Photo by Roger Phillips
I had the chance to ride the new flow trail on Wednesday, Oct. 30. It’s beautifully designed and in pretty good shape for riders, but if you’re a casual mountain biker, be prepared to be challenged. The top section feels similar to one of the bike park’s jump lines, but with more distance between jumps. You can roll the jumps pretty easily rather than jumping, but that partially diminishes the fun of the trail because you can lay off the brakes and cruise through those bermed corners. But if you maintain speed, you will catch air on the jumps whether you want to or not.
I took it fairly slow the first time down the trail so I knew what I was getting myself in to, then let the bike run the second time with minimal braking. The fear factor kicked in as I approached jumps much bigger than I am used to hitting, but I put a little faith in the trail designers and let the bike sail. My jumps were pretty modest, nothing like what you see on magazine covers. My goal was to get the feel of riding the trail in a manner in which it was designed. But my last trip down the trail, gravity wasn’t so kind, and I smacked the dirt pretty hard after crashing on the backside of a jump.
Mind you, I am no freerider or dirt jumper, and I am a fairly conservative rider. This trail is a little over my head, but still fun to ride even if I have to brake before the jumps.
The trail isn’t completed, so watch carefully the first time you ride it. Where it ends is obvious and you have plenty of time to stop. The trail ends at intersection with another trail, Junk Yard, and eventually there will be a bridge over that trail.
Brad Nelson of Boise Area Mountain Bike Association, which is leading the trail project, says people can continue riding the trail until the bridge is installed.
“Now the trail is packed and we can keep it open down to where the bridge will be installed,” he said. “It does still need packing though, so I think the message should be that it is open for people to roll down to help pack the surface.”
It’s important to ride it only when conditions allow, Nelson said. “If rains continue and it gets too wet then people will need to stay off – like all trails when muddy. This is especially so for flow-type trails though because maintaining jump lips and shape is important. Damaged trail takes longer to repair.”
Nelson said there’s no timeline when the bridge will be installed and the trail completed, but it looks like it will be a great trail when it’s done.