As the proud owner of a new Ibis Ripmo v2, I wanted my first ride to be one for the books. To that end, I called my riding buddy Patrick, and we met at the Soquel Demonstration Forest lot to ride the Flow Trail.
I am intent on replacing the stock SRAM NX components with better alternatives soon but parts are on order and it will take some time for them to arrive. In the mean time, the bike sits in the garage begging me to ride it. The stock NX group will be going to Patrick, and I was saving them to keep them “new” before I handed them off. When I answered his question about why I’m not riding the bike yet, he said “I don’t care if the parts are a little bit dirty, get on that thing and ride!”
So here we are.
The ride up the mountain and along the ridge is not particularly challenging, just grueling. The ridge has a few drops that could be considered black diamond, but they are only 20-30 feet long and level off quickly. Overall, the trail is not tough. The R2 waltzed up the mountain and brought me to the top with time and energy to spare.
Riding down the Flow Trail is something to behold. High berms, smooth transitions, and fast drops make it a 20-minute rollercoaster that puts a smile on your face and leaves you tired but wanting more. Considering the climbs that exist before and after, the downhill goes too fast and seems to not live up to the climbs. But it’s the funnest ride in the area (in my opinion), and only Santa Cruz’s EMT comes close in terms of fun.
The slog back up the mountain and back to the car is always funner when enjoyed with the company of a good friend. As we climbed the mountain, we talked about how the coming upgrades would benefit the bike, and dreamed of society returning to “normal” so we could enjoy some good barbecue and a few pints in the company of others.
Until then, we have our remote and distanced rides and our friendship. Those things are doing a pretty good job keeping us sane and satisfied.