James Pearl Thinks Blogging is Dead


Team Workhorse
Team MTBNJ Halter's
That was a fun ride for sure....that loop completely changed how I feel about stephens...I mean I always liked it, but I never really thought of it as a park to bring out the big bike and bomb downhills....love it! Im just always mind blown and the vertical height Jeff can achieve off of a 6inch tall rock....@ryanp and @graveyardman67 can also do this....Like I feel if we were to have a box jumping competition...they could easily double whatever I could do.


Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Transition: Day 15 (of 26) - What Day and/or Time is it?

I realized today as I walked out of Acme that not only do I no longer know what day it is, I really had no idea what time it was. I figured just based on general evidence, it had to be somewhere between 1 and 4. And I was right. But it's interesting that the best I could muster was a 3 hour window when so much of our lives are dictated by meetings at specific times.

So right now, time is a sort of vague and/or nebulous concept.

I went to Home Depot after breakfast but before lunch. I bought a bunch of wood for the Log (Lady) Ride extension. And other stuff. You know how they have buckets all over the place at Home Depot? Why do they have almost no lids? I asked someone who worked there this question. He said, "That's a good question."

No shit.


Spent some time with Julia when I got back. Between my leaving and coming home, she magically appeared. I mean, not magic, not really. But she was here. I spent time with her as she did a STEM project then helped her out making a no-bake dessert. She asked to bake and I was like, hey how about this thing I found in the Times?

Then I went for a really easy road ride. My legs needed an easy day. It was nice out. Cool, but nice.

At some point I went to Acme. Like I said, it was between 1 and 4.

So that flip-flop berm-jump. I have now named this run JB1 - J is for Jump and B is for Berm. But really it's Berm-Jump. But I didn't want to call it a BJ run. So the flip flop I posted the other day - @stb222 and I talked a bit about it, and he pointed out that the transition between the 2 can be used to sort of bump up & over to start the 2nd berm. Well, when I looked at this, I realized the second berm base was higher than the first. Ok so I dug out that second berm, put the dirt on top, and made this transition better.

Here's the end of berm 2 coming at you:


Did a lot of rock-sifting on this, which was needed as this was built pre-sifter. I put a lot of fresh dirt on top of dried/hard dirt so I am not sure how well this is going to pack in. I watered it a bit, and rode it (obviously) and it held up well. Zac rode it later and we agreed this is really starting to flow well. This JB1 run is really coming along. After I did this work I sessioned the run for 15 minutes before getting off and focusing on something else.

There's a 3rd line, which I do not have a name for. Maybe RTOB for the start (Rock Therapy) and the end (Outer Banks). But the berm on OB just isn't tight nor deep enough to let you roll it without brakes. And there's a tree that means if you screw it up, it could hurt a real lot. I fixed this up to some extent, but I went into this knowing this was going to be a rough, real rough, v1. As such:


The mound at the end is my buildup to try and direct you away from that tree. I need to dig out more of the upper turn and I also need to trim down the crap on the left which you can't see but it blocks the visibility on the berm. I did manage to ride it once without braking but it is a little too tight for session runs. Eventually that tree is going to win. So this will likely be something I work on more in the coming days.

And just like that Wednesday is over.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Transition: Day 15 (of 26) - What Day and/or Time is it?

I realized today as I walked out of Acme that not only do I no longer know what day it is, I really had no idea what time it was. I figured just based on general evidence, it had to be somewhere between 1 and 4. And I was right. But it's interesting that the best I could muster was a 3 hour window when so much of our lives are dictated by meetings at specific times.

So right now, time is a sort of vague and/or nebulous concept.
Yeah, I am currently in the Buckaroo Banzai state of mind...you know, wherever you go, there you are...



Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Transition: Day 16 (of 26) - Bridges & Rocks


Today was a pretty simple day, really. I was cut off from all the work things yesterday so I didn't need to pretend to pay attention to email, or messages, and the like. So I just spent a good portion of the day outside, including my Gumby Walk where I watered my dirt a bit. I did not end up riding it today, however.


I built a bridge. Or a TTF. Or something. Currently it's a drop of about 12" but this is the 3rd of 5 segments. First is the ladder, second is the smallest log in this chain, and third is this piece. I have 2 more sections to go, both of which will be 8 feet in length.

We're currently trying to figure out what to do with the next section. More than likely we'll take it more vertical because height = potential energy. And potential energy equals fun.


I mowed the lawn. I mean the whole lawn. Usually I do some of it and quit. Today I did it all.


Then I took Zac to Chimney Rock. We did a piece of everything, rolled for 1:20 total. He was a little tired today but he did well. Some of the rocky stuff with more speed is a little jarring for him but he'll get used to it.

Here's Zac riding our newest play thing:



Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Transition: Day 17 (of 26) - All-In, All Day

@ChrisG - it used to be a tad earlier. There were some days when the alarm would go off and there was a 4 as the first number of the clock. Then somehow managed to make it into the city by whatever time. Wow, I really do not miss those days. I do not miss going into the city every single day.

I went for a road ride early this morning. And by early I mean around 9:00, and was back by 10:00. Just knocked out an hour, going by the house of @Glenn Rides After 4 PM CST in the process. It was an absolutely splendid morning to ride a bike, anywhere.


I had gone on the early (for me these days) ride because I agreed to meet Kirt & Wayne over at CR to do some work on the white trails, filling in some mud holes that are currently dry, but will be wet holes & ruts again next time it rains. We raided some root balls for free dirt, and took several wheelbarrow loads out and tried to fix things up. Did a solid 2 hours of work there before heading home.

Got a new cup in the process thanks to Wayne.


After lunch we went out back and Zac wanted to dig the other side of Original Spin. This was a lot of work - basically energy I did not have - but damn this came out pretty well. This is a v1 and it rides really well as a first pass. The intro needs a tiny bit of work but this is close.


That it's raining right now is great for both trail efforts I put in today. I need rain to pack this shit in.

Finished up the day by bringing the kids to their other parents, went to the Asian food store, then hit up Costco for some supplies, and a roast chicken.



Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Transition: Day 18 (of 26) - Sunless Saturday

Sleeping in, as mentioned previously, is 7:00 for me these days. I slept in today and it felt great. I knew the weather wasn't going to be good, and when I woke up, no surprise, it was poor. It rained on & off all morning, at times coming down in buckets. No outside riding for me today. Instead, I spent a good portion of the morning doing some homework I haven't been keeping up with this week. Just 3 more to go, and I'll be done with what I wanted to get done for June 1.

Somehow, it's 11:30 by the time I realize it. Espresso & reading, homework, breakfast with D, more homework, and before I know it, it's coming up on noon. Randomly, this tufted titmouse would grab a sunflower seed, smash it repeatedly on the edge of the feeder, then take off for a bit.


Before the day got away from me, I hopped on the bike for an hour and watched Upload. D suggested it and I finally got around to it today. Pretty awesome that the "upload" place is Mohonk House. Watched the first episode and some of the second. Pretty entertaining. It was good to just sit and spin on the trainer today. Been burning the candle on all ends lately, making new ends to burn more. So it was nice to just mindlessly spin easy. I know it sounds strange but it's good to not have to think about which way to point the bike.

Tried to do a spindown but the app couldn't pick up the speed.


D got on the bike after me which gave me an hour-plus of free time, during which I read my book, had an espresso, then took a nap. Maybe not the most productive block of time but you know what? Who cares. Now and again it's good to just lay on the couch and let gravity have its way with you.

Later afternoon and we went food shopping, where we picked up some lobster again as it's $7 a pound. We would eventually crush this for dinner while watching Dexter. Just started it this week, still on season 1.


Before dinner I went outside and worked on the entrance to the big berm we dug yesterday. The more I do this whole trail building thing, the more I pick up little things here and there. Today I worked on the transition as well as the visibility of the berm we built. The first 3+ feet of the transition was sort of raw from yesterday, so I dug that in a bit and added a start to the berm, pictured below. It's hard to see but everything before those rocks on top are new today. I also cut down the inside line to allow better visibility of the whole thing. I find it helps to be able to see what you're going to ride.

I finished The Goldfinch audiobook today and it was pretty damn good, all in all. The last 1/3 was a bit haywire, hard to believe, but in all I think it was a good story. Good story read by a good narrator. I'll definitely look into more by this guy.



Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Transition: Day 19 (of 26) - Jungle Mess

Wrapping up today and I have 1 week left to be a bum. I'm not really being a bum. In fact, it could be argued that I should be doing less with my time. Maybe for the next week I should be doing more or less nothing at all. How long would that last? I'm sure not long.

We went to Jungle Habitat today. I would love to say it was a great day - and I do enjoy hanging out with my teammates - but I had a pretty shitty ride. The last time we were there, with Alex & Mark, I unclipped ONE time. One. Today, I unclipped like 20 times, clipped at least 6 trees if not more, had numerous pedal strikes, and FFS I slammed my ring on rocks at least 2 times. I was an absolute nightmare out there. I'm lucky I made it out in 1 piece.

I have no idea what was going on today. I sucked out loud.

We came home and spent a lot of time outside because it was nice outside. I cleaned our bikes plus D's old bike (not pictured). I also topped off the tires with Stans, lubed the chains, checked the pads, etc. As piss poor as my riding was, the afternoon was fantastic.


While I was doing this, D was pulling the weeds from the sidewalks. Looks pretty damn fine and it should, this walk was worth a bunch of these bikes.


I then drank a cup of coffee. I'm not sure if this was a good idea, because for the first time in like 5+ years I've been having acid reflux again. And one can only imagine that my espresso intake more than likely exacerbates this, and a cup of black coffee is probably not going to help. But it was a good afternoon to sit on the porch and drink a cup of coffee, while D transferred some plants on the front porch. It was a damn fine cup of coffee.


This evening we had a damn fine dinner of salmon, I did the next-to-next-to-last module of my homework, and we watched Dexter.

I did no trail work today for the first time in weeks. I think it's time for me to make sure I focus on dialing it back a little bit. At one point right before dinner I was feeling pretty bad and super dehydrated, and I drank 4, 16 ounce cups of water in the span of 15 minutes. While I may not take the whole next week off, I do want to make sure I don't overdo it and pretty much render everything I do half-ass.

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Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Transition: Day 20 (of 26) - Way Way Yonder

Hit up Wawayanda this morning with our friends & travel couple Alex & Mark, plus Stef and her husband. If you're 3 couples does it really just count as being 3 people in the Covid-19 scorecard? I felt better today, but I still wasn't 100%. I think Wawayanda is a tad more forgiving than Jungle in that you just gotta be on-point every inch at Jungle, whereas Waway gives you more of a margin for error. We had a good ride today, even if Alex got a flat and we stood around for a while fixing it.

Rather, I took a picture and some other people tried to fix it.

Towards the end of the ride I just flat out ran out of gas, and the ride became less fun. After yesterday I wanted to take more care about this so I thought I had enough to drink, and had something to eat. But as we rounded 1.5 hours today it was just a "Tank: Empty" situation. I do think the allergies have something to do with this but I also have to admit that the high number of hours doing trail work out back are probably taking a toll on me. I don't track these hours as exercise, though if I were doing this at CR I would. So when I see 9-10 hours of exercise a week, I feel like I'm not doing much but in reality I'm doing like 25 hours a week if you include the trail stuff.

I also think that the Split Rock trail kinda sucks. It's a punch in the cock to get up it, then it has little to no flow going down, then the trail dumps you into a swamp and a trail ending that's god-awful. I'm still working out my perfect loop here but I don't think this will be in the finished product.

Anyway, after we got home today the gold birds finally found the feeder. Here's one right before (or after) hitting it.


We went for a walk this afternoon. It was another great day out. Later it became a concert. This is not a finch-specific feeder but they sure do like to hang out here:


Then I went out back to chainsaw. I did not wear this, though in hindsight I should have.


And here is where I get myself in trouble. I went out just to cut a few logs then 1:15 later I have cut logs, trimmed stuff, rolled a massive log out of the way, raked out a new line up & over the log ride, dug up some wet area that's been in need of work for a few weeks now, moved a few buckets of rocks, trimmed some vines, and laid out a new rough line to give us another option from top to bottom.


Because I went out there with a minimal amount of energy, but then once I get going, I want to keep going. And somehow my enthusiasm gets me going more and more and I don't want to stop. I guess this will come to a natural close next Monday when I start the new job. And the allergies will subside. Until then, I guess I should enjoy it while I can.

Man this is going to rock.


Finally, we finished Dexter season 1 tonight. Good show, solid stuff. We'll start up on season 2 tomorrow probably.


Captain Wildcat
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I also think that the Split Rock trail kinda sucks. It's a punch in the cock to get up it, then it has little to no flow going down, then the trail dumps you into a swamp and a trail ending that's god-awful.
Flow is overrated, but yeah, the swamp part sucks.


Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Transition: Day 21 (of 26) - Mission From God

@JimN - more of my problem is that it has flow, then not, then yes, then not. The trail lacks a single, homogenous character. It's Jekyll & Hyde. It's almost like the trail is saying, "Yeah cool let's have some fun and HOW ABOUT A COLONOSCOPY YOU FILTHY ASSHOLE but no wait here's some more smoove B trail and FUCK YOU MORE COLON BLOW."

And so on.

I finished up my learning/homework stuff this morning. Now it's just wait for the job to start next week. Touched base with Ed again this morning, and I'm going to hook up with a few people later this week to prep for next Monday. We're apparently kicking off 2 projects next week, just in time for my arrival. Nothing like hitting the ground running, right? More next week, I am sure.

Then I went outside for the better part of 3 hours and extended the latest project. The Greatest Show Above (My) Earth is almost done. I went with the 2x4s under the supports because it was easier to set them firmly as opposed to the 4x4s which seems impossible to set right. All except for this last one, which is just a little off. When I put the last section in tomorrow, I'll strap them in together and see how solid it feels. As you can see, some of the wood is a little warped.


Then I planted 2 rose bushes that I bought at Acme right after lunch. Roses are pretty.



After D's day ended we drove to her office and did a road ride just to shake up the scenery a little bit. We managed just over 30 miles in 1:45 (ish). It was an absolutely perfect evening for a road ride. The temps started around 80 and just cooled slightly as the evening wore on. Truly a splendid night to be on a bike, or outside, or better yet, on a bike outside.


Then we went to Home Depot, where D bought more plants and I bought more wood. Because much like the Blues Brothers, I am on a mission from god...to build more and more wood projects around the yard.


Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Transition: Day 22 (of 26) - Opening Day Approaches!

I know this is getting repetitive. But this is life, right now. Today was a good day. So this is going to be a longer one.

Started the day pretty early and was out of the house before 7:00 to hit the farmer's market to pick up some bananas for the morning oatmeal, and looking for a birdhouse. I managed to find a sort of bird hippie wicker chair house, which I bought. This was the only thing they had. I mean for $6 what's the worst that happens? When I got home I noticed how dirty D's car was from the pollen panspermia season, so I washed it, then watered the various things. Then went inside. It was only 8:00.

Days are better when you start them off on the right foot.


Hung out with D and watched the birds, which are just all over the place at this point. I'd say we see a solid 8 different kinds every morning when it's breakfast. Then we had our own breakfast and at 9:00 I went outside to finish up the Greatest Show Above (My) Earth. As I hoped, once I put the landing in and attached it to the last section from yesterday, it firmed up well. When we all rode it later in the day it needed absolutely zero adjustment. This was definitely a success.


Ok that image doesn't do much justice so here's a wider pic. See below for video footage.


Late morning, but before lunch, D and I squeezed in a road ride that rolled right by the house of @Glenn Rides After 4 PM CST, which is a solid loop for us to do when we're time-limited. Managed to ride just over an hour which worked well for D's lunch slot. It was another great day outside, and with the weather looking iffy the next few days, we wanted to get out while the weather was nice. It was damn fine today.


Home for lunch then Julia and I went down to CR to walk and pull out more roots. The ballfield loop is almost starting to be in good shape from a root perspective, though it will need some trimming before too long. We also need to backfill some of the washed out sections one of these days and those 2 bridges back-to-back are kinda garbage but it's so low-priority I'm not sure we'll ever get there. That turn is junk.


Tried to teach Julia a little about how to use the digital camera. She took this:


Then I went home and had a cup of coffee on the porch, after which I built a birdhouse out of scraps of wood:


Ok, this was before I trimmed the nose. This is my Pinnochio Bird house:


Then I met a guy in town and sold my 2010 Gary Fisher SS Superfly for $500:


Home and I set Zac's front tire up to be tubeless. Up until today it was still rolling with a tube inside. Then we did sessions on the trails until dinner time. These trails are getting pretty solid and should be ready for opening day. Tickets will go on sale soon!