I dislike Black Friday. I am a true procrastinator and it makes me feel pressured to start thinking about holiday gifts. That and it seems to be taking over a holiday focused on gratefulness in the name of consumerism. Nonetheless, my mom has been asking about what’s on my Christmas list, so I put together some gift ideas for cyclists.
For the most part compiling a gift list for a broad group that includes hipsters, roadies, cycle chic divas and mountain bikers is a daunting task. I have, however, come up with a few ideas that would be appreciated by anyone who loves their bike.
1. A membership or donation to a local bike advocacy group.
I don’t have a lot of spare change, but I love my local advocacy groups and recognize that they are working on improving infrastructure and safety in neighborhoods where I ride regularly. I would love to have someone buy a membership for me or make a donation in my honor. Since I mostly ride in Minneapolis, the Midtown Greenway Coalition and the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition are the two organizations whose work most affects my daily commute and safety. There are local groups like these all over the country. Support them and you are supporting your favorite cyclist’s daily rides.
2. A Gift certificate to his/her favorite local bike shop
Local Bike Shops are such an important part of cycling culture that they have their own abbrevation: LBS. They are to a cyclist’s life what a Little Black Dress (LBD) is to cocktail attire: fundamental. Don’t know a bottom bracket from a head set? No worries, your cyclist has a favorite shop that does, and they know her name and what kind of valve her rims use. They also have the ability to special order whatever components strike her fancy. A gift certificate to the place that has saved your cyclist’s rear-end (or at least her shifter cables) is a thoughtful alternative to big box sports stores.
3. Sweet Lights
Give someone you love a bit more visibility this holiday season. LED technology is getting brighter and more efficient every year, so unless your loved one has bought her own bike lights recently, chances are good that a bit of money will net a big improvement. Expect to spend $60 – $200. That LBS can help you pick out just the right one.
4. Bicycle Times Magazine
I’ve been subscribing for a year, and I am really happy with Bicycle Times Magazine. They cover a wide range of cycling endeavors, from daycare runs to randonneuring, mountain biking to commuting. The only thing that Bicycle Times doesn’t get too into is die hard roadies who talk about how many ounces their water bottle cages weigh (thank God).
They consistently treat female riders as just another bike loving person who wants their bike and attire to fit and function (see the current cover story on gravel grinder races with *gasp* a non-sexualized female racer on the cover). I read every story in every issue, and I am always intrigued rather than bored by articles about areas of bike culture way outside of my experience. BT is a breath of fresh air in a congested city street of bike publications.