Thursday, March 22, 2018

Green Belt Report

Mostly good, some not so much, but rideable.
I needed a break from Trans Iowa non-sense and other gravelly pursuits Wednesday. I mostly just needed a pedal. So, I thought about the Green Belt. It seemed to me that the frost had mostly been drawn up out of the ground here and that things were firming up. Maybe the Green Belt was going to be okay to check out via fat bike.

It wasn't all that warm out, but it was Sunny. The area is nearly devoid of any signs of the past Winter and even hints of the grass turning green is evident here and there. There was only the specter of mud that may be a hindrance. I figured I might have to turn tail at some point if the trail was too greasy.

Starting out things were actually really good. In fact, I was surprised how dry it was. Of course, we went into Winter in almost drought conditions and that rain we got? Yeah, that just ran off because the ground was frozen, so it didn't do a bit of good as far as the water table goes. I noted that the Black Hawk Creek looked like it was at late August levels instead of being swollen with Spring run off. 

Things on the dirt were pretty good though. There would be the occasional bit of wet, sticky dirt, but I wasn't sinking in and causing ruts, so onward I went. The only trace of my passing was the imprint of the Bud's tread blocks. As it should be.

There were still traces of Winter to be found if you looked carefully. 
I was not really having any second thoughts about the Green Belt until I reached the usual water crossing points. The first is the reroute made a few years ago which bypassed where the culvert used to be. That bypass is now so eroded that you must dismount and traverse two small eroded in channels of water. Actually, going back to the original crossing and putting a culvert back in would be best. But I'm not very influential in the affairs of Waterloo Park and Rec, so it may never happen. Something will get done though, because as it stands now, they won't be able to get their end loader and brush hog mower through there. I expect some real nonsense to occur here come drier weather.

Marky-Mark was in remarkable shape. I was pleased to find it so clear and rideable. But going from the shelter on the West leg of the trail to where it joins the East leg means another water crossing dismount. That wet spot just North of there is water covered but rideable. Just hope that you don't have to put a foot down or lose your front wheel grip going through because the mud is extra thick and gooey there right now. You'd be a hot mess if you fell down in that.

Otherwise the Green Belt is recovering well and fat bike-able for now. That is until this weekend's nasty weather blows through.

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