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The Radavist’s Top Ten Beautiful Bicycles of 2020

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The Radavist’s Top Ten Beautiful Bicycles of 2020

Each year I like to look at our content in its entirety and reflect back on bikes that took you, the readers of this website, by storm. Back in the mid to late 2000’s it was all fixed gears, then came the gravel bikes, the tourers, the MTBs, and the kooky, eccentric builds you’ve come to enjoy checking out in full-res detail. We’ve got some incredibly talented individuals contributing to this site and their hard work is something I cannot express my gratitude for enough. Going back through the 2020 content here at the Radavist, I am amazed at what we were able to accomplish all things considered.

For this year’s Top Beautiful Bicycles of 2020, we have compiled a great list of ten bikes, ranging from rim brakes to fixed gears, basket bikes, and more. This list is based on web traffic, commentary, and social media chatter, and each of these builds really brought something unique to our content. We omitted bike reviews here but included production bikes. Oh and I hope you like baskets!

Let’s jump right in!

The World’s Fastest Human is Naked (Bicycles)

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The World’s Fastest Human is Naked (Bicycles)

Over the years Stephanie and I have visited some out-of-the-way frame builders, but Sam Whittingham’s Naked Bicycles is one of the more out-there. Pedaling our camping bikes on the ups and downs of Quadra Island, an eclectic community of 2,700 people off northern Vancouver Island, we’re reminded that this is a two-speed kind of place – where the only gears you need are your easiest and your hardest.

The road narrows and the hills become even steeper, and we eventually come upon a gate, with a kind note asking us to close it after entering, for there are horses inside. We put Denver on his leash and grind the final few hundred metres to Sam’s shop, a quirky metal-roofed building with lots of windows, reflecting the even-more-whimsical shape of his house on the other side of the driveway.

If people make the effort to get here, Sam makes them feel at home. He arrives on the porch with a smile, and invites us in to his frame building shop in the woods.

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CROSS IS HERE

You’ve spent all summer waiting. All summer training. Cross is here. Here’s how Naked Factory Racing in Vancouver has been preparing.

29 Camping Bikes and Their Riders From Swift Campout Vancouver – Morgan Taylor

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29 Camping Bikes and Their Riders From Swift Campout Vancouver – Morgan Taylor

Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

From first time bicycle campers to experienced fully loaded singletrack riders, 30 people joined us for Swift Campout here in Vancouver. Swift Industries‘ global call to head out for a bicycle overnight on solstice weekend was a perfect opportunity for us to scope a camp spot and a route and put out an open invite.

After weeks of route planning, helping with camp setups, and hoping for good weather, the sun shone down Saturday morning and we set out en masse with spirits high. For a good number, it was their first time camping by bike, or their first time loading up without racks to ride singletrack to camp.

A quick ferry ride landed us on the Sunshine Coast just outside Vancouver and the group split up, one third to ride a challenging singletrack-heavy overland route and two thirds to ride the backroads, eat ice cream, and swim in the ocean. We converged on the camp spot in the evening and shared stories of our travels.

As expected, we met lots of great people, got to ride bikes and hang out on the roads and trails and beaches, cook and camp together, learn more about ourselves and each other. Thanks so much to the wonderful folks at Swift Industries for facilitating this global event!

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Follow Morgan and Stephanie on Instagram at Found in the Mountains, and if you find yourself in Vancouver, join them for #CoffeeOutsideYVR every Friday!

Coffee Outside and a Hidden Dirt Ride – Morgan Taylor

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Coffee Outside and a Hidden Dirt Ride – Morgan Taylor

Photos and words by Morgan Taylor.

I unclipped the far side of Stephanie’s Sugarloaf to get coffee going and something I knew was eventually bound to happen, finally happened. After 15 weeks of #coffeeoutsideyvr, an object of actual (and sentimental) value fell off the pier: Stephanie’s double wall titanium camp mug, that had dangled carefree for 4,000 km of touring last summer and lots more since, was now floating in Burrard Inlet.

That was how our Good Friday began: with Tom stripping down and sending it into the cold, cold ocean to retrieve Stephanie’s prized possession. What we’ve come to know in the past three-and-a-half months of getting together to make coffee every Friday, is that there are a lot of rad people out there you haven’t yet met – people who might one day jump in a frigid body of water on your behalf.

Found in the Mountains Good Friday Ride!

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Found in the Mountains Good Friday Ride!

Morgan and Stephanie are hosting an adventure pace, mixed-surface ride in Vancouver after their usual coffee outside on Friday:

“We’re crafting up a route that will keep us out of traffic and exploring off-the-beaten-path dirt and neighbourhood connectors around North Vancouver. This will be an absolutely no-drop, adventure pace ride. Expect about 50 km of mixed-surface riding with options to bail out along the way if you want a shorter ride or need to get somewhere earlier in the day.”

Get the details at Found in the Mountains.

Steel and Rubber’s Sunshine Coast Overnighter Gallery

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Steel and Rubber’s Sunshine Coast Overnighter Gallery

Words by Morgan Taylor. Photos by Geoff Campbell.

A couple weeks back I shared a set of rider portraits from a trip we took out of Vancouver and across Howe Sound to the Sunshine Coast. It was a simple winter overnighter, mostly on rural roads, with a great group of friends. Geoff and Pat, who are preparing to ride the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route this summer, keep track of their rides at Steel and Rubber with route data, travel stories, and great photos.

Check out a selection of Geoff’s photos below and head to Steel and Rubber for the gallery and story!

Bonavia Cycles’ “Jackson Pollock” SSCX

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Bonavia Cycles’ “Jackson Pollock” SSCX

Words by Morgan Taylor. Photos by Dylan Davies.

Ross Allan from Bonavia Cycles recently saw through a project that had been in the works for a while. Last year he built himself a single speed cyclocross frameset and sent it off to Vancouver custom painter Toxik Harald, asking for something “Pollock”. After a long wait, Ross’ patience paid off.

Check out a couple more details below, and the full set at Shred or Dead.

Enter the CXORCIST – Funeral Cycling

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Enter the CXORCIST – Funeral Cycling

Enter the CXORCIST
Photos by Stefan Feldman & Warren Fentonand, words by Kyle Scully

This past January, I flew from balmy Vancouver BC to a surprisingly frigid Austin TX to hang out at the US Cyclocross National Championships. The trip itinerary included meeting friends from the internet, watching some racing (the ones that didn’t get cancelled), and most importantly, racing John’s Crash Nationals Race. Unsanctioned “Bandit Cross” style races were new to me at this point in time and I didn’t really know what to expect…

Building Culture at the Vancouver Frame Builders Show

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Building Culture at the Vancouver Frame Builders Show

Building Culture at the Vancouver Frame Builders Show

Words by Mathew Braun
Photos by Stefan Feldmann

Vancouver has a significant place within the world of North American hand built bicycles. There is much debate surrounding the origins of the mountain bike, but few will argue that the frames built in Vancouver during the late ’80s and early ’90s didn’t direct the state of downhill mountain biking significantly.

Once again the city’s frame builders are demonstrating their ability to craft intentional and beautiful bicycles. My desire to organize this show was in part driven by curiosity: I wanted to know who else was building frames in the area. I firmly believe that the growth of culture starts with a strong community, and for that community to take root you gotta make shit happen.

On Thursday, September 10th, a group of nine frame builders local to the Vancouver area gathered at Musette Caffé for the first annual Vancouver Frame Builders Show. A collection of lugged, fillet brazed, and tig welded frames donned the floor as master, young, and new builders demonstrated their craft.