Paragliding in BC

Paragliding in BC

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I hit my 600th flight yesterday. I'm kind of a geek and record every one of my flights, even the 7 minute sled rides. So I went up to launch yesterday excited to celebrate #600, but didn't want to jinx myself so didn't tell anyone. The jinx monster found it's way to me anyway, and it was more like my 6th flight than 600th!

First of all I blew 2 launches. That was weird - I may not stay up the longest or get the highest, but launching is where I usually shine. On my second attempt the wing fell around me & I ended up stepping through my lines & had to unclip my risers to unwrap myself. It was completely embarrassing, and 2 of my friends ran over laughing & sorted me out as I was obviously a total moron by this point and couldn't do it myself. I got it right on "take 3" & flew away, only to see that my speed bar line was wrapped around my riser. Sigh. So I spent some time fiddling with that & flew off towards the LZ. At least it was just a morning sled ride & it wasn't like I was missing out on thermals.

Except the student in front of me was going up! I rushed over there only to hit sink, as the student merrily bobbed his way over to the landing. By now I was pretty mad but had to focus on landing, as the student was all over the place setting up his approach. I went to a different end of the field, towards the live webcam Jim has set up so people stuck at home can watch us all fly. At least I'd have a good landing & maybe that would be all anyone would see. HA! A gust blew through & I got shoved around on final & dumped unceremoniously on my butt.

The only thing that kept me from crying & screaming & throwing things when I got up & shuffled off must have been character - you know, that stuff you're supposed to be "building" when you're doing things you don't like? Maybe Mom was right.

But this story does have a happy ending. Flight 601 saved my pride. I launched (perfectly on the first try, thank you very much), climbed out right away & landed on my feet after an hour. #602 at Bridal later was a mellow, boaty, take-a-tour-around-the-valley kind of flight. So maybe #600 was just a reminder from my wing to say, "Hey you! Don't get too cocky just because of a statistic. Remember who's in charge here." Thanks Ms. Rush, I'm listening.

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