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.
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.
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.
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.
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.