QUINCY -- For a guy like Ryan Hildebrand, there is no better way to spend a mid-February Sunday afternoon.
In the woods.
In the snow.
In the mud.
Throw in a chainsaw, some shovels and other tools designed for clearing and reshaping an off-road bike trail at Gardner Park and you get an idea of what brings a smile to the face of this member of the Quincy Bike Club.
Hildebrand, 39, is part of a group of about a dozen bike devotees who are part of an ongoing project in the wooded areas of the sprawling, 38-acre park on the north side of town.
"We've been involved with this for about 10 years," Hildebrand said. "It kind of goes in spurts, but everyone has been more involved in the past year."
The idea behind the project is to promote, maintain and improve the off-road course that has continued to grow in popularity.
"People ride it all the time," Hildebrand said.
And work on it.
Members of the Quincy Bike Club, Quincy Mountain Bike Club and Trailblazers groups utilize the trail the most. The Trailblazers are primarily hikers, walkers and runners.
"We usually work (on the trail) every other Sunday," said Alex Adams, 25, another local bike enthusiast.
Adams said the Sunday work sessions, which are normally three to four hours long, usually revolve around adding obstacles, ride-offs and other measures to the winding, up-and-down course that covers "three to four miles," Hildebrand said.
Those on hand to help Sunday included Hildebrand's four boys -- Emerson, Carter, Cooper and Peyton -- and a handful of other members of the Quincy Bike and Quincy Mountain Bike clubs.
The groups work hand-in-hand with the Quincy Park District. Club members do all of the work on the trails they use.
Adams said the trail provides a number of options for would-be bikers in the area.
"It just depends on what kind of rider you want to be," he said.
The Quincy Bike Club is the largest of the groups that utilize Gardner Park, boasting more than 100 members. The club meets the third Thursday of each month. Individual memberships are $10 per year, $17 for a family.
Those interested in more information can contact Hildebrand (217-440-5417) or the Madison-Davis Bicycle Shop (217-222-7262) at 912 S. Eighth.