Traditionally, paragliders spend an hour or so cruising near their launch sites. But a new crop is upping the stakes with long-distance flights that can carry pilots well over 100 miles and last upward of 7 hours. These intrepid fliers never know exactly where or how far they’ll go — or, more importantly, where they’ll land — until they get into the air and chase updrafts, like dandelion seeds carried on the wind.
“Ideally, we land in Fresno at sunset,” 160 miles southeast, said a pilot from Richmond.
“Or it could be a bust,” [he] said. “We might just end up at the bottom of the mountain.”
An ethic of cross-country paragliding requires the first pilot down to find transportation — usually an Uber or Lyft back to their car — and begin scooping up the others, who may land miles away, hours later. Part of the fun is seeing where everyone ends up.
Thursday, June 3, 2021
Some paragliders manage to travel across hundreds of miles by remaining aloft for several hours
Labels: extreme sports