Friday, April 30, 2010

Hang Gliding Boot Camp

This flying season I'm going to do my best to get my mind and body in great flying shape before the XC season. Typically in the spring when the conditions are good, I just start flying. Slowly my body tunes in to what's demanded of it, and by summer if there's enough flying, I'm in reasonable shape. I talked with a personal trainer at my gym and described the different elements where specific physical demand is required as a hang glider pilot. Take-offs and landings are the most physically demanding aspect of hang gliding, and in certain conditions flying in and of itself can be physically challenging. The personal trainer gave me a series of exercises designed to address several deficiencies in my hang gliding fitness.

On a warm summer day at altitude in light wind conditions, a pilot might be required to accelerate his body and a 70 lb. glider from 0 to 10 mph in less than four seconds. Most of the time if there is a light wind coming up slope, launching is more about technique than physical training. However, there is an occasional launch in which a pilot will benefit from muscle-specific strength training. Landings tend to be the most physical aspect of hang gliding by a good margin. Having a strong core and a developed lower body could be the difference between landing successfully in no wind conditions and giving up prematurely, resulting in a hard landing.

More later.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Digging Out

Digging out. We got covered a few weeks back and expect more this week.

The last month has been interesting to say the least. Just when you think it's time for things to warm up, mother nature does just the opposite. Three weeks ago we got over four feet of snow over a four day storm cycle. My snow plow broke into the second day of the cycle, and I had a nasty fall in the driveway while shoveling and broke three ribs. I've broken ribs before, but don't remember it being so painful. In fact, a few days after my injury I decided to get a doc to check me out. The xray of my ribs showed three fractures of which one was slightly out of alignment. Anyway, three weeks later I am feeling like I'm mending well and even contemplating flying soon.

Something new on the way. My new glider (green and black), was test flown a few weeks ago.