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Mad Wikkid Bike Toouah Lord Nerd Beta

Mad Wikkid Bike Toouah Lord Nerd Beta

06/07/2016 | Vermont

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.

Mad Wikkid Bike Toouah Lord Nerd Beta


I Prospectus

When we told Benedict, aka Bene, aka Ultraromance, aka Poppi, aka Jonti, aka The Cybershark, that we needed him to organize a ride in the Northeast he told us that without a question, without even an inkling of a doubt, that the ride he’d be organizing would be taking place in Vermont, a state choked with artisanal grocery stores and co-ops despite its sparse population. These repositories of crafted and curated foods are essential for keeping the body, mind, and spirit in tip-top condition, and there is nothing in the world more important to a brahman/bohemian/vagabond/aesthete like Mr. Benedict Wheeler than a tip-top bod and all the groupies and fringe benefits that come with it. But 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. The state has so much more to offer: preternaturally smooth dirt roads, haunted tunnels, and wealth of wild camping and cabin options are just a few of the amenities that, taken together, will serve to WOW even the most calloused of bike tourists.

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 Mad Wikkid Roster
Yonder Journal recruited a top-notch crew of the world's finest, most accomplished adventurers for this trip. Featuring Varunet glasses. →→→
Moi Medina aka @moi_is_moi.
Mary Lytle, aka @maryroselytle.
Patrick Newell, aka @ultratradition.
Benedict Wheeler, aka @ultraromance.
Sarah Swallow, aka @swallowbicycleworks.
Kyle von Hoetzendorff, aka @newantarctica.
Bryan Banducci, aka @bryanbanducci.
Daniel Wakefield Pasley, aka @yonderjournal.

II An Illustrated Guide to Edible, Medicinal and/or otherwise Notable Flora: Vermont 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

Jack in the Pulpit

Uses: A starch obtained from the roots is used as a stiffener for clothes. Jack in the Pulpit root is acrid, antiseptic, diaphoretic, expectorant, irritant and stimulant. A medicinal poultice of root used for headaches and various skin diseases. Ointment used for ringworm, tetterworm and abscesses treatments. Jack in the Pulpit also contains oxalic acid, which is poisonous!

Scientific Name: Arisaema triphyllum

Description: 12 to 26 in tall. Name comes from the large, green (with brown stripes) spathe that wraps around the spadix. Leaves: trifolate on long stems, 8-15 cm long and 3-7 cm across. Flowers: unixseual (small plants mostly male, larger plants mostly female). Fruit: smooth, green berries 1 cm in size.
Wood/Canada Nettle

Uses: The leaves are rich in vitamins A and C, iron and protein. The young shoots can be simmered and a tea can be made out of the shoots and leaves. Medicinally it has been used to reduce fever, facilitate childbirth and induce urination. The fibers have been used to make cordage, clothing, baskets, netting and a lot more.

Scientific Name: Laportea canadensis

Description: 12 to 60 in tall. Grows from unbranched taproots, produces 1-10+ stems. Flowers at least as tall as foliage, which can be either upright or horizontally spreading. Does sting (like the stinging nettle) Leaves: Basal only, pinnately lobed. 2-18 in. long, .4-4 in. wide. Oblanceolate, oblong, or obovate in shape and narrow to the petiole. Flowers: Unisexual, light green.

Nettles, According to Poppi


“Nettles are perhaps one of my favorite vegetables. Something about plants with defense mechanisms on the outside that make for a very palatable flavor. The nettle is no exception, covered in stinging hairs, but when cooked down, no more stinging—just a chewy, nutty, highly nutritious slop. This plant is especially useful for vegetarians, as it’s wicked high in iron and protein. There are folk tales in many folksy folklores that spin yarns of wise hermits living off nothing but.”

There is an arguably famous hermit, Dug Out Dick, who lived 'til he was 90 in a hand-dug cave in Idaho off nothing more than sheep milk Yogürt and nettles. Two of my favorite foods. What a life. But he didn't have Instagram...”- Poppi
Eastern White Pine

Uses: Eastern White Pine is used as lumber for construction, pulp (paper), cabinets, furniture, door frames, boats, coffins, matches, paneling, boxes, and crates. It is also used for ships' masts, because they have a large, straight trunk. Eastern White Pines are also used as Christmas trees.

Scientific Name: Pinus strobus

Description: Up to 190 ft tall. Flexible, 5-13cm finely serrated needles come in fascicles of five and in deciduous sheaths.Slender cones, 8-16 cm long and 4-5cm across when open. Rounded scales. 4-5 mm seeds with 15-20 mm wings (seeds are wind-dispersed).

Pine Pollen, According to Poppi

“In mid to late spring, you may have noticed that there are a lot of things that make the genetically weak sneeze and get all puffy eyed. Well that’s pollen. What we are looking for is pine pollen though. It’s the yellow stuff you see on the tips of pine trees, released from the male part of the tree in order to pollinate the cone, or female part of the tree. The pine pollen, when consumed fresh off the tree, is wicked high in B vitamins and vitamin C. It’s got a citrusy flavor, and is a great yogürt topping.”

When tinctured, this yellow pollen has androgens that mimic very closely the testosterone your body naturally produces. Slabs of muscle.”- Poppi

Uses: Dandelion is used for loss of appetite, upset stomach, intestinal gas, gallstones, joint pain, muscle aches, eczema, and bruises. Dandelion is also used to increase urine production and as a laxative to increase bowel movements. It is also used as skin toner, blood tonic, and digestive tonic.

Scientific Name: Taraxacum officinale

Description: 2 to 16 in (typical), 28 in (max) tall. Grows from unbranched taproots, produces 1-10+ hollow, milky stems. Flowers at least as tall as foliage, which can be either upright or horizontally spreading. Leaves: Basal only, pinnately lobed. 2-18 in. long, .4-4 in. wide. Oblanceolate, oblong, or obovate in shape and narrow to the petiole. Flowers: Head, flowers are all ray-like. Matures into a fluffy seed head called a blowball, which enables wind-aided dispersal.

Dandelion, According to Poppi

“Dandelion greens and flowers: perhaps the most easily identifiable wild edible of all, you most likely have these growing through the sidewalk in front of your condo. What Monsanto and their henchman of Hades don’t want you to know is that dandelions are more nutrient-dense than just about anything you can grow in yer garden or buy at the store. En vogue for their pleasantly bitter flavor, and perhaps for the novelty of eating weeds, your gourmet grocer might even sell dandelion greens at $7 a pound. Big money for something you can just pick off the side of the road, fertilized with dog urine! Yah! So wash em off before eating I guess, and be sure they haven’t been sprayed.


Prep: the greens are bitter, but bitter means they’re good for you. This is a wiiiiikked healthy food, so don’t expect it to taste mild. Yer not a mild person. You’re better than that. Ok, so I eat ’em raw on the go, but they’re best cooked down into yer evening goulash after about 10 min on a simmer. The flowers are quite nutty in flavor, and are a great trail snack. You can also gather a bunch in early spring and ferment em into wine. I’ve got a batch going right now, actually. The tap root can be roasted like a carrot, or chopped and roasted until dried. This makes a great coffee alternative! It’s actually really good.

So the lowly dandelion... such a readily available and useful plant! Next time you see some jerk spraying them with RoundUp, go back at night and take a dump on their precious lawn. It's good karma!”- Poppi
Red Clover

Uses: Red clover is used for cancer prevention, indigestion, high cholesterol, whooping cough, cough, asthma, bronchitis, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Some women use red clover for symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes; for breast pain or tenderness (mastalgia); and for premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Scientific Name: Trifolium pratense

Description: 20-80 cm tall. Herbaceous and short lived. 1-4 cm petiole with two basal stipules. Leaves: green, trifoliate, 15-30 mm (8-15 mm across) with a pale chevron. Flowers: Dark pink with a pale base in a head, 12-15 mm long.

Red Clover, According to Poppi

“The Vermont state flower. It grows all over the place, about as common as dandelions. I love eating the flowers as trail snacks. They’re delish, and reminiscent of the sweetness you find in sugar snap pees. The clover leaves are also not bad raw, featuring a liiiiiitle bit of sweetness.”

Look for the purple flowers and clover leaves. It's a clover, obvs.”- Poppi
Stinging Nettle

Uses: Stinging nettle has been used for hundreds of years to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. Today, many people use it to treat urinary problems during the early stages of an enlarged prostate (called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH).

Scientific Name: Urtica dioica

Description: 2 to 7 ft tall (in summer; dies down to the ground in winter).Hairy with nonstinging hairs, plus stinging hairs in most subspecies. Bright yellow rhizomes, stolons and roots. Leaves: Soft, green, serrated and heart-shaped, 1 to 6 inches long. Flowers: Unisexual, but male and female flowers are found on separate plants.

III Poppi's Public Restrooms & Pizzeria: Recipe #1

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 “Run Right Through Ya” Goulash

The Ingredients


  • Bouillon Cubes: Bouillon cubes are cheap, tasty, packable and versatile… kinda… I always have ’em adorning my camp kitchen and incidentally seasoning the bottoms of my stuff sacks. I’m always like, “Are those my spare socks I’m smelling?? Aww, yah, that’s a bouillon cube onion waft”. It’s exciting.
  • Coconut Oil: The praises of coconut oil have been heard by all, and for the most part are all true. It’s incredibly stable at high temperatures while cooking, and won’t go bad in yer camp kitchen. It’s also the best after-tanning and pre-tanning and general-tanning enhancer yer soon to be bronzed and muscular beach bod has ever adorned itself in. It’s also a pretty good lube for the inevitable brokeback moment. Better than just spit in my experience.11Other uses: It’s anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, a great alternative to showering. You can brush yer teeth with it, seriously! Use it to service yer undercarriage to keep saddle sores at bay. Brooks saddle moisturizer. Keep a beach olfactory atmosphere going through the wintär with it.
  • Protein: I recommend tempeh for the vegetarians, and high-qual venison or bison jerky for the heartless, cruel, and unconscionable carnivores with no future world views.
  • Micronutrients: Micronutrients needn’t be packed in yer bags. They’re everywhere you look, and far more nutritious than anything you can buy at the store. Weeds brü. Choice: lamb’s quarters, nettles, watercress, sheep sorrel. Not So Choice (but still good for you): dandelion22It’s everywhere, and makes kale’s nutrition read like iceberg lettuce. Since when did you eat kale for the taste anyway?, common plantain (not bananas), or basically anything green.  It’s near impossible to poison yourself with greens. Trust yer instincts. Try a corner of something, and if it makes yer mouth do somersaults, you probably shouldn’t eat it. It’s how we managed for 12,000 years, until about 150 years ago. You may be a computer nerd with spindly fingers and a translucent visage, but you still have the DNA of A GREAT WARRIOR.
  • Carbo:  For a quick and easy one, add one or two of yer pre-baked sweet potatoes. Just chop em up. Alternatively use an ancient grain. If it’s not ancient, then don’t eat it. It’s not #cool if it’s not ancient. Two quick cooking (10-15 min) ones are quinoa and millet. Quinoa is choice if yer not socially conscious and don’t care about starving children in Peru no longer being able to afford their staple food. But it tastes great, and it’s a superfood! Plus we are AMERICANS, and that shit is cheap for us! Millet is even cheaper, and is comparable in nutrition, but it doesn’t taste as good IMO.


The Steps


  1. Get yer ti bowl on the stove or fire.
  2. Add a cup of water.
  3. Add a bullion cube.
  4. Simmer down from a boil
  5. Add yer ancient, antique grain (optional) and coconut oil and cover.
  6. Simmer for 10 minutes then add yer protein and chopped greens.
  7. Cook for another 5:00-7:23 and add yer baked sweet potatoes.
  8. FIN!


  1. The people of Vermont are kind and patient. But once you step/ride across stateliness, be prepared for some animosity.
  2. Maple syrup is not as readily available as you might think. Be prepared.
  3. Even though it’s not as readily available as you might think, maple syrup will still get everywhere, even if you only use it once.
  4. Zoar.
  5. If you aren’t into the artisanal side of life, please don’t come to Vermont. You’ll hate it.
  6. It is haunted here, and you’re going to have to deal with it.
  7. Barefoot Brad is a legend, not a myth.
  8. Ticks are everywhere and they show no mercy.

V Bike Setup

Mad Wikkid Bike Toouah Lord Nerd Beta
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.
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.
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!
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.
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

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