The Santa Fe Fat Tire Society (SFFTS) played the lead role in organizing and implementing the construction of a bike-specific, one-way trail in La Tierra Trails, which the SFFTS Board would eventually vote to name the “Hustle and Flow Trail.” Just over one mile long, this specialized trail was built with the assistance of expert trail builder Joey Klein of the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s “Trail Solutions” program, with the assistance of more than 60 volunteers from SFFTS, REI, and the local trail community in general. By SFFTS’ calculations, more than 60 volunteers contributed nearly 1,000 hours of their time for the construction of the new trail.
Financial assistance for the construction of the Flow Trail was provided by SFFTS, the City of Santa Fe, via the Bicycle and Trails Advisory Committee (BTAC), and a special grant from REI. Thanks also go to the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, the City’s Archaeological Review Committee, and Zia Archaeology for helping to clear the way to make this trail happen in harmony with the City’s stewardship of public open spaces and cultural resources.
The Santa Fe Conservation Trust, acting as City Trail Volunteer Coordinator, assisted by coordinating arrangements for archaeological review, protection of significant archaeological sites, logistical assistance from the City Parks Division, publicity and volunteer recruitment for work days, general planning and monitoring for compliance with city requirements around the trail construction.
The Flow Trail is a considered a “technical trail” in that it has rises and banked turns that may require some advanced bicycling skills to get it done with style and speed. A sign at the top, just west of “Junction 7,” puts users on notice of the “technical trail,” but the fact is that all of these fun features can be rolled over and through at any speed, and so the Flow Trail can be enjoyed by cyclists of any skill level. So much so, that when cyclists finish the trail at Junction 13, most likely with a big smile on their faces, they may just want to ride up the nearby ridge, through Junctions 5 and 6, and do it all over again.
The development of the Flow Trail as a unique trail resource in our area was a key component in the recent recognition of Santa Fe as an IMBA “ride center” at the silver level. The construction of the Flow Trail required complex logistics including ensuring supply of water for shaping and tamping, providing fuel for equipment rented by SFFTS (mini-excavator, mechanized tamping devices, water pump, and work-ATV), and receiving, equipping, and putting to work a steady flow of volunteers over a mile’s length of trail and a three-week period.
SFFTS volunteers are to be recognized for the leadership and dedication to various tasks at hand that they provided to make the Flow Trail possible. We should also thank the local trail user community for their patience while we used the existing trails to transport water and equipment during construction. Finally, it should be noted that SFFTS, REI, and other volunteers were able to complete the project with impressive clean-up and touch-up work, including brushing away any motor vehicle, excavator, or work-ATV tracks that remained along La Tierra Trails after construction was completed.
A celebration of the Flow Trail is scheduled for Wed., May 13, including a ribbon-cutting and volunteer recognition. The trail will remain a work in progress as technical features are maintained and improved over time, and SFFTS has already clearly demonstrated that it is up to the task of keeping the “Hustle and Flow Trail” flowing with happy cyclists.