Sunday, July 20, 2014

Travelin' South

This section was a fun one.
I had decided earlier this year to get out and about a bit more as far as where I ride my bicycles. That's one of the reasons I ditched doing the 3GR this year. Yes, those are fun to do every Saturday, but they also had me pinned down to doing the same thing every season for two years. I felt like a change up was necessary.

So, I had my sights set on riding at the LAMBA trails system in Beverly Park in Cedar Rapids for some time and Saturday I made that happen. I'd been there once before with MG back at the end of Winter when I attempted to ride through the snow on the Buzzard.

 It also wasn't the first time I had ever ridden off road in the Cedar Rapids area.  I used to ride some rogue single track in Cedar Rapids years ago. Like back in the 90's, but that was not these trails. In fact, I am not even sure just where we used to ride, but I feel in was up in Marion and East side Cedar Rapids somewhere. Anyway......

The trails I did ride were very different than Ingawanis Woods. I was on the Buzzard, once again, and this time the Beverly Park trails were perfect. Dry, hard, and fast. Ingawanis gets like this as well, but the trails at Beverly Park are not as flowy as Ingawanis, which has a much more "wide open" feel. Beverly Park is a bit more tight, twisty, and definitely more technical. They also feature some structure down there. Not a lot, but Ingawanis doesn't have anything of that nature, so that stuck out for me.

A bit greener than it was last time I was here with MG!
The trails at Beverly Park feature signage indicating the trail difficulty level, which was pretty nice. I would say that compared to other trails I've been to that do similar things, these markings are on the conservative side. That's okay, as far as I am concerned, the main thing is that they are marked because there is a much higher level of difficulty involved in some sections of Beverly Park than at Ingawanis.

Optional lines exist in many places at obstacles, but not at all of them. So, knowing which trails are "Most Difficult" may help make your day better.

The trails are well kept, mown (mostly) and free of downed trees, limbs, and litter. I was very impressed by the condition of the trails in that manner. As for mileage, I don't do computers, Garmin, or Strava, so I don't have a figure on that, but I feel that it is at least good hour jaunt through there if you do most of the system.

As for myself, I like going into a trail system with no map and just wing it. Getting a little lost is okay, but after a while I found myself wanting to wrap things up. I was not able to find the trail head after going around in a circle three times and finally I just cut out down a hillside to the road, which I knew would lead me back to the truck. I probably could have eventually figured it out, but I was under a self imposed time constraint. That said, if you go for the first time, it wouldn't be a bad idea to print out a trail map and take it with you for reference. The trails fold back in on themselves so much you can really lose your reference points!

So, to sum it up, I really had fun down there and the trails are excellent, tight, twisty, and more technically challenging than anything up here. I'll be back again.......


MG said...

Awesome... I'm stoked to hear you got back there.

I'm lookin' forward to being back on my bike soon!!


75 miles south said...

Linn Area Mountain Bike Association does a good job taking care of that park. Other than the two abandoned 1940/1950s hulks of vehicles, there's hardly ever any trash in the interior of the park. I'm glad you made it down this way.