowed to use the winch system they have down at the training field near Hollister.

So, I've just purchased my own hang-glider, and all the do-dads that are required with it. The club gives a hefty discount on lessons if you bought your craft from them, even if you're still using the training craft the club owns, which I'll do for a little while longer; I'd rather put my foot through their birds, and not my own :)

At the moment, the lessons are still mostly, "run along the ground and get 10 seconds of air time about 5 feet above the ground" kinda stuff, which is fine for right now... more skills = more air :)

Here's a couple of pictures taken today. The craft is a second-hand, slightly older model, and I figure I'd use this for a while and then upgrade to something snazzy when I have the skills to make good use of it. Also, this way, I won't feel too bad about bending it :)

Also took the written test today, and passed that without a problem.

So, all of this is pretty exciting. The real question, now, is how long can I keep this enthusiasm up, or will this go the way of everything else I've done, where I've lost interest and moved onto something else (or in some cases, kept it going out of sheer determination). Part of posting this here is maintaining the enthusiasm for myself... and I'll be continuing to look at what's at the source of it.

In the meantime, the more encouragement, the better! Who'd like to come down and hang-glide with me? :)

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Chmarr, can I come back to VCL? FA has been down for official maintainance so long I can't bear to think how much unscheduled downtime they're going to have to catch up on once they are back up and running :(

I actually never left VCL, I just don't visit every day since more social networkingy type galleries got popular.

Also, I live next to a mountain that rises 3,000 feet above the valley floor, and occasionally see hangliders up there. A majestic and serene hobby, and I wish you well on it.

Thanks for the well wishes!

And... of COURSE you can come back. IF you can't remember any of your log in details, drop the admin address a note: admin@vclart.net

Like I said, I never actually left. I don't remember my login details, but my browser does ;) so I'll delay notifying the admins about my forgetfulness. I'd be Brazen_Cervid. I never properly left, I was just venting my frustration at how you are able to administrate such a solid gallery archive, but these newfangled art gallery/social networking sites in the furry fandom seem to keep collapsing under their own popularity, bad code, and administrator malfeasance.

Ohhh... okay... took me a few tries running what you said through my head to get your meaning :)

And... because I missed it all those previous times, THANK YOU for the kind comments :)

You're quite welcome :)

Now you need a new userpic of a flying cheetah.

Oh... perhaps like this?

Cropped from this commission piece.

hehe, thats funny.

I took up paragliding in June, getting close to completing my P2 course, but it's definitely a lot of work.


There is a lot of skills to be developed, so be careful out there. If your instructor is new to teaching, be even more careful, flying is more then passing a written test. And if you didn't get a 100% on that test, you should be asking what it you missed.

Make sure to study up on weather, learn about what causes rotors, cloud development, and avoiding the dangers.

Be careful out there and have fun :)

Oh, thanks for the prompting! That reminds me of two really neat things to share :)

I've had two different instructors so far, and that's been pretty cool... slightly different styles, and putting emphasis on slightly different things is starting to round things out really nicely. For example, the first couple of lessons were "okay", if somewhat frustrating, but the third lesson, different day and instructor, showed me that I was starting the run a little poorly, and not letting the glider start flying off my shoulders during the run. And, doing that made it MUCH easier. Woo.

The misses on the test were fine... One miss was a decision between which of two important things were MORE important, the other was a terminology issue in conjunction with a "MUST DO" that isn't really a must. Okay, that was really vague, I'll explain.

The question was something like. "What is one type of check that you MUST always do before starting a launch"? It had a couple of dumb answers, plus "d) hang" and "e) harness". The answer I would have chosen is a "hook-in" check, but that wasn't there. I know what a "hang check" is, and we're not doing that right now, so I thought a "harness check" was probably closer to a "hook-in check", so chose that. No, they wanted "hang-check" on the test. Bleah.

All other warnings heeded. Thank you! :)

where are you located at? Granted hang gliding and paragliding are two completely different flying styles... ;)

I'm near San Jose, CA, and am currently doing the training down in Tres Pinos. There's also a totally awesome mexican restaurant down there.

By the way, that's some really pretty landscape. That out in Colorado ?

Yup, I'm in colorado at the moment, I'm going to be moving out to Sacramento soon though, so give me a shout when you get certified ;)

Bugger... how am I supposed to link/friend/rep/rec/tag you, then?

I would, but I think I prefer flying with you when I have a whirly thing at the front/ I do have some reservations about hand gliding, but parasailing, that could manage.

I dread to think what aircraft rental is nowadays :P

(Actually, I have no idea :) )

I would hate to know how much it is. Since I bought a house, suddenly my spare cash that I use to use for flying has mysteriously disappeared.

My cousin use to be a handglider instructor and I know my uncle tried them out a few times too, but I don't think he ever bought one.

I've been very tempted to try hang gliding, but just as you've mentioned it- not high off the ground and not for long periods.

Just a touch of height phobia? :)

Not a phobia, but more a distrust. :)

I distrust disembodied voices from above!

Add me to those with a touch of height phobia. I'll just stand over here and admire, okay?

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