By Snow Travelista \ June 13 2016
It is said all trails have a rhythm. I’m used to the rhythm of my feet on dirt, but sitting on a mountain bike looking down trail, I wondered what this trail’s rhythm would be…other than my screaming voice. Only one way to find out. Pressing the pedals and releasing my brake, I discovered the meaning of “flow trail.”
Flow trails are sprouting up at ski areas around the country. They are mountain bike trails built with both sustainability and rhythm in mind. Visualize a rollercoaster built from dirt and wood. “This style of trail typically contains features like banked turns, rolling terrain, various types of jumps, and consistent and predictable surfaces,” explains the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), “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.”
Last year, Deer Valley embarked on a massive trail improvement project enlisting the assistance of Gravity Logic, one of the top mountain bike trail designers in the nation. Gravity Logic provided a five-year plan for improvements, which included the construction of the Tidal Wave trail last summer, plus another trail this summer.
Improvements began last season with an update of existing trails, such as Nail Driver, to better suit modern bikes and riders. Several connections were also added to give riders more route options, plus the Mid Mountain Trail was extended in partnership with the Park City Mountain Trail Foundation.
New this season is a beginner trail called Holy Roller, which will feature the same “flow” style as Tidal Wave, but be less technical. Gravity Logic will be onsite for the build.
Want to test your grit on a more challenging flow trail? Rumor is you may be in luck! In addition to working on Holy Roller this summer, Gravity Logic is designing a new “black” trail. Construction of that trail is tentatively set for next season.
Altogether, Deer Valley includes nearly 70 miles of trails plus lift access from Silver Lake Express at the base, Sterling Express at mid-mountain and Ruby Express at Empire Canyon. Multiple connections give riders access to another 400-miles of Park City singletrack. Park City was recently designated the world’s first Gold-Level Ride Center by the IMBA.
If you’re new to mountain biking or want to amp up your skills, the Deer Valley Mountain Bike School offers group and private lessons to adults and children of all skill levels. Beginners start the day in a skills area to learn the basics before progressing to the trail. Bikes are also available for rent.
Memories of my first experience riding a flow trail still thrill me. But knowing there are new and updated trails waiting at Deer Valley, has be craving more. The rush of speed followed by undulating terrain, curvy features, and perfectly crafted turns, all challenging my nerve…is a thrill I want again!
See you on the trail!
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