Hitting the trails for 'Taco Tuesday'

Riders ready to set out for the last “Taco Tuesday” ride of 2021 Tuesday evening in Gardner Park. The Quincy Mountain Bike Group has seen interest expand as work has gone into the trails around the Gem City.

QUINCY — With the sun setting lower at earlier times in the evenings, the Quincy Mountain Bike Group hosted their final organized “Taco Tuesday” ride for 2021 on Tuesday.

One of the group’s organizers, Alex Adams, said it’s the last of these organized evenings, but not the last riding day for the year.

“This is really the last one we can do before it starts getting too dark,” Adams said. “We might be organizing a Sunday ride, or another night where more people can come out.”

Adams said the last year or so has seen a lot of a attention and use for Quincy’s trails, which run through Parker Heights Park, Gardner Park, Sunset Park, and the new All America Mountain Bike Park.

“It’s been awesome, seeing families using the trails for hiking as well as biking,” Adams said. “We’ve been doing these Taco Tuesday rides for a little over a year now, and those have turned out pretty good numbers for riders, usually between five and a dozen, though the most we had was 25 for one night. And that doesn’t count people we see on the trails and down at the mountain bike park.”

Adams said they’ve seen a lot of new faces since the the Mountain Bike Park opened, and he’s encouraged to see new riders coming out to try new things.

“People that have never tried things like this, we see them bringing their kids out to the park,” he said. “That’s honestly the majority of what we see down there, younger kids trying things out.”

Looking to expand on that, the Quincy Park District is planning to include organized classes when the spring weather arrives next year. The Quincy Mountain Bike Group is working on a way to attract riders with little to know experience and help them learn, with an eye focused on learning safely.

“We’re working on a way to raise funds and get an inflatable landing pad, so we can do jump classes, and shooting for getting more adults to come out,” Adams said.

Even as the regular riding season comes to an end for the year, the QMBG, along with sister-group Quincy Trailblazers and the Quincy Park District, will keep working throughout the winter and into next year.

“We have plans to expand some of the trails in the Parker Heights Park area, and next year we plan on making some additions to the mountain bike park,” Adams said. “We’ll add some more wood features, and a second starting platform on the northeast corner, coming down to the outside run closest to the road. We’ll keep working on improving and keeping up with the existing trails, as well.

“There’s some land the Park District has that will eventually be part of the Bill Klingner Trail,” he added, “but that’s maybe ten years down the road. In the meantime, we’re going to add a few more nature trails out there. That’s between 30th and 36th streets, off Kochs Lane.”

Adams also said they plan to clean up and expand some of the trails around the south end of Quinsippi Island, trails that lead to the beach and other part of the island.

“We won’t do anything quite as extensive as we’ve done here, like the wood obstacles and stuff, not when it floods so often,” he said. “So we’ll just use it for a few more miles, more like entry-level trails.”

The group hosts volunteer days to clean up trails, repair obstacles, and all of the detail work that’s required to keep the trails open. The groups update these events through their own Facebook groups as well as the Madison & Davis Bicycles page. Adams said the days are typically scheduled for every other Sunday, with the next coming up on Oct. 24.

“Right now we have days on the calendar already through December,” he said. “Weather permitting, we plan to be out here to keep things in good shape.

To learn more about the trails and events, visit quincyparkdistrict.com, or the Quincy Mt. Bike Group and Trailblazers Facebook groups, as well as facebook.com/madisondavisbikes.

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