Day 1 of the Quad Cities Outdoors visit and we were headed to Sunderbruch Park, where 5 miles of mountain biking trails awaited us. The trails are maintained by the local mountain biking group, Quad Cities Friends of Off-Road Cycling (QCFORC). They are, from what I understand, the primary force behind making sure mountain biking is well-represented in the area.
Sunderbruch Park sits in a semi-rural area of the Quad Cities, and features open space as well as serious tree cover. We were very happy for that as the temps were searing hot during our visit. We got plenty sweaty just hanging out in the parking lot getting ready.
The park features trails through the woods, with plenty of climbing and descent. Twists and turns make it interesting and occasionally difficult. Besides the heat, the elevation gain makes for a lung-searing workout, so I needed plenty of rest stops, slowing the group but what can you do? The two 16 year olds handled it with their usual aplomb, bombing down the hills, but also showing some savvy as they negotiated some of the more difficult, unknown obstacles. That’s because it’s not just barren singletrack; features like bridges, a couple of curved wooden berms, etc, are both an assist and a hindrance while riding. There’s also a paved trail as well as trails for the equestrian set, along with a covered picnic area and some public art.
QCFORC have done a great job of getting organized, with stewards assigned to each location – these are folks assigned to plan, organize, and lead the maintenance and creation of new trails at that location. It’s plain to see the passion they have both for the sport and the trails themselves. For 3 of us to show up and get loaner bikes, guides on the trails, and time telling us the local stories is pretty amazing.
This is a fantastic way to spend a few hours or the entire day, and the boys would have happily kept playing were it not for the heat. I was happy when I was able to peel away from the group, ride back to the parking lot, and sit in the shade with water.
Directions to Sunderbruch Park:
Since some of the trails are quite difficult, it’s important to find trails that are appropriate for the ages and fitness levels in your group. Other places to go mountain biking in the area include Scott County Park, Illiniwek, Westbrook Park and more – check out the QCFORC website for a full list, descriptions, and locations.
Thanks to Visit Quad Cities for setting this up – we had an amazing time and we’ll be back to ride the trails again!