“In a single footstep there are over 300 miles of fungal cells stacked end-on-end moving stuff around…a super highway” moving stuff between trees. The trees communicate and share resources through that network, and even across species. They aren’t speciesist, they are mutualists, interdependent cooperators. If humans could only learn from trees how to stand erect and not cut each other nor other species down the world would be…
Do you hear me?
Trails trough trees, and singletrack trails in particular, evoke a feeling that has to be felt to be understood. It’s as if the trees, without touching you, are hugging you or dancing with you. They don’t move (far anyway), but certainly may move users (more than forward). The tighter the trail corridor gets, the more “cozy” and warm the embrace of a trail becomes, or so it seems to me. Plant life can define trails, but a trail in the desert, with very little vegetation, can feel defined and intimate as well. Vegetation helps, or provides a different feel, but ultimately a tight and narrow track is the constant no matter how dense the vegetation. It is the narrowness of the track itself that makes a trail a trail, and a road a road, and the feeling of the two is perceptively different. Walking, running, and riding provide different connections to how that track unfolds before users, but the connection to the track seems tighter when narrower. Horizontal and vertical flow, like a sinuous root, are also a key to this connection. Like trees, trails seem to speak, and the wider and more rigid they get the less they seem to say. Although wider for the safety of riders (in particular jump landings), “flow” trails certainly sing, but the surrounds may melt away as it’s usually all focus on the rolling terrain of the track (to avoid eating the track or the surrounds that will quickly come into focus if the rider leaves the zen of flow into the chaos of miscalculating).
We can save lots of trees, slow the rate of global warming, and escape speciesism by going vegan.