By Sarah Bonner
Is there a cyclist on your gift list who already has a cupboard full of kit and a tool box packed to the brim? Need a few different ideas? For the cyclist on your list who seemingly has it all, check out these unusual Christmas cycling gifts, suitable for any budget.
For under $2.00 you can give a gift your cyclist will never forget: the Presta Cycling Valve Adapter. The small metal valve adapter fits on a tube valve to enable you to use the air pumps at gas stations. Great for topping up tires after a flat or getting your tires race-ready hard. Available at mec.ca
Any cyclist will tell you there is nothing better than new roads. Even though you may have lived somewhere for years, a bicycle map can lead to new routes and, even better, new challenges. Pick one up a mec.ca or visit your local bike shop.
Winter indoor training is all about motivation. Whether their goal is weight loss or keeping fit through winter, motivate your loved one with a training program geared to their specific goals. See womenscycling.ca for range of specialized indoor programs.
Cycling and food go hand in hand. Check out Park Tool’s pizza wheel for the cyclist who loves the kitchen as much as the saddle. Visit parktool.com to find a local retailer.
If you have someone on your list who cycles alone or travels to ride, check out Road ID. Like a MedicAlert, Road ID is a small bracelet, shoe tag, or necklace that has your basic information on it and emergency contact numbers. Optionally, it comes with a free 1 year membership to international emergency response support. Visit roadid.com for details.
Why is it that punctures and mechanicals usually happen at the farthest point away from home? Make sure your cyclist is prepared to handle basic problems with a beginner’s mechanical class. Classes vary in length and cost but typically run over an evening or afternoon for around $50.00 and cover how to fix a puncture, basic cleaning and lubricating, pre-ride safety checks, and minor set-up adjustments. Talk your local bike shop about upcoming classes in your area.
A nice compliment to a training program or great on its own is a race entry. A race might be just the motivation they need to train through the winter or a great idea for a family event. Also commit to race day support, whether it be watching the race, riding beside them, or standing in the feedzone.
Perhaps the most important element that is overlooked for many cyclists is a proper bike fit. Not only is comfort priceless but so is injury prevention. A bike fit specialist will spend an hour or more with your loved one measuring and adjusting specific bike components as they ride on a stationary trainer, taking into account how each adjustment feels, their pre-existing conditions, and their cycling goals (recreational, racing, etc.). Look for a certified bike fitter online or visit your local bike shop for more details.
Sarah Bonner has lived and cycled in Canada, Africa, and Europe. Currently, she splits her time between the Netherlands and South Africa where she trains and competes at an amateur level. With a Masters in English and a Diploma in Sports Management, Sarah combines her love of writing and passion cycling to share honest advice and inspiring stories. Follow her at sarahkimbonner.wordpress.com
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