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This is a question Hitchhiking and fare dodging

Epic tales of the thumb, the open road and getting robbed by hairy-arsed truck drivers. Alternatively, travelling for free like a dreadful fare-jumping cheat. Confess.

Suggested by Social Hand Grenade

(, Thu 21 Aug 2014, 13:34)
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Never used to hitchhike....
... then I learned to paraglide. At first, that meant turning up at a hill, flying back and forth for a while, landing by the car, packing up and going home. Eventually, though, I got some good at it...

So now it means I turn up at a hill, fly back and forth for a while, then get a decent bit of thermal lift and end up at five or six thousand feet up, rubbing my head on the clouds. Round about then I point downwind and look for the next cloud that's working, glide off and hope I find some more lift. This can end up with me landing some considerable distance from my car - 48km is my record so far. If I've landed near a bus stop or train station it's all fine, but otherwise it's stand by the road with the thumb out and a sign saying "GLIDER PILOT - JUST LANDED - LIFT PLEASE?", which works surprisingly quickly in most cases. Most people who stop are by definition wonderful, brilliant, etc. and it's churlish to complain about anyone who's prepared to let you get in their car, but...

Got a lift once from a clearly slightly confused man out for the day with his elderly mother, who sat in the passenger seat repeating the last word of anything he said in a thin, reedy voice. E.g.
Me: "Thanks so much for the lift."
Him: "That's OK, we're just out for a drive."
Her: "... drive."
Him: "It's lovely up here on the moors."
Her: "... moors."

And so on.

They didn't take me very far, just three or four miles, and I was grateful. I was also a bit frustrated, as even with a paraglider rucksack on my back I'm reasonably certain that if I'd been in a real hurry I could have walked - not run - faster than he was driving the car. It was a very remote, little used road, but we were overtaken by four vehicles, two of which felt the need to sound their horn as they went by. I was quite glad to get out, really.
(, Fri 22 Aug 2014, 14:52, Reply)

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