An Evening with Rocket Ramps’ New Flow Trail in the La Tierra Trails – Red Dog

May is Bike Month in the United States, and locales celebrate the beauty of the bicycle in various ways, from group rides, workshops, and advocacy meetings. In the Southwestern state of New Mexico, John contributed to the local scene in Santa Fe by shooting promotional photos of a new Rocket Ramps-built flow trail, called Red Dog, in the La Tierra trail network with a crew of ladies.

The trail officially opens tomorrow, so if you’re in Santa Fe, be sure to check it out. If you can’t make it, no worries—we’ve got a great gallery showcasing this short but sweet flow and skill-building trail.

Santa Fe offers some of the most diverse trails in the Southwest. Like steep, techy, gnar stuff? We got plenty of that. But more importantly, we have hundreds of miles of beginner trails, too. And more is always on the way! Our Fat Tire Society has been working hard in Arroyo Hondo and Galisteo Basin Preserve, expanding more swoopy and fun cross-country terrain.

Yet, right on the edge of the Casa Solana neighborhood is the La Tierra trail network with its expansive cross-country terrain. La Tierra is a perfect place for new riders looking to improve their riding before taking on our Dale Ball trails, the next step up in terms of technical riding.

The City of Santa Fe has done a great job of marking and maintaining the La Tierra Trails, making the convoluted network easy to navigate and for those looking for something new and challenging, we’ve got a new, short skills and flow trail opening tomorrow.

A few months back, a guy with some extra money pinged Henry and Ted–those total rippers we’ve featured before–from Rocket Ramps to build “the best skills and flow trail in the US.” With high ambitions of making a safe place for riders to learn how to ride flow and jump lines, the two builders got to work with a small plot of land within La Tierra by the Frijoles Trailhead.

The trail begins with a cedar plank ramp run before launching into a series of tabletops initiated by metal-framed kickers with cedar decking. As the trail continues down its 1/10th of a mile run, the kickers get increasingly taller and steeper, ending in two back-to-back tables that set you up perfectly to carry speed comfortably and safely over the tops.

What’s great about the trail is there is no need to use your brakes, so hopefully, it won’t be riddled with brake bumps in the corners, and since the kickers are permanent and made from wood and metal, you don’t have to worry about the lips getting smashed within a few weeks, something that happened almost immediately with our Hustle and Flow trail.

After completing the project this week, Henry and Ted invited me to shoot some badass ladies riding this new skills/flow trail…

Remember the Chips ‘n’ Salsa ride photos I shot a few years ago? That was the vibe we were going for! End of day, after work, group hangs on some nice New Mexico dirt. I love the image of riders mobbing some freshly formed flow trail. There’s something so engaging about documenting people enjoying this terrain. While the new trail in La Tierra isn’t as long, wide, or expansive as Chips ‘n’ Salsa is, it offers plenty of unique moments for the area.

Photographically, I always have a blast chasing such an energetic cast of characters, and I can’t thank Ted and Henry enough for facilitating evenings like this. Photographically, the challenge for me lies in the documentation of riders such that their talents are highlighted all while capturing the vibe and mood of the scenery.

We have a good thing going on here in Santa Fe, and I’m honored to be a part of it. Plus, end-of-day light on freshly shaped and sculpted dirt is something to behold.

We’ve got a fun weekend ahead of us with the Bike Santa Fe Bike Month trail opening tomorrow afternoon, hosted by the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society. There will be tacos, and Todd from Santa Fe Mobile Bike Works will be there working on bikes. If you’re around, roll through. The party is rolling from 12 noon to 5 PM, and you can rip a lap on the new trail in just 5 minutes.

I don’t often say this, but I hope the rain/weather forecast is wrong because I can’t wait to see people boogie down this trail on Saturday. See ya there!

Thanks to the riders!

Cindy: @cindit.mtb
Bree: @spiceyjaramill0
Becca: @burquenabecca
Carrie: @sistah_carrie
Sonja: @sonja_margarita90

… and the builders!

Rocket Ramps dirt workers: @rocket_ramps_ @janker_ted @hendo_otb
Austin metalwork: @boguedesigns
Brody metalwork: @pacificnorwegian