Gravel riding didn’t just emerge out of nowhere – or out of the mind of a marketing exec – all of a sudden. Its popularity has been building for years. Or, more accurately, rebuilding. In The Path Less Paved, Canadian frame builders, riders and racers share what they think is driving the reemergence of gravel riding.
Starting with Sam Whittingham, who has built gravel-tending bikes on Quadra Island as Naked Bicycles for decades, The Path Less Paved reminds us that gravel has always been here. It’s where the sport started. Its power isn’t in promising something new as much as a return to a style of cycling where we all have more in common. Instead of specialization, gravel is, well, whatever you want it to be.
Gravel isn’t just about pros, it’s for all of us. The Path Less Paved brings in numerous Canadian voices from all sides of cycling.
Danielle Schön, a Toronto-turned-Squamish frame builder who has shown at NAHBS, joins racer and gravel enthusiasts Carter Nieuwesteeg, Caroline Kenning. There’s also DropBar Cycles owner Anne-Marie Gagnon and Tutti Gravel Inn’s Kelly Servinski. All share similar expressions as to why, as Servinski puts it, Gravel is the new Gold.
The Path Less Paved – Shimano
What does Shimano say about The Path Less Paved ?
Gravel bikes evolved due to an insatiable demand for riders to explore. Not just a Trailforks route or a Strava segment, but capitalizing on the thousands of miles of dirt and gravel roads that exist in rural regions. The result is more bikes rolling through more of the landscape, unhindered by the need for constructed trails or an asphalt surface. Gravel follows the path less paved.