Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Morning at the Iowa Bike Expo
Okay, so this is going to be a disjointed post with some random stuff- randomonium-  get it?

Ahh.......okay, well.........anyway, it's a crazy mish-mash today, so bear with me here.....

Over the weekend I celebrated my birthday, and along with that I attended the Iowa Race Director's Meeting as a panelist and went out to view some of the Iowa Bike Expo which was being held in the same building. I'd never been to this gig before, and it was impressive.

The meeting went on after noon, but I didn't bother with the topics being presented then, as they didn't really have any bearing on how I put on rides. So, the expo was right after my segment at the summit.  I went up to see it with my family in tow and saw a few folks that I don't get to see all that often. Interestingly, there were a lot of folks around and about for what amounted to lunchtime. I was fairly impressed by that alone, but the booths with some bike shops, rides, and cycling related concerns was also cool.

I was telling Mrs. Guitar Ted that we would skeedaddle on outta there after I made a promised contact and then we'd eat lunch. Well I made that contact, then I saw two more folks I wanted to chat with "quick", and on the way out we were stopped twice more! I just cannot seem to walk five paces at a bicycle gathering without stopping to chat! There just isn't enough time in the day, I tell ya!

Found on the wall at Krunkwich Ramen House.
Well, we finally did make our way out of there, and then drove across the Des Moines River to see Krunkwich Ramen House, the restaurant which is owned by my friend, Sam Auen of Tacopocalypse fame. My family had eaten there twice before without me, so I was eager to try out the grub on offer there.

Okay, so here's the deal with Krunkwich. (from their site)

" Krunkwich Ramen House is Des Moines, is Iowa’s first restaurant dedicated to the art of Japanese and Fusion Ramen.  The restaurant is brought to you by the minds behind Tacopocalypse.  Our focus is on fresh, local ingredients used to create dishes inspired by the foods of Japan, Korean, China, Vietnam, while also drawing from the foods of Europe and the Americas."

I ordered the #99 which is "#$@&!! Ramen" because it's hot 'n spicy. I like my food with some heat, so I was down with this deal. Mrs Guitar Ted had "Kimchi and Bacon Krunkrice". I won't get into the details of what was in these items, but if you are curious, here's Krunkwich's menu. The kids had Japchae, (jop-chay) and Banh Mi with Krunk Tots. Everything came in a timely manner and the wait staff was really chipper and kind, despite their being rather busy at the time we were there. 

Okay, here's the deal- if you are ever in Des Moines and looking for good eats, go to Krunkwich. It is amazing. I ate my selection with gusto, tried Mrs Guitar Ted's selection which was also awesome, and had a couple bites of the Japchae which had a smoky, earthy taste. My meal was spicy as I like it, and Mrs. Guitar Ted's was a total mash-up of American and Asian which I cannot explain in words, but it was great! Just go there, or to Tacopocalypse, either will blow your face off. In a good way. 

The Black Hawk has receded, and the ice went out for now.
 We went home and on Sunday I got an afternoon ride in at the Green Belt, which I mentioned yesterday in the Body Float review I posted. It was chilly, but really not too bad in the woods. I saw several folks out and about. Walkers and other fat bikers were seen from one end of the Green Belt to the other. It was cool to see that many folks had realized the benefits of being outdoors instead of having their faces plunged into a device of some sort. 

One thing that did bother me a bit though was that I noticed some yahoos had been through the Southern most end of the Green Belt on a quad vehicle. While the tracks were mostly benign, and didn't really affect too much, that isn't the point. The City of Waterloo Parks & Recreation Department is to blame here because of the way they maintain the Green Belt. 

It used to be that they left the trail alone until late August, and then they mowed it once with a "bush hog" type mower, which has a swath of maybe four feet or so. Too narrow a path for most motorized vehicles to bother with. There used to be a few deterrents to motorized vehicles in the form of wooden plank crossings of the creek and a deep ditch on the South end that used to require a dismount if you were cycling and was more than six feet deep. Now with the rip-rap the City dumped in, the removal of the bridges, and with the filling in of that big ditch, there are no deterrents to roving motorized vehicles in there. To make matters worse, the City clear cuts the trail with an enormous end loader instead of a bush hog mower, and the trails are wide enough now for a car or truck to easily pass through. And you know what? I've seen car or truck tracks several times on the South end. 

The widening and sanitizing of the Green Belt is going to result in an accident someday between a non-motorized user and a motorized vehicle of some sort. I've seen moto cross bikes, snowmobiles, and ATV's back there, and it wouldn't take but one blind corner with a biker or hiker just around the bend to have a bad situation occur. Waterloo should not have widened out the trails so much, and if the City insists on doing the wide clear cutting, then some gates or bollards need to be installed at certain points to fend off the motorized users. Either that, or say ta hell wid it, and just allow a free-for-all situation where motorized users and human powered users mix it up in whatever way happens. Having signs posted saying that motorized users are not allowed is certainly not working. That's for sure. 

 Okay, that's enough random thoughts for one post, I'm sure! 

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