Black Friday has come and gone(thank goodness) and for folks like myself it is now time to really start thinking about Christmas. So if you ventured into the madness of shopping last weekend and still didn’t come out the other side of the rabbit hole with a gift for that special someone, who also happen to be a biker, then this post may make your remaining shopping list a little shorter. We put a little list of goodies together last year and decided to do the same for this holiday season with all new products, since one thing cyclists love is gear… So in case ‘Santa’ isn’t able to bring a spanking new bike to your cyclist friend on your shopping list this Christmas, we’ve put together a list of much smaller(literally, figuratively, and on your pocket book) bike stuff that we think would make good stocking stuffers and gifts that your bike lover will, well love...:
1. RoadID (~$20) - Back when I was young, dumb, and very clueless I didn’t even think about bike safety. I have come a long way since then to say the least(I now own this company that promotes bike safety and visibility at night)… Preventing bike accidents is number one but equipping yourself to deal with an accident if it happens is the just as important in my book. That is where RoadID comes in. They make a range of products that that will help to speak for you in the event you unfortunately can’t. Their products have your vital information as well as contact information for emergency contacts so that first responders have something to go by other than the fact that they think you look like a ‘Jim’… This can literally be a life saver.
2. Nutcase (~$60) - I’ve got a strange question for you that will make sense in a minute. Do you care about a friend/family member’s brain? Well maybe you don’t care for what always comes out of their brain, but you still love them anyways? Then the Nutcase is a great gift to protect that brain… This Portland company makes some very stylish helmets that not only look good but have some cool features that distinguish them from other helmets out there. One thing that I like most about my helmet is the non-clip buckle. They have put a very clever little magnet that snaps together in its place which seems much more durable and keeps you from pinching yourself with that plastic clip… They even have helmets for motorcyclists and snow bunnies if your cyclist needs to protect their noggin with their other hobbies too.
3. Bicycle Dreams ($25) – Ever wondered what it is like to bike across the country? How about race across it in 10 days??? This is a wonderful little documentary that has won numerous film festival awards and chronicles the RAAM which is an annual bicycle race across the country. As someone that biked across the country…in over two months, this one got me as I could barely relate to the struggles and emotions they were dealing with. Besides the cycling aspect anyone would appreciate it for the way it captures the drama and determination of the human will. Take that Ebert for a movie review…
4. SPINeRVALS (~$30) – Have you caught your cyclist friend staring longingly out the window at the open road with a blank expression on their face this winter? Then it most likely is because they are cooped up inside NOT riding their bike outside… As painful as it is to be off the bike because of the weather, this baby can help out to ease the pain and get them ready to pound the pavement once Spring time rolls around. These are pretty cool training DVD’s that they can put on while riding their trainer to break up the monotony of riding indoors and work towards specific goals at the same time. They have tons of training DVD’s to choose from which can vary with whatever type of training in particular you are looking to do.
5. A Bike Lock: Kryptonite NY Fahgettaboudit U-Lock (~$68) – As someone that has had multiple bikes stolen from inside a garage even while being locked up too…I know the heartache of having your bicycle stolen. I also know a thing about how easy certain locks are to snip through with a bolt cutter like it is a piece of floss. Hopefully my experience can prevent your bike lover from feeling this same type of pain. With enough determination…and time, the evil bike thief can navigate their way through ANY bike lock, BUT certain locks will cause them to think twice about even trying and move onto the next poor soul’s bike. The Kryptonite NY Fahgettaboudit U-Lock is one that does just that and gets great reviews from everyone that has one. Of course it is a pricey lock but you are paying for the quality here. Plus, if you do ever get your bike stolen using it, they have a $4500 antitheft protection warranty that comes with it to basically replace your bike. Now if you want a lock that has a bit more flexibility so you can wrap it around things…and don’t mind carrying around a heavier and bulkier lock, then check out the Kryptonite New York Chain with EV Series Disc Lock ($68, as well)instead.
BONUS: Does your bike lover seem to have every possible bike related gear, gadgets, tool, clothing, artwork, or book you can think of? Then don’t buy them anything, rather donate a present for them towards a worthy bike charity instead. There are plenty of very worthy organizations out there but one we like is the World Bicycle Relief. They help to get bicycles to those in need in 12 Africa countries, whether it be school children, entrepreneurs, health care workers, etc. to improve their daily lives through transportation. Not only that, they don’t just take re-cycled or unused donated bikes, which is fine in itself and there are others non-profits that do that, but they manufacture their bikes locally which create local jobs too.