August 23 is Ride Like the Wind Day, a day to well, ride like the wind if you can. The day also commemorates the first time the Kremer Prize was awarded in 1977. The prize is awarded to people who pioneer human powered flight.
Human powered flights are aircraft that use human muscle power to run. Due to technological issues - they are unable to fly for long distances or for a considerable amount of time - human powered flights are usually flown for experimental and recreational purposes.
The first authenticated human powered flight that was successful in taking off and flying for a significant distance took place in 1961. Derek Piggott, a glider pilot in the British Royal Air Force flew Southampton University's Man Powered Aircraft on November 9, 1961, for about 600 meters.
The holiday is a play on the English language phrase run like the wind, which means to run very fast. It is sometimes used in the context of running away from someone or something - the 1980 song Ride Like the Wind, by American singer-songwriter Christopher Cross, recounts the story of an outlaw who runs away to Mexico to avoid punishment.
Ride like the wind is also sometimes used to refer to the act of doing things without purpose. Just like the wind can change direction at any time, someone riding like the wind can change the course of their lives without any warning and do things without any rhyme or reason.
How to Celebrate?
Learn more about the history and science of human powered flight.
Take flying lessons and ride like the wind.
Take your bike out for a spin and feel the wind in your hair.
Did You Know…
…that Jacqueline Cochran was the first woman to break the sound barrier on May 18, 1953?