Elevator Shaft

Elevator Shaft

This trail veers off the popular West Ridge fire road and plunges directly into Sycamore Canyon (Santa Monica Mountains, So. California). This marked our third attempt to try and Muni the whole enchilada.

It’s got a piss-your-pants drop-in down a 100 foot shale cliff that has to approach 60 degrees. We spent more than a few minutes on the fire road, staring down over the lip, and just about bagged it till we started trading insults and finally sacked it up and dropped in. One revolution down and you either stay on the wheel or slid the distance on your arse, something Josh and I luckily avoided.

Then suddenly the trail narrows to about 6-8 feet wide – and after last years rains – features malevolent ruts 2-6 feet deep. You ride the steep edges of the ruts on crumbling foot wide lines and occasionally have to drop into a rut and sometimes have to ride dirt skinny’s between ruts. One 100 yard section was so loose, steep and rutted we could only “ride” it in 20 yard bits. We just kept skidding out of traction, pitching off our rigs and sliding luge-style for twenty or thirty yards owing to the steepness. Such falls do remarkable things to your clothing. Josh ground holes through both his arm pads and the plastic inserts in his shin guards.

That awful, rutted, precipitous, pinched down shale chute really blew because it was flanked by thorn trees that ripped our flesh. But just below the trail firms up a little but stays steep and technical and starts throwing an amazing variety of obstacles at a rider: a thin and tilted rock peninsula full of mini-drops and screwy vectors; another few dirt chutes you skid down more than actually ride; high log skinny’s; stream crossings; goodly drops off dirt cliffs; one mambo steep rollout, all ending with a cement culvert pouring into the bottom of the canyon. Amazing variety for a trail barely a mile and a half long. And once in Sycamore Canyon (a favorite with mountain bikers) there’s a whole days worth of stuff to play around on.

Never had to use so many different techniques on one ride, but man, this trail sure beats you up.


That sounds like some extreme riding you did there, I would love to see a video of it =p

Yes, this all means nothing without pictures and/or video. :stuck_out_tongue:

Sounds fun, guys.

I’ve got pics, but I need to get some chores done here before I can lay aside the time to catalog / upload…hang in there!

The pictures!

Get 'em while they’re hot.


I don’t have much to add to the report, other than to say that I was so beat after the ride that I fell asleep on the couch really early (and just woke up).

Oh yeah, and I need new gear.

ooh that looks like so much fun,i can’t wait untill summer is here so i can do more muni

You should consider some hardshell arm pads, they won’t wear out as easily
I love my raceface rally FR pads, they’re really comfy and protective

www.raceface.com (used to be roach)


I hadn’t looked at those pics till now and it’s bizarre how the first part of the rutted shale chute looks almost dead flat. That thing was so steep we could barely walk parts of it. Gotta work a little harder on our camera angles . . . We really need to start shooing some video but so far we can’t bother ourselves to fiddle with all the required gear. It’s trouble enough to click off a few pics.