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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gift Guide for Cyclists

Alisha McDarris
Yeah, you can buy somebody another helmet or safety lights for their bicycle, but why not step outside the box and give them something really unique. Here's a list of the things we love as cyclists!

1. Bike tube jewelry
I realize this is shameful self promotion since this link is to my personal Etsy shop, but I can live with that. What cyclist, man or woman, wouldn't want a bracelet or pair of earrings make out of recycled bike tube? It's awesome, right? Plus it allows them to display their love of two-wheeled travel everywhere they go (even if it isn't on a bike).

2. Indoor Bike Rack
If you know a cyclist who lives in an apartment (or even a house with no garage) where it is difficult to store their ride, offer them a space saving and attractive way to stash their gear: an indoor bike rack for hanging their cycle on the wall. There are some for vertical and horizontal hanging, made of all different materials at all different price points and, heck, you could even make one yourself out of some steel pipe and a few screws, but we like this one because it offers and andy shelf for storing accessories and it folds up when not in use.

3. The Bike Owner's Handbook
Give the gift of DIY repair this year. Things go wrong with bikes as much as things go wrong with cars, but with bikes, those things are much easier to fix. Don't let your cyclist overpay when they need their chain replaced or new brake lines installed. They can do it themselves with a complete guide to everything from cleaning their bike to replacing a tube and it's small enough to take with them in their paniers. Want more? Pair it with a care kit and multi-tool from your local bike shop.

4. Solar Charger
If you know a cyclist who prefers long distance routes, hook them up with a solar charger so they never loose juice in their favorite devices. Just clip it onto the handlebars or a bag and it'll charge their phone, MP3 player, or any small device with a battery. Then they'll have no excuse to check in when they stop for lunch.

5. Fun Socks
Socks don't just come in boring ol' white and black anymore. If your athlete isn't afraid of a little color around their ankles, buy them some fun moisture wicking socks that are pretty much guaranteed to attract attention. Monster, unicorn or sriracha socks anyone?

6. Bicycle Computer
For those who don't already have one, a cycling computer that mounts to your handlebars and measures things like speed, cadence and distance, a bike computer is a must have. Not only is it helpful for those training for races or long-distance rides, it's also super fun to keep track of stats and compete with yourself every time you straddle the saddle.

7. Cell Phone Mount
Need directions? Want to keep an eye on the time? Gotta have music for the ride? A waterproof cell phone mount offers a visible place to stash your phone while you're getting where you need to go.

8. Unique Bike Bags
Stylish, casual cyclists might enjoy a twist on the traditional bike bag. Though the price tag is higher than most other gifts on this list, those with an appreciation for the quality and style of Brooks products will be duly impressed by your taste in gifts. Made out of leather, this bike bag slides over the saddle and has a little pocket on the bottom to store small necessities. When the rider dismounts at their destination, they can just slide the cover off, throw it over their shoulder, and take their phone, keys, etc. along.

9. Gear Clock
There are plenty of cycling gifts for the home, but I'm partial to clocks. How can a cyclist not want a clock made out of bike gears hanging on the wall in their living room or office?

10. A Better Water Bottle Holder
Sure a regular ol' water bottle holder works fine, but who wouldn't want one as cool as this? It's a bird for crying out loud! Seriously, this better be in my stocking this year.

Bonus: All-Natural Hydration Mix. I'm all about nice, round numbers, so instead of 11 we'll just call this one a bonus. We've all had re-hydration and recovery drinks that taste like crap. Plus they have all those unpronounceable ingredients. Instead, try this one with real sugar and natural, normal ingredients. Besides, I don't know where else you're going to get apple-cider flavored mix that you can drink hot after cool weather workouts. Yum.

Happy gifting!

Alisha McDarris / Author & Editor

Alisha is a freelance writer and photographer based in Austin, TX. She loves her tiny house, vegan food and experiencing the community of travel in far away places. She’s also pretty sure she’s addicted to coffee. [Portfolio]


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