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Embark Maple's Ramp Romp Ride: Play Bikes, Camp, Forage, & Explore The Driftless.

Embark Maple is hosting a bike/camping/foraging weekend this April. The Ramp Romp Ride is a playful exploration of the watershed and the unique, delicious and interesting ecosystem we are a part of. Learn more about the Ramp Romp Ride and sign up for this spring bike adventure.

To learn more and sign up, visit the Ramp Romp Ride.

Chatting with Eric from Embark Maple:

Where did this idea spring from to mix biking, camping, and foraging?

The Ramp Romp Ride is a mix of Bree & Eric’s favorite things: riding bikes, good food, & playing in the woods! We love sharing the unique area we call home, and started a spring campout over 10 years ago with a focus on sustainable ramp harvesting, foraging education, and a celebration of spring and community.

What is the route, camping, and scenery like where this will be taking place?

The Ramp Romp Ride is a 30-40 mile educational exploration of our watershed. The route consists of mostly lightly traveled rural roads, the majority of which are paved, and broken up by off-road romps along field paths, logging roads, forest trails with a bit of optional singletrack.

The hip kids would call this an ATB ride, we call it playing bikes!

Being the Driftless Area, the route is quite hilly with ~3000-4000 ft of elevation gain, where steep climbs are rewarded with awe-inspiring vistas overlooking the coulees below, and fast sometimes rugged descents. There will be 4 stops along the route to learn about different unique ecosystems, their significance to the watershed, and particularly how to identify wild edibles along side experienced foragers!

Rompers can bring back their wild edibles to build their own wood-fired pizza, and enjoy an evening of additional foraging and revelry. Camping is available at our off-grid farm and is best described as rustic. We will have drinking water, a port-a-potty, as well as a large tent for socializing under in case of inclement weather, and of course, bonfires and a welcoming atmosphere for everyone!

Who Should Do the Ramp Romp ?

We’re putting the Ramp Romp Ride together for fun adventurous folks who like to play, learn & explore, particularly by bike. The off-road sections will be adventurous, involving bushwhacking, stream crossings, and hike-a-bike, however there will also be a road-alternative route for folks looking for a more relaxed journey.

It is not necessary to carry your camping gear on your bike, so a bikepacking specific setup is not required. It is suggested that folks be comfortable with the elevation gain, however the route is more rural than remote so there are some bail-out options.

What are ramps, where are they found, what do you do with them, and how does this connect to Embark and maple syrup?

The roots of Embark Maple are found at B&E’s Trees Farm, the Driftless Wisconsin home and source of good energy for founders/owners Bree & Eric. Embark Maple makes maple syrup energy gels. The Driftless Region is an ecological wonderland, rich in wild edibles including ramps. Ramps are a wild garlic onion, latin name Allium Tricoccum, and are often found in the rich soils of sugar maple forests in North America.

They are one of the first wild foods to be harvested, and have become popular amongst foragers and foodies alike for their uniquely pungent flavor and aroma.

However, in recent years there has been significant over-harvesting of ramps, so we started teaching sustainable harvesting techniques, as well as general foraging knowledge, based at our farm.

What gear would people need to have to take part in this?

The only things folks really need are a bicycle, basic camping gear, and a sense of adventure. You can sleep in your car/van if you like, or trek out into our forest and setup a remote camp. We recommend watching the forecast and to be prepared for potentially cold, wet weather (we do not cancel because of weather); raingear is always a good idea, as is a moderately warm sleeping bag (20-30°F). Eric will be riding a singlespeed 29er MTB, a good fit for the off-road sections albeit a bit pokey on the pavement; perfect for a day of fun foraging with friends!

To learn more and sign up, visit the Ramp Romp Ride.


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