Saturday, March 22, 2008
Steve needs a new expensive hobby
I decided since I don't have my boat to sink money into anymore, I needed a new hobby. This weekend James, a friend from work, and I started Paragliding lessons. I found a school in the nearby town of Weinheim. I have to say it wasn't quite what I expected. We had a couple hours of instruction, then we headed over to the Weinheim Flugplatz (small airfield). A storm was just passing through, so the winds were pretty strong. We started out by getting used to controlling the canopy. At one point it was pulling me across the grass. When I looked back, you could see where my boots had scraped all the grass off the ground, leaving ruts for about 15 feet. James actually got flipped over on his back at one point. It was exhausting, you wouldn't believe how much effort it took to keep control in the wind. I felt like I had run a couple of miles and lifted weights. By the end of the exercise, I could stand pretty much still with the canopy above me. At one point, I was actually lifted about 5 feet off the ground. By reflex, I quickly pulled the brakes and dropped back to the ground. We have to do about 20 hours of ground work before we get to head to a training hill in the Odenwald for our first real flight, but I can already tell I am going to love it. I can't wait to head to the Alps and fly in the mountains.
Posted by Steve