A well-built Flow Trail is close to mountain
biking nirvana. If you are new to the concept, IMBA explains it like this: “All trails
have a rhythm, a place where mountain bikers can find their groove. They call it “flow.”
Flow Trails take mountain bikers on a terrain-induced roller-coaster experience, with little
pedaling and braking necessary. This style
of trail typically contains features like banked
turns, rolling terrain, various types of jumps,
and consistent and predictable surfaces.
Conspicuously absent are abrupt corners
or unforeseen obstacles. As a rider carves
back and forth, and up and down, he or she
develops a rhythm and flows down the trail.
“Flow trails are what you make them: leisurely rides with your kids where beginners can
roll over dirt features and bypass technical
ones, or an exploration of skills and air time
for fast, talented riders who want to turn the
trail into the ultimate playground.”
WE CALL THEM SMILE MILES
WHAT IS A FLOW TRAIL?
we are building Flow Trails, people
are really grooving on the fact that you
can get out there with almost any bike
and any skill set and really have a good
Mountain Bike Action: What are
the opportunities we have to work with
going into 2014?
Mark: There are so many. The community bike park movement continues
to have a lot of potential to bring the
mountain biking experience to people
who don’t live near mountains or don’t
have an in-town riding resource that
really allows them to explore everything that mountain biking has to offer.
Yearlong celebration: The 2014 IMBA
calendar is a way to dream about riding
fantastic singletrack and raising funds for
IMBA. It sells for $12.50.
All the answers: Managing Mountain
Biking is IMBA’s $35 book to overcoming
user conflict, minimizing environmental
impact, managing risk, and providing
technically challenging riding for all
Do it right: IMBA’s 272-page book,
Trail Solutions, combines cutting-edge
trail-building techniques, proven fundamentals, and step-by-step instructions.
It sells for $40 at www.imba.com.
The great thing about bike parks is that
in a pretty small footprint, they deliver
a lot of riding experiences for a lot of
different types of riders and skill levels. We are going to have our book out
about building bike parks next year.
Hopefully that will encourage a lot
more of that type of project.
At the same time, the remote,
backcountry, adventure-based mountain biking experience is something
near and dear to IMBA’s heart. We are
going to keep working on that stuff.
We are bringing back the “live long,
long rides” campaign emphasizing that
mountain bikers want access to
Mountain Bike Action: What are
the biggest challenges facing mountain
bikers and trail access?
Mark: According to the Outdoor
Industry Association, more than
7. 7 million Americans participated in
mountain biking in 2012. IMBA has
about 80,000 individual supporters.
That is about 1 percent of mountain
bikers. If riders would sign up and register their support for mountain biking,
it would give us a chance to inform
them of opportunities or challenges in
their area. We want to keep expanding
the number of people we are talking to.
You can join IMBA at their website
( www.imba.com) or by calling (888)
442-4622. The cost is about the same as
one good tire. Don’t you feel that is a
worthwhile investment? ❏