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Sunday, December 17, 2023

Add, Without Subtracting

I am thankful for volunteers, those people who give their time, energy, and talents to serve others. They pour part of themselves into making this broken world a better place for someone else. Seeing that service sparks hope.

I am also thankful for those creating something for the common good. They envision a path toward a new or improved experience for others to share. Seeing that service fosters dreams.

New Flow Trail on M-Hill.

Here in Rapid City, South Dakota, a nascent group of cyclists are creating "flow" trails. This group appears to be passionate, committed, and willing to work to build their version of trails for mountain biking. They also appear to be drawing new and additional people into their activity. Good stuff. 

As I understand, "flow" trails are primarily downhill, with wide, heavily banked, and bermed corners for turning at high speeds and with added features built for jumping. For safety reasons, they are one-way (downhill) and limited to bicyclists. 

Downhill, one-way, cyclist-only trails are not new to Rapid City. Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park actually included such a trail (Dirk's Draw) as part of its original build years ago. It's still there and "flowing."

The new "flow" trail at M-Hill appears to be a new trail purpose built for "flow." That's great. Go with the flow, bro.

Additional "flow" trails may also be in the works for Skyline Park, where the City of Rapid City and volunteers have built miles of single track trails enjoyed by many hikers, runners, and cyclists. Hopefully, the City works around those popular trails when constructing new "flow" trails. 

Existing trail at Raider Park blocked off for construction of a new Flow Trail.

The construction of new "flow" trails at Raider Park raise an issue. There, an existing trail that was built for, and has been enjoyed by, everyone has been blocked off and replaced with a "flow" trail. The old trail appears to be closed to walking and running.

It's one thing to create and build a new trail for a select group of users, who likely have volunteered or contributed significantly to make it happen. That's the add. That's awesome.

It's entirely different to take trails away from everyone else for use only by a specific sub-group. That's subtraction.

For those creating and volunteering to serve others, thank you. When you believe that you are adding to our community, please consider whether your actions also subtract. 

Maybe there's a way to add, without subtracting. 

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