They’re all the same look

Every time I ride a “flow trail” the entire time I’m pissed because of how flat and wide and boring and poorly built they all are. The saddest thing in the world is a flow trail with “jumps” on it.

And it felt like no one else saw what I was seeing. I’d finish rides and everyone would talk about how fun or flawy or chill the trail was, and for me it felt like Ambien in trail form. I felt like the only one who noticed that IMBA is slowly but surely killing everything I ever loved about mountain biking. That they would close down or sanitize every fun trail on the planet, until there was nothing left to ride but flat traversing machine-built sidewalks.

Was I the only one seeing this? Every trail, THEY’RE ALL THE SAME.

And then I read this article. Apparently I’m not completely alone:

And this one, too:

Flow trails are not a thing. On second thought, if “flow trails” are a thing, this is what they are:


1. A debased, distorted, or grossly inferior imitation.

2. Something that is shocking, upsetting, or ridiculous because it is not what it is supposed to be.

Ex: The trial was a travesty of justice.

15 thoughts on “They’re all the same look

  1. Most people complain about: Not having enough trails to ride, period…..

    Team-Robot complains about: These trails ain't good enough/ain't technical enough/too many jumps/too many wooden features/ too cookie cutter,etc.

    Shame on you Team-Robot, Shame on you.

  2. IMBA does great things for trail advocacy. Its trail building regulations also makes it nearly impossible to build trails that are more interesting than your average sidewalk. Then again, that's probably appropriate for most of the meatballs buying “Enduro” bikes. Lame trails drive sales, apparently.

    Solution? Build trails that don't suck. Then ride the hell out of them.

  3. Classic comments by people who never deal with IMBA. They don't just come in make you new trails that happen to be flow trails. They come in to your favorite decades old rooty off camber technical trails that were dug in by years of boots before being revitalized by mountain bikers, and cut out all the roots, bench cut the living shit out of them, widen them out, and reroute them so the grade is more on par with their pathetic bike skills and call it a job well done. Some times they go one step further and make a point to call out and attempt to ostracize local trail builders who do not comply with IMBAs arbitrary trails standards. IMBA can suck a bag of dicks.

  4. If your trying to say- ” all flow trails are really elongated pumptracks “……… Then you maybe on to something .

    The IMBA folks are really the same dorks who come UPHILL on a trail and mouth off about how people coming downhill need to “get completely off of the trail” (why? Because the IMBA says so). My answer to them is always the same: Fuck You , I don't care what the IMBA says……….

  5. What IMBA needs to realize is that it IS possible to build sustainable trails accessible to a wide audience of bike riders and have these trails not suck. Until someone can successfully clone the hell out of Brad Watt, we will continue to have the same ole “flow trail”.

  6. I agree with your article in some aspects, but you can't honestly put a picture of Corkscrew trail from Valmont Bike Park in there when there are dirt jumps and big slopestyle features on the other side of the hill. Plus more trails you can't see with more features and rock gardens. Corkscrew is the shit nonetheless, with fun little tables and a wallride at the end. Respect VBP.

  7. You should move to Maine. 75% of the trails here are wild and Tech. We look forward to riding the Flow trails that some of the newer groups around the State are building. You really can enjoy them when your backyard is all rocks and roots, But I would be pissed if all my trails were superhighways.

  8. IMBA does great things for trail advocacy

    A religious belief in something being factually correct is not the same thing as its actually being so.

  9. “but you can't honestly put a picture of Corkscrew trail from Valmont Bike Park in there when there are dirt jumps and big slopestyle features on the other side of the hill.”-Some idiot.

    Corkscrew is 15ft long you cock waggler. It is not a trail. It is a 15ft long section of shaped dirt that your ride on for about 15 seconds.

  10. And all of those comments and the response to those comments is what is wrong with MTBing. A whole lot of people who run their mouths and talk sh*t. Here's the new motto, shut up and ride. A lot of hot air being blown around.

  11. Exactly what Justin said. After riding in Maine for a while, you'll miss the occasional “travesty of a flow trail”. They all have their place, and variety is the key.

  12. 100% agreed. You ride a flow trail for 1 minute and you've seen all you're ever gonna see.

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