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Guess: Thinking About Blogging or my Flying?

The thing to do when you burn out blogging what you usually blog about is not to quit, but blog about what’s making you happy at the moment. Been doing it since 2003.

You’ll loose some readers.

…And? Fuck ’em.

Right now, remodeling my life in a number of ways is making me happily engaged, and as well, I’ve been vacationing in Lassen County, CA, for the past four days and really having a ball flying my new hang glider every evening. I’ll get back to blogging about how cholesterol and saturated fat won’t kill you — but General Mills will — soon enough.

Here’s a few still photos from the action over the past few days.

High Banking
Getting Sunshine

OK, still getting used to this sports car of a wing, big engine and six speed. Most satisfying glider I have owned. First landing I did rather conventionally and it went off OK. Second time I came in hot and forgot that a higher performance wing retains energy. I let out the bar too quickly and immediately converted all my airspeed to altitude and found myself near stall, 20 feet off the ground. I basically mushed it in, half stall, and saved myself and the glider from damage.

2 minutes, with a Rock & Roll surprise.

Well, it’s just about time to head up the rim to do it all over again. See ya.

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. keithallenlaw on July 10, 2011 at 17:34

    Awesome. Would love to do that. Do you still get butterflies before you launch?
    Looks a little scary.

    Ever look at the para hawking videos?

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 11, 2011 at 08:03


      Only time I get butterflies is when flying a site I’m not familiar with. Been flying here 15 years with only two during that time I didn’t fly here. Probably near 50 flights altogether here. So, nope, no butterflies.

      I’ll check out the vid once I’m on an Internet connection that doesn’t suck balls.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 11, 2011 at 18:08

      Ok, Keith, back home and wat he’d the video.

      I’ve flown with hawks many, many times, but more as teacher & student. I’m the student.

  2. nunyo on July 10, 2011 at 17:47

    That’s fuckin’ great! I’m into riding motorcycles instead of hang gliders, but it’s beautiful to see someone take a calculated risk with a big payoff and end up really enjoying life in the process.

  3. Lars Henrik on July 10, 2011 at 17:54

    Richard, you got some stones to do that. Right on.

  4. Owen on July 10, 2011 at 18:26

    I find these to be your most valuable and enjoyable posts…big picture stuff, living a fine life. Your Paleo blogs are brilliant in and of themselves, but these are where the rubber meets the road, the reason we would do anything to improve our lives; to live better and enjoy the ride.
    Many thanks.


    • Richard Nikoley on July 10, 2011 at 21:31

      “the reason we would do anything to improve our lives; to live better and enjoy the ride.”

      Damn right, Owen.

      Sometimes I feel like dispensing with the a-pont posts and post about the-point.

  5. Bay Area Sparky on July 10, 2011 at 18:36

    Well done, Rich! Hope tonight’s flight is even more uplifting.

  6. Tim on July 10, 2011 at 21:16

    Wow!!! That is awesome Richard!! Love your blog man!! It isn’t about everyone else!! That’s what I love about it. Do what you love that’s the best read there is!! Keep it up!!

  7. Jono on July 10, 2011 at 23:10

    What’s the learning curve like with hang gliding?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 11, 2011 at 07:11

      It’s hard to say, Jono. Because I learned on hills and mountains there was months of hauling a glider up hills n order to fly off them, getting the foot launch and lading experience one needs. Lots of laces use various tow setups, now, that make thngs easier. I think it’s always gong to come down to the commitment to do it no matter what it takes and so you really have to want to do it.

  8. Bill Strahan on July 11, 2011 at 05:52

    You won’t lose me! I’ve been the one saying “go fly!” and am thrilled to see you’re getting up there.

    As for doing what you love, a guy came by my house the other day and saw the RV-10 wings in the living room. “What are those?” I told him “Airplane wings, I’m building an airplane.”

    His response? “People don’t build airplanes!”

    Hmmm. I just smiled and said “Oh, silly me, what was I thinking?” And then just ignored it altogether. He eventually sheepishly asked if I was serious.

    Never make any apologies for your world being so big that someone else can’t wrap their head around it. I don’t need anyone to understand what I do, or find it sensible, because I’ve decided that my life doesn’t have to fit in the box you draw.

  9. Dean on July 11, 2011 at 06:13

    Love it man, enjoy life!

  10. Sean on July 11, 2011 at 07:08

    Richard, quit being so fucking melodramatic. If you are burned out on blogging then don’t blog, if you want to blog about hang-gliding than go ahead and do so, I don’t think anyone (other than GGP) has a problem with that, I certainly don’t. If you are worried about losing fickle readers than that’s your problem, but I don’t think you are, hence the melodrama.

    Enjoy the hell out of hang-gliding, I don’t see myself losing interest in your blog no matter what you do.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 11, 2011 at 07:13

      But I am so worried about losing fickle readers. It’s so much fun. 🙂

    • Sean on July 11, 2011 at 07:24

      I’m sure the tragedy of not pleasing everyone has caused you many a sleepless night.

    • Sean on July 11, 2011 at 07:33

      Without the smiley face I sort of come across as an asshole.

      I’m sure the tragedy of not pleasing everyone has caused you many a sleepless night. 😉

    • Richard Nikoley on July 11, 2011 at 07:58

      I always know where you’re coming from, Sean.

    • Sean on July 11, 2011 at 11:17

      But you could at least pretend to get pissed off when I pretend to bust your balls…

  11. Jesse on July 11, 2011 at 07:18

    Live life…then write about it. When you write as engagingly as you do, that’s a solid plan!

    The more diversions the more interesting the posts, keep it up and I can’t imagine why you’d lose even one reader.

  12. Daniel on July 11, 2011 at 07:50

    Damn, that looks like one hell of a rush!! That’s not a cigarette in your hand in the top pic is it? Maybe a little ciga-weed haha

    • Richard Nikoley on July 11, 2011 at 08:00

      A pre launch ciggie, courtesy of my bro. Just another sometimes indulgence.

    • Bill Strahan on July 11, 2011 at 10:29

      But but butt! A cigar or cigarette isn’t paleo, is it? DurianRider needs to chime in here, no doubt. See, if you ate 18 pounds of fruit per day you wouldn’t even WANT tobacco, but all that meat makes you want nicotine and caffeine and other stuff. Certainly Durian or the Paleonazis can chime in…

    • Michael on July 17, 2011 at 18:38

      What? Is that why one summer I was smoking 3 cigars a day? Because I wasn’t eating enough fruit? LOL! But that doesn’t explain the many months I go without however on a routine basis.

    • Kelly on July 11, 2011 at 15:56

      I completely don’t understand the desire to smoke, even an occasional indulgence, but the flying appears well worth the risk. Maybe the smoking was a Navy thing.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 17, 2011 at 18:58

      Do you not understand it because it is completely out of the realm of your experience? Dose makes the poison.

  13. Subba Rao on July 11, 2011 at 18:46

    Awesome video. Love your posts and your straight forwardness. 🙂
    The dong must be thinking, Crazy Humans…hehehe

    • Richard Nikoley on July 11, 2011 at 22:21

      If you’ve ever flown in an airplane and managed a look out the window then you can manage this. Actually, easier, because you are in full, and only control.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 11, 2011 at 22:27

      That dog has owneed us coupla humans for about 12 years.

      He has stood near or about that spot every August of his 12 years of life. This year, July ,b/c of some shit, mine included.

      His name is Rotor, which is actually a hang gliding term we use to describe mechanical turbulence.

  14. Cherie on July 11, 2011 at 19:42

    Wow…great video. For a minute I forgot that I’m terrified of heights and wanted to try it! Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. Mike Nikoley on July 11, 2011 at 22:50

    Cool video, but much better in person. By the way where is the videographer credits? 🙂

    • Richard Nikoley on July 11, 2011 at 23:09

      That’s funny, M, not because you shook the video and made the music sound better, but that I had thought about this a few minutes, ago, thinking, “I just did my second blog without thanking my brother for the vidoe.” So there you go.

  16. Beth on July 12, 2011 at 12:33

    Um, I’m concerned about your dogs exhibited levels of inhibition. They seem to be on the low side, judging by the fact he/she almost knocked himself out on your landing. I mean its good to have a dog that loves you and everything, but . . . . . . . … . ..

    • Richard Nikoley on July 12, 2011 at 13:06


      See, this is the problem with assumptions on so little evidence (which I see you acknowledge in later comments). Spot is a dog — not mine, BTW, but a local resident — who has been around hang gliding his whole life, almost every day of it. As a herding dog, he has always been amazing running intercept. No matter what pattern a pilot uses to land, Spot will triangulate, run an intercept, and if he wants, be right at the spot you touch down, if he wants to. Here, check out this video of spot from a few years back.

      And here’s spot playing with my bitch after the flying, on the same trip. If you’re a dog lover you should find this swwet, uplifting, and hilarious all at the same time.

    • Beth on July 12, 2011 at 13:59

      LOL. Actually I hate dogs, but they seem to like me. Me plus dog (at what ever distance) wouldn’t be a good combination come landing, if I were to be a hand-glider that is, the dog would most probably defy evolution and grow wings. For some reason, I’m more empathetic towards men, dogs being their best friend and all.

  17. Beth on July 12, 2011 at 14:03

    ‘For some reason, I’m more empathetic towards men, dogs being their best friend and all.’

    The first video you post in above comments seems to justify at least a reason.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 12, 2011 at 14:08

      Yea. Isn’t it amazing. I always marvel at dogs love of man, and vice versa.

  18. jim on July 12, 2011 at 18:29

    cigarettes are vegan

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