Friday, July 10, 2009

Cycling across the Channel

I promised to keep you up to date with the news and history of famous strollers.
Well I forgot to mention the 30th anniversary of the first human powered flight across the Channel. Bryan L Allen cycled across it exactly 30 years ago. He is not exactly a stroller since he bicycled the whole way but he strolled at each end and so he qualifies for the Blog.
The plane had the romantic name of the Gossamer Albatross (a sister plane was solar powered and had the less suitable name of the Gossamer Penguin) with a wingspan of nearly 30 metres and an empty weight of 32kg. The key to man powered flight is the relationship between weight and the area of the wings. Therefore since we are so heavy, the machine has to have enormous wings. This plane's wing area was 150 square metres. Those people who attached wax and feathers never stood a chance.
He pedalled for 169 minutes to keep the "plane" airborne in order to get from England to France. This might not sound a long time but he had a head wind and he needed a lot of energy to keep the wings up. One of the team said that the maximum length of the flight was 170 minutes before he ran out of energy. His average height was 5 feet off the sea - try that on your next flight to France.
A copy of the plane is in the Museum of Flight in Seattle
I like to think that he only wanted to get to Paris to try our tours there since he had enjoyed the Strollon tours in London so much but I guess the prize of £50,000 was more important.
There is an award winning documentary about the flight that you can get from the internet movie database.
Although this might not be the most efficient way to reduce global warming and save the planet, we have to praise the man for showing that we must never give up.
In passing it worth emphasising that when you are on one of our walks, you are doing a lot more to save the planet than when you are on top of the tour buses. You could of course take a bicycle but I would not recommend braving the London traffic with earphones attached to an MP3 player.
Keep strolling.....

A World of Audio guides, Walks and iPods

About StrollOn

Hello and welcome to StrollOn, where we produce audio guides and audio tours of London, Paris and an ever-expanding list of major european cities. We have also developed our free city overviews and "Hot spots" (individual audio commentaries for individual sights and attractions). Whichever product interests you we simply ask that you select the relevant audio guide or audio tour on our website and download the mp3 files onto your iPod or other mp3 player, thereby turning your iPod into your "GuidePod".

As you will see from the this blog, we are a new company, providing recently developed products on our website. We've set up this blog so that we can tell you all about us as you join us from our infancy. And we are actively looking for feedback, both on the website and the blog. We don't want you to help us simply to become the biggest, but we do want you to help us become the best walking audio tours company.