A large part of the satisfaction and sheer fun gained from gliding is that, once launched, the skills and experience of the pilot may enable him or her to stay aloft for as long as conditions and daylight allow, using FREE energy!
Gliding can also be a very competitive sport, with many gliders racing around a pre-determined course, often covering hundreds of kilometres.
Other forms of competition include aerobatics - a very graceful alternative to the powered variety.
There are also various levels of achievement 'badges' which can be attained after going solo:
bronze, silver (you can then learn to become an instructor), gold and diamond.
And there is an added bonus - almost unwittingly we learn more about the countryside, the weather, and ourselves!