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  1. #1
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    Has Flow Killed Trials/Tech In the Pacific North West?

    Just a thought after riding Paradise today.

    Recently re-titled for better Flow
    Last edited by wipp; 05-14-2013 at 11:36 AM. Reason: spl chuk

  2. #2
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    Hehehe. I like the can o' WTF this will open.....

    (Some people consider PVCA "really technical"....)

  3. #3
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    Was PVCA some place trials riders used to go? Seen a few riders at the little trials section at Colonnade before, never seen guys doing trials stuff at PVCA though.
    Tarekith.com

    '12 RM Slayer70, i9 Torch, Flow EX, XT Brakes, 5050 s3.

  4. #4
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    Not thinking so much of modified hopping trials but the old school rolling trials skills that you need to ride more primitive or rough trails, or Anti-Flow.

  5. #5
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    Gasp! People did such a thing once? On purpose?!?!?

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    '12 RM Slayer70, i9 Torch, Flow EX, XT Brakes, 5050 s3.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    ...I like the can o' WTF this will open...
    I like the term "can o' WTF"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wipp View Post
    Just a thought after riding Paradise today.
    I'm confused. Do you consider PVCA to be flow or trials? And who died?

  8. #8
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    PVCA was more techy and is trending flowy with the improvements. Not thinking about PVCA strictly, just about the trend towards flow in general and mourning the loss of some good tech

  9. #9
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    If it makes you feel better. I can get some good "flow" on out at Doofie on Cuss Hollow.... Others, not so much....

    Problem stems from the general consensus now that the much aspired to "flow" means no pedaling or hardly any at all and no obstacles in any way impairing such search of the elusive "flow". And, that you can't actually have any fun on your bike without it.

    As for PVCA, Woodway and I talk often about this subject and the tradeoff from sustainability to tech. Typically, the more heavily used a trail, the more dumbed down it will appear for sustainability. Otherwise, as many of us have seen, ride arounds grow and grow so you end up with a 12' wide trail like Preston of just a few years ago. The South end of Two Trees in the "Mirkwood" section is a good case in point. Some love it "as-is" and many avoid it like the plague...
    Ask Westra or anyone else who works with trying to incorporate some challenge with "flow=fun" mentalities. It's really tough.

  10. #10
    Moist and Delicious
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    Personally, I love XC, pseudo DH/AM and flowy stuff...... I kind of like stunts/bridges/woodwork. I dislike anything that gets me off the ground, ala jump lines. Mostly, it's because I rode the former as a beginner and adapted skillsets from it. To me, I can dig on watching all the jump lines and trials stuff, but that's I will ever do: watch it. Honestly, it's for a very strongly skilled (or young) few... mostly those that grew up on it, or don't mind the broken bones aspect of "getting better" at it. Either way, it's such a small percentage of what most people seem to do, that I could see it being more of a fad that's fallen away and back to the way that fits the other 80/90%.

    Granted, that's all coming from a wuss.
    Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so."

  11. #11
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    That's what jumps are for!

    In all seriousness, I think it's just different strokes for different folks. I never understood the appeal of obstacles for obstacles sake. Log piles and root sections are fun for about 2 seconds, then I just feel like they are getting in the way. I like biking because of the motion, and the feel of even moderate speed in the woods and natural terrain.

    I've always been attracted to that sort of motion though, even in other sports. I greatly prefer skating bowls or half pipe versus the technical stuff on street for instance. Likewise when boarding I'll take fast groomers over jibbing rails and stumps.

    Different feelings and challenges exite us all in different ways in any sport I guess. We should be lucky there's such a good mix of it all where we live. Every time I read people lamenting anything to do with trails out here (even just to promote a fun discussion), I can't help but think of what I was stuck riding in the Midwest and chuckling a little bit though.
    Tarekith.com

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wipp View Post
    PVCA was more techy and is trending flowy with the improvements. Not thinking about PVCA strictly, just about the trend towards flow in general and mourning the loss of some good tech
    OK, understand. It was not our intention to make PVCA more flowy, but in the process of making the trails more sustainable we had to "smooth things out" a bit. My belief is that over time the tech will return. In fact you can see this happening on the Lloyd trail which we repaired over the 2011-2012 winter and is now starting to "tech up" a bit more. That's if we can keep the trail "helpers" from doing their thing and dumbing down the more tech spots (I'm now thinking signs). We don't want PVCA to turn into another Duthie for sure.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwestra2 View Post
    I like the term "can o' WTF"
    I don't like anything else Borneo says.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwestra2 View Post
    I don't like anything else Borneo says.
    Ha!
    Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so."

  15. #15
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    I'm not against peddle free Flow- the new Summit Trail at Tiger is world class stuff and should be the working definition of DAMN GOOD FLOW! The fact that it dumps into Preston which can be a high speed tech fest (although somewhat tamer now) makes it even sweeter. And I'm not sure if you'd call Crazy Ivan Flow, but that and OMDH are both smile makers for me two or three times a week. Not so much for Midtown for some reason.

    I just hope that the Flow gnomes steer clear of classic lowland tech trails like Two Trees. Save Two Trees!!!

    As for those silly log piles at BFH... campfire anyone?

  16. #16
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    I'll gladly bring the marshmallows
    Tarekith.com

    '12 RM Slayer70, i9 Torch, Flow EX, XT Brakes, 5050 s3.

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    Rode PVCA with wipp today, and seeing the newly half-buried 4" diameter log hop (I mean, does that even count as a hop?!?) on Lloyd has me fearing for what may come. Yes, save Two Trees! Soon I hope we'll have authorization to do some new stuff (by which I mean trail segments) at BFH; going to be scope for both flow and old-skool tech so I hope y'all will help design/build.

  18. #18
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    Re: Has Flow Killed Trials In the Pacific North West?

    If you want barely improved trails they are out there especially tolt. I consider this the kind of rugged "golf course" you are calling trials. Local knowledge always adds flow to anything you slog over until its muscle memory. Even 2x up ranger creek in 2 days!

    I rode a go-kart course on a busy all- American Friday eve a couple of weeks ago and they have crappy slow to power up motors and encourage elegant flowy lines. Brakes are overrated on carts, single speeds and 20niners. Keeping brakelessly rolling and not adding energy to accelerate out of braking I think this is at least 80% of the real flow people get Emily Dickinson about.

    I think we all appreciate anyone's trail efforts so every one keep building / tuning what you love. More miles please!

    Now real mt. bike trials (danny mckaskill or Hans rey)? Not for us mortals...

  19. #19
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    flow = no peddling???

    Really!!!

    Building trail in areas with soft soils as well as little grade makes building sustainable tread pretty damn difficult. Smoothing out the tread helps get water out of the ride-line which helps sustain that tread. Routing trail to lessen the need for riders to rapidly changes speed (i.e. hit the brakes) also helps sustain that tread. Using rollers and berms to create grade in the absence of such also helps sustain that tread.

    Yes flow allows one to ride faster than one could in heavier tech (gnarl) but it has more to do about sustainability than "dumbing down" a trail. At least in my opinion.

    I am getting a little tired of hearing about how Duthie has become the standard for "flow" in PNW.

    This is coming from one who personally "dumbed" down many of those trails at Duthie for over 2 years smoothing out the tread, rerouting to remove the need for heavy braking, and adding rollers and berms to create grade. I did it coz I just got tired of having to constantly repair the same portion of trail over and over again.

    The eastside of Duthie is a pretty bad building environment with high amounts of sand or clay and little grade to allow tread to naturally shed water (also the water table is pretty shallow in a couple of areas). The above mentioned techniques transformed trails from having to be repaired or completely rebuilt ever couple of months to something which could survive 1 or more seasons of riding given the level of activity Duthie experiences.

    Duthie should be regarded as a laboratory of lessons learned with the goal of sustainability in an environment with less than ideal building conditions, high trail usage, and a wide range of rider skill levels all concentrated on only 4.5 miles of trails.
    The quiver: 2010 Santa Cruz Nomad, 2011 Specialized Demo II, 2011 Canfield Brothers Yelli Screamy.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wipp View Post
    Just a thought after riding Paradise today.
    Don't get out much do you...
    Everything that kills me, makes me feel alive

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len.Francies View Post
    I think we all appreciate anyone's trail efforts so every one keep building / tuning what you love. More miles please!
    Well said.
    We don''t need lass flow or trials, we need more flow, and trails!
    My favorite trails have both- like crazy Ivan, or cedar run at PV, or any of the peshastin trails.
    Steep tech to flowy woodwork & booters!

  22. #22
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    HAHAHA!!!!! Trials.... Trials is dead in the main stream places. It has been sacrificed in the name of sustainability. Logs, rocks, mud, have been demonized. It takes skill and muscle control to overcome an obstacle larger than a few inches. Broken frames and taco'ed wheels were the norm. That's why I had to learn wheel building and the wife welding. Trials bike now are bomb proof and fun!! It's the most fun you can have going slow!! It's out there but it's back to being underground, it has to to survive. When a trials trail is "discovered it gets destroyed by main stream trail builders. So trialers keep their trails kinda secret, I know I do...

  23. #23
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    Seriously this time... I don't know if flow killed trials. But I see way less trials riders then I used to. But flow definitely has not killed the quest for tech!

    I ask hundreds of riders: Why poach? What's missing from our legit trails? I hear one theme over and over again: flow *and* technical challenge while generally heading downhill. Think about hooking up these kinds of features and terrain so they ~seamlessly flow together (i.e. some coasting, some brake feathering, some pedaling, but no hard braking and hard accelerating).

    Has Flow Killed Trials/Tech In the Pacific North West?-tech1.jpg

    Has Flow Killed Trials/Tech In the Pacific North West?-tech2.jpg

    Click to make larger -- some great features in there.

    It's not jamming on the pedals to get over obstacles, but it's still a workout and requires bike handling skill.

    Of course it won't flow for beginners -- they'll have to stop before some, slow way down on some, ride around some, etc. But choose a technical skill level sweet spot that will be able to roll and flow everything and then design/build around that. More advanced riders will be able to take it faster, smoother, floating/flying over features, cornering better. It can be done. It IS and HAS been done all over the place...

    SST & GS at Galbraith. Flowy most of the way with lots of gnar, some berms, some pedaling, great use of elevation. But... I slow way down to roll the big rock chute while others make it a 6-7 ft drop and flow right through.

    I hear the old E Tiger Trail, Artifacts & Bootleg Poaches at Tiger , all have the steep gnarl to traverse to pedal up to next steep gnarly downhill that flows together. Gem, OR, SupNat, B-Line27, Schleyer, No Joke, Original Sin are all flowy and technical. OG DH, Crazy Ivan and MidTown have awesome natural features and trail segments that flow together well... and there's [gasp] pedaling, but once you're at a certain skill level, there's no hard braking and hard accelerating.

    Downieville Downhill, Kachess Ridge, Esmerelda DeRoux (DH ending), Wildcat at Green Mountain, UPS and LPS in Moab have great examples of awesome flow but still technical.

    Not to be confused with a style of trail referred to these days as "Flow Trails". All smooth, fast and dominated by banked turns and some kind of grade reversals (aka whoops, rollers, jumps). Examples: Whoops (Bend), CrankItUp (Whistler), Bootcamp (Duthie), Half Nelson (Squamish).

    IMHO, we could build some awesome tech with flow at Tiger. It comes with a lot of challenges, though...

    Work! It'll require a lot of hand building. Can't get a machine to do a lot of this. It's one of the reasons machine built trails tend to end up missing technical challenge.

    Sustainability! It's one thing to build a techy bootleg trail that gets limited use. But once the masses attack it, what's going to happen to it? Very well said JD! Thanks!

    Permission. What is the land manager going to allow us to build? That's actually the single biggest challenge these days.

    Gotta throw in some opinion... flow and tech are mutually exclusive. Many will never get that, but it's great to hear that many do. And it's great that many folks appreciate all of the different trail styles. Well said, Len! Non-flowy trails are still a blast, great work-out and great skill builders... I still hit Cuss Hollow when I do Movin'On, but calling it flowy is just silly. Finding flow in that is like looking at a bratwurst and calling it "art". It sure tastes good, but it's a stretch to say "art is where you find it".

  24. #24
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    I rode Cheech and Chong at Galbraith the other day. My first time after new recent work. Of course I am not allowed to complain, since I didn't help. But...

    What was chunky fun is now becoming a new "flowy" dirt jump line.

    They have their place, and fun, but everywhere?

    sigh...

  25. #25
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    Dangit Mike... What I meant about finding flow in Cuss is simply that. Riding the whole thing with uninterrupted flow as in seamlessly. Albeit very slowly. It's it "flowy"? Hell no... Goes back to the perception that you have to be moving at a good pace to "have flow"... Old school tech riders and even purist trials riders have "flow". No one can argue that. What I also think Mike is noting which I totally agree with is steep gnar "flow". Look up CBC on Utoob folks and you will see what HEAVY use plus world class building with available local materials will yield. Gnarb, and flow.... (There's your new trail name Mike.)

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