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Flow

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I thought it could be helpful to talk about flow in the context of mtb.  Flow is kinda self-explanatory as a general concept, but can have the specific meaning of being able to ride a line with minimal or no pedalling.  So a rhythm line can flow, for instance.  Likewise, there's a xc trail near me with lots of g-outs that, while you have to pedal aggressively on some sections, is close to a single-speed trail, has nice flow, and has sections that really reward riding aggressively with non-pedalling inputs -- the better you do this, the more those specific lines flow. 

 

Flow, like pumping, is also consciousness, a different way of looking at trails.  Rocks can either be scary things you ride around, or things you look to pump and that add to flow.

post #2 of 8

I think Flow is a necessary technique if you're going to DH or go through rock gardens - Among other features we encounter on the trails.  Makes for a much more enjoyable ride. 

post #3 of 8

I'd say 'Flow' is a lot more than just "no pedaling", I'd say it also entails very little use of the brakes and riding a smooth line without steering too much. Basically the minimum amount of input to get the most output. I think the concept of flow can transfer to skiing (or from skiing), one example is 'skiing the slow line fast' another would be skiing difficult terrain without stopping or side-slipping, maintaining a constant speed through turnshape not braking movements.

 

I also think the concept of 'Flow' can be massively overstated, after all, riding a mt bike is all about pedaling. Some trails are now being built to ride like a pump track instead of mt bike trails, there is a fine line between 'fun and sustainable' trails and 'dirt sidewalk'.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

I'd say 'Flow' is a lot more than just "no pedaling", I'd say it also entails very little use of the brakes and riding a smooth line without steering too much. Basically the minimum amount of input to get the most output. I think the concept of flow can transfer to skiing (or from skiing), one example is 'skiing the slow line fast' another would be skiing difficult terrain without stopping or side-slipping, maintaining a constant speed through turnshape not braking movements.

 

I also think the concept of 'Flow' can be massively overstated, after all, riding a mt bike is all about pedaling. Some trails are now being built to ride like a pump track instead of mt bike trails, there is a fine line between 'fun and sustainable' trails and 'dirt sidewalk'.

Agreed in general on the little use of brakes, with the caveat that the more a trail has dirt moved on it, the less it's necessary, but there are some real flowy trails with all natural features where less-than-good riders (me) will be on the brakes a lot but still overall get that flow experience.

 

In terms of whether trails being built more like pump tracks than MTB trails is a good thing or not, it probably is one of those taste in art things. 

post #5 of 8

I figure there are two kinds of flow in mtb. One kind is on the trail, where the trail flows.The other is in the rider where a better rider can create flow where it does not exist for others.

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

I figure there are two kinds of flow in mtb. One kind is on the trail, where the trail flows.The other is in the rider where a better rider can create flow where it does not exist for others.


Agreed.... The better riders can develop a flow where others flounder!! I am amazed to see the flow of a master, same on the ski hill!
post #7 of 8
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