The Official Website of the State of West Virginia

New West Virginia mountain biking trails go mild, not wild


Mountain biking, like other outdoor activities, has surged in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bike sales went up more than 150 percent in 2020, and some mountain bike trails have experienced more than fivefold increases in traffic, says David Wiens, executive director of the International Mountain Bicycling Association.

These new riders, many of them children or families, present a challenge and an opportunity for areas of the United States where this warmer weather, often downhill sport is prevalent. They’re why mountainous states like Colorado, California, and Utah are turning to “flow” style paths. 

Where old-school mountain bike paths were often rugged and steep, flow courses aim to ease beginners into the sport with smoother surfaces, broader widths, and banked edges. Undulating and scenic, flow trails are named for the way they put riders into a focused, trance-like state where the rest of the world falls away. “It’s a rhythmic, almost musical way of the trail interacting with a mountain bike,” says Wiens.

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