August 23rd National Ride The Wind Day
Today is not the type of day I thought it would be at all. It is all about human powered flight machines. Hang gliders and bicycle type flying machines allow you to literally, ride the wind. The Gossamer Condor 2 currently holds the record flying at 11 miles per hour and going 2,172 meters in Minter Field, California.
The article about the Condor 2 does not say how the landing was. So maybe man really can fly… albeit with a little help from Mother Nature and a few well-placed pedals.
How to celebrate – Learn how to hang glide. Build your own bicycle flying machine. Estimate how long it would take to fly from coast to coast in the U.S. using the Condor 2.
You wouldn’t think that flying a kite was a winter sport but apparently it is. I guess maybe the wind is better during the winter, honestly I don’t go out that much to compare the difference between winter and summer winds. However, running along the beach to launch your kite is probably easier during the winter because there won’t be as many people in the way.
The world has been flying kites for nearly as long as mankind has been around. 3,000 years ago the Chinese military used kites probably to scare it’s opponents. Of course the people launching the kites probably were captured since they had to be out in front of the kite but I doubt that their commanders really cared.
If you think about it, seeing something huge in the sky would have been very frightening before kites were fully understood. Of course today we still marvel at kites whether they are big or small, and kites seem to just keep getting better and better.
In some cases, we can fly kites that make us believe we are in the ocean, a clear blue sky helps. Flying kites often leads us to dream about all sorts of things bringing our fantasy world closer to reality. We can imagine ourselves either riding that kite or actually being the kite, and now with the cameras that have been developed we can actually see what our kites see.
How to celebrate – (I hate to actually say it but…) Go fly a kite! Design your own kite. Teach a child how to fly a kite, but remember it’s winter so dress warm!
Kite flying is something generally left to the spring when there are nice breezes, nice weather and thawed out ground. Nearly everyone enjoys the sport, from young to old, watching a man made object float through the air high overhead.
However, there is no reason the sport cannot be enjoyed during the winter! Like in February. Sure the ground is generally frozen and you’ll need to wear a coat but the wind is still there, the sky is still there and for the adventuresome… it’s a great time to go fly a kite.
Kites have been used for a number of different things over the years. They have been used to explore electricity, signal someone’s location, to glide a skier over the water (Or I suppose ice as well) and over 3,000 years ago the Chinese military were using kites as well.
Just imagine seeing a dragon flying overhead or leading an army into battle.That can be very scary, particularly if you are not educated about kites. Anything flying back over 3,000 years ago coould easily give alarm to an army of generally uneducated soldiers.
But kites are generally associated with sunshine, cool breezes and fun. They add color to our lives and get people out and exercising instead of sitting on the couch and waiting for the weather to get better.
How to celebrate – Go fly a kite today! Design your own kite! Participate in a kite club.