Category Archives: Yonder Journal
You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t…
The last Yonder Journal Brovet in Austin was a clusterfuck of epic proportions. I planned the ride, which, in context was one of the best 300 mile loops in Texas Hill Country. That context though, is slightly mottled, since, you know, I live in Texas and these guys are from California and Oregon – which has some of the best riding in the country. Maybe they’re soft-skinned liberals and I’m ok with Texas being stuck in the 17th century, or maybe riding for 40 hours in the pissing – just above freezing – rain just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
Context aside, I planned a 300 mile route, the weather was nice – 80 degrees and humid – hey, it’s Texas – and everyone arrived in Austin.
Cursed. We’re all cursed. Or maybe I’m cursed? For whatever reason, mother nature took a shit on us, then smeared it on the route. 300 miles got cut in half, we had to bail so people could catch their flights. Ty got drunk – after he and Kelli got engaged. Moi got drunk. Kyle threw up in my yard. Hahn got drunk and raided dirty laundry.
The story goes deeper than this over at Yonder Journal! Head over to read about the Curse and (Dis)Enchanted Rock. See a few more selections below and follow Yonder on Instagram as they’re in the middle of another Brovet down South!
If you’ve never bikepacked before and really want to get into it, or you have attempted before and failed miserably, then you NEED to read this post over at Yonder Journal. It’s a break-down on how to pack what, where and lists essentials for long rides / tours / camping trips.
Head over to Yonder Journal for the full article!
If you’ve seen the newest issue of Bike Mag, then maybe you noticed the large-format poster featuring the above artwork by Chris McNally – which you can coincidentally pick up at Yonder Journal in a nice, flat poster for your wall. But what exactly is it? Who are these strange men and what are those bigfoots (bigfeet?) doing with those rocks?
Last summer, Yonder Journal got the hair-brained idea to follow mule tracks from the Mythical State of Jefferson to the coast on packed-out mountain bikes and using the new Acre Hauser packs.
When excerpts from a ride report begin with:
“It was decided early on that Daniel would be the first one we would eat. He is a fleshy nutrient-packed individual with a penchant for sweets and he was, by being the organizer and de facto Captain of this expedition, the reason why we were all here. So it only made sense that if the fate of our group lead to cannibalism, he would be the first to go. We had come to Northern California to attempt bikepacking.
More specifically we had come to ride to the sea. All of us had backpacked before and all of us were cyclists, but how the integration of the two would work was based on assumption. Most of us could only think about it, like we were trying to imagine orange when our experience had been strictly limited to yellow and red. Fortunately Daniel had selected a group of people who, for this adventure at least, were able to rein in a modicum of our typical hubris, to the point that important questions were deferred to the couple of group members who had prior bikepacking experience.” -Kyle von Hoetzendorff
Then you know it’s gonna be good. See the whole (it’s a big one) MSOJ MTB shit-show (MSOJMTBSS) at Yonder Journal and check out some sample photos below!
Photo by Daniel Wakefield Pasley
Sometimes, rides go south and I’m not talking about Georgia. Yonder Journal has been to the Mythical State of Jefferson twice now. The second time, didn’t go so well… Check out a few words by Kyle von Hoetzendorff:
“WE ARE TIRED, HUNGRY, AND BEATEN. Around us mountains rise like picket signs to mock our day’s progress. This trip, which trip specifically doesn’t matter, is familiar; you, me, we have all been here before, a day full of motivational derision packed with mind-chiding expletives like “just around the corner”, “this is the last hill,” and “I am sure it’s just right up ahead.” The road we’re on, our road, has petered out, it’s a dead end stub built by the type of people who knew exactly where they came from and who had no choice but to return there. We on the other hand need to carry on, turning back is an admission of failure, an admission that all those involved had seriously considered and yet none of us were smart enough to act upon…”
Continue reading at Yonder Journal! I really enjoyed this piece Kyle.
Flashback to July. I was in considerably good shape, coming off a lot of base miles in the early spring with China and Australia, back to back. After those two countries, I kept pushing myself to be a more fit cyclist. Why? Because I knew this Brovet was coming up and I had something to prove. Both to myself and my friends, who had heckled me incessantly since my bonking in Pittsburgh. Let’s just say, I was ready.
My equipment was dialed, my fitness was in-line and aside from a MTB wreck the week before, I was in tip top shape. The initial talks of the route had numbers like 250 miles and over 30,000′ of climbing. After we completed the route, it turned out to be around 235 miles and 18,000′. Still, no small feat.
Look, it was hot, tough and with around 10 people in our group, it was the largest Brovet ride yet. Was it fun? You bet your ass! It’s amazing how enjoyable rides like this can be when you’ve got the fitness. You’ve already read Yonder’s report, so here are my photos from the ride, in as accurate of an order as I can recall.
Ok, before you ask me what’s going on with this shirt, allow me to introduce you:
“Pictured are Itchy and Scratchy, two bears included in the 1941 torchlight parade in celebration of the State of Jefferson’s vote to secede from California and Oregon and form a new state, of which a primary motive was to secure better federal funding for road construction.”
Aka, it makes for a very weird graphic t-shirt by Joshua Porter and I love it! Pre-order the MSOJP shirt at Yonder Journal.
Looking at the photos on Yonder Journal today reminded me of how fun it is to go on rides like that. I still can’t get over how incredible the roads were, like above for instance. I’ve got a ton of film photos I’ll post at some point, but this one is doing it for me right now.
The following is my brief ride report from the Yonder Journal Brovet 03 – The Mythical State of Jefferson – click the link for more from Yonder Journal
After the second Brovet, my riding ego was damaged. I had bonked so pitifully that I almost thought for a second the dudes wouldn’t invite me on another ride. Then I realized, they actually enjoyed giving me shit and wouldn’t let me miss it for the world.
As I was preparing for this ride, I took my time calculating weather, load weight and most importantly, water. In the past, drinking from rivers landed me with a messed up stomach, I knew hydration would be an issue and it’d be hot, so I brought a Sawyer filter for filling my bottles with river water.
I also packed multiple sandwiches, dried fruits, salt tabs, nuts, gels and anything else I could think of (donuts). My bike was dialed and I felt great, I was prepared as much as I could be.
Let’s just put it this way: when someone asked for a necessity on the ride – baby wipes – I had it.
During the Mythical State of Jefferson Brovet (the ride where I didn’t bonk), we met this character named Kevin Krueger who makes Skid Town Bicycles. These things were built specifically for bombing fireroads and double track and while there ain’t much information on the ‘net about these klunkers, Yonder Journal did manage to capture a few suave gents posing on some of Kevin’s machines.
I felt like it was worth sharing today, especially with Bene’s Trek gracing the front page of the site.
From what I can gather, the Mythical State of Jefferson Brovet is almost ready to launch. I can’t wait to see the photos from that ride!
Yonder Journal is American Field Studies, so it makes sense that they’ve sell made in the USA products, right? Correct. Luckily, Fairends makes caps in the USA. Swoop up one of these caps and their Western principles at Yonder Journal!