Finding Flow in Sault Ste Marie

Flow (n).
1) Smoothness or Continuity
or
2) The state at being one with

If you're a mountain biker, chances are you have experienced flow. That rhythmic sensation where the boundaries between bike, body, and trail melt and leave many of us giggling like children at Christmas. It's similar to music, where our internal metronome can anticipate the next note in a song; or be delighted by an unexpected change.

Riders at the Sault Cycling Club have a good handle on flow. The network of trails in the Hiawatha Highlands are a twisty, flowing experience between cross country ski trails. With this in mind, we knew we had to choose a project that would help enhance the flow – and the sustainability – of the network.

Abrupt changes to a trail experience are one of the main challenges to flow; unexpected tight corners or too many intersections where a decision has to be made. Our project would help out with both – take two existing pieces of singletrack close together, build a connector piece between them, and eliminate the two intersections and an unexpected turn at the same time.

The build was great; plenty of eager volunteers from the Sault Cycling Club came out to learn about building sustainable trail during the classroom session and apply those principles during the build afternoon. The end result? One long section of singletrack, minus two intersections to hamper the flow and confuse people not familiar with the area.

Thanks to the SCC for a great visit, and also to our fantastic hosts for a great time!