I think I’ll go Independently Fly a Hang Glider

Yesterday (7/4) was so amusing. I can, and did, think of many who were and are Dependent — forcibly so — while being either innocent or heroic.

But I’ll save it for later.

Right now, I’m going hang gliding.

I’ve been away for the better part of all of June. The latest part being a big task that took way longer to get right than anticipated. I blogged about that here, and as can be see from the bookings, it has been very swift and profitable over the last week or so. It worked beyond wildest dreams, and in spite of being “boring” to a primal blogger who appears to be hanging it up because, by God, she’s not going to blog about her boring life. Who can complain?

New wing, too.

Human Wings
Bird Like

I’ve owned and flown many hang gliders since about 1995 ish. I even used to fly a rigid wing, all carbon fiber.

More recently, over the past several years, I’ve “hung out” in larger, more docile wings. Short clips of extended flights here (2207), here (2008) or here, from last year:

Flying the Hat Creek Rim from Richard Nikoley on Vimeo.

I’m anxious to get in the air with this baby. Comes very highly recommended by both experienced and novice pilots alike, which suggests I have an even chance of finding a wing to suit my style of flying very intermittently.

A Far Cry from the Drilled Tubing & Hose Clamps of the 70s

Everyone always asks and so yea, we wear reserve parachutes, repacked once per year.

Never Used

Oh, and did I mention? This one has sprogs in lieu of luff lines for reflex protection. Aren’t you glad?

Negative G Protection

And it arrives on the top of the car and after taking you a few thousand feet over launch and keeping you there for as long as solar power will allow, which is usaually a few hours or until you tire, you pack it up, toss it top the car and haul it off to the next mountain to do all over again.


And that ends my latest update, from me to you. Just another chapter in my boring life.

I’ll try to dig into PubMed and figure a new way to tell you what you’ve heard a hundred times and already well know, as soon as I land. Or, maybe after I land Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That, or I’ll make really awful meals with grey meat, take a photo and post them every day for about a year.


Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Sean on July 5, 2011 at 15:19

    Richard, I’m totally going to delete you from my feed if you keep boring me with things like your vacation rental. I swear I’m going to do it! My hand is hovering over the unsubscribe button right now and it is twitching!!! IT IS TWITCHING LIKE HELL!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Mallory on July 5, 2011 at 18:14

    i reeeeally wanna know what hang gliding feels like…like what goes through your mind, what do you need to pay attention to, what muscles do you use, is it hard, do you go for long periods?

    • Mallory on July 5, 2011 at 18:18

      please disregard, there were no words in the post when it first popped up…..ha

    • Richard Nikoley on July 5, 2011 at 19:28

      Mallory. It is essentially an intense in-body experience. We simply simulate with tech what birds can do naturally and – thinking about it – do it pretty paleo. That is’ we’re solar powered. We can’t flap wings, but we can use hot air rising off the ground. Where birds have an innate varriometer, we have an instrument. I actually use my ears to climb. The instrument beeps with increasing frequency the stronger the pressure differential, i.e, the faster you are climbing. You use this sound, this rhythm, to get more and more efficient in the thermal, the column of air that is your free ride.

  3. Monica Hughes on July 5, 2011 at 21:27

    “That is’ we’re solar powered.” Uh oh…. the impossible has now happened. You’ve turned into an environmentalist on us!

    just kidding, of course… ;P

  4. Pat Crofoot on July 6, 2011 at 09:38

    I recently stayed at Hereford ranch. Had no idea that the Hat Creek rim was a hang gliding destination.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 6, 2011 at 09:39

      This will be about our 13 or 14th year in a row of staying there and flying in the late afternoon from the rim.

  5. Primal Toad on July 6, 2011 at 12:22

    This is totally kick ass. I want to do something like this so bad. You are an inspiration Richard! I used to live my life in constant fear but the primal lifestyle turned me around. I now look past my fears. I want to skydive and now why not hang glide?

    I’ll be doing this soon!

    • ulfr on July 7, 2011 at 13:13

      This does look like it kicks ass! I really want to try this. I love skydiving and hang gliding looks just as fun.

      Everything is better with a primal lifestyle for sure…it puts you in touch with some basic human tendencies. Humans did not migrate around the world and adapt to all the stuff they have by being timid to try new things.

      Keep up with the “boring life” reports!

  6. MightyAl on July 7, 2011 at 11:01

    I was going to mimic Primal Toad’s post but figure he said as well as I would. Hang gliding seems like a pretty spirit lifting activity. Living here in the flatlands might make it difficult to find good spots to engage in said activity though. Carry on and keep boring me to tears…tasty tasty tears.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 7, 2011 at 13:40


      Actually, you learn quicker in the flats for a couple of reasons. First, they employ various mean of towing, including up behind ultra light powered aircraft, which I’ve done and is a blast. There are also various form of platform/winch towing.

      Here’s how any one can get started by finding a qualified instructional outfit near them.

      • MightyAl on July 7, 2011 at 18:51

        Thanks for the info. I will definitely be looking into it.

  7. rob on July 7, 2011 at 09:23

    For the hang glider to be authentic Paleo shouldn’t it have actual feathers?

  8. Razwell on July 8, 2011 at 05:19


    I can’t even begin to imagine what it must feel like to be able to fly ! That technology is the coolest thing. Maybe I will try it one day , but I am scared shitless of height. LOL !

    Take care,

    • Richard Nikoley on July 8, 2011 at 08:49

      I wouldn’t say I’m petrified of heights but I certainly don’t like standing near the edge of a cliff or building and I don’t care for ladders. But once I’m hooked in that all goes away. Not unlike being in an airplane and looking out the window.

  9. John Nugent on July 11, 2011 at 07:25

    Don’t know if my first message made it. My fucken computer is playing up like a scecond hand lawn mower at the moment. Piece of shit.

    Anyway, I like your message and your philosophy. Go for it big feller! Fuck the bigots and all who sail in them.


  10. Les K on July 12, 2011 at 11:31

    I am loving the site and appreciate how and the quantity you share. A third recent kidney stone has made me re-evaluate restrictions and open wide the paleo flood gate. Eating how and what I want with more variety and less guilt.
    I wanted to share this article that discussed research on children exhibiting celiac’s and the season influence of cereals and their introduction into the diet. Looks like sound science without bias, you will judge for yourself.
    I think it is important to be able to track down what ails us to make educated changes in the diet.
    The glider is awesome.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 12, 2011 at 11:42

      Thanks for being a big picture reader, Les, which is really the only kind of readers I want, now.

      That’s an interesting article. Only an association, but seems plausible.

  11. Eleanor on February 7, 2012 at 19:05

    Hi. I came across your website and your article on Hang Gliders. My friends has one of those 70s style hang gliders you mentioned and needs to get it out of her garage so she told me i could sell it. Is there any interest in them anymore? Or are they obsolete? I guess it could make a nifty shade!

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