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  • Posted Feb 18, 2008

Fifty Trails - The State of Riding in America - Sugar Bottom Trails in North Liberty was the trail of choice for this Trail Guide.

BIKE magazine explores 50 trails. One for each state in the country. More than just great rides, the represent the character and flavor or each region. Collectively, they paint a picture of where mountain biking is headed, and define our existence in dirt, sand, mud and rock. [excerpt from BIKE - March 2008 - Volume 15 M No. 1 - Page 93] Sugar Bottom Trails in North Liberty was the trail of choice for this Trail Guide. Peering over the handlebars one sees only a tight le3afy green corridor ahead. The trail is narrow, and spiked with watermelon-thick logs. And this is only the beginning. One wouldn't think trails like this exist in a state that is America's leading producer of corn and soybeans, but this is riding in Iowa, home to some surprisingly good-and surprisingly hilly -single-track. Nowhere is that more evident that at the sugar Bottom trails outside of North Liberty. Proof comes by the way of dense vegetation, steep whoop-de-doos, and merry-go-rounds of looping single-track. "You have the hardwoods, the pine and the open prairie where you can cruise through the tall grass. There's a little bit of terrain for everybody," says Jon Yetley, owner of Sugar Bottom Bikes. Locals have even built technical stunts like Troll's bridge, a blind drop into a set of wooden skinnies. Trails this good aren't built overnight, and the Sugar bottom network has benefited greatly from 18 years of trail advocacy by the Iowa Coalition of Off-Road Riders (ICORR). In 1990 the group took over stewardship from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and rescued the Sugar Bottom trails from years of neglect. with mazes of hard-packed trails, jutting rollers and an abundance of technical challenges, the Sugar Bottom has become an unexpected retreat among fields of corn and soybean ~ Jason Shueh ICORR website | Sugar bottom Maps and Driving Directions

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