First half of new flow trail at Soquel Demonstration State Forest now open

Four of six segments complete on new four mile trail

Event Travel
Matt De Young rails a corner on the newly-opened segment three of the Demo Flow Trail. If he looks especially dialed, it could be because De Young was one of the trail’s main builders. Photo by Bogdan Marian

Matt De Young rails a corner on the newly-opened segment three of the Demo Flow Trail. If he looks especially dialed, it could be because De Young was one of the trail’s main builders. Photo by Bogdan Marian

Update: Feb 23, 2015

On June of 2014, the first two segments (of six) of the Demo Flow Trail opened to the public. The flow wasn’t quite there yet as the two segments, segment Three and Five were disconnected from each other and were in the middle of a big hill. There was no easy way to access these two segments and one ended up riding quite a bit of fire road up and down to try out these new trails. There was excitement but a hint of doubt as well as a lot of time, labor and money were spent developing these two parts. It was mid-summer too of a dry year so the soil conditions weren’t quite dialed to showcase the trail. Many riders checked it out a couple of times but it did not become a staple on most riders’ weekend routes.

Fast forward a few months and rumblings from trail workers this winter started circulating about the great progress and quality of the subsequent segment builds, sections One and Two. Bouts of heavy rain and long, dry periods allowed good progress to be made on the build. In addition, the trail builders were learning as they went along and the lessons of the first two segments allowed a more efficient and better build. Feb. 20 of 2015 rolled around and the the builders felt it was ready to ‘soft-launch’ the new sections. Mtbr went out there on Sunday Feb. 22 and we were absolutely floored by the quality of the trail.

YouTube Preview ImageCheck our first run on sections 1,2,3 of the Demo Flow Trail.

We were blessed of course with ‘hero dirt’ conditions but we were still stunned by the quality of this trail. There was minimal pedaling but plenty of opportunity to gain speed by pumping terrain and maintaining speed through corners and rollers. Berms were impeccably built and the trail was predictable yet exhilarating. There was quite a bit of opportunity to catch air as well as jump lines were incorporated well in the trail. One of the shocking attributes of these sections of the trail is the length. The video above is purposely unedited to show that it is about a nine-minute run at a good clip. And every second rewards the rider with pump track elements, corners, rollers and jumps. There are no dead spots in this run it demand’s the rider’s full attention. “If this is only half the trail, I don’t think we are ready for the full serving.” remarked one rider.

Segments 1,2,3 start at the bottom of the photo starting at Ridge Trail.

Segments 1,2,3 start at the bottom of the photo starting at Ridge Trail.

Mark Davidson of MBOSC explains, “The trail was designed with progression in mind as segment One meanders with the flatter terrain and gets the rider loosened up and ready for what’s to come. There’s no big jumps and the berms are not too high. Segment Two then starts ramping it up as terrain gets steeper and the berms pick up in size. And then segment Three gets rowdier with faster speeds and more creative lines.” And then Mark’s eyes really light up as he talks about what’s to come in the next segments. “They’ll get more aggressive and we’ll have the opportunity to build a skills area.

But money and volunteer effort are needed to complete this project. Check here to learn how to donate funds and/or help build the trail. http://www.mbosc.org/current-projects/4-mile-flow-trail-at-demo/

Continue to page 2 for more on the flow trail and full photo gallery »
About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • Don says:

    Too bad the trail is in California! =P

  • Seneb says:

    First off, this is awesome and I hope to be able to hit those trails soon. Not to be an annoying stickler for detail, but Santa Cruz is actually on the Monterey Bay, which isn’t really the San Francisco Bay.

  • shredchic says:

    Thanks mtbr for the great coverage! I am so proud of mbosc for putting this together, and grateful for cal-fire for supporting this trail to begin with, and all of the sponsors for the funding. I have done 3 of the trailwork days this year, and a few last year as well. Riding the new trail segments is out of this world, but even working on them were a blast! There are definitely some amazing berms on there. They will dry out and get smaller over time, so they were built super-high for the moment. So much fun!

  • Mr. K says:

    I am going to be in the Soquel in August. Anybody know of any bike shops to rent/demo a bike for the day? Anybody know of any shuttle service to the top? Thanks

    • Morgan Holly says:

      Mr.K, Go on santacruzbicycles.com and reserve a bike to demo. It’s only $20 for 4 hours. Grab the 5010. You won’t be disappointed! Cheers!

    • Jim Jab says:

      For $20 you can demo a top of the line Santa Cruz for 4 hours form the factory a town over from Soquel.

  • Mr. K says:

    Thanks Morgan! Great news since I already ride a Santa Cruz. Is there a shuttle service to the top or should I just pedal up?

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