Fried Alive on Devil's Slide Muni Run

Early this morning, prior to stuffing 10 pounds of turkey and 50 beers down my cakehole, Josh and I met in North San Fernando Valley and dropped into Devil’s Slide Trail. We’d ridden it last weekend after G-Spot, but that trail beat us up so bad we could only fake it on Devil’s Slide. This time we cleaned the whole enchilada, which follows a mile long, 30 foot wide ribbon of rock that thins to dirt in several sections and plunges through dozens of ledge drops and swooping, water-worn bowls. The pure rock sections resemble a whitewater river in mineral form, with standing waves, boils, troughs, eddies and polished sink holes.

The riding is deceptively tricky, owing to all the back angled “waves” in the rock, and the fact that most lines dead end in chasms, fissures that lock your tire fast, or weird, tiered staircases where the tiers are radically back tilted. Picking the right line involves sneaking glances far ahead then darting your eyes back to your tire. When the trail steepens up, if you roll too fast you can’t pick or hold a line and can only hope you can run out the UPD, which is inevitable. Go too slow and you can’t tractor over the “waves.”

The hardest part was trying to figure out which technique to use and where to use it. To keep the run going for 100 or so yards requires transitioning between quasi muni trials riding for the bowls and ledge sections and then into rolling and “skinny” riding down rock ribs interspersed with tractoring over all those waves. For a trail that was not all that steep, we found it strenuous and lung busting.

Devil’s Slide is a different kind of riding than we’re used to, and we kept finding ourselves saying, “That don’t look bad,” only to get bucked off because of those back-tilted waves, or because we got locked into a dead end line. Toward the bottom we started putting longer pieces together, and after a few more runs down the Devil’s Slide, I trust we’ll have it down…

I’m continually amazed with the variety of Muni trails, and how much different one is from the other so far as techniques required. Wild aggression on Devil’s Slide will get you nothing more than a faceplant on the rocks. It’s all agility, quick adaptation and fitness.

And man, was it hot out there!

Josh will post some pics later today.


What a ride! It was good to do that trail fresh. Almost December and still blazing hot on the rocks…

Here’s the link to the gallery:

Ey john, sounds like a awesome ride. You’r riding a KH 05’ now? no more large marge/profile/lightrider?

John was experimenting with a brake to see if it offered any advantages on such rolling landscape - I don’t think the factory brake setup works with the Large Marge, so he was riding a backup uni with the skinny(!) rim.

At any rate, the brake was useless.

You guys just keep going don’t you? I wish I had all those nice muni places closeby.

But you HAVE to go to Moab Munifest this year…

Count on it! Looking forward to the trip, the trails, and meeting up with everyone who made it (or didn’t) to CMW. March 24-26th, 2006! You’d better be there. :smiley: