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

Two of six segments complete on new four mile trail

Event Travel

Demo Flow Trail Matt

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: Bogdan Marian

Big smiles accompanied the whoops and hollers as riders in the San Francisco Bay Area took their first turns riding two sections of the new flow trail that official opened in the Soquel Demonstration State Forest near Santa Cruz, Calif. Sunday. Segments three and five of the new six section trail are now open for riding and can be accessed from Tractor Road, the fire road that will serve as the flow trail’s backbone when it is complete sometime in 2015, according to estimates.

Demo Flow Trail Bridge

Although most of the trail is dirt, there are a couple bridges made from very local materials—like Santa Cruz Mountains redwood. Photo: Bogdan Marian

The two open sections got rave reviews from riders who applauded the trail’s roller coaster-like flow and progressive nature. Because the trail is designed to be entirely rollable, its appropriate for beginners, as well as more advanced riders who can catch air and rail bermed corners.

Demo Flow Trail Ribbon

CalFire’s Angela Bernheisel (left) and trail builder Drew Perkins use the ceremonial loppers to cut the ribbon on the Demo Flow Trail. Photo: Bogdan Marian

The trail opening was marked by a short ceremony and ribbon cutting at the bottom of section five. Head builder Drew Perkins gave a status update, thanked volunteers and praised the cooperative atmosphere that helped get the project underway.

Demo Flow Multi

A casual survey of attendee photographs would indicate approval for the new trail. Photo: Bogdan Marian

Soquel Demo Forest Manager Angela Bernheisel lauded the volunteer efforts of the trail’s primary advocate groups, the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz and the Stewards of Soquel Forest. She also explained the forest’s role in terms of timber management, fire suppression and recreation—three interests that work in harmony at Demo.

Demo Flow Trail Signs

Handsome segment sponsor signs adorn the start of each of the newly opened trail spurs—FOX for segment three, and Epicenter Cycling for segment five. Photo: Bogdan Marian

Trail building has been suspended for the year as lack of rain and low moisture levels have made the ground difficult to work with as well as elevated wildfire danger. The Santa Cruz Mountains historically average about 50 inches of rain annually but are coming off the driest winter on record that saw the forest get half that amount and only four inches since the beginning of March. The pause in building will, however, let trail officials monitor trail wear and traffic, and make adjustments on future designs.

Other segment sponsors include Ibis Bicycles, Bontranger, Specialized and Trail Head Cyclery. Jeff and Marieke Rothschild, Shimano, Easton and X-Fusion all made donations to the project, while Mtbr, Santa Cruz Bicycles, Mick’s Automotive and the Stewards of Soquel Forest each sponsored work days.

Keep it tuned to Mtbr for an update on the project and when work days will resume.

First segments of new flow trail at Soquel Demonstration State Forest now open Gallery
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Demo Flow Trail

Roaring Mouse Cyclery’s Paule Bates pumps his way through segment three of the new flow trail at Soquel Demonstration State Forest. Photo: Bogdan Marian
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Demo Flow Trail Jeff KW Xup

Pro enduro racer Jeff Kendall-Weed threw down a couple hot laps as well his support for the new trail. Photo: Bogdan Marian
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Demo Flow Trail Rothschild

Jeff Rothschild is a major individual donor to the flow trail project, both financially and with the sweat equity that comes from trail work. Photo: Bogdan Marian
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Demo Flow Trail BBQ

Salmon wrapped in bacon with jalapeno’s—it’s what’s for dinner. Photo: Bogdan Marian
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Demo Flow Trail Selfie

: Flow trail contributor Patty Ciesla snaps a selfie with Forest Manager Angela Bernheisel and her son Kyle, who, incidentally, races on the Kibry High School mountain bike team. Photo: Bogdan Marian
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Demo Flow Trail Signs

Handsome segment sponsor signs adorn the start of each of the newly opened trail spurs—FOX for segment three, and Epicenter Cycling for segment five. Photo: Bogdan Marian
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Demo Flow Trail Ribbon

CalFire’s Angela Bernheisel and trail builder Drew Perkins use the ceremonial loppers to cut the ribbon on the Demo Flow Trail. Photo: Bogdan Marian
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Demo Flow Trail Lauren

MTBR test rider and pro enduro racer Lauren Gregg is giddy with excitement at the opening of the Demo Flow Trail. Photo: Bogdan Marian
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Demo Flow Trail Jordan Fox

FOX Bike Marketing Manager Mark Jordan was all smiles after taking a rip on the segment of the flow trail his company sponsored. Photo: Bogdan Marian
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Demo Flow Trail Pierce

Pierce Moran airs it off one of the flow trail’s hip jumps—one that could easily be rolled by less experienced riders. Photo: Bogdan Marian
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Demo Flow Trail Winner

Yes, everybody is a winner when a new trail opens, but this guy is a double champ having won a FOX fork in the volunteer raffle. Photo: Bogdan Marian
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Demo Flow Trail Air Beard

Ahhh, yes, the crunch of tires underfoot and wind in your beard. Photo: Bogdan Marian
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Demo Flow Trail Bridge

Although most of the trail is dirt, there are a couple bridges made from very local ma-terials—like Santa Cruz Mountains redwood. Photo: Bogdan Marian
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Demo Flow Trail Matt

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

A casual survey of attendee photographs would indicate approval for the new trail. Photo: Bogdan Marian
About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born editorial director Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area and pedaling for Mtbr, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.


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