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GITy Up! 2014
Date: June 28-29, high noon to high noon with camping in between
Length: 40 miles out-and-back over two days—25 miles/15 miles, or 10 mile family option
Route: Great River Trail, from Sunset Park in Rock Island/Quad Cities to Port Byron, Illinois. Family route is Port Byron to Illiniwek Forest Preserve
Camping: Tent camping at at Illiniwek Forest Preserve (limited hotel rooms at special rate available)
Cost: $85 per rider
Rider limit: 150

What is the GIT in GITy Up?
It’s the Grand Illinois Trail, an amazing 500+ mile loop of regional trails and rideable roads across Northern Illinois, Chicago to the Mississippi River and back. The League of Illinois Bicyclists offers the Grand Illinois Trails & Parks (GITAP) tour, a truly grand, beautiful adventure for anyone with a week of 75 mile days stored up in their legs.

Think of GITy Up! as a bite-sized taste of the GIT, a stepping stone, a slippery slope (in a good way) toward multi-day bike camping adventures ahead.

Is GITy Up! entirely on trails?
Purt’ near. We might use streets for a few blocks; or you might explore a little on your own off of our route. And there are a few busy road crossings. We’ll know where all of them are at, and help you negotiate them.

Are the trails paved?
The Great River Trail’s surface can be paved or crushed, packed gravel. Both are good riding surfaces, though crushed limestone will mellow your pace. Not a bad thing on a leisurely tour!

Can a beginner do GITy Up!?
All sorts of beginners can do GITy Up! We have two routes, a full route and a family route:
Full route—Rock Island to Port Byron (camp in Illiniwek): 25 miles Saturday, 15 miles Sunday
Family route—Port Byron to Illiniwek Forest Preserve: 5 miles/day. Can you ride 10 miles in 90 minutes? Then this is easy pedaling.

And remember: we carry your gear!

Do you carry my gear?
Yes! So glad you asked!

Does this ride have rest stops, course marshals, and on-route support? 
Yes! GITy Up! is fully supported by Trails for Illinois board members, volunteers and partners like Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, Rock Island Forest Preserve District, and Rock Island Parks & Recreation. 

What gear do I need?
For riding: your helmet; water bottles; money for shopping, snacks, drinks and lunch; mobile phone; sun block; eye protection; tube repair kit; a song in your heart and a ticklish spot for adventure.

For overnighting: your own gear suitable for one night of camping—this may include tent or bivvy sack; sleeping pad; pillow; guitar or other musical instrument (campfire appropriate—probably not a trombone); a camp chair and an overnight bag. 

What kind of bike do I need?
We’re schlepping your overnight stuff, so this is simple: bring the bike that you love riding the most. Make sure it’s in good repair and can carry at least one water bottle—your local bike shop is an expert at getting your bike GITy Up!-ready. 

Where are we camping?
In lovely Illiniwek Forest Preserve, courtesy of the Rock Island Forest Preserve District.

What does the fee include?
$85 (two-day, overnight ride) - T-shirt, rest stop fuel stations & route support, supper on Saturday, June 28 and breakfast on Sunday, June 29.

Do I have to pay for my kids?
If they’re 6 or older on June 28, yes.  

Is the fee refundable?
No. Trails for Illinois hosts the GITy Up! to raise funds towards connecting Illinois people and communities with a network of non-motorized trails. Your ride fee becomes a donation if your plans fall through. We’re a 501c3 non-profit, so you might be able to deduct it from your taxes; check with your state laws.

Are T-shirts included?
Yes, and they are COOL, with COWBOYS on them, and EVERYTHING.

Does GITy Up! get going rain or shine?
You bet! That’s what bike camping is about! Last year, our bike campers huddled through a thunder storm against 50 mph winds for 20 minutes…then we made s’mores and ogled a night sky blown clear and bright. It’s become part of the GITy Up! legend.

Not so into camping. Can I get a hotel room?
Yes! You make your own reservations, and your GITy Up! fee doesn’t change.

We’ll have lodging information soon.

I’ll arrive for GITy Up! on Friday. Where should I spend the night?
The Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau has a great website for exploring accommodations and attractions in the area.

Where will I park my car while I’m riding?
For the 40 mile adventure, you’ll park at Sunset Park in Rock Island. We don’t have a specific Port Byron site yet. We’ll have parking confirmed at both sites by March 1.

Have another question? 
Post in comments below and you can help share the answers with everyone. You can also mail or call Steve at 708/365-9365.

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