Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Super Biker Woman is now Super Flying Woman!

The day dawned bright and sunny. Since Super Biker Woman does not have her Super Stella here, she went for a run instead. She took her Super Friend, Max, with her.

After the noon time meal, prepared by Super Biker Woman's Super Great Friend, Mary-Clare, it was decided that it was a good day for flying. So, off the three Super Friends went up to Col de la Forclaz to see if Super Biker Woman could actually fly. The first place had no more flying opportunities available. The second place had a flight at 6:00 (it was 3:30). Super Biker Woman took it. To kill time, the three had a little refreshment, then SBW and SF Max walked (practically climbed) up to where the paragliders take off. They watched them for awhile then returned to where SGF, Mary-Clare was waiting with Super Dog, Vergoole.

After what seemed like a few thousand more hours, it was time for flying. Super Biker Woman met her fearless pilot (but didn't really catch his name), helped set up the equipment (is it really a good idea to trust the novice?), and don the flying costume (part of which was a helmet which SBW is very familiar with). They moved around to the launch pad. With a few simple instructions, SBW was ready to fly. The flyers were securely strapped in. The wind was right. The countdown was given. Then, with a few little running steps, Super Biker Woman was up in the air, FLYING!!! WOO HOO!!!

Translation: I did a tandem hanglider flight from Col de la Forclaz which, as you can see from the photos, is pretty high up above Lake Annecy. I had thought to do a paragliding (with the parachute-like things) flight, but the guy said the hanglider was a better flight (more adventurous) so I went with that. I was in a harness and helmet. Both the pilot and I were strapped to the glider. I merely hung onto the pilot's harness. We walked to the edge of the platform, ran about 5 steps and were up in the air. Once we were flying, the pilot unhooked the foot pocket and I put my feet in. Words can hardly describe how amazing it was! Of course, the scenery was spectacular! We followed the air currents, circled around to ride the drafts up and gain altitude. Then we came flying very fast over the take off platform. I was Woo Hooing to Mary-Clare and Max who were taking pictures. Then we shot out over the lake again. We circled around, caught another draft and went higher. It was so incredible! We stayed pretty high for a long time. I had told the pilot when I was here last time I had wanted to do this, but I didn't have enough money so I couldn't do it. He said because I had waited 2 years to do this he was giving me an extra long flight. The guy that had taken off moments before me was on the ground long before we were. When we were getting closer to the landing place, but were still high in the air, he asked if I wanted to fly fast and do some tricks. Of course I said YES!!! We whirled around circling left then right then going really fast then almost seeming to stop in mid-air before, again, sweeping around. It was so much fun!!!!! For the landing, it was really quite simple. We came in much like an airplane, landing on the wheels and dragging our bodies in the harnesses along the ground. We came to a stop pretty quickly. I got up on my knees, removed my feet from the foot pocket and stood up. The pilot carried the glider and I just walked along in the harness to the place where they pack it all up. After removing my harness, I went to see the photos the pilot had taken. The camera batteries had died, so there was no video but, there were 26 pictures. The gal gave me a 10€ discount on the CD of photos. As soon as I can download the CD, I'll post actual flying pictures.

Mary-Clare and Max came down to the landing to pick me up. I told them it was awesome and not scary at all. I'm not sure they believed me, but it's true! I was never scared. It was exciting and also peaceful floating through the air. I would definitely do it again!

So, Super Biker Woman CAN fly!

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