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  1. #1
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    Soquel / Flow on CX bike

    Planning to ride Flow this week on my CX bike... friend from out of town will be renting a decent mountain bike... am I asking for trouble or should I survive?

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    What's the condition of Flow after all the rains?

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    It's bound to be a little soggy but my friend said he just got off the phone with a local shop and they believe it's going to be fine during our timeframe because some expected rain is now supposed to be delayed.

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    I was smoke by a dood in Santa Cruz on the full mailboxes run. I couldn't tell if he was on a regular 10 speed or CX or gravel bike but he did just very well. You should be fine in Demo....I think.

  5. #5
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    Flow may be taxing on your brakes, depending on your set up. What is going to be challenging on a CX bike is certain sections of Ridge to get to flow. Youíll be fine, just might need a little hike a bike through the technical areas. In my opinion, Ridge can be more technical than Braille
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantastic79 View Post
    I was smoke by a dood in Santa Cruz on the full mailboxes run. I couldn't tell if he was on a regular 10 speed or CX or gravel bike but he did just very well. You should be fine in Demo....I think.
    I would pay admission to watch guys go down the waterfall with Drop Bars at the end of Mailboxes.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shamis View Post
    I would pay admission to watch guys go down the waterfall with Drop Bars at the end of Mailboxes.
    I did it on an old-school 29er SS with 71 degree HTA.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

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    Thanks, folks.

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    It's a flow trail, so you'll be fine. But you'd have more fun on a mountain bike, especially on Ridge. It's going to dump on Wednesday, so tomorrow is the day to ride.

    Also, it wouldn't be the worst idea for you to start off by dropping down Hihn's fireroad, then up Sulphur Springs to Ridge. That way you'd bypass the rougher part of Ridge. And if you really like the Flow trail, it's not that bad of a climb up Tractor to drop sections 5 and 6 again- or farther up if you have the legs.

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    Yeah, tomorrow is the plan.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Callender View Post
    Also, it wouldn't be the worst idea for you to start off by dropping down Hihn's fireroad, then up Sulphur Springs to Ridge. That way you'd bypass the rougher part of Ridge. And if you really like the Flow trail, it's not that bad of a climb up Tractor to drop sections 5 and 6 again- or farther up if you have the legs.
    Great idea for the CX route. Ridge section from Helipad to flow has nothing techy.

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  12. #12
    MarkyMark
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    It's closed now, but MichiganMatt went down Sawpit on his CX years ago during a Demo group ride. Nutty!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shamis View Post
    I would pay admission to watch guys go down the waterfall with Drop Bars at the end of Mailboxes.

  13. #13
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    It's not a good idea to go there this week. It's gotten 20 inches of rain in the last month and is very saturated and beat. Tomorrow/thurs, we're supposed to get a crazy storm. The road too is VERY sketchy right now. It is crumbling and rocks can fall anytime.

    I'd give that place a time to heal.

    And using a cross bike.... I would say NO. It is doable. I've seen it done on a road bike. And we rode it for years on singlespeeds with rigid forks. But it's really not a good idea. Good novelty but not fun and not safe. Especially if it's your first time. The greater issue is Ridge Trail to get to Flow. That is way more varied than Flow.
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  14. #14
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    Here is Soquel Demo Weather and full graphs. https://soquel.westernweathergroup.com/
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    Absolutely spectacular! Today was the only day to go with my friend from out of town and the rain coming in later than originally expected gave us a window. Trails were in great shape, no mud issues with the exception of climbing up Tractor.

    A mountain bike would have been much more appropriate but the ride on the CX was still a blast-- of course I had to be cautious and it was a bit of work.

    Thanks for the route advice. Due to time constraints we didn't get to hit Braille but I think my MTB-ing friend was pretty ecstatic about the ride.

    We ended up as follows:

    Down Hihns > Up Sulpher Springs > Down Full Flow > Up Tractor Trail to Flow #5 start > Down Flow 5-6 > Up Hihns

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    Nice work.
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  17. #17
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    Yep. I was there with you. Pre-tubeless too.
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  18. #18
    jms
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shamis View Post
    I would pay admission to watch guys go down the waterfall with Drop Bars at the end of Mailboxes.
    Yeah? Done it. Saw a friend do it on a road bike years ago. It's gotten a LOT more chewed up than a decade ago on that trail. I walk about 20 feet of it these days with drop bars. I currently do EVERYTHING on the front side of Nisene, Demo, Bonny Doon, etc on a drop bar bike. And I don't need to shuttle up to do it. It's fun!

    To the OP - It's totally doable, if you can squeeze 40's or larger, set up tubeless down with tire pressures in the 20's, it's a great loop from Aptos and MUCH more fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jetdog9 View Post
    Absolutely spectacular! Today was the only day to go with my friend from out of town and the rain coming in later than originally expected gave us a window. Trails were in great shape, no mud issues with the exception of climbing up Tractor.

    A mountain bike would have been much more appropriate but the ride on the CX was still a blast-- of course I had to be cautious and it was a bit of work.

    Thanks for the route advice. Due to time constraints we didn't get to hit Braille but I think my MTB-ing friend was pretty ecstatic about the ride.

    We ended up as follows:

    Down Hihns > Up Sulpher Springs > Down Full Flow > Up Tractor Trail to Flow #5 start > Down Flow 5-6 > Up Hihns
    ahh, you got in before the storm. well done!!!!!!
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    ahh, you got in before the storm. well done!!!!!!
    How was that road? Still unblocked?
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  21. #21
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    Flow on a cross bike is a lot more fun than on a mtb... that said, last time i did it, the braking bumps wore me out quick... had to let the finger off the brakes to hold onto the bars towards the bottom as i was losing grip strength

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    Quote Originally Posted by jms View Post
    i...t's a great loop from Aptos and MUCH more fun.
    We may have different ideas of what constitutes fun! And I can think of at least one trail in Nisene that you wouldn't drop on your bike (I don't even know the name, but pm me).

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkMass View Post
    It's closed now, but MichiganMatt went down Sawpit on his CX years ago during a Demo group ride. Nutty!
    Quote Originally Posted by jms View Post
    Yep. I was there with you. Pre-tubeless too.
    Me too! That memory bubbled up when I saw the thread title.

    Ah, the "good old days"...
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=394041

    ///Charlie
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Callender View Post
    We may have different ideas of what constitutes fun! And I can think of at least one trail in Nisene that you wouldn't drop on your bike (I don't even know the name, but pm me).
    LOL! Yeah, probably.

    Maybe, I have done everything alongside the Fireroad heading down from St Rosalia peak to the steel bridge. Yes, even the one who's name starts with a "B" and ends with an "R". And once, with that one, was PLENTY. I'm curious, not suicidal
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline35 View Post
    Me too! That memory bubbled up when I saw the thread title.

    Ah, the "good old days"...
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=394041

    ///Charlie
    Nice find! Back when I was just a stalker... errrr, lurker.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by tburger View Post
    Nice find! Back when I was just a stalker... errrr, lurker.
    Yeah, a nice read on a rainy day. It might be the greatest thread in the history of mtbr Norcal!
    Long live long rides

  27. #27
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    Ancient history

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline35 View Post
    Yeah, a nice read on a rainy day. It might be the greatest thread in the history of mtbr Norcal!
    A very L O N G time ago, in a galaxy, far, far away........
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  28. #28
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    How was that road? Still unblocked?
    Road to drive there was unblocked, there was a washout section with stop signs and single lane.

    At the park, the car gate to parking lot was closed.

    As for trails, everything was open except Sawtooth if I recall.

    Anyway, could all be different now with the rain that started dumping last night.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jms View Post

    To the OP - It's totally doable, if you can squeeze 40's or larger, set up tubeless down with tire pressures in the 20's, it's a great loop from Aptos and MUCH more fun.

    Talent trumps technology.
    Ha, I run 45ís on my Gravel Rig and psi in the 20ís would be riding on the rim. I canít go any lower than 40psi, but Iím also 240ish. Still beats the hell out of riding on 25c tires.
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  31. #31
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    Testing your patience here but whatís rideable in the SC area in the super wet? Iím talking gravel roads and sand single track. Iíll be there Friday and Saturday. Friday looks like beer inside but would like to stretch the legs on Saturday.

    For example, hows the dirt on Aptos Creek Rd in the wet? Are some of the Wilder Ranch trails sandy enough?


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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
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    Awwwww. Clickbait
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetdog9 View Post
    Road to drive there was unblocked, there was a washout section with stop signs and single lane.

    At the park, the car gate to parking lot was closed.

    As for trails, everything was open except Sawtooth if I recall.

    Anyway, could all be different now with the rain that started dumping last night.
    Thank you. Looks like a big slide blocked highway 17 south for most of the day yesterday . Still not totally cleared
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Structure View Post
    Testing your patience here but whatís rideable in the SC area in the super wet? Iím talking gravel roads and sand single track. Iíll be there Friday and Saturday. Friday looks like beer inside but would like to stretch the legs on Saturday.

    For example, hows the dirt on Aptos Creek Rd in the wet? Are some of the Wilder Ranch trails sandy enough?


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    Aptos creek fire road is not too bad. Wilder develops pits and sinkholes.

    Good money is on Fort Ord in Monterey
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Aptos creek fire road is not too bad. Wilder develops pits and sinkholes.

    Good money is on Fort Ord in Monterey
    The bottom of Aptos creek gets a ton of standing water mixed with grit in the rain, take the [legal] single track beside it to the steel bridge to avoid it. Good all the way up from there. With these storms, it should be interesting to see if the FR exists where it slid away above the "wall". Might as much rain and wind as the SC mountains has gotten this week, you might get to practice your CX mounts and dismounts over downed trees.

    As FC mentioned, Ft Ord [from 8th & Giggling] is the more entertaining choice if you can find the time. Big Basin is also an option.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by jms View Post
    The bottom of Aptos creek gets a ton of standing water mixed with grit in the rain, take the [legal] single track beside it to the steel bridge to avoid it. Good all the way up from there. With these storms, it should be interesting to see if the FR exists where it slid away above the "wall". Might as much rain and wind as the SC mountains has gotten this week, you might get to practice your CX mounts and dismounts over downed trees.

    As FC mentioned, Ft Ord [from 8th & Giggling] is the more entertaining choice if you can find the time. Big Basin is also an option.
    Big Basin. Ahhh.... haven't been there in a while. The road to there might be interesting.
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  37. #37
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    Thanks! Good info. Ft. Ord wasn't on my radar but is now. Might be a good solution and almost the same distance as Wilder from where we're staying (depending on traffic).
    Bicycling is politics by other means.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Structure View Post
    Thanks! Good info. Ft. Ord wasn't on my radar but is now. Might be a good solution and almost the same distance as Wilder from where we're staying (depending on traffic).
    Fort Ord is really your best bet. Plenty of gravel roads and sand. Some puddles out there, but just pop up that front wheel and make a splash. It can be easy to get lost out there but even if you're in the heart of fort ord you're no more than a few miles from a trailhead, most likely with a view of where you need to be heading. Bring a bell if you have one.

  39. #39
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    I was trying to post an amazing Yoann Barelli shredit from Whistler on a CX bike, but had a different link that I wanted.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by langster831 View Post
    Fort Ord is really your best bet. Plenty of gravel roads and sand. Some puddles out there, but just pop up that front wheel and make a splash. It can be easy to get lost out there but even if you're in the heart of fort ord you're no more than a few miles from a trailhead, most likely with a view of where you need to be heading. Bring a bell if you have one.
    Hey - since you know the Ord well, can you tell me where the 'dirt jumps' are near a 'tower' of some kind? On the Seaside side.....

    Edit - my query is based on something I heard from another rider who was giving me some info about trails over on that side (where I've only explored once - from 8th n Giggling and found to be rather flat).

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shamis View Post
    Ha, I run 45ís on my Gravel Rig and psi in the 20ís would be riding on the rim. I canít go any lower than 40psi, but Iím also 240ish. Still beats the hell out of riding on 25c tires.
    I run 26X1.5 Nashbar Streetwise tires and run 40psi front and 45psi back and find that if i run any lower i wont be able to hit stuff hard or skip over the rough stuff. Also weigh 130lbs. I cant imagine running anything lower especially if heavier rider...

    The Manitou R7 is also aired up for someone who weighs 200+lbs following the air pressure chart to accomodate the more forward position of the drop bars...


  42. #42
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    Damn you're doing Chappy faster on a gravel bike than most people do on mid to longer travel trail bikes.

  43. #43
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    The day I paid a visit to Demo last summer, there was a guy riding a rigid singlespeed.
    It was amazing how hard the ground was and how deep the braking bumps are. I can't imagine the ride on a rigid. Eek.

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    CalTrans showing no problems on 236 (to/through Big Basin). I like to start at HQ and head up Gazos Creek to warm up. Starting at Little Basin and doing a part of the MBoSC Old Growth Classic might be a good choice too. https://www.strava.com/routes/14115049

    35 still closed in a section in San Mateo County.
    [IN THE CENTRAL CALIFORNIA AREA]
    IS CLOSED FROM 4 MI NORTH OF THE JCT OF SR 9 /AT THE SKYLINE RIDGE OPEN
    SPACE PRESERVE/ TO 7 MI SOUTH OF WOODSIDE /AT ALPINE/PAGE MILLS RD/
    (SAN MATEO CO) 24 HRS A DAY THRU 2/26/19 - DUE TO STORM DAMAGE REPAIR
    - MOTORISTS ARE ADVISED TO USE AN ALTERNATE ROUTE

    Trail work somewhere in Fort Ord on Saturday starting 9am at 8th & Giggling:

    When: Sat, February 16, 9am Ė 1pm
    Where: 8th Street and Gigling Avenue (map)
    Description: We will be performing trail work. Specific details to be determined. Please bring gloves, wear long pants and long sleeved shirts (recommended) and closed toe shoes (no sandals). Bring snacks and water, hats and sun screen are recommended. .
    Trail work will wrap up around 1 PM and lunch will be provided.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Here is Soquel Demo Weather and full graphs. https://soquel.westernweathergroup.com/
    I'm immediately adjacent to the top of Demo. We got about 9 inches of rain in 24 hours a couple days ago, so it's prolly best to steer clear for a few days of dry weather

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  46. #46
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    Aiming to hit Demo Thursday as work has me in Scotts Valley that day. How long does Demo need to drain?

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