Today was just like most other days, warm with hardly a breeze blowing. My daily habit was to cruise up 16th Street in DC. My usual was to start about Newton St where 16th starts to head downhill to “Tiger Bridge”. You see I’m a pigeon, some call me a ‘winged rat’.
Today’s flight was a bit different. I would normally glide down as the traffic light at Newton turned green and glide just a yard or two above the front of a car. As the cars accelerate they form a wave of air over their hood. Some of the larger cars and buses have quite a “Bow Wave”, not unlike the wake made by any ship in the water.
But today I was going to get into trouble. Here I was doing about 25mph at an altitude of about a yard above a car when I looked down and saw angle wings. Ok, this is a Rolls with a rather blunt front end, it makes a huge ‘bow wave’. Those cars with great streamlining are not good to soar over. The next thing I knew I was almost scraping my beak off the paving. The driver of the Rolls had hit the brakes, killing the lift I was soaring in. As I flapped to gain altitude I looked back. The darned driver was laughing. Obviously he knew a bit about flying a glider and what would happen when my source of lift was cut off.