20 - 10 - 10!
That's how many miles we got in on our bikes over the long weekend. ~20 miles on Friday, then 10 each on Saturday and Sunday! That may not seem like any big deal to anyone that's been biking for a long time, but for us, it's amazing. And the thing is, we're not even overly sore. Sure we both feel it, but it's really not a big deal and we're ready to go back out there!
Some of those miles were done on some pretty serious roads, with a bit of traffic. We're starting to get a little used to dealing with cars, something that'll allow us a lot more options for routes to ride in the future. We also tackled the infamous 9th Street Hill, both down and up. It's a very steep and long hill. Going down was scary for her as the acceleration makes her nervous. Going back up, well, that was a chore for both of us. It's a steep and long hill, hehe. We had to drop to the lowest gear and still had to rest twice. But we didn't walk a single step. :)
All in all, it was an awesome weekend for biking.
I haven't got much flying in lately, or, for that matter, this season honestly. The pack up - drive to field - unpack - fly - pack up - drive home cycle requires a certain block of time, and that can limit the "fly" portion of the trip to small doses. If that dose is only 20-30 minutes, sometimes it doesn't feel worth it to begin the whole cycle in the first place. It's still fun, but sometimes you want 2-3 hours or more if you're going to go through the whole routine.
Honestly I did think about giving up flying altogether because of just this thing. Oh, I'll always be involved with RC "something", there's no question there - I even got a new semi-high-end RC truck over the weekend. Heh. But, we talked over the flying thing, and I'm going to keep flying. She's right, I'm going to want to at least have the option to fly when the time's available. It's just that with multiple hobbies and things to do, the flying time isn't nearly as plentiful as it was last season. It's all for the better though - I've got a lot of fun stuff going on. :)
My war-torn Mini Ultra Stick will be flyable again very soon. Chad's hand-building a new horizontal stabilizer for it, and making a few repairs to the wing. Then I'll drop the servos back in, and add the flap servos and then setup the 10000000 mixes required to make all the neat quad flap tricks work.
Also the Fokker D.VII is ready to fly, so I should be maidening that this week for sure. Should be a fun little flier.
As far as future plans, I'm really not sure. I have a ton of non-RC stuff listed on eBay right now (ID spysquirrels if you want to help out - haha), and when it sells, I'll have a bit to work with. The problem with this hobby is there's literally dozens of little sub-areas one could be interested in. The problem with that, is that I'm person that likes to explore all areas of a hobby. It's always been a problem in MMOs - I want to try EVERY class, not just the one that's "my class". Not really a problem in MMOs; you can just keep making new characters. But in RC, of course, you have to spend money...
I've finally gotten a sense of what I like in flying though. I tend to prefer smaller planes that are easy to get to and from the field (less setup/setdown time). Stuff that flies "normal", and has a versatile flight envelope. Basically stuff like the MUS and Mini Pulse, or slightly larger versions of same, of course. Ultra Stick 25 or Pulse 25, maybe, for better wind handling.
But there's also sailplanes. Yeah. I know, it's weird. But, my first interest in RC flying was with a sailplane. A Mark's Models Wanderer, in fact. It was only ever sold as a kit (for $19.99 @ Hobby Shack, which is now Hobby People), and believe it or not, I did build the thing and it did fly, sort of. It was a 72" rudder/elevator only sailplane. No electrics back then really; you used a "high start" (basically a bungee system) to launch your sailplane. But even as crappy as I built that thing, I could fly around in thermals for 20 or 30 minutes easily.
Nowadays, you launch your sailplane with a brushless motor with a folding prop attached. And if you lose lift you can always power back up to get back up there. With a "full house" ship (that is, one with full controls: rudder, elevator, ailerons, and flaps) you have a lot of flight options. You can just hunt around for thermals to stay aloft. You can get surprising speed with the right plane ("hotliners"), and the full house ships are capable of all normal aerobatics.
So, yeah, I've been thinking of exploring this area of the hobby for quite some time. I've even got the option to buy a VERY nice ship (a Mistral) at an insanely good price.
But, I'm just not completely sure. I might end up going with a US 25 or Pulse 25 instead. Or a good-flying Warbird.
I actually own a sailplane, in non-flying condition. It's quite old, and used to have a small glow engine (LOL!) attached. It's got quite a few problems, though. The plug-in wings don't quite align right. The full-flying horizontal stabilizer has close to 1/2 an inch of up/down wobble that I don't know how to correct. And it's only a 2-channel (rudder/elevator) model. It does have a huge wingspan though and probably would fly fine, assuming I could work out all the problems with it. It might even by modifiable to be "full house" though that would take quite a bit of work and hacking of the wings. So who knows.