Adam's Hang Gliding Adventure: Cooler Than What You Did Saturday

As I was going through some envelopes last week, I found two $100 checks that I wasn't counting on. The "Rules of Surprise Money" were very clear on the next step: I had to buy something I didn't need that was awesome, or do something I didn't need to do that would be awesome. I've got enough junk, so I decided to go with the latter. Browsing through Meetup.com, I found a group of people going hang gliding on August 2nd, and the total cost of ground instruction plus a tandem flight at 1000 feet was $195. The choice was clear -- hang gliding and a Chipotle burrito!

This involved waking up early that man was meant to on a Saturday to meet the Meetup.com participants in Santa Clara at 6:15am and then continue the ride down to Trespines outside of Hollister, CA. Once we arrived there, we split into a ground instruction group and the tandem group. The ground training consisted of learning the basics: learning how to run taking long strides (the longer the strides, the less you bounce up and down, and the lower chance you have of rupturing air tension along the wings of the glider), picking up the glider and balancing it on your shoulders, learning how to orient the glider with or against the wind, walking the glider on the ground, running with the glider, and finally, freakin' lifting off the ground with the glider!


The tandem was a little more intense. They had a winch that pulled a tow line connected to the tandem glider, so that it would pick up enough speed to lift up. Man. There are very few things that I have experienced that are as intense as that initial lift -- you go up one hundred feet before you even realize what's going on!
After climbing to cruising altitude of about 700 feet, you see those birds flying around down there near the ground. I taunted them for being wusses. After circling around for six or seven minutes, we landed in the field right next to the runway.


The instructors had all been doing this for years, and had great stories; for example, jumping off of Glacier Point in Yosemite and hang gliding from one side of the valley to the other. Or, the guy who hang glided from Mt. Tam just north of San Francisco about a hundred miles south. Or, the guy who has the longest flight record at 440 miles. Yea. 440 miles. That's roughly equivalent to the distance between Cleveland, Ohio and New York City. In a hang glider.

Satisfied Customer

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