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Bumspringer Lord Nerd Beta

Bumspringer Lord Nerd Beta

06/13/2016 | Pennsylvania

Vermont’s excellence isn’t limited to a surfeit of jams made from the crushed matter of hand-coddled berries and gamey ripe yogurt, still warm with the active bustle of a probiotic kingdom.

Bumspringer Lord Nerd Beta


I Prospectus

The eponymously named State College, PA is a college that begat a city, and it happens to be located in what is quite possibly the most pastoral landscape I have ever seen. To the north and south vast stretches of blue-green hills extend from horizon to horizon, looming tidal waves that have threatened the valley for millennia.

The valley floor is a rumpled quilt of emerald and gold—it seems that everything can and will grow here, leading to us to understand that this is no doubt a land of prosperity.”- YJ

Our humble troop of adventurers arrived in town a few weeks after class had let out for the summer, and with the student body’s exodus to their summer jobs, internships, and three months worth of late mornings spent “catching up” on their parent’s couch, wandering around the city gave one the sensation of walking in a pair of shoes five sizes too big. What we felt was a vacuum, a void; what we felt was the uncanny, as if we were peering behind the walls of a movie set. Despite the vacancy we were able to procure necessary supplies, namely a hacky sack, a bandana with a constellation print, and two trekking poles.


There were riders in our group who had intimate knowledge of Vermont and Virginia, but for State College we had no native guide. Daniel had been here on a road ride a half decade ago and Chris Tank (acting as our de facto local) had whipped up a course via internet resources that more or less followed our requirements: gravel, camping, and no more than sixty miles per day. But none of us knew what to expect and for this reason we allowed ourselves to be flexible with our route. There were no expectations so we followed our heart, marched to our own drum, figured it out.


Our ride in State College was as much an exploration of the region and the area as it was an investigation into our concept of what bikepacking could be. This was our time to ride, our moment to experience. It didn’t matter if the route called for 60 miles, if we could shorten it and get more swimming time in, who’s to say that was the wrong thing to do? No one. That’s life. So we called audibles, we looked for shortcuts, we enjoyed our evenings, we camped longer, slept in, took swims, went off-route for gross pizza and delicious candy bars. We controlled our own destiny, we were not slaves to the route map, servants to the GPS.

This was free jazz, Ornette Coleman bike packing. Just one long beautiful solo. You should try it some time.”- YJ

The moral of the story here is that if you allow yourself to be flexible, with both your mind and your route, good things will happen, good things like ice cream outposts and free stuff from your camp host. We’re not advocating that you audible every ride, only that you listen to your heart and the hearts of those around you, and if those hearts are saying “audible” you audible; it’s like our saying here at Yonder Journal: “Don’t trust me, trust you.”

The East Coast is old and colonial or whatever, and as such it's rich in tradition and history. But tradition and history are boring unless someone tricks you into consuming tradition and history by hiding them in stories. Stories are exciting and engaging. Nowadays we mostly tell stories using the Internet and Snapchat, but back in the Pilgrim days we didn't have electricity or words so story telling was often done orally. Early settlers also used "physical objects" like the printing press and quilts to tell their stories and pass down their histories. Story quilts don't require a formal education, just talent, creativity and some yarn. For that reason and that reason alone, we worked with visual artist Dan Funderburgh to create a talisman in the form of a quit, or "tapestry," featuring key elements of our East Coast Bikepacking Campaign, something that would protect us and guide us, and precede us. If it helps, you can think of it as as a visual emissary and banner under which we launched ourselves into the heart of early American History.
The Bumspringer Roster
Yonder Journal recruited a top-notch crew of the world's finest, most accomplished adventurers for this trip. Featuring Varunet glasses. →→→
Mary Lytle, aka @maryroselytle.
Moi Medina aka @moi_is_moi.
Benedict Wheeler, aka @ultraromance.
Kyle von Hoetzendorff, aka @newantarctica.
Sarah Swallow, aka @swallowbicycleworks.
Chris Tank, aka @ctankcycles aka "BuckWild".
Daniel Pasley aka @yonderjournal.

II An Illustrated Guide to Edible, Medicinal and/or otherwise Notable Flora: Pennsylvania Edition
Illustrations by Mara Menahan, with Commentary by Poppi

If your spirit guide, route planner and exercise midwife is a modern-day vagabond by the name of Poppi Wheeler, and you’re traveling—nay, “touring”— the Appalachian outback for weeks on end, you’re going to come in contact with A LOT of plants. Because:


  1. They are everywhere. The humid hills and muggy mountains of the East Coast are literally covered in vegetation. Some of it thick. Almost all of it green AF.
  2. Even though your Poppi is the recent recipient of an Amateur Professional Adventure Contract he still only eats from the three major food groups: 1) wild edible plants 2) Builder Bars 3) a small selection of handpicked, small batch foods purchased from locally owned Co-Ops 4) Artisanal Yogurt 5) Pizza.


So please, if you will, consider this a Public Service Announcement, or Guide, to some notable plants you’re likely to come in contact while traveling the East Coast and that you might want to eat, avoid, or use in the creation of a powerful and effective poultice.


About Mara Menahan: Mara was first recognized for her botanical art in the 4th grade when she won second place in an art contest for the Prickly Pear Land Trust in Helena, Montana where she grew up. She didn’t get first place though because she drew a saguaro cactus instead of a prickly pear cactus. Her scientific accuracy has greatly improved and today Mara draws plants all day every day as botanical illustrator at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. Instagram: @maramenahan


Uses: In addition to food, parts of the serviceberry fruits and/or shrubs have been used by indigenous peoples as an ear medicine, eye medicine, cathartic, gastronomical aid, laxative, cold remedy, cough medicine, diaphoretic, flu medicine, fever reducer, pulmonary aid, toothache remedy, tonic, contraceptive, pediatric aid, gynecological aid, venereal aid, antidiarrheal, anthelmintic (treatment against worms), blood medicine, disinfectant, and as an emetic. Young serviceberry stems, branches, and wood have been used in basketry, furniture making, rope making, arrow and harpoon making, tool making, and in the construction of popgun pistons. The Blackfoot used the berries in a harvest game.

Scientific Name: Amelanchier canadensis

Description: Serviceberry shrubs look similar to small trees growing between 1 to 3 m (3 to 10 ft) tall. The branches are brown and without thorns, though young branches exhibit hairiness. The broad elliptic 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 in) long leaves alternate and have toothed edges. The whites or pink flowers bloom from late April to May in elongated groups of 3 to 20. Each flower has 5 petals that are about 6 to 8 mm (1/4 to 5/16 in) long. Serviceberry fruits are fleshy and round with a diameter of 8 to 11 mm (5/16 -7/16 in). The ripe dark purple, sweet, and juicy berries are ready to be picked sometime in June or August.

Uses: Externally, Milkweed has been used in traditional medicine to treat warts. It has also been employed topically by renowned American health practitioner Jethro Kloss to help soften and remove gall and kidney stones. The boiled young shoots, leaves, unopened flowerbuds, flowers, and young pods are said to be good as asparagus, cooked greens, cooked vegetables, and fritters.

Scientific Name: Asclepias syriaca

Description: Milkweed is a moderately tall plant, averaging approximately 60-180 cm in height. The broad leaves and thick stem of this wildflower are very robust and are covered with a thin, light-gray down. The plant is light green with purplish-pink flowers arranged in a rounded cluster. When not in bloom, Milkweed is most easily identified by its distinctive, pod-like fruit arranged laterally around the terminal shoot. These large fruits are light green and contain numerous densely packed, bearded seeds.

Milkweed, According to Poppi

“I like to boil the young flowers in spring for about 20 minutes. This is needed to get the milky sap out of them so that you don’t poison yerself. Don’t let that scare you tho, it’s pretty easy. Really. The sap from the stems when you break them is also a good remedy for warts, hope you don’t have to use it for that tho…”

Tastes like broccoli, requires a bit of boiling.”- Poppi

Uses: Aside from food, mulberry trees are used to grow silkworms.

Scientific Name: Morus rubra

Description: The Common Mulberry is a handsome tree, 20 to 30 feet high, of rugged, picturesque appearance, forming a dense, spreading head of branches usually wider than the height of the tree, springing from a short, rough trunk. It bears unisexual flowers, the sexes in separate spikes, or catkins, which are small, more or less cylindrical and in no way beautiful. The oblong, short-stalked 'fruit,' which when ripe is about an inch long and of an intense purple, is really a fruit-cluster, composed of little, closely-packed drupes, each containing one seed and enclosed by the four enlarged sepals, which have become succulent, thus forming the spurious berry. By detaching a single fruit from the cluster, the overlapping lobes of the former perianth may be still discerned.

Mulberry, According to Poppi

“A mature mulberry tree produces enough berries to make you a small fortune if you were to dry them and sell them to a Whole Foods bulk bin. $20/lb for those things if you don’t use the PLU for flame raisins! I find the best way to eat them is right off the tree. They are too tasty and good to collect for later.”

If you find a mulberry tree at the right time of year, you will be fed for a month.”- Poppi

Uses: Medicinally, the plant has been used to treat intestinal cramps, for indigestion, to cause sweating, to induce menstruation, as a sedative, and to increase appetite. With domestic cats, N. cataria is used as a recreational substance for pet cats' enjoyment, and catnip and catnip-laced products designed for use with domesticated cats are available to consumers.

Scientific Name: Napeta cataria

Description: 50–100 cm (20–39 in) tall and wide. It resembles a typical mint family member in appearance by having the characteristic square stem that members of the Lamiaceae plant family have, but with brown-green foliage. The coarse-toothed leaves are triangular to ovate. The small bilabiate flowers can be white and finely spotted with pale purple or pink. They are showy and fragrant. The plant blooms from late spring through autumn.

Catnip, According to Poppi

“Not just for getting yer cat in the mood, catnip is a powerful breath freshener and alleviator of gas and diarrhea.”

Had nothing to eat all day but Cliff builder MAX bars? Catnip.”- Poppi
Norway Spruce

Uses: Commonly used as Christmas trees. Also commonly used in timber and paper production, as well as in the production of stringed instruments. Spruce tips are commonly used in beer and tea, and applied for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, skin, locomotor system, gastrointestinal tract and infections.

Scientific Name: Picea abies

Description: Picea abies is a large, fast-growing evergreen coniferous tree growing 35–55 m (115–180 ft) tall and with a trunk diameter of 1 to 1.5 m. It can grow fast when young, up to 1 m (3 ft) per year for the first 25 years under good conditions, but becomes slower once over 20 m (66 ft) tall. The shoots are orange-brown and glabrous (hairless). The leaves are needle-like, 12–24 mm long, quadrangular in cross-section (not flattened), and dark green on all four sides with inconspicuous stomatal lines. The cones are 9–17 cm long (the longest of any spruce), and have bluntly to sharply triangular-pointed scale tips. They are green or reddish, maturing brown 5–7 months after pollination. The seeds are black, 4–5 mm long, with a pale brown 15 mm wing.

Spruce Tips, According to Poppi

“Very easy to find and identify. Do you know what a pine tree looks like? Look for the lighter, brighter green new growth at the ends of the branches. The earlier in the spring, the more tender the tip. They make a great trail snack, and are wikkid high in vitamin C.”

Gourmets will notice they even have a citrus note to them. They also make a great tea around the campfire/microwave at night.”- Poppi
Purple Pitcher Plant

Uses: Tonic, laxative, stomachic, diuretic. Used in the southern United States in dyspepsia. The drug was unknown in Europe until a few years ago, when Mr. Herbert Miles introduced it as a specific for smallpox, as used by the North American Indians with great success, saving life and even the unsightly pitting. Some homoeopaths confirm the value of the remedy, but allopaths do not appear to have been successful in its use, either in America, England or France.

Scientific Name: Sarracenia purpurea

Description: Up to 30 cm long. They are squat and have a large lip. The pitcher lid, unlike in erect pitcher plants, does not shield the pitcher opening. Instead, the lid is erect, with a pair of lateral ear-like wings on each side of the pitcher lip. Instead of being called a lid, it is usually called the hood. This hood is usually beautifully veined with treelike patterns, and is covered with stiff hairs pointing towards the pitcher opening.

III Poppi's Public Restrooms & Pizzeria: Recipe #2

Poppi is a full service Bike-Packing Guide and East Coast Aficionado. Does he know where to find the covered’est of bridges?, you bet he does. What about the primo dirt roads?, the ones with a buffed-out surfaces, no cars and countless dead possums?, ummm, duh. Haunted Tunnels anyone??? The nearest artisanal co-op? Poppi knows it all! But his instruction and guidance doesn’t end there, he also knows how to (safely) subsist on weeds and wild edible plants and trash found on the side of the road and behind abandoned buildings. With this in mind, Yonder Journal is proud to present a series of recipes from Poppi’s forthcoming cookbook called Poppi’s Public Restrooms and Pizza.


Poppi’s “Milkweed Surprise”

The Ingredients


  • Boiled Milkweed Flowers: that you should know how to make cuz you read the rest of the article.
  • Soba Noodles: (they’re buckwheat, which confusingly isn’t wheat, so kinda better than the stuff you get at Olive Garden).
  • Coconut Oil: one spork’s worth.
  • Nut Butter: another spork’s work.
  • Peeled Garlic: I use the whole thing.
  • Salt to Taste: That’s the surprise!


The Steps


  1.  In yer titanium pot cook yer noodles accordingly.
  2. Once they’re done, just dump out the water, hold the lid on a little so you don’t loose yer noodles. That’s for amateurs.
  3. Now using yer lid, sauté the boiled milkweed in coconut oil and garlic.
  4. Add a pinch of salt and cook until lightly browned.
  5. Add milkweed to noodles that are still in yer pot, then toss in the nut butter and more salt (the surprise).
  6. Stir around to combine, and then eat paired with the house red.


  1. Foreign Belief Systems. Expect to interact with or at least observe religious communities that appear to belong to another time. Don’t worry, I am pretty sure you won’t have traveled back in time—they’re just Amish. They’re cool. Don’t worry, they don’t want anything to do with you anyway.
  2. Styrofoam. If you’re like me and you live a sheltered, styrofoam-free life in a hippie commune city on the West Coast, then prepare yourself. Styrofoam is everywhere here. If you need a positive spin on this just think: that cup you sipped a liter’s worth of cola out of, well that cup will be like a tyrannosaurus tooth for some future paleontologist (will they even be called paleontologists then? Or will they be called holocentologists? Neither you or I will ever know, but there is a modicum of joy in the act of speculation, isn’t there?).
  3. Surprise Private Property. We did our best to minimize our trespasses. I think, all told, we maybe flirted or possibly went whole hog into private property twice over our three day trip. The thing is, you’re riding along on a public road, then all of a sudden it’s private. But your GPS says not more than a quarter mile ahead is the road you need to connect with, so you can either risk it or spend ten miles circumventing this little strip of road. Hey, listen, we’re not advocating trespassing. That’d be irresponsible. Yonder Journal 100% acknowledges that you are responsible for you. And that we are not responsible for you. What we’re saying is that you need to do you. Trust your heart.
  4. Skeeters. Get on that DEET.
  5. Judy at the Bald Eagle State Park Campgrounds. She is literally the best camp host we’ve ever experienced. Say “Hi!” for us.

V Bike Setup

Bumspringer Lord Nerd Beta
Specialized AWOL
  • 1. Special Edition Bronze (it's really gold but we don’t want to let the thieves and leprechauns know that) — You can get an all black one though, which is pretty cool.
  • 2. Capabilities: Adventure Do-Anything.
  • 3. Climbs like Sir Edmund Hillary on Tenzig Norgay's shoulders.
  • 4. Descends like a roller coaster safely on its rails, exciting the whole way.
Bota Bag
  • 1. Essential for carrying and preserving the thimbles of wine you need to carry on your Vermont bikepacking tour.
  • 2. Everyone knows that one of, if not the most artisanal of products is wine. And there was no way we were going to visit America’s leading artisanal state without carrying some wine along with us. Our vessel of choice? The Bota Bag.
  • 3. We purchased ours from a small outpost in Colombia but you needn’t go that far. I know that Bota Bags are readily available in small town bait shops and a hunting stores throughout the US. You know the places that have bins of crickets and smell like Power Bait? Yep, they’ve got Bota Bags, guaranteed.
Manual for Speed Space Tape
  • 1. Hey, everyone knows that Yonder Journal and Manual for Speed are one and the same. Even Barack knows.
  • 2. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that when we wrap bars, we wrap bars with our tape. It doesn’t hurt that it is SO beautiful. You can get some, too.
SRAM Force 1
  • 1. My friends, it is time that you freed yourself from they tyranny of a front derailleur! You no longer need to be a slave to the second shifter or at the the grinding mercy of cross-chaining!
  • 2. The answer is 1x11.
  • 3. Yes, all the gearing you need in a simple elegant one-shifter solution. Remember a time when your phone and voicemail were two separate things? Well the front derailiuer is soon to go the way of the answering machine. Don’t trust us, trust you.
Porcelain Rocket MCA/Frame Bag/Mr. Fusion
  • 1. Made in Canada, which is almost America.
  • 2. The full frame bag has a huge capacity for gear. And the white/black color combination is ever so fetching.
  • 3. The Mr. Fusion cradle system keeps the pack from swaying while giving users easy on/off capabilities. AND, when installing it, I for one have the sensation that I am loading a torpedo.
Tubeless Wheels & Tires
  • 2. Do you feed your car hay? Do you watch TV by candlelight? Do you wakeboard behind a sailboat? No, so why would you put tubes in your tires? Get the net, the times have changed and so should you!
Sea to Summit Stuff Sacks
  • 1. We don't use Sea to Summit stuff sacks because the sponsor us (they don't).
  • 2. We use them because they work really really really well.
  • 3. They've even got these amazing bags with eVent fabric on the end opposite the load hole, which allows air to flow out for maximum compression ability without sacrificing waterproofness. Kind of genius.
  • 4. Sleeping bags, clothes, anything that needs to stay dry goes in one of these.

VI Packing List

Freeze-Dried Meals
Mountain House (Mexican Rice and Chicken a la King are good, get the Pro Paks if you can.)
Instant Oatmeal
Quaker Oats Brown Sugar and Maple
Bar #1
Clif Mojo
Bar #2
Clif Kit's Organic
Bulk, from the co-op
Teriyaki, Hot and Spicy, or Mangoes
Haribo Gummy Bears
Kettle Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper (compressed to reduce volume)
Flour, large taco/fajita size
8 oz
Artisanal Extra Sharp Cheddar
1 log
3 units/day
Stumptown, ground for pour over (or bring a grinder)
Clothing (Worn)
Bib Shorts
Specialized SWAT
Stretchwoven Overshort
Mission Workshop Stahl
Specialized BG Ridge
Cycling Cap
2 pair
Outlier or Swiftwick Merino Wool
Specialized Recon
Specialized Airnet
Mission Workshop The Meridian: Phase
Mission Workshop Linear Merino Tee
Clothing (Camp)
Long Sleeve Baselayer
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer
Camp Hat
Pink Poler Rayon Hat (go look at the photos, you'll see and you'll want it)
Camp Shoes
Glove Liners
Wool or Synthetic
Camp Shirt
Cotton Poler T-Shirt (there are SO many graphics to choose from, take your pick!)
Camp Shorts
Poler Men's River Chino Shorts
Gear (Bike)
Seat Bag
Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion
Frame Bag
Porcelain Rocket
Handlebar Bag
Porcelain Rocket MCA
Top Tube Bag
Specialized Burra Burra
Mini Tool
Specialized EMT PRO MTB
Patch Kit
Rema, of course
FRESH ones only
Tire Levers
As many as you can
Mini Pump
Specialized Air Tool Flex
Mechanic Stuff
1 (can be shared)
Multi-tool, Leatherman w/ pliers, tubes, patch kit, tire boots, tire levers, pump, spare chain linkes, shifter cable, nuts and bolts, derailleur hanger, zip ties, Gorilla tape, whatever else you can think of
Gear (Camp)
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Cuben Flat Tarp (w/ lightweight poles!)
Sleeping Bag
Mountain Hardwear Phantom 30°
Waterproof Stuff Sack
A few
Sea to Summit EVAC (minimum one for your sleeping bag)
Sleeping Pad
Therm-a-rest NeoAir XLite
Leatherman Wave (preferably one your brother gave you fifteen years ago for Christmas)
Snow Peak Mola (with fresh batteries)
Snow Peak
Snow Peak #sporklife
MFS, YJ, or something with a cool map on it
Teeth Stuff
Whatever your personal program is
Paul Beatty's The Sellout
Bic (in Ziplock)
Max SPF, waterproof
Oakley Frogskins
Repair Kit
Needle/thread, sleeping pad patch, Tenacious Tape
Wrap it in Gorilla tape
Wet Wipes
Soft pack
Gear (Camp, Shared)
Water Filter
1 per 2-3 people
MSR Sweetwater
Dr Bronner's Almond
1 per 2 people
Snow Peak Gigapower Auto
Snow Peak Giga Power (bigger size)
First Aid Kit
1 per 2-3 people
Mad Wikked Tooah
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