Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Park That Is Lambert

With inclement weather already moving in, the mountain biking season is quickly coming to an end (several inches of snow up at the summit of AF Canyon already--barf). Amidst the doom and gloom of the coming winter, there stands a beacon of hope and joy. And that beacon is Lambert Park.

Full disclosure: Lambert Park is not a place where you'd want to do an epic ride. Nor is it a location that is chock full of super steep climbs, technical downhill, and breathtaking vistas. That is not the purpose of Lambert Park. Lambert Park is nestled in the foothills of Alpine, providing nearly year round mountain biking that is perfect for a quick ride after work or when all the other trails are too muddy (or snowy). Yesterday, during a brief lull in the rain and wind, I was getting stir crazy in the house and decided to see how Lambert had fared with the weather. It. Was. Perfect. (It also doesn't hurt that I can ride my bike to the trail head from my house quite conveniently.)

I geared up with my jersey, arm and leg warmers, and a beanie and headed out to Lambert. I'd chosen the perfect time of day to head out as the sun was actually coming through the clouds and it was warming up nicely--so nice, in fact, that the arm warmers and beanie became unnecessary half way through the ride.

I always choose to start my ride at 300 N / Bald Mountain Drive--there is a nice little parking spot for two vehicles and a trail starts there and dumps you right at the bottom of Corkscrew (a good warm up climb that takes you to the main network of Lambert's trails). After dodging the five different piles of horse poop that are ALWAYS on this section of the trail, I made it to Corkscrew and began my climb. Because it's so short, I generally stay in my middle chain ring in the front and the fourth from the top in the back--strong enough gearing that means I'm standing for the entire climb. As I have gotten stronger this season, though, I find that I really enjoy getting out of the saddle and just powering through those climbs. Perhaps I see the possibility of having a singlespeed in my inventory in the future (don't tell The Wife, though).

After a quick climb up Corkscrew, I always drop down Ziggy, then hook up with Poppy which then connects to Lambert's Luge, then Spring. I don't know why I love the climbing at Lambert so much, but I do. It's most likely the fact that the grade is mellow enough that I can always be in my 4th, 5th, or 6th gear in the back and just power through the climbs the entire time. The climbs are relatively short (as are the descents), but are long enough to provide a good workout. Wow, I got completely off track there. Back to the ride: once I'd climbed to the top of Spring, I decided to change up my route a bit and dropped down Rodeo rather than continue on around Spring. It is at this location (part way down Rodeo) where I decided I had to pull out the trusty iPhone and take some pictures. I have to say, Lambert (LIKE EVERY OTHER TRAIL IN UTAH), is best in the Fall. I mean, seriously, crap-your-pants so good that I actually have to stop mid way through my descents and take a picture so I can show The Wife 'what I actually see out there.' Behold:

Right near the top of Rodeo--I really like to take pictures of bridges for some reason?

Honestly, no seriously, honestly, can riding a bike get any better?

My trusty steed is saying to me, "Please oh please ride me through the beautiful red leaves. I won't give you any mechanicals for at least a month if you do!" Weird, right? What sort of bike barters?

Actually, right before I took this picture, I had a sudden urge to pee, and since no one else seemed to be out on the trail, I took the liberty of relieving myself. Quite pleasant. Good thing I'm a shameful pee-er (peer? peeer?) and like to finish up quickly because within a few seconds, some guy came zipping down, and I had to quickly move out of the way (I normally hate people who just rest on the trail, but I figured I wouldn't see another soul--my bad!).

After an awesome descent down Rodeo, I hooked up with Rodeo Up (original, I know) and climbed back up to Middle Spring where I chose to continue on around Spring. Quick aside: Middle Spring is the coolest part of Lambert; and by cool, I mean the most vegetation. The little stream runs right by Middle and there are a good number of maples and other trees on the first part of the climb that almost make you forget where you are. Also, when Fall comes, you end up riding on a bed of bright yellow leaves on the trail. Painful, I know!

After awhile, all of the leaves sort of get boring. Oh wait, that's not right. What I meant to say was: after awhile, the leaves just keep making a great ride even better. Yeah, that's right.

In addition to the beautiful foliage (I really sound like a Nancy-boy in this post, but it really is that amazing to be out there), Lambert was also sporting awesome trail conditions. The rain had given Lambert's trails 'hero dirt' status. Usually, the downhill on Spring is only 'meh' because speed control is a necessity as you'll washout if you go too quickly. But the rain had firmed up the trails and it was a blast carving the edges and zipping around the corners.

After the quick descent down Spring, I hooked back up with Rodeo, climbed a bit to reach the Rodeo Up / Down split, dropped down Rodeo again (awesome), hooked up with Middle, transitioned to Ruin, then reconnected with Poppy / Middle (I can never remember where it spits me out), then climbed up Black Dog which connected back up with Corkscrew and took me back to where I started. If all of these trail names / locations are confusing to you, they are just as confusing to me. I have spent hours and hours at Lambert--and though the signage is great--I still get lost. Well, I'm terrible with directions too.

Forebode: ominous clouds above the mountains right south of Lambert

As I was finishing up my ride home, I could definitely tell that the weather was changing. The sun was gone, the wind had picked up and the temperature had dropped significantly. Right when I pulled into my driveway it began to lightly rain. I quickly hosed off my bike (a little muddy of course) and got inside. I had timed that ride perfectly. And to be perfectly honest, I don't think I could have enjoyed a better 1.5 hour ride if I'd tried. Thank you Lambert for all of your trail-y goodness (sans horse poop).

Last view before I hit the road and get home. Not bad, eh?


  1. Haha. Considering I'm one of the only people who read your blog- posting your secret singlespeed desire is not exactly subtle. :) And no- you have 3 bikes- you cannot get another one yet. <3

  2. Ok, so two of us read your blog. Lambert Park...isn't that the site of the Frozen Zaugg, er, Frozen Hog? Yeah, it's a pretty place for sure...when it's not frozen.