Finding The Flow: Becoming One With The Trail
This guest post was written by a great friend of Bike198, Kyle Glave. Not only is Kyle an avid mountain biker for over 19 years, part time endurance racer, lifelong outdoor adventurist, but we have ridden together for years. I thought this article on flow would be a great lead in to a weekend of riding.
I was recently speaking to a friend and they mentioned a local trail that didn’t have a lot of flow to it. I tend to agree with the statement about this trail as it is a very rocky and rooty trail and if you are not on it, it can bounce you all over the place. I rode this trail again a couple of weeks ago and realized that there is a lot of flow on that trail…it is just a matter of finding it.
It got me to thinking about flow in general. There are definitely a lot of great trails out there that have been built with tremendous flow to them. Basically, you just hop on your bike and go on auto pilot more or less cruising along on the trail as it flows and undulates along the contours of the land. No doubt these trails are a lot of fun and a blast to ride. But the flow I am talking about comes from within. Every avid mountain biker has experienced that moment where everything just clicks. Your breathing is rhythmic; you are always in the right gear at the right time, charging up the hills, staying off the brakes, railing the corners, floating through the rock gardens, etc. You and the bike feel as one. It is an extension of you. This is the type of flow that anyone can tap into and find on any trail regardless of how technical that trail is.
Finding flow for me is a matter of just relaxing and getting into a rhythm. Loosening your grip on the bars, focus on breathing instead of holding your breath in technical sections, focusing down the trail instead of right in front of your tire and the obstacles that are in front of you. Nice smooth pedal cadence instead of mashing the pedals. And literally a feel for the bike underneath you where your subtle weight shifts have you railing the turns, bombing the decent and hammering up the hill. Those moments are magical. If you can tap into that, you find you are expending a lot less energy overall and you end up coming away from the ride with a big grin on your face wanting more.
So the next time you are on a trail and its working you, stop for a moment, relax, clear the head and see if you can get into a rhythm with your bike. You might be surprised to find that all of a sudden you are floating over everything, hammering a bigger gear, clearing that climb, bombing that downhill, blasting the rock garden and railing the turns.
Guess what you just found Flow!
This guest post was written by Kyle Glave, an avid mountain biker for over 19 years, part time endurance racer, lifelong outdoor adventurist. If you would like to write an article, please contact us via the contact page and we will get things rolling.
What do you think?