Trail Report: Tamarancho Flow Trail is born


The winds of change are upon us as good trails are now being built in some of the most restrictive areas in the country. We seem to be entering a new phase in mountain biking from: Invention, discovery, restriction, hopelessness, activism, relevance and acceptance. There’s been a shift in mindset as mountain bikers learn to organize and work with the system to get things done. And there seems to be a real mission to build better trails for ourselves and our children.

Flow Check #1 from Jason Van Horn of Bermstyle

So here we are in April of 2013 with a much different trail access landscape than a decade ago or even a year ago. Fun trails are being built! The Pogonip trail in Santa Cruz, the Bell Built Projects funded by Bell, the new Tractor Flow Trail in Demo Forest are just some of the examples near Mtbr’s home base in the SF Bay Area, CA. And the crown jewel is the Tamarancho Flow Trail in Fairfax, CA – the birthplace of mountain biking.

The trail is not quite finished. But here is a peek at the great work that is going on. Read on, support it and tell us what you’re doing in your home town.

2013 Tamarancho Flow Trail – Episode 1 from Hans Kellner
On the edge of Mount Tamalpais a new trail is forming. A trail that will be Marin’s first epic flow trail. But to succeed there needs to be support. Watch some of the folks that have helped to make this happen. And listen to Davey Simon and Jim Jacobsen, two of the primary forces, talk about the project.

2013 Tamarancho Flow Trail – Episode 2 from Hans Kellner
Episode 2 of the Tamarancho Flow Trail series. Here we get to hear what sparked the idea for the flow trail, a little about restoration, and meet a few of the volunteers.

Mtbr Interviews the Chief Volunteer Coordinator Davey Simon

Mtbr: Who are you and what is your role in this project? Day job?
Davey: My role is the volunteer coordinator. I tried to rally people to come and help. That is why I joined MTBR, to reach out to the community. My day job is a profesional pilot. I fly the world’s fastest business jet. The Citation X. The best part about this job is the schedule 15 days on and 13 off. So since October I have flown airplanes for 15 days then worked on the Tamarancho trails for 10 or 11 days. I have gotten really slow and out of shape but it has been totally worth it.

Mtbr: How did the project come about and how did you get involved?
Davey: About 3 years ago or so Jim Jacobsen, Celia, Bryan Popplewell and Dylan Renn built a jump line at the camp. It was very short and had 2 small tabletops. It really was a catalyst for the flow trail as it showed that the trail maintenance crew was open to new ideas. I approached Jim about having a greater role at the camp helping out with trail maintenance. My goal was to bring a more modern trail “feel” to the camp. I met Jim Jacobsen and asked about improving the existing jump line and building a pump track. Brian brought on Jason Van Horn and Brian, Jason, Jim and I met at the camp to discuss the location of a pump track. Jim proposed building a flow trail so it is really his idea.

Mtbr: Who are the other key players in this project?
Davey: Jim Jacobsen deserves a lot of credit and gratitude from the mountain bike community. If it were not for Jim there would be no bike trails at the camp at all, including the flow trail. In fact if you have ridden a bike legal, sanctioned trail in the North Bay there is a good chance that Jim was involved. He is a visionary.

Mtbr: What are most proud of so far with this project?
Davey: I am most proud of the bike community. I know I made a lot of noise about respecting the project but overall the bike community has been great. This project was funded and created entirely by volunteers. In reality I didn’t do much building compared to the overall effort of volunteers that sacrificed a day or more to do something really special. Businesses like the Hive shut their doors for the day to build trail, Gamut USA donated product, Mike’s Bikes and Cliff Bar donated money. We should all be proud of what we can accomplish as a community.

Mtbr: What is next for the Tamarancho Flow Trail?
Davey: What’s next? The trail should open from top to bottom soon if it does not rain. It may open after this weekend. I’m not sure. The trail is still very soft at the exit, so i am not sure about the exact opening date. We will have a party at the log ride area May 25th. I hope to bring out a sound system and a DJ.

I also hope to bring as many land managers to the site as possible and show them what the bike community is capable of. Trails don’t need a one million dollar price tag if they are on public land. Also, If a land owner was willing to give us the space I would like to build a trail network that would rival Whistler. Who wants to drive for two days to ride DH bikes? We could have better trails here in the Bay Area. Right now I am searching for a local spot to build a pump track and a BMX track.

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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  • derby says:

    Thanks Jim and Davey! You are real modern day heroes!

    And thanks to the local Boy Scouts managers, for such trust in the mountain biking community.

    And thank you neighbors on Iron Springs Road, it must be scary driving or walking up to your homes. Riders, please, please slow as you approach the neighborhood, be able to stop within your line of sight anywhere when coming down Iron Springs from the trail head.

    Have a great ride! – Ray : )

  • Mike says:

    Cool concept and kudos to the builders. I’ll probably never ride it (a bit too far for me) but it looks like good fun and a nice alternative. The video is bit ironic with unflowy riding on a flow trail but I’m sure this trail will be a hit for many to enjoy.

    well done

  • Joe Strickland says:

    I am SO glad to see the Boy Scouts and mountain biking getting together, I am with troop 429 in concord and mountain bikes need to be used. We have a great deal of good trails in the east bay but very little legal single track.

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