The Birdman Cycle

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If they check, they knew what they were doing, and it was an assault.

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In the birdman accounts, the fact that the drivers saw the birds tells me that they were looking for them, and they were not disappointed. They were provoking the reaction so they could justify an escalated response. Bill Strickland wrote about how he approaches angry drivers in his recent blog post Confronting the Driver. All I can usually muster is a disgusted shake of the head, but privately, I dream of mounting a paint-ball gun on my handlebar. My money is on the fact that these drivers have not only received the bird from plenty of auto drivers, but given it in equal measure.

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Litmus test No. The fact that they are willing anxious? No matter what, they have the bigger weapon the car and less judgment. He was obviously looking in his mirror to have seen the gesture in the first place. Again, he was obviously looking in his mirror after he had buzzed them in order to have seen the gesture. Because they were watching the cyclists closely enough to see the response, that fact might be useful as evidence that the buzzing was intentional, and therefore, an assault. It might come as some surprise to some of these bullies to learn that some cyclists also carry guns.

Of course, when your life is being threatened by a gun-wielding bully, you are entitled to respond with force sufficient to repel the threat, and that may mean having your own firearm at hand. But are armed roadside standoffs—or worse—really the best way to handle these cowards? Bill Strickland takes a different approach, as discussed in his blog — one that relies on resisting the urge to retaliate in anger, and instead, to attempt to establish a human connection between the two antagonists.

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Another technique that many cyclists report great success—and a great sense of satisfaction—with is giving a friendly wave to the bully. Good for you guys.

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  8. See you on the road! I sent you the original Birdman letter. You sure did get a lot of mileage out of it. If you get time, check out the continued adventures of the Birdman and his compatriots at Tuesday Grimpeur. After the war Valentin returned to work as a parachute instructor, spending his spare time trying to perfect his life-long ambition of flying like a bird.

    While still in the French Army he developed the jumping technique known as the "Valentin position", allowing him better control of his movements in the air. In February he made a world-record delayed parachute drop without a respirator, free-falling 20, feet, and set a record for the longest night free fall 14, feet.

    Shortly thereafter he left the army after ten years of service to continue his experiments as a civilian. He then tried rigid wings to prevent the wings from collapsing. On 13 May , with the help of a set of rigid wooden wings, he finally managed some kind of stability with the initial spiral. Valentin later claimed that he managed to fly for three miles using his wooden wings. It was the sort of bank holiday everyone dreams about.

    Antonio Sanchez's 'Birdman' Oscar snub turns to Grammy glory

    Blazing sunshine, the gentlest of breezes and a vivid blue sky. All Post-war baby boomers were fascinated with planes and parachutes but airshows were not just about aircraft. Also taking part were the daredevil flyers and stunt performers that took to the skies to enthral and inspire those who came to see the show. Philip Newton was just 16 when his father took him to the airshow: My dad and I had climbed on the roof of a low brick building near the Boulevard and saw the whole thing through binoculars.

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    There was a blue sky, not much wind As the Dakota twice circled high above the Speke crowd the buzz of expectancy became a roar of excitement as they saw the small black shape fell from the plane. The stunt immediately went wrong A young reporter, Richard Whittington-Egan was on board the Dakota at the time and twenty years later wrote of the fateful moment: 4. A buffet of wind seems to catch him and whip him out of the aircraft into the slipstream. Simultaneously I hear a terrible splintering noise above the roar of the engines. I see a tiny fragment of orange wood whisked away by the wind.

    His wings have hit the tail. If it is Luckily it was not. But Valentin was in deadly trouble. He was suspended. He is spinning, clockwise, smashed orange wings glistening like blood in the sunlight, spiralling like an autumn leaf to earth. He has two chances — two parachutes When he was still several thousand feet below the aircraft but still some hundred feet from the ground Valentin pulled his parachute ripcord.

    Then I knew he would never make it. And we watched him drop and went, 'Uh-oh…I don't think that was right. With his wings spinning continuously Valentin continued to hurtle vertically at mph until he was lost to sight behind an airport hangar. On the photograph above Valentin's fall is circled. Richard Whittington-Egan: He is less that 1, feet from the ground when his second parachute opens, but it fails to develop.

    It lashes around his face and wraps itself about his body like a corpse cloth. I watch him struggling frantically to free himself. He took ages to fall. The backup parachute just wrapped around him, like a shroud.

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