Words and photos by Skye Salganek (@wickedwitchoftheditch)
My name is Skye Salganek, and I live in Flagstaff, Arizona. I’ve been mountain biking for 10 years, and I started riding for the first time while I was living in Durango, Colorado. When I lived there, one of my friends moved to the area but had a suspended license and was unable to drive. He needed someone to drive him to Moab, Fruita, and Crested Butte for the occasional riding foray (Durango trails are so fun, it’s funny to imagine how we ever thought to even leave home), and I needed someone to teach me how to mountain bike and how to do some simple repairs. The arrangement worked perfectly!
I soon became obsessed with riding, and when I moved to Arcata, California, I raced collegiately for Humboldt State University. Mountain bike cross-country, short track, downhill, enduro, and road bike racing too. I enjoy riding with groups of friends; my favorite people to ride with are those who show up for a ride wearing a Hawaiian shirt. I ride my full-suspension mountain bike in Sedona often, but I like the accessibility of riding a fully rigid bike, especially on multi-day adventures. After having ACL surgery two years ago, I used my recovery as an opportunity to do some gravel riding around home and explore a lot of forest service roads.
This bike is the Jamis Dragon One. Yes, it was originally destined to be a single-speed, but this bike has had many iterations. I bought the frame used – from Craigslist – while I was passing through San Jose, California, eight years ago. At Humboldt State, I used whatever parts I could find at the campus bike co-op to get it rolling.
I am a wildlife biologist and move around frequently for seasonal jobs at national parks. This bike has been my constant companion for many trails, gravel rides, bikepacking routes, and as a commuter through the years. I rode this bike once in a short-track mountain bike race in Humboldt County.
The first summer I had the bike, I was in the Missouri Ozarks. On a Saturday morning gravel ride, 10 miles from any town or highway, I found a four-month-old puppy. The pup followed me home after I fed him half of a Lara Bar, and he lived under the porch of the Missouri Department of Conservation field house for six months. He would accompany me every time I went out for a ride, and at the end of my seasonal job, I took him home as my own dog. The bike is sentimental for me for this reason, especially.
- Frame Jamis Dragon One
- Fork Rigid Salsa
- Rims DT Swiss
- Hubs Shimano Deore (front) / SRAM 900 (rear)
- Tires Maxxis recon 29 x 2.4
- Handlebars Jones H-bar
- Headset Cane Creek
- Crankset Truvativ GXP
- Pedals Deity Deaftrap
- Cassette SRAM GX 11-speed
- Derailleur SRAM NX 11-speed
- Brakes Avid BB7 Mtn
- Shifter(s) SRAM NX 11-speed
- Saddle Specialized Bridge
- Seatpost Crankbrothers
- Stem Unknown
- Front bags GE Custom Workshop in Moscow
- Frame bags M. Kittel Original Wonder Woman bag (repaired by R.C. Anderson)
- Rear bags Ortlieb
- Accessory bags Specialized top tube bag
- Other accessories Soma Rack, 3L soda bottles, Voile straps for strapping down anything
I recently took the Jamis Dragon on the Baja Divide. I carried 12 liters of water in addition to my other belongings; half of the water was in two 3L soda bottles strapped to the fork. I once used the Jamis at work to drive a herd of bison toward a corral. Bikepacking routes that this bike has ridden also include Comb Ridge (UT), the Hot Sisters (OR), Robbers Roost (AZ), Alpine Loop (CO), and a number of overnights in Flagstaff and around the Arizona Strip. Bikes carry us through so many times in our lives; I am beyond grateful for all the experiences that this bike has given me.
The frame bag was a collaborative effort between two friends that have not been acquainted yet – one created the bag and another did some miraculous repairs several years later. The material inside the bag is Wonder Woman-themed comic-strip fabric. The front bag was a late-night beer-induced Etsy purchase from a small Russian company. One of the feed bags is just a climbing chalk bag. I can thank Joey Simmons, service manager at Absolute Bikes, Sedona, Arizona, for the excellent build. When I brought him the bike two years ago, the Jamis had a one-by drivetrain, but with a triple chainring in front and a derailleur to act as a chain guide, and I was running two completely different brakes. Needless to say, the bike has seen some upgrades.
You can follow Skye on Instagram @wickedwitchoftheditch.
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