Lavawing's blog View Details
Posted by Lavawing | May 07, 2008 @ 04:13 PM | 5,320 Views
I dropped out of RC Groups in February. Spending too much time typing and no building or flying. Backed off on the obsessiveness about Slope, too. Spending more time messing with bicycles and riding them instead.

Did have a great weekend of flying at the Western Colorado Slope Challenge near Delta. Light and variable winds, but all kinds of fun. Some actual good wind at either end of the actual competition. And some great sunlight on some great scenery.

I'm planning to drop right back out after this. Might be able to find a middle ground eventually, but I have too much else I want to do to get sucked right back into it. If you do really want to contact me, try through my website. I'm always up for flying when I have the time.

I do miss the camaraderie, but will let myself manage without it for now. Thanks to all of you who make this fun and easy to obsess over!

Posted by Lavawing | Jul 03, 2007 @ 02:08 AM | 5,948 Views
The wind was blowing nice and steady this morning when I loaded up the bicycle and headed through town. Out the other side and onto the gravel road, with four 60" planes tucked into one pannier, and a transmitter case in the other. And some drinking water, too. The sky was as bright as a blue bell, it was already comfortably warm and heading toward hot.

At the base of Raven Ridge, the wind still seemed to be blowing. But by the time I'd dragged myself and my gear to the top and put the Talus together, it was pretty light and wasn't promising much lift.

I started to feel a bit sorry for myself right then. It had been windy every morning while I'd been at work, and here it was tapering off already on the day I rode out. Standing there with the swept wing of the Talus in one hand and the transmitter in the other, I spied movement in the dirt. A large horned lizard was eyeing me. I got the camera and he posed for me. Got me to wondering if he was the grown-up version of the little one I'd seen last September. Or a parent or cousin or something. It was good to be reminded that there are creatures who manage to make a living out there in the stark hills.

Seeing the lizard also reminded me that there are other reasons to be glad about being out there. That it's not always about Big Lift. I was out of the bustle of town, in the company of good scenery, and in a place where there remains a bit of the Wild. Good therapy for the urban dweller.

So I tried to pay...Continue Reading
Posted by Lavawing | Apr 19, 2007 @ 12:30 AM | 6,103 Views
It was expected to be windy today. My plan was to load up the bicycle early and head out to Raven Ridge for the morning wind. Blew that idea by staying up too late. Then I had to arrange my life enough to find my work table in the maelstrom of debris that is my new apartment. Then a couple small fixes to the planes. Pack 'em. Three sixty-inch planes tucked in the left pannier. Go.

Out of town and into the beige and green of the desert in spring. Riding the dirt and connecting the colored dots of wildflowers. Red-orange, lavender, yellow, white, purple. Chasing gray domes of clouds that fled the valley before me. Rode the ridge as far as I could, left the bike, and made it to the top around 11:30. Wind was kicking good and solid. I measured 35-40 at the lip, and felt a fair amount of turbulence and some higher gusts.

I had the Talus 60" Swept wing, the Scarp 60" foam racer, and my Thorn. Turbulent 35+ mph wind? What could be better than 56.5 oz of solid wood? I put it together, checked it over, and tossed it out. It didn't even dive, but flew straight out and gained speed in the big lift. It was only my second flight with it, and overall, once again, I was impressed with how frightening it wasn't to fly. Easy and predictable and fast!

Raven Ridge is a great slope. Catches the SE wind just right. Steep face, square top. Enough lift that you can stand mostly out of the wind just by taking a couple steps back. I haven't flown there for awhile, and hadn't...Continue Reading
Posted by Lavawing | Dec 22, 2006 @ 04:58 AM | 6,606 Views
Shortest day of the year. First day of winter. I'm inside for most of the day, pushing hard and getting nowhere against the framework of life. But as the door of the day begins its swing toward the longest night of the whole year, the wind picks up out of the southeast. There isn't much daylight left, but there's enough to burn.

The wind is strong enough that I leave the light lift plane at home. Two gliders go in the bag. One for medium lift and the other -- just in case -- for the big stuff. The bag goes on the bicycle and the bike goes on the street, the road, then the snow-covered dirt. The air is below freezing, but the bright sunshine and the traffic have cleared the pavement and turned the gravel road slightly muddy.

I pedal smoothly over the increasing rattle of the route, turning from gravel onto the snowy track, then onto the narrow trail that dips across the muddy gulch and climbs the ridge. The south-facing trail has mostly melted off since morning, which means a combination of snow, mud, and dry dirt. I try to ride the snow or dirt, to avoid the adobe mud that stacks up on tires and wedges into fork and frame. I ride most of the steep climb cleanly and push the parts I don't.

The bike stays below the summit, but boots, planes, pack, the wind, and I climb upward to the tabletop of the ridge. The gloves come off and I fight the joiners into the wing halves and the plugs into the receiver. Bolts into the fuse, one piece of cold tape, and switch the...Continue Reading