My name is Mark Beaver. I’ve been riding bikes pretty much my whole life. I did my first 500 mile, ten-day bicycle tour in 1975 in my early teens.
I’ve been involved in bicycle touring since the late 1970s. I’ve toured extensively internationally, including two months across Canada; four months in New Zealand; around Ireland and France and Switzerland and Italy, and throughout many parts of North America. I became involved in randonneuring in 2003 when I founded Randonneurs Nova Scotia and participated in the legendary Paris-Brest-Paris 1200km that year – I’ve since completed PBP five times.
I began working in the bicycle business in 1981, fresh out of college, first as a bike mechanic, then into sales, then into purchasing. In 1996, I had the opportunity to become co-owner of Cyclesmith, Nova Scotia’s largest bicycle shop, and ran the shop for twenty years. I’ve recently sold my shares in the store to my younger business partner, Andrew Feenstra, and am now returning to my passion, custom frame building.
I began frame building in 1989 when three friends, Michael Thomson, Larry White, and I bought out the tools and inventory and took over the workshop of my friend Greg Smith, who had founded a custom frame building business several years before that, which he named Cyclesmith. Greg rapidly discovered that there was more money to be made running a retail store than in building frames. ( I would later take over the retail store when he moved to the USA). Michael and I began building bikes out of our workshop on the Halifax waterfront near Pier 23, doing custom frame building and custom painting. Michael moved to Toronto after graduating from mechanical engineering, and I continued to build, part-time while working in the retail store. As Cyclesmith became bigger and bigger, my time for frame building became less and less. Now that I am retiring from retail, I am reinvigorating my frame building business and satisfying the artistic component of my soul.