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  1. #1
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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    I rode Tamarancho on this beautiful day and rode the upper part of the Flow Trail for the fist time after putting a few days work on it - I had to myself for many laps and I realized a few things:

    1. This trail is f****ing amazing! Thanks Jim, Davey, Sandor, et. al. for all of your hard work - it is a very special work of art!

    2. As awesome as it is and as much fun as I had riding it (evidenced by the perma-grin ), I have no idea how to ride this trail - it is a totally different animal - how do I learn how to ride this thing? Just practice?, or do I need some instruction!?

    3. I should bring my pads next time - it is too tempting to go extremely fast.

    Thanks again for all the hard work! I can't wait until the whole thing is open. I'll be out there this weekend

  2. #2
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    I hear you man. I felt like a goon when I rode it; not my style but, still very fun.

  3. #3
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    It will be a new experience for many riders because we've never had anything like that here in the Bay Area.

  4. #4
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    Practice, practice, practice.

    Helpful tips:

    Put your seat down.

    Increase rear tire pressure.

    Don't try and go fast. In other words don't force it. I know it sounds corny but "just go with the flow." Over time you will get faster and faster. Trust me. The most important part of the experience is to have fun. Once the trail is open from top to bottom it will only take 10 minutes to ride back up and do it again. If you don't get hurt you will continue to get better.

    Dylan Renn lives locally and designed a few of our cooler features on the trail, like the S turn. He also teaches bike skills. He is an excellent teacher and has been working with me to get over my mental fear of gap jumps and drops. You should give him a shout:

    Contact | RENNCRAFT

  5. #5
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    I live in the South Bay and have never really explored any of the North Bay places to ride. I either end up at Demo or Skeggs. I've been thinking of putting together a tour of the North Bay some weekend. I'll definitely have to hit up Tamarancho.
    I like to ride bikes.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by supermachete View Post
    Stiffen up that suspension a little bit, & let'er rip!
    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    Increase rear tire pressure.
    Interesting - I was doing the exact opposite of these 2 pieces of advice in an attempt to make my bike as squishy and plush as I could thinking I would increase traction and absorb the landings (especially the not-so-smooth ones). I will try this approach next time.

    Question about increasing rear tire pressure though:

    I can see this helping with the pumping and holding speed / momentum aspect, but won't this also decrease traction when you're really digging into those berms and also increase skidding / drifting (which I'm assuming we don't want)?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    I don't know anything about the trail, but I can't imagine why you'd want to stiffen up the suspension and inflate the tires. I'd leave the suspension where I always have it (25-30% sag) and keep the tires as low as I could get away with before damaging the rims or burping.

    What's the terrain like that makes you guys recommend these two actions?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyno View Post
    Interesting - I was doing the exact opposite of these 2 pieces of advice in an attempt to make my bike as squishy and plush as I could thinking I would increase traction and absorb the landings (especially the not-so-smooth ones). I will try this approach next time.

    Question about increasing rear tire pressure though:

    I can see this helping with the pumping and holding speed / momentum aspect, but won't this also decrease traction when you're really digging into those berms and also increase skidding / drifting (which I'm assuming we don't want)?

    Thanks!
    Normally I run pretty low pressure. I've got a tubeless set up and a hard tail. So it serves at a little bit of suspension. Normally corners on the mountain bike can't be taken at great speed. Switchbacks are mostly super super tight and having a lower pressure helps soak up braking bumps, roots and rocks.

    Fire roads are mostly flat and countersteering along with good traction seems to be the safest option.

    The first few times down the flow trail were on my dirt jumper. We were testing out the S turn and the bike worked great through the tall berms at speed. Even with semi slick dirt jumping tires. I run the dirt jumper tires at a very high pressure so much so that it made the ride back to town pretty uncomfortable.

    I tried the flow trail with my 29er and the lower pressure. It was a disaster! The rear tire has so much more force on it than normal that it started to "roll off" the rim. The sidewall was collapsing. I added about 10-15 psi and presto. The 29er performed nearly as well as the dirt jumper.

    A low seat and shorter stem seems to help nearly as much.

    Also I wanted to thank you for starting a positive thread about the trail. Way better than I ever did You rock bro!

  9. #9
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    i took the better ride course a few years ago, where dylan was the coach. he is an excellent teacher, and very good at conveying concepts that may be otherwise difficult to digest.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairylegs View Post
    I don't know anything about the trail, but I can't imagine why you'd want to stiffen up the suspension and inflate the tires. I'd leave the suspension where I always have it (25-30% sag) and keep the tires as low as I could get away with before damaging the rims or burping.

    What's the terrain like that makes you guys recommend these two actions?
    The entire trail is hand shaped like a pump track from top to bottom. It isn't really a trail it is a track. I hope you can check it out soon and ride it from top to bottom. It should be entirely open May 1st or even sooner.

    Don't forget to buy a one day pass 5$ at Sunshine Bikes in Fairfax. Or even better buy a year pass or two year pass.

    Tamarancho - Sunshine Bicycle Center

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    Normally I run pretty low pressure. I've got a tubeless set up and a hard tail. So it serves at a little bit of suspension. Normally corners on the mountain bike can't be taken at great speed. Switchbacks are mostly super super tight and having a lower pressure helps soak up braking bumps, roots and rocks.

    Fire roads are mostly flat and countersteering along with good traction seems to be the safest option.

    The first few times down the flow trail were on my dirt jumper. We were testing out the S turn and the bike worked great through the tall berms at speed. Even with semi slick dirt jumping tires. I run the dirt jumper tires at a very high pressure so much so that it made the ride back to town pretty uncomfortable.

    I tried the flow trail with my 29er and the lower pressure. It was a disaster! The rear tire has so much more force on it than normal that it started to "roll off" the rim. The sidewall was collapsing. I added about 10-15 psi and presto. The 29er performed nearly as well as the dirt jumper.

    A low seat and shorter stem seems to help nearly as much.

    Also I wanted to thank you for starting a positive thread about the trail. Way better than I ever did You rock bro!
    Thanks for the reply and advice - makes sense - I'm going to try this and look into that course as well.

    The inspiration to start up a thread talking about how awesome and unique this trail is came to me while I was climbing up to do another lap - I just thought with all the recent drama with Flow-gate(which needed to be addressed btw!), let's take a step back and admire what was accomplished (and hopefully I can learn how to really ride it!)

  12. #12
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    Hio
    Mountain biker-turned-BMXer here. With regard to suspension: MTB suspension is always trying to do two very different things, which we can simplify by thinking of in terms of your already familiar controls.
    Low-speed compression damping - small bump and rider input. For a Pump track, BMX track, flow trail there are no bumps, and you want rider input into the ground (this is pumping). The fastest bike would be a fully rigid. Tons of LSC or lockout.

    High-speed compression damping - This is your square-edge and big hit damping. No square edges on a pump track, BMX track, flow trail, but you can catch some good air or case hard trying. There are no flat landings, and if you case you are gonna bottom out, so HSC can be as high as you like here. Fully rigid BMX bikes land huge jumps to non-flat landings all day long. HSC may help your trail-bike spring rates not get overwhelmed.

    Traction low but nonessential. Forward momentum is provided by gravity and pump, you should be braking very gently, and cornering in a well-shaped berm actually doesn't require a lot of traction. Certainly not the kind we think about well-tuned suspension aiding.

    Tire pressure: This is smooth hard-pack. You want two things: low rolling resistance and pinch/burp protection. For many people, the way to coax these traits out of your tires is higher pressure.

    Last flow trail run, I was running my typical Butcher 2.3 front tubeless at ~26 PSI and it felt normal (excellent). I had just put another 2.3 Butcher on the back (a bigger rear tire than I usually run) and even at well over 30 PSI it felt like it was going to roll off. High G-forces, man. Very different from trail riding.

    Davey's advice is spot on.

  13. #13
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    I'm bringing my 24.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by squareback View Post
    I'm bringing my 24.
    Dan Barnes, who hand shaped nearly the entire trail, mentioned that his 24 cruiser would be a great option.

    The only problem is getting it to the trailhead

  15. #15
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    flow trail = single slalom....hard tails, smaller wheels, low CG will rule, but like DS said...you still gotta pedal in

  16. #16
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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    I will also add: don't try and force catching air. Try and pump through the features to gain speed. Catching air will come naturally after you have mastered pumping. Like Arnold:

    http://youtu.be/7nZ1v96-veM

    The cool thing is that once you have mastered the pump you start seeing places to gain speed without pedaling everywhere. "Pumping on the singletrack, pumping on the fire road, pumping on the climbs, it's fantastic!"


    The advantage is that while pumping and gaining speed you stay really stable and you can keep your CG really low compared to pedaling. I am no expert at this. Guys like Dylan are. The track we built is a great place to practice, have fun and build skills.

  17. #17
    YOUREGO ISNOT YOURAMIGO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    Normally I run pretty low pressure. I've got a tubeless set up and a hard tail. So it serves at a little bit of suspension. Normally corners on the mountain bike can't be taken at great speed. Switchbacks are mostly super super tight and having a lower pressure helps soak up braking bumps, roots and rocks.

    Fire roads are mostly flat and countersteering along with good traction seems to be the safest option.

    The first few times down the flow trail were on my dirt jumper. We were testing out the S turn and the bike worked great through the tall berms at speed. Even with semi slick dirt jumping tires. I run the dirt jumper tires at a very high pressure so much so that it made the ride back to town pretty uncomfortable.

    I tried the flow trail with my 29er and the lower pressure. It was a disaster! The rear tire has so much more force on it than normal that it started to "roll off" the rim. The sidewall was collapsing. I added about 10-15 psi and presto. The 29er performed nearly as well as the dirt jumper.

    A low seat and shorter stem seems to help nearly as much.

    Also I wanted to thank you for starting a positive thread about the trail. You rock bro!


    Man, all this talk about more air pressure is true.
    I also had my tire pressure pretty low, and it felt like the tires were rolling off the rims in the berms.
    Pump 'em up for the Flow track is what i'm gonna do now, cause this thing is hard packed and FAST!!
    And yes all this positive talk about the Flow makes me think Tamo is about to BLOW UP!!

    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)-17975_miscellaneous_nuclear_explosion_explosion.jpg
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  18. #18
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    ohh cant wait to try this new track with the boys...

  19. #19
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    After moving some lumber today, we headed to the bottom to move some more dirt. Got a chance to roll/walk down the middle section... Man, it's gonna be sweet! I'm already anticipating burning quads on multiple laps.

    The skills area is looking great, too.

  20. #20
    YOUREGO ISNOT YOURAMIGO
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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    For those of us working, this thread is useless without pics/vids.
    Im going out there toomorow. ; )
    Will report back with images.
    G
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  21. #21
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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    Quote Originally Posted by GoGoGordo View Post
    For those of us working, this thread is useless without pics/vids.
    Im going out there toomorow. ; )
    Will report back with images.
    G
    Movie! Movie! Movie!

  22. #22
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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    Movie! Movie! Movie!
    Ok
    Sounds good Dave.
    Ill make one tomorrow.
    G
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  23. #23
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    First top-to-bottom run in today.
    So good. And the woodwork we ~finished today is really rad. But the trail... just amazingly fun. Always a new challenge as your speed increases. I want to hike my DJ in badly. Go get some, people.

  24. #24
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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Snfoilhat View Post
    First top-to-bottom run in today.
    So good. And the woodwork we ~finished today is really rad. But the trail... just amazingly fun. Always a new challenge as your speed increases. I want to hike my DJ in badly. Go get some, people.
    DJ - tips

    I love riding my DJ here. It took me some time to figure out the best method but after 2 months of hiking in due to cold weather I got it dialed.

    Drive to the top of whites hill. Push/ride up white hill trail, porcupine trail white hill fire road, B-17 extension to flow trail. 20-30 minutes depending on how much you ride vs. hike

    Please avoid driving into camp. It's even more of a PITA to get there from the very limited camp parking (which is why it is not permitted) than whites and there is this lost troop of scouts that has gone cannibal. Lord of the flies style.

    Also if you push - at the bottom off the trail geared bikes go right. Push bikes go left. It is a 10-15 minute ride up Broken Dam and B-17 ext. 10 minute push up dead heifer. In short we are trying to separate XC from the DH. They can't sit in the same car together on long road trips without fighting, DH keeps calling XC a poo poo head and XC stole DH's blankie.

    Obviously it would be dangerous to push back up the flow trail. And way longer. Please don't be that guy. We finally have a trail were you can scream STRAVA and be a dick and not actually upset anyone hiking or riding up because that shouldn't happen.

  25. #25
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    Thanks for the advice!

  26. #26
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    any tour guides down to show a few of us around next week mid week?

  27. #27
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    Ah, interesting. So the flow trail rides more like a pump track, it sounds. That is completely new for the bay area. It'll be well worthwhile to go and hit up those friends I have in Fairfax that I've been meaning to catch up with! haha...
    Half the planet is deep into bloody tribal mayhem. We’re just riding bikes (and drinking beer) here.
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  28. #28
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    Put some time in moving dirt and timber with tburger on Sat. It's really sweet. It does ride like a downhill pump track; saw some guys on hardtail manualing most of the rollers at the top. Definitely requires a different skill set which I'd really like to develop, can't wait for it to officially open top to bottom.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snfoilhat View Post
    Thanks for the advice!
    Not directed at you at all. It was a good opportunity to get the word out. We just rode down the reccomended push route together so I am sure you know the way.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeti575inCA View Post
    any tour guides down to show a few of us around next week mid week?
    I would be but I am out of town until the 25th. Willing to show anyone around after that.

    Stop in at Sunshine Bikes in Fairfax and they will get you directions and a one day pass 5$.

  31. #31
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    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Davey and the whole trail crew for making something special!

    I rode the Flow several times today and my inaugural ride was behind Mark Weir and his crew, needless to say that they killed it! And me, well, on a fat front rigid and for the first time I didn't crash but it wasn't too much for my type of bike. Three times to the bottom. I think ride/hike up Dead Heifer is the quickest way back. For a while there must have been twenty people up there at 1pm.

    Trail condition is excellent, with a little drying/cracking on the edges, but it's going to be awesome in the future!

  32. #32
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    Thank you to everyone who built the trail! It is much bigger and longer than expected. When I was out there today, I didn't expect it to be open or even completed.

    One thing I learned about riding the trail: Breathe. Don't forget to breathe!

    Oh, and my legs and upper body were quite tired at the bottom...damn, I'm getting old.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katana View Post
    Thank you to everyone who built the trail! It is much bigger and longer than expected. When I was out there today, I didn't expect it to be open or even completed.

    One thing I learned about riding the trail: Breathe. Don't forget to breathe!

    Oh, and my legs and upper body were quite tired at the bottom...damn, I'm getting old.




    Have fun everyone!

  34. #34
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    So is the Dead Heifer fire road now open to bikes? I thought it was bike-forbidden (except for during the Tamarancho Dirt Classic, when it is part of the course). That is a nice steep climb, is it OK to ride up it or is it "pushers only"?

    Thanks for all the great work!

  35. #35
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    thanks for all the hard work guys!

    semi-related question, as i haven't been to tamorancho since last year--is it still ok to park in the parking lot w/ the coffee drive thru hut in the middle? we used to buy our passes at the bike shop just across the street from it, then ride into the park. if that's no longer an option, where are you guys parking? thanks for the info!
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  36. #36
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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jfloren View Post
    So is the Dead Heifer fire road now open to bikes? I thought it was bike-forbidden (except for during the Tamarancho Dirt Classic, when it is part of the course). That is a nice steep climb, is it OK to ride up it or is it "pushers only"?

    Thanks for all the great work!
    Well. It is but sorta. It is forbidden to use it to ride into camp because the cannibal scouts might get you. It is OK to use it to push or ride (you sicko) to stay out of the way of riders on Broken Dam. Clear as mud.

    Use Dead Heifer to White Hill FR (past the gate) and back to B-17 ext then back to the flow trail.

  37. #37
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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    Quote Originally Posted by dth656 View Post
    thanks for all the hard work guys!

    semi-related question, as i haven't been to tamorancho since last year--is it still ok to park in the parking lot w/ the coffee drive thru hut in the middle? we used to buy our passes at the bike shop just across the street from it, then ride into the park. if that's no longer an option, where are you guys parking? thanks for the info!
    The new grocery store is making that lot a bad option. I'm not good at parking advice as I live a few blocks away and only use my car to drive to the Oakland airport. Anyone have good ideas?

  38. #38
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    A suggestion:
    Right now there is an ATV track from Dead Heiffer cutting 'left' to the skills area that was used during construction. It seems to conveniently bring you back to the skills area and B17ext, but you cross the flow trail in a blind corner, and Jim mentioned to me that it was only for the ATV and temporary. I think a sign/tape on Dead Heiffer forbidding people to ride/push up it might be a good idea. To speed the recovery of the vegetation and get people going the correct way.

    @dth656 I have asked the guys in the shop at Fairfax Cycles if it is OK to park in their lot, you could try the same.

  39. #39
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    i'll try asking the folks at Fairfax, thanks!
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyb View Post
    I rode the Flow several times today and my inaugural ride was behind Mark Weir and his crew:eekster:, ....
    Interesting that they spent so much time helping (not) and still managed to show up the day after it is completed.

  41. #41
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    As far as parking in Fairfax, there are ~15 spots in the Fairfax Cyclery parking lot which are kosher. Otherwise pretty much everything in town is 2-4 hour limit on the weekends.

  42. #42
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    That might be true but we should stay positive. I know I didn't help on the flow construction, i work Saturdays and have kids, but I've helped out on the xc part for years and I write a check for a hundred bucks for my pass. I think Weir does a lot to keep the mtb community positive, plus their was a photo crew from Bike magazine with him. Maybe they asked him to do it because I only saw him ride it once--really fast!

    If the viewpoint is exclusivity to the trail by only people that made it, than Boy Scouts should pay admission for others. I would pay it and I'm sure others would too. I don't have the free time I used to and the one afternoon a week I get is pretty precious.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    Well. It is but sorta. It is forbidden to use it to ride into camp because the cannibal scouts might get you. It is OK to use it to push or ride (you sicko) to stay out of the way of riders on Broken Dam. Clear as mud.

    Use Dead Heifer to White Hill FR (past the gate) and back to B-17 ext then back to the flow trail.
    I didn't know it was not cool to go up Dead Heifer, but considering that most riders go clockwise on Tamarancho I thought it would be a good alternative. But there isn't any signage put up stating otherwise. A loophole as it might be. It is the quickest way back to the fireroad.

    It's your call, Jefe.
    Last edited by johnnyb; 04-17-2013 at 01:29 AM. Reason: spanglish!

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    The new grocery store is making that lot a bad option. I'm not good at parking advice as I live a few blocks away and only use my car to drive to the Oakland airport. Anyone have good ideas?
    You have about a dozen spots on Glen Drive by White Hill school near the fireroad entrance. A handful at the top of Sir Francis Drake at the turnout for White Hill too.
    Last edited by johnnyb; 04-17-2013 at 02:19 PM.

  45. #45
    J-Flo
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    I am assuming the Flow Trail will be a major attraction and that Dead Heifer will be the better way to go back up on a weekend, to avoid traffic coming down Broken Dam. Plus it is a good monster of a climb. Wait a minute, maybe nobody will want to come down Broken Dam anymore (although that is fun too).

  46. #46
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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    To be clear. We are encouraging geared bikes to ride up Broken Dam. In the rare case of a gravity oriented rider who has a bike that needs to be pushed uphill: we are encouraging pushing all the way to Whites Hill fire road and using B-17 to ride to the entrance of the Flow Trail.

    This is to separate the push traffic from riding traffic on Broken Dam.

    There is a camp nearby and the Scouts could halt the practice. This is all an experiment / trail. Please bear with us.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    Practice, practice, practice.

    Helpful tips:

    Don't try and go fast. In other words don't force it. I know it sounds corny but "just go with the flow." Over time you will get faster and faster.
    Contact | RENNCRAFT
    This is something I'm learning on the new Culvert trail in Auburn. I find when I force it I come into the berms with way too much speed and then grabbing brakes all the way through the berms and being erratic. It's more fun and faster when I control my speed and coming into the turn slower. Then I can convince myself to get my fingers off the brakes and I end up exiting the berm much faster and with more control of the bike.
    All out of S**** and down to my last F***

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    To be clear. We are encouraging geared bikes to ride up Broken Dam. In the rare case of a gravity oriented rider who has a bike that needs to be pushed uphill: we are encouraging pushing all the way to Whites Hill fire road and using B-17 to ride to the entrance of the Flow Trail.

    This is to separate the push traffic from riding traffic on Broken Dam.

    There is a camp nearby and the Scouts could halt the practice. This is all an experiment / trail. Please bear with us.

    Clear as mud. I'm assuming taking Broken Dam/Whites Hill to get there from Fairfax. But what about a return from a run? You can get to the entrance from several directions.

  49. #49
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    Small hazard on Porcupine Trail -needs a quick fix:

    I discovered a little natural hazard on the way up Porcupine. I didn't have a handsaw, and can't get back there for awhile. If anyone would care to fix this, a small handsaw is all that's needed. Heading UP Porcupine there is a right had switchback early on (in the trees) in the middle of the trail just above the turn. There is a fairly sharp root that has become exposed over time. It could take out a tire if hit head-on in the downhill direction. Snipping this little sucker to ground level might just save somebody's day.

    Thanks
    I like to bike.

  50. #50
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    Rode the flow trail top to bottom today! It was awesome. Got a good workout without hardly pedaling, reminds me of riding motocross bikes. It was especially sweet to ride across features that I helped build.
    If understand the pass situation correctly, the money you pay on the pass goes to the scouts to offset insurance costs. For the trails to remain they require volunteers to help maintain them.

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    I was lucky enough to take a top to bottom run this weekend after pitching in for a bit and the trail turned out better than I could have imagined! It does take some time to learn and if you're not paying attention, you might end up sailing into the woods off some of the berms so make sure and take a few practice runs to learn the turns.

    It's awesome that this kind of trail now exists (legally). Thanks to Davey, Jim J, and everybody else that put in some effort to build a great and hopefully special trail!

  52. #52
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    What I Learned Today on the Flow Trail - Berm Basics

    Snuck in a few laps before heading toward Monterey and the SOC dual slalom.

    Here's what I learned: The well-tread line on many of the berms in just not high enough (yet). How one corners in a berm is just a matter of lean angle, turn radius, and speed, so I am not writing this to toot my horn or whatever. I am not a great rider. I'm just saying, I had a bit of a revelation trying to go faster and I thought others might benefit from it.

    There are several inches (as much as a foot) of berm above the line most people are hitting. In my earlier runs (earlier today, earlier this week), I experienced some tires letting go through the low-to-mid portion of the berms, and was unsettled in a noobish way. Today it clicked, and I took my corners higher up as I got up to speed. It took a lot of mental effort to ignore the cracked appearance of the berm tops, and leave the comfort of the middle line, but it immediately paid off. The more the berm angle steepens, the less 'extra' bike lean w/ respect to the trail is needed at a given speed and radius. Sorry to everyone who has ridden a pump track a bunch and who found all this totally obvious. I did it for the kids.

    If you feel your tires working too hard, especially if you are steering them through the loose dust near the bottoms of the berms, give the higher line a try.

    Also finally made a corner I find tricky on the skills area woodwork. Pumped!

  53. #53
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    I need to get out there!
    Soon!

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    After so much anticipation, I was finally able to ride the full flow trail from top to bottom. More than once. A huge pile of accolades and kudos to everyone who was involved in making the trail happen: those that negotiated with the Boy Scouts, the flow designers/planners, those that rallied the troops of volunteers & documented the build progress, those that donated money/time and to everyone who picked up a rake, a shovel, a sledgehammer or a McLeod...Thank You! It is so great, and so different than anything else we have to ride in the bay area...and most of all, it is so fun.

    I was with about a dozen people, after work yesterday, and everyone was so excited to check out the new trail. On the way up, we saw a few other MTBers exiting Tamarancho, and you could just tell by their huge grins that they had a great time on the new trail. I was one of the first of our group to come down, and one of the best parts was watching each person exit the trail on Dead Heifer, and having *exactly* the same reaction: "Oh. My. God. That was soooo FUN!" Over and over, everyone said it! Most of us admitted we rode it in a very unskilled manner, and there is a lot to learn with respect to maximizing skills and fun on a trail like that. So much to look forward to.

    Some observations:

    1) The skills area is sweet. There are a few different lines that vary the challenge, and it can be ridden in either direction to mix things up. The multipurpose chainsaw "art" on the logs is great.

    2) Those bridges! Wow, they are fun to swoop over, and they are so beautifully built.

    3) Some of those berms are *huge* and super-fast to ricochet through.

    4) Despite hardly pedaling, and going downhill, the trail is still more of a physical workout that you would expect. Your legs are pumped when you are done. Also, the smile muscles in your face will be extremely fatigued.

    I'm really looking forward to helping maintain the trail, riding it more, and hopefully getting the opportunity to follow someone who really knows what they are doing. Thanks again, and go get some of that flow!

  55. #55
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    Rode it Thursday...lucky for it to be open as I'm rarely that far north. I literally had the entire thing to myself. Two laps down Flow is all I had time for...never saw another person. I have to admit it was kinda strange riding such an amazing fresh trail that everyone will go crazy over....alone.
    Definitely some things that need to settle and lines to get worked in, but wow. Amazing work and a huge thanks to all of you that made this happen.

    Its inspired me to donate and put in work for Demo Flow.

    A huge win and a positive event for mountain bikers in the Bay Area.
    -eric-

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  56. #56
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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy View Post
    Rode it Thursday...lucky for it to be open as I'm rarely that far north. I literally had the entire thing to myself. Two laps down Flow is all I had time for...never saw another person. I have to admit it was kinda strange riding such an amazing fresh trail that everyone will go crazy over....alone.
    Definitely some things that need to settle and lines to get worked in, but wow. Amazing work and a huge thanks to all of you that made this happen.

    Its inspired me to donate and put in work for Demo Flow.

    A huge win and a positive event for mountain bikers in the Bay Area.
    Thanks for the props!

    I'm hoping land managers will be as equally excited. Keep bikes on bike trails (because they are so much fun), built for zero cost and more sustainable (drains better) than a traditional bench cut trail.

    Not all that surprised you got it alone, weekday evenings and weekend afternoons were the high traffic times for the trail when we opened the top only section.

    My first experience with a flow trail was similar. Forbidden Fruit near Ketchum, ID. Rode it alone so many times and I couldn't imagine why.

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    Please help a brother get there. I live in Terra Linda and usually ride over the hill down Fawn to Butterfield, etc. Should I just ride iron springs to broken dam and start listening for the hoots and hollars? Or is there an easier way?
    THANK YOU to Davey and everyone who worked on this. Will I ever want to do the old loop again?

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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    Quote Originally Posted by jaltura View Post
    Please help a brother get there. I live in Terra Linda and usually ride over the hill down Fawn to Butterfield, etc. Should I just ride iron springs to broken dam and start listening for the hoots and hollars? Or is there an easier way?
    THANK YOU to Davey and everyone who worked on this. Will I ever want to do the old loop again?


    Thanks.

    I'm sure you will do the "old" loop again. The new trail is a fun addition. The loop, esp. wagon wheel are great for those who love a rocky tech challenge.

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    Awesome, thanks Davey for posting the map. I've always wished Trancho was longer. Doing Flow a few times after coming off B-17 will be sick. You da man.

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    If one wants to do multi loops of flow trail is it better to get back to the top by broken dam/b17 or dead heifer? It's been many years since I rode tamo and I've only riden it maybe 2 times so I don't know the trails.
    Thanks to everyone involved in making the flow trail happen!

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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    Quote Originally Posted by fuenstock View Post
    If one wants to do multi loops of flow trail is it better to get back to the top by broken dam/b17 or dead heifer? It's been many years since I rode tamo and I've only riden it maybe 2 times so I don't know the trails.
    Thanks to everyone involved in making the flow trail happen!
    If one has a geared bike it is my preference to ride the easy single track spin up Broken Dam and B-17 ext.

    If one has a dirt jumper or other bike that requires it be pushed I would push it up Dead Heifer. Why? As a courtesy to other riders who should not have to pass a rider pushing his bike on a narrow single track and it is faster than pushing up Broken Dam.

    So to be clear. Pushing up broken dam isn't courteous and it is slower.

    Riding any of the fire roads other than this small section of of Dead Heifer is verboten. I asked about opening it up because I felt it would reduce conflict between DH and XC.

    Clear as mud?

  62. #62
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    Holy crud! That trail is the bomb! Thanks Davey Simon and all others. How does maintenance work on berms? They were getting some wear just today. If I knew how big features would be, I would have helped more than first day of clearing duff. You people are very impressive. Any chance of scheduling additional work ahead of time, so I can help maintain?

  63. #63
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    Re reading some other posts, it would be cool to have a way to help maintain even if I don't lurk on mtbr. I think some of us that are working/commuting 50 hours a week would like to be notified of work days for Tamarancho.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoolie View Post
    Holy crud! That trail is the bomb! Thanks Davey Simon and all others. How does maintenance work on berms? They were getting some wear just today. If I knew how big features would be, I would have helped more than first day of clearing duff. You people are very impressive. Any chance of scheduling additional work ahead of time, so I can help maintain?
    Everyone is taking a little break from working on the trail. I'm burnt out. Posting stuff on the FB page and checking out this thread is about all I've got for now. Of course I'm working right now and I travel for work so I couldn't organize any work days even if I wanted to.

    We have picked out a name for the trail and I can't even motivate to post about it. Maybe monday.

    The best way to keep a finger on the pulse of the work days is to check the Facebook page. Listed on my signature. www.facebook.com/tamoflow

    We need to get people to help water the trail but we have not finished the water system.

    Anyway. I just flew 4000 miles and I have a headache because I'm so dehydrated. Keep posting positive stuff. Photos and movies. Get people stoked.

    All of the builders appreciate the positive input and we are going to need everyones help.

    For now lets enjoy it.

  65. #65
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    Rode it today, was sweet. Super leg workout. Looking forward to going back and learning the course even better!

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    Yep, me too! (Think I maybe saw you Yody at the old Good Life, the other guy on the white HD?) Hit the flow twice on my typical double-CW loop. There seemed to be a whole different crowd there today, and I'm guessing quite a few made the trip just to ride the new trail. So the word is out, which is cool (particularly if all those people bought passes). The one thing I wasn't expecting is an increase in CCW traffic, as people are wanting to get their flow on at the beginning of the ride. So maybe we should call this the (Reverse the) Flow Trail. Anyway, if that's the change then it's just something else to get used to. (Chapped my hide a bit b/c of some shaky trail etiquette, but I'll get over it.) At any rate, good to see some new, beginner riders out there getting the stoke on. That has to be a good thing in the long run.
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by budgie View Post
    Yep, me too! (Think I maybe saw you Yody at the old Good Life, the other guy on the white HD?) Hit the flow twice on my typical double-CW loop. There seemed to be a whole different crowd there today, and I'm guessing quite a few made the trip just to ride the new trail. So the word is out, which is cool (particularly if all those people bought passes). The one thing I wasn't expecting is an increase in CCW traffic, as people are wanting to get their flow on at the beginning of the ride. So maybe we should call this the (Reverse the) Flow Trail. Anyway, if that's the change then it's just something else to get used to. (Chapped my hide a bit b/c of some shaky trail etiquette, but I'll get over it.) At any rate, good to see some new, beginner riders out there getting the stoke on. That has to be a good thing in the long run.
    Oh hey I saw you on the trail also! haha small world. Yeah a lot of people there today to ride the flow trail, and not your typical All Mountain kitted out riders but all sorts of riders from kids, to dads, to weekend warriors, etc. I managed to KOM it today while riding with a few friends (who didn't strava). But looking at the list on Strava I'm not seeing the usual rippers. I know there's still a lot of time left on the table. Will be interesting to see how fast people get going down it. I'd imagine some fast dual slalom guys will be able to really dial it in.

  68. #68
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    Here' my thoughts on getting back up. Weekdays as Davey said spin back up Broken Dam and then up B17 Ext. On a busy weekend I say push back up Dead Heffer take a left at the T junction and it brings you out right by the skills section and takes 5-8 mins and keeps the trail clear for those that want to have fun rippin down Broken Dam!

  69. #69
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    This is definitely the fastest route back to flow trail but my understanding from a previous post was that this little shortcut from Dead Heifer to skills area is not really a trail that is supposed to be open, but rather a temporary ATV route that is now closed. The legit route is all the way up Dead Heifer to White Hill Fire Road then Down B-17 ext. to flow. Can anybody confirm whether or not that little shortcut is legit? (would be nice if it is)

  70. #70
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    How bad is the dead heifer climb? I remember it being awful from am xc race there a few yeara ago. is it that much shorter or is it just all around better to go up broken dam?

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    Quote Originally Posted by skyno View Post
    This is definitely the fastest route back to flow trail but my understanding from a previous post was that this little shortcut from Dead Heifer to skills area is not really a trail that is supposed to be open, but rather a temporary ATV route that is now closed. The legit route is all the way up Dead Heifer to White Hill Fire Road then Down B-17 ext. to flow. Can anybody confirm whether or not that little shortcut is legit? (would be nice if it is)
    First off disclaimer: I don't want to be trail boss. I don't like the idea of "telling" anyone to do anything. I'm just like you guys. I am a mountain biker who wants to be able to ride everywhere.

    OK I will answer this one and I will be uber careful about doing so. First of all rednova75 is THE MAN as he and his crew came and helped during the crucial beginning stages of the build when I was trying to convince everyone that DH and DJ riders would help us. These guys showed that the local gravity riders were worth engaging with and that they were MORE likely to build trail than XC riders (debate-able yes).

    Yes the ATV track "short cut" is closed Why?

    Well it is a scout camp. It isn't being used as a camp now but as I have learned once mountain bikers are habituated to using a route it is impossible to stop them. So it would suck if people got in the habit of using the short cut and then got all butt hurt they couldn't use it anymore because we fixed the water tank that services the camp (to water the trail) and the scouts started using it again.

    The scouts own the property and if it had not been a scout camp we would have pushed the trail through the camp as it is the nicest flat area to build on rather than the steep difficult area we were forced to build. It is however a scout camp. Expect scouts to be camping there. You know the ones that are cannibals and eat human flesh. Either way they should not see you and you should not see them.

    That is how this whole relationship works. That is why there are trails that we can ride because we respect the scouts. That is why we can have nice things right? Do you know what I am saying?


  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    How bad is the dead heifer climb? I remember it being awful from am xc race there a few yeara ago. is it that much shorter or is it just all around better to go up broken dam?
    Dead Heifer is a painful b!+ch of a climb - short, but brutally steep. It's definitely a more direct route, but as far as time, it would probably take slightly longer going up DH, depending on how much walking you do.

    BTW, anybody know why it's called Dead Heifer? - I have some guesses

  73. #73
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    The ride CCW up Broken Dam is pretty easy, even standing the entire way on a slalom/DJ bike. Entering Tamarancho by Iron Springs, Alchemist, then CCW Goldman is also pretty nice (tried it for the first time Wednesday before Sea Otter; I've always ridden CW in the past). The push up Dead Heiffer isn't terrible, but I personally wouldn't choose it on any bike that can be pedalled.

    For these reasons, I believe Tamarancho riders will have to learn to expect more CCW trail use (unless the scouts/friends of tamarancho lay a strict rule down). Everyone mind your manners in both directions, be safe, and we all have fun. That's my 2c.

  74. #74
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    Wow, this trail is the best thing to happen to the Marin mountain bike world since I started riding in Marin about 10 years ago! I went out with a buddy this morning and we took 4 laps on the flow trail. I really loved the top half, and there is a short section just before the midpoint with a couple quick steep turns through tight redwoods that may be my favorite section of trail anywhere, ever. Lots of people out there today, lots of sh!t eating grins and whoops of stoke coming from the forest.

    The trail really reminder me of Sidewinder in South Tahoe, one of my all time favorite trails. Going down Broken Dam used to be my favorite section of Tamarancho, but I think I will mostly be riding it up from now on, going back for repeats on the Flow trail. Seriously amazing work, love it!

    -slide

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snfoilhat View Post
    The ride CCW up Broken Dam is pretty easy, even standing the entire way on a slalom/DJ bike. Entering Tamarancho by Iron Springs, Alchemist, then CCW Goldman is also pretty nice (tried it for the first time Wednesday before Sea Otter; I've always ridden CW in the past). The push up Dead Heiffer isn't terrible, but I personally wouldn't choose it on any bike that can be pedalled.

    For these reasons, I believe Tamarancho riders will have to learn to expect more CCW trail use (unless the scouts/friends of tamarancho lay a strict rule down). Everyone mind your manners in both directions, be safe, and we all have fun. That's my 2c.
    What is CCW?

  76. #76
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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    Counter clockwise?

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    counter-clockwise

  78. #78
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    What's wrong with taking Porcupine up? You can catch a nice flat warm-up from White Hill School, or a pavement burn to Brown Bridge. Then its mellow, shady climbing, some of which can be refreshing on a hot day.

    Before the Tamaracho loop was completed, it was an out-n-back which is how the CW direction remains the suggested default- esp. on weekends. Less oncoming traffic allows for more FLOWY descents. I like going both directions, but stick to CW on weekends.

    BTW- later afternoon has much less traffic.

    A grey haired XC scoundrel such as myself will never style the flow trail in the manner it deserves -so where are the vids?
    I like to bike.

  79. #79
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    How far back from the bridge would you have to park?

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    Brown Bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    How far back from the bridge would you have to park?
    There is lots of Parking at the Brown Bridge on both sides.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    How far back from the bridge would you have to park?
    Sounds like a good way to avoid having to go all the way thru Tamo if one just wanted to hit flow trail

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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Sounds like a good way to avoid having to go all the way thru Tamo if one just wanted to hit flow trail
    Yep. For the folks that like the XC the new trail is a neat addition to the loop.

    For those that like the DH or DJ the new trail is the destination.

    I'm hoping for some cross pollination between the groups.

  83. #83
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    Rolled down the Flow Trail with a friend yesterday, just to see it. The scale was a bit awe inspiring. The first view of the segment with parallel tracks stacked up between the giant bowl turns had me talking out loud to no one in particular at first sight. More like a bobsled run than any trail I've ever seen.

    It may just be the way my mind works but my nickname for top half is the Small Intestine and the lower half is the Large Intestine.

    The skills area was fun too.

    Very impressed with the work done here.

  84. #84
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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)



    Brian P took the time to name the trail on the Facebook page. Thanks Brian P!

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    We rode it today and was also our first time riding the area.. Great ride in and out to flow. Thanks to everyone who made it happen! We will be back.. Flow teaches you a lot and bottom half def works more of your legs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Oh hey I saw you on the trail also! haha small world. Yeah a lot of people there today to ride the flow trail, and not your typical All Mountain kitted out riders but all sorts of riders from kids, to dads, to weekend warriors, etc. I managed to KOM it today while riding with a few friends (who didn't strava). But looking at the list on Strava I'm not seeing the usual rippers. I know there's still a lot of time left on the table. Will be interesting to see how fast people get going down it. I'd imagine some fast dual slalom guys will be able to really dial it in.
    I think there are some folks who are already emotionally attached to their leaderboard times. A friend and I rode it yesterday and he KOM'ed it at 2:37 then I did at 2:19 on my second run. We rode the legit trail from top to bottom, same as everyone else (there's no way to shortcut it anyway) and it seems whoever we dislodged didn't feel the segments were legit, so we both got flagged. Even yesterday on Monday mid-afternoon there were a lot of riders out, people will be KOM'ing it constantly for a while at first... But to the flagger, way to go, very sportsmanlike, you're awesome and the fastest!

    I have to say, the trail is really well done. I rode the top half maybe a month ago, but to ride the whole thing is pretty cool. Hopefully we'll get another splash of rain soon. It's seems to holding up well, but a few berms could use some water...and yesterday so could I! It was hot!
    Last edited by three3nine; 04-23-2013 at 08:37 AM. Reason: typos

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    wow a 2:19, thats movin. What kinda bike are you on?

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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    Quote Originally Posted by three3nine View Post
    I think there are some folks who are already emotionally attached to their leaderboard times. A friend and I rode it yesterday and he KOM'ed it at 2:37 then I did at 2:19 on my second run. We rode the legit trail from top to bottom, same as everyone else (there's no way to shortcut it anyway) and it seems whoever we dislodged didn't feel the segments were legit, so we both got flagged. Even yesterday on Monday mid-afternoon there were a lot of riders out, people will be KOM'ing it constantly for a while at first... But to the flagger, way to go, very sportsmanlike, you're awesome and the fastest!

    I have to say, the trail is really well done. I rode the top half maybe a month ago, but to ride the whole thing is pretty cool. Hopefully we'll get another splash of rain soon. It's seems to holding up well, but a few berms could use some water...and yesterday so could I! It was hot!
    Likely there will be some inaccuracy with GPS due to the North facing slope and the trees. I highly doubt that anyone is getting a true 3D GPS lock up there. 2/3 of the horizon is obscured by terrain and the few satellites you can pick up would be sketchy at best because of the tree cover.

    I don't use Strava but I'd say its pretty pointless to try and hold a KOM dear. We didn't even know the true length of the trail until someone rode it with an old school cycle computer and who knows if it was calibrated correctly. This was due to the fact that even when we walked the trail it just plotted three straight lines through the berm sections. That was while walking. Likely a Garmin is just doing the same thing, or worse at 15 MPH.

    Reason stands, IMHO, to just ride the trail and enjoy it. Your not going to get the experience any other place in the Bay Area for a long, long time.

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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post


    Brian P took the time to name the trail on the Facebook page. Thanks Brian P!
    Star Wars reference?
    As in The Forest Of Endor?
    Banned for showing Boobies.

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    Yody: '13 tallboy ltc

    Davey, I agree for sure, it's unlikely that I was fastest, it's just what Strava showed. The funny thing is that it got flagged before I even got home... But for the reasons you cited, GPS accuracy on that slope, on a comparatively short and wildly twisty and curvy trail is fairly unlikely. In accuracy or not, it's kind of funny as someone (presumably top holder) flagged both of us within an hour or our ride, but it's all good, the trail
    is really cool, fun and a new challenge. Thanks for everyone's hard work!

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    Quote Originally Posted by three3nine View Post
    I think there are some folks who are already emotionally attached to their leaderboard times. A friend and I rode it yesterday and he KOM'ed it at 2:37 then I did at 2:19 on my second run. We rode the legit trail from top to bottom, same as everyone else (there's no way to shortcut it anyway) and it seems whoever we dislodged didn't feel the segments were legit, so we both got flagged. Even yesterday on Monday mid-afternoon there were a lot of riders out, people will be KOM'ing it constantly for a while at first... But to the flagger, way to go, very sportsmanlike, you're awesome and the fastest!

    I have to say, the trail is really well done. I rode the top half maybe a month ago, but to ride the whole thing is pretty cool. Hopefully we'll get another splash of rain soon. It's seems to holding up well, but a few berms could use some water...and yesterday so could I! It was hot!
    Strava is going to be useless on this trail, and there will be all kinds of crazy times, especially with all the tight switch backs and with the things Davey mentioned! I mean look at the top 2 times for the upper section 17 and 18 seconds, that is just not possible! The only accurate way to find your time on this trail would be with a good old stop watch. So lets not worry about getting the KOM, and just have fun and go with the FLOW!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    Likely there will be some inaccuracy with GPS due to the North facing slope and the trees. I highly doubt that anyone is getting a true 3D GPS lock up there. 2/3 of the horizon is obscured by terrain and the few satellites you can pick up would be sketchy at best because of the tree cover.

    I don't use Strava but I'd say its pretty pointless to try and hold a KOM dear. We didn't even know the true length of the trail until someone rode it with an old school cycle computer and who knows if it was calibrated correctly. This was due to the fact that even when we walked the trail it just plotted three straight lines through the berm sections. That was while walking. Likely a Garmin is just doing the same thing, or worse at 15 MPH.

    Reason stands, IMHO, to just ride the trail and enjoy it. Your not going to get the experience any other place in the Bay Area for a long, long time.
    Funny I was going to say the same thing. Its completely covered by trees and is less than 3 minutes, and most people are using cell phones for their strava. no way its gonna be very accurate. Especially if someone could cut out part of the very beginning. There are already two strava segments, one of which is claiming is more accurate than the other. Its fun to see the KOM crown, but it doesnt' have much meaning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by three3nine View Post
    Yody: '13 tallboy ltc

    Davey, I agree for sure, it's unlikely that I was fastest, it's just what Strava showed. The funny thing is that it got flagged before I even got home... But for the reasons you cited, GPS accuracy on that slope, on a comparatively short and wildly twisty and curvy trail is fairly unlikely. In accuracy or not, it's kind of funny as someone (presumably top holder) flagged both of us within an hour or our ride, but it's all good, the trail
    is really cool, fun and a new challenge. Thanks for everyone's hard work!
    How is the 29r through all that, figured a big wheeler would be awkward, apparently not so?

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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    Quote Originally Posted by GoGoGordo View Post
    Star Wars reference?
    As in The Forest Of Endor?
    Yep!

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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    How is the 29r through all that, figured a big wheeler would be awkward, apparently not so?
    I'm riding an all mountain 29er a Canfield Yelli Screamy. Seems perfect. Although the dirt jumper is super fun as well. A friend of mine who is uber fast and apparently doubling some of the bigger rollers claims his 29er is faster than the 26 option.

    I think short wheel base with a slack head tube is the winning combo if accomplished with short chainstays.

    Again there is no KOM for the most fun had, but that took me about 30 years to figure out...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairfaxian View Post
    so where are the vids?
    I'm planning a 4th Flow Trail episode which will be riding focused. Slammed with work, projects, racing at the moment so it won't be until next week.
    My Cycling Videos: Vimeo | YouTube | My Website

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    Before there is any confusion, I want to say that the actual Endor filming wasn't here, but farther out in the valley. I know for sure one of the motorcycle riders was John Mcleod, and I think maybe Mike Helms, who rode through the redwoods and gathered footage.

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    Things I learned at the Flow Trail today (the 100% positive Flow Trail thread!)

    Quote Originally Posted by squareback View Post
    Before there is any confusion, I want to say that the actual Endor filming wasn't here, but farther out in the valley. I know for sure one of the motorcycle riders was John Mcleod, and I think maybe Mike Helms, who rode through the redwoods and gathered footage.
    We were calling it the "Forrest Moon of Sandor" when we watched Sandor singlehandedly dispose of giant downed trees with his chainsaw.

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    Where can I find a map of the trails and where to park to ride the flow trail? Where do I purchase a day pass?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheetabrian View Post
    Where can I find a map of the trails and where to park to ride the flow trail? Where do I purchase a day pass?
    Tamarancho Loop & Flow Trail - Sunshine Bicycle Center
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