The holiday season is a time of year in which we all hit the shopping malls and internet retailers in search of gifts for the people close to us in our life. Most people are easy to shop for: Jewelry for the wife/girlfriend, a new video game or console for the kids, a bottle of fine wine or microbrew beer for your friends…
Cyclists are another story. Many of them don’t drink, although most bike shops readily accept microbrews as tips.( Make sure you regularly bring your local mechanic beer or some microbrew cola or root beer! I recommend St. Arnold as they are local to our hometown of Houston, TX!) A lot of them are healthy eaters and will curse you for that batch of cookies or pie you baked: the offseason is torture for racers, as the dwindling daylight and high calorie foods mean that not only do we not burn as many calories, but everything we used to be able to cheat and eat suddenly goes right to the growing inner tubes around our waist.
With this in mind I might suggest two things to buy the bicycling individuals in your life: socks and coffee. Cycling requires specific socks. I have a great number of regular socks with odd holes worn in them from my SIDI bike shoes. Cycling socks are generally better at holding up to the strange strain, and they have all kinds of great things written on them. I am personally a fan of the socks from http://www.sockguy.com
Coffee is another great gift. Waking up early is as much a part of cycling as cleaning your chain! And since cycling is inherently seen as a very “European” sport, nothing goes better than some fine coffee or espresso beans! I highly suggest some beans from Portland Oregon’s Stumptown Coffee: http://www.stumptowncoffee.com/
Portland is a hub of bicycle culture and cycling infrastructure, and it’s no coincidence that they have no shortage of fine coffee and places to drink it.
So, when you are out there in the shopping malls and surfing the net for deals in the wearable blanket your mom bought you last year (note: nobody here at HighFlange endorses the inherently evil wearable blanket whose name rhymes with schmuggie.) consider these items for the cyclists in your life.