May 3, 2018
I feel like the majority of the trails around Davis are shrouded in mystery, so I'll do my best to fill any non-local riders like myself in. Its near impossible to find any youtube videos or up to date trail info for the Davis trail networks. The typical words I had heard about the CVI trails were, epic, technical, rocky, challenging, wet, impossibly hard. I had seen some footage of sections of the trail but I still had so many questions, most of the video footage is over 6-7 years old and poor quality. I decided to take the plunge and drive down on a beautiful 75 degree day. I parked at the grocery store and rode my bike on the gravel road and over the bridge. From here I knew the trail would start but there were zero signs. It took me pulling out my phone and doubling back to find the trail head. Once on the trail, it branched off several different ways, nothing that was noted on the Trailforks app, so I just stayed straight. After a few miles, I made it to the Moonrocks. These rocks definitly lived up to their reputation. I consider myself a pretty skilled rider who can clear most trail features. What made the Moonrocks so challenging was how deep the craters and grooves were. Minus all of the pedal strikes, I was worried about busting my real derailure. I ended up having to walk a good portion of the rocks. This section of trail was definitily black diamond if not double black diamond. Leading up to all of this, the trail was mostly open (little to no tree coverage) with lots of muddy bogs. It was a unique experience but I don't know if I would classify it as fun. Where it did get fun was the south side or lower section of Moonrocks HooDoo rocks. It was more wooded, still very technical (which I like) but not impossible and dry. This section of trail made it all worth it. I almost considered turning around and riding it again but since it was my first trip out there, I still didn't really know what lay ahead While the whole loop wasn't that long, roughly 10 miles, it was a full mind, body soul workout. I was constantly scanning every few feet looking for lines, using body control and english to avoid pedal strikes. This trail didn't have any killer climbs but navigating the whole thing was pretty tiring. Very slow and meticulous rock crawling type riding. I finished up my ride, had a pretty good burrito and beer at Hellbenders. Anyone who is traveling a good way like myself needs to know what they are getting into here. I enjoy technical riding, this was nearly 10 miles of full technical riding. If you're looking for smoothish trails and just want to turn the cranks, this probably isn't the trail for you. I had to give CVI only 3 stars, simply because I reserve 5 stars for world class trails and there were decent sized sections of trail that I personally didn't care for. The southern portion of HooDoo Rocks was a hoot and I'd give that 4.5 stars for sure.
After Hellbenders, I went over to Blackwater Falls state park to ride. I'll leave a review over there.