• Posted May 4, 2010

Shattering the stereotype of row-crop topography, dedicated Iowa mountain bike riders are blazing new trails.

Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, North Liberty and Danville IA

Story by Joe VanDerZanden
Photography by Paul Gates

“We have great dirt in Iowa.”

A GREAT story by Joe VanDerZanden about Iowa's growing mountain biking scene.

He checks out Four places in Iowa, rides with the locals, and writes with a bit of a quasi-knobby flair!

The Adventure
  • Beverly Park
    Cedar Rapids

  • Sugar Bottom
    North Liberty

  • Center Trails
    Des Moines

  • Geode State Park

Here are a few excerpts. DEFINITELY read the whole article here:

  • "Today cyclists can pedal through a natural urban forest on five miles of narrow, bare-dirt trail that follows the contour of the natural landscape. This is the epitome of singletrack — a winding path used by walkers and trail runners but designed primarily for and by mountain bike riders. The 18-inch-wide trail — composed of dirt, not gravel or pavement — forces users to ride in single file. Trails like these require fewer resources to build and maintain and are designed to shed water naturally, enhancing sustainability."

  • Ride 4 Life - When the subject of tattoos comes up, Squirrel immediately peels off his hoodie and t-shirt. Inked across his arms, shoulders, and chest are the story of his life, his inspiration, and his bliss. Whether it is the tribal bike chain that rings his collar, the bike encased in a heart prominent on his chest, or the dragon clutching a chain ring rising up his bicep and shoulder, most of his tattoos are related to bicycling.

  • Waugaman must be eight feet tall. He is as hard as nails and speaks with a deep, baritone voice. (Think Sam Elliott with no hair and on a bike.) We race across the belly of the Valley Junction neighborhood, through alleys, across parking lots, and over grassy dams until we arrive at the outer edge of Center Trails’ 10-mile system of singletrack.

  • taco - In this article “taco” refers to delicious ground beef stuffed into a deep-fried corn tortilla shell and smothered with sour cream, lettuce, and tomato. But to use the jargon of mountain bike riders, “taco” is a verb referring to the act of bending a wheel over on itself in the shape of a taco. “I taco’d my wheel on that downhill when I nailed that gnarly stump. Bummer.”

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  • Modified: Nov 26, 2013 by bikeiowa





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