If you weren’t stoked on the prospect of the Bay Area’s first flow trail currently being under construction and mere months or even weeks away from being a rideable reality, perhaps these images of our roughed in route will change that.
Sunday, December 16th was a cold and foggy morning. After getting soaked on an afternoon trail ride somewhere at China Camp on Saturday, we questioned whether or not a build day on the flow trail was even going to happen. The morning forecast looked somewhat ok though, with rain not being expected until the afternoon. Although the weather didn’t look like it would hold up, our team assembled early for a walk though, and to work on getting on the same page with the design of the trail.
The design team and crew leaders discussed what we hoped for out of the trail experience. Being able to create and carry momentum from turns and rollers, or double sections of rollers were common topics of discussion as well as how we’d divert water from the tread surface and other drainage strategies. We all want the same result from the project: a fun, progressive trail experience akin to a downhill pump track based on flow with influence from ground breaking trails like Crank it Up and Hide and Seek. Many of the sections will also remind riders of experiences once had at the Sand Hill Ranch riding area, a riding spot that was way ahead of its time. In the context of riding a mile long trail, features you’d typically find on a bmx track or backyard pump track provide a unique experience to mountain bikers that would often otherwise not be exposed to this kind of riding. Safety has always been another important consideration, brought up frequently, incorporated into the design process.
In a way, not being able to work the drenched piles of dirt was a positive development, as our plan for the top section of trail was dialed in. Based on the lousy weather, we didn’t expect many volunteers to appear on site, so when riders began drifting in with ready hands we changed gears and cleaned up some of the Sweco tracks before moving down to the skills zone.
After clearing the area, we began to take a look at phase two, and we put our crews to work clearing the trail corridor for the second half of the flow trail. Negotiations for the use of Bike Wente’s Single Track 240 are being finalized, and it will be huge in constructing many of the tighter turns in the transition area in the trees before the flow of the trail opens back up again. Scheduled work days begin again in January, to take place every Sunday. Hopefully the soil dries up enough that we’ll be able to build.
If you’d like to help with the project on a future or stay up to date on when the next build day is, you can check back on the site or follow Bermstyle on Twitter or Facebook. Folks will also be updating a thread on MTBR.com.
Hopefully this is obvious, but if visiting the site before the trail is completed, please don’t ride the trail, as that will just create more work that will need to be repaired before we can open the trail. (although right now it’s so wet we mostly avoided even walking on it) And if you see others, help us keep them off the trail and tell them about the upcoming build days.