Words and photos by Kyle Sovada (@kylesovada)
Hello, I’m Kyle Sovada. I ski patrol in Colorado during the winter and do a little bit of everything in the off season. I grew up in Minnesota, where I was intrigued and drawn to the bike from an early age. Even before I realized it, I think. Most of my bikes I rode while growing up were garage sale junkers, or hand-me-downs. I often found myself spending summers figuring out how to fix them, sometimes just for fun. Several times I stripped bikes to the frame and painted them in new colors or designs, often adding polka dots or pinstripes. When I was 16, I got a job as a mechanic at my local bike shop, Revolution Cycle and Ski, where I studied the art of the bicycle mechanic. After I moved away to college in Oregon, I worked at bike shops off and on, and ultimately developed many more outdoor hobbies.
When I graduated from college, I decided to ride a bike back to Minnesota, to celebrate. My folks didn’t like the idea of me riding alone, so I convinced my dad to come with, and it was a great trip. And it really sparked my interest in traveling by bike. After several smaller trips over the years, I started riding more in the off-pavement bikepacking style and fell in love with it again.
Last summer I traveled to South America to ride the Cones and Canyons route in Peru. This was my first international bike trip and my first time traveling abroad without “hostel hopping.” I loved that style of travel and I don’t know how I would have done it otherwise at the time. But now that I have experienced this type of more remote travel by bike, camping outside, seeing remote villages where most tourists can’t get, and avoiding the hectic stress of cities and highways, I’m hooked.
The bike isn’t anything unique, but it gets the job done and I love it. Its an early Salsa Fargo that’s mostly stock other than the Jones Loop H-Bar, and maybe a few other odds and ends. This was my first trip with the Jones bar and man, did I love it. The sweep is perfect for me and put me in a great riding position. It kept me relatively upright in a relaxed posture that I could ride in forever. Maybe it’s mostly mental, but I feel like the more aggressive the stance, the less likely I am to enjoy and observe the environment around me.
- Frame/Fork 2013 Salsa Fargo
- Rims Stans ZTR Rapids
- Hubs Salsa’s co-branded Formula hubs
- Tires Teravail Ehline 29 x 2.3″
- Handlebars Jones H-bar Loops
- Headset Cane Creek Ten Series
- Crankset SRAM 24/38T
- Cassette SRAM 10-speed 11-36T
- Derailleur SRAM X7 (front), X9 (rear)
- Brakes Avid BB7 Road
- Shifter(s) SRAM X9
- Saddle Charge Spoon
- Seatpost Thomson Masterpiece
- Stem Salsa
- Front bags 2x Surly Junk Straps holding dry bag
- Frame bags Salsa/Revelate co-branded bag
- Rear bags Revelate Designs Terrapin 14L
- Accessory bags Revelate Designs Mag-Tank 2000, JerryCan, Mountain Feedbag
- Other accessories Salsa Anything Cages, Nickless Cages, Voile Straps
You can follow Kyle on Instagram @kylesovada.
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