The Bay Area has always been a bit behind compared to the northwest when it comes to the amazing new single track experiences that are being created. After our stint traveling, riding and building trail everywhere from Texas to Fairbanks to Saskatoon, (way out there!) and landing back in the Bay Area (after a stretch of Portland living) the basic single track trails available have been somewhat uninspiring at times. I regularly find myself dreaming of runs down Freight Train to Dirt Merchant at Whistler, and hitting hundreds of jumps a day. Or missing the weekly shuttle runs with the guys at Post Canyon and sessioning the Evel Knievel sized FMX jumps. We have a few spots here and there, but for the most part they require advanced skills, and are beyond the typical trail rider.
That all could be about to change. We’re fortunate to be involved in an exciting new trail project at Camp Tamarancho in Fairfax, California, that promises to be the first of it’s kind in the area, complete with machine built sections of trail. Our goal is to create a roller coaster like flow littered with twists and turns, grade dips and even some park style dirt jumps. (Like the rest of Tamarancho, the trail is rated for intermediate riders and above) We’re taking care to make every feature rollable without any mandatory hang time, but if successful, both intermediate and advanced riders will be served by the progressive trail experience.
The proposed trail is almost a mile in length and starts at the top of the B17 extension, ending at the Dead Heifer fire road. Based on the “Flow Country” concept coined by Hans Ray in conjunction with IMBA, much of it’s inspiration comes from trails like the Full Nelson Trail in Squamish BC, and the Sandy Ridge Trail system near Portland, Oregon. The flow trail will feature frequent grade reversals, bermed turns, skills features and table tops.
A labor of love, the trail is being constructed with all volunteer labor. NorCal High School MTB teams are being rotated in every work day. Mountain Hardware employees have already come out for a day. It’s a huge undertaking, and we can use all the help we can get. Even if the finished product is half as awesome as I hope it will be, it’ll still be amazing.
Wente Scout Reservation possibly contributing with the loan of their Single Track 240
Because Tamarancho is owned by the Marin Council Boy Scouts, we may have additional resources for the project in the form of an ST 240. Kevin Smallman, local fast guy and trail builder is hoping to negotiate the use of the Wente Scout camp’s trail building machine. This would allow our hand crews to spend more time shaping features (we still need experienced crew leaders and builders!) and less time cutting the actual trail. Check out some of Kevin’s work:
Are you stoked yet? We can use your help
The finished trail is only going to be as good as we make it. We have work days planned every Sunday in January. The next scheduled build day is <updated>Sunday, Janurary 6th. If you want to come out and don’t know what day to come, please leave a comment below.
Also- please remember that Tamarancho is on private land owned by the Boy Scouts. They only ask that we as mountain bikers purchase day or season passes to ride there. If you come out with your bike, please make sure to have a pass. You can purchase a season pass here. The trail will not be open for some time, but we do test sections on bikes as part of the building process in order to verify they flow correctly. (first tracks are part of the privilege that come with building)
In addition to the flow trail, a flat area adjacent to the B-17 extension will be converted to a Skills Development area. This skills zone will consist of a number of technical trail features. (henceforth referred to as “TTFs”) These TTFs will incrementally increase in difficulty and each feature will teach a specific skill. The features will consist of “skinnies” -ladders or logs to teach balance techniques, small rock or wooden obstacles that will teach riders to ride up or down an obstacle and “pump track” style features that will help riders learn to ride the flow trail. The skills area will also teach all the skills necessary to safely complete the phase three “flow trail” and in addition will also serve as the entrance to the lower section of flow trail. The primary goal of the skills clinic area is to help beginner and intermediate riders safely improve bike handling skills.