Ride Report: Chumash Trail to Rocky Peak to Hummingbird – Simi Valley, CA

I’ve always heard that Simi Valley is the porn capital of the world.  But for those of us not in “The Biz”, we’ve gotta figure out another way to release our pent up energy.  Lucky for us, there’s some tasty nuggets of singletrack just off the 118 freeway, nested high above the suburbanite homes.  Cheggit.

Trail notes: I definitely could’ve used some cush for the tush… It sure was bouncy on the hard tail single speed for sure…a fully is definitely the right call for this ride… and probably some gears too… and the squish would’ve allowed for looser line selection, which equates to higher speed, which equates to imaginary that a boys and fist pumps to friends that don’t exist… which is why you rocked this trail solo… but yeah, you still rock and so do your rock garden slaying Mountain Bike Flyermagazine worthy skillz.  I felt like my single speed was the proverbial knife at a gun fight on this ride… I always loved the scene with Sean Connery from Untouchables “You pull a knife, I pull a gun… you send my man to the hospital, I send your’s to the morgue…”

nobody eschapes from the rock

Yeah, I was definitely pulling a plastic switchblade purchased from Alvera St. for two bucks, and it turned out to be a comb…

my rockabilly comb

Trail Details: Chumash Trail climb – steep, steep and more steep… starts of with lots of grip, then gets to some techy rocky sections reminiscent of Moab’s Amasa Back and Slickrock trails… super fun to test climbing skills, but very tough as you’re heart rate’s already red lining while you dig for more power to step up rock after rock, testing your bike handling/ trials skillsets…  my kinda riding!!  I did have to dab and walk a couple sections on the SS, but still worth the mad scientist effort.  I didn’t do it on this ride, but if I had more time, I’d ride down Chumash as well as climbing it… Beastie Boys style… once to the top of Chumash (which keeps reminding of me of that Native American Casino up by Solvang where we used to gamble when I was going to college at UCSB… I once won $20 on the nickle slots and they gave me a baseball hat… I wish I still had that hat), you turn onto Rocky Peak Trail…

Looking up Chumash

view of 118 freeway and suburbia just below- towards the end of Hummingbird

grabbing a quick break up on Rocky Peak trail

intersection of Rocky Peak and Hummingbird

Rocky Peak is called a fireroad, but it’s deteriorated pretty bad… fairly rocky with rutted out drainages, etc… Kinda blahzay (spell check) and uneventful, but a chance to catch your breath for a few miles before hitting the main event, the title bout,  let’s get ready to rumble: Hummingbird descent.  This trail is a gas, a riot, a hoot… and I reiterate, would’ve been even better on a longer travel (6ish fully) bike.  Peppered with rocky & exposed switchbacks, rock gardens, small jumps, and slickrock sections.  I had a blast choosing all the primo lines, making sure not to flat on the tire poppers… The books call this a double black diamond expert trail, but I think intermediate riders can enjoy it, and wearing pads might be a swell idea… maybe a full face helmet too, if you’re nervous about this type of riding.  I walked a couple dicey spots, since I have nothing to prove, was riding all by my lonesome, and have a day job that requires me to not be broken.   Once at the bottom, you can navigate the streets back to your car at the Chumash Trailhead.  But I was lucky enough to get stopped by a local who happened to be racing his RC car (does RC stand for REd Neck Car?- just kidding, have you slapped my neck lately?), who commented, “you just rode that on your single speed? ouch”… We chatted, and he let me in on a “secret trail” that I was able to jump on… rode all dirt and a quite fun section of flowy singletrack all the way back to my car.  NICE.  If you’re interested, email me and I’ll tell you how to access this trail… but I figured best to keep it a secret, since he was real secretive about it… although the trail is well worn, so I’m sure many locals use it…

more views from Rocky Peak

Anyhoo, if you’re in Simi Valley, this is a must-do ride.  Lots of climbing and cardio, rewarded by fun, if not a little pucker & clench inspiring descending… All with great mountain views and right next to the 118 freeway no less.  I rode right before sunset, and the temps were just right, but heard it gets pretty hot especially in Spring/Summer… so it’s a great Fall/Winter ride.  If you ride here, let me know your thoughts.

PS- lots of hikers everywhere… stay alert, and stay in control of your speed around blind turns… what to ride next?  hmmm…  I guess I have plenty of time to think about that while I work 14 more stagnant hours tomorrow on stage, in a plane fuselage set, on a horror movie I’m not supposed to talk about… outti like John Gatti

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One Response to Ride Report: Chumash Trail to Rocky Peak to Hummingbird – Simi Valley, CA

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