I see lots of '10 cycling gifts' and 'gifts for cyclists' blog posts, magazine articles popping up every year and I always wonder who writes them, because a lot of the time I personally wouldn't want any of those 10 gifts to be under my tree! :) so I thought I'd share a list of gifts I had been given previously and LOVED or would love to get this year (Yes Zulfi that's a hint). I won't start with our products, but you can expect one of them on the list.....
1. Simple and at the same time mindblowing thing - an airbag for cyclists - Hovding! We all have that friend or loved one who cycles without a helmet because they don't want to have helmet hair or they feel silly or think that they look silly. That was me (I confess) so Zulfi gave me a hovding one Christmas and I thought it was the coolest most thoughtful gift ever! I wore it every day and I felt safe and cool ;) it has a bigger price tag than the usual helmet, but it's certainly worth it.
2. Findra merino tops. I adore these, they're so soft and make great cycling tops, yet simple and stylish enough to wear to work too. If you don't tell anyone that it's a cycling top, they will never know. It looks great with a blazer or cardigan or on its own, add a statement necklace if it's a little too plain for you. Merino keeps you warm, wicks the sweat away and it's odour resistant. Isn't that just perfect ?
3. Plume mudguard. It's not the sexiest gift I must admit, but having a dirty wet bum when you get to work isn't so sexy either! It's great for those who cycle in all weather conditions and have a bike that's too cool for mudguards (again, I must confess this was me) there's no need to suffer or carry a change of trousers. Plume mudguard is discreet, effective and has a really good price tag. It sits on your seat post and rolls up to almost nothing when you don't need it, but rolls out big enough to protect you from the wet road splashback. As much as I love Ass Savers, I just found that they were never quite enough - sorry! Plume mudguard was one of those little things that changed my commute in the rain completely. Tokyo Bike stocks them, for more info visit Plume website.
4. Bike service or DIY workshop voucher. Lot's of people commute to work and never get their bike serviced unless something is actually broken. And if you're like me who cycles every day no matter the weather the bike could really do with some love every now and then. There are many bike shops, many different price tags on bike service but of course, go to the little independent ones if you can. Or if you think that perhaps a DIY workshop sounded better check out London Bike Kitchen! Or Jenni's awesome Book 'How to build a bike'.
5. Meame biker jacket. I'm still waiting to find this one under the tree (wink wink). It's a great jacket for women who cycle to work in all weather conditions. A biker jacket goes with any outfit, it's waterproof and has reflective things for when you're on your bike, but also just looks like an amazing biker jacket off the bike. I think this could be a jacket I live in, day in day out, on and off the bike.
6. Bike Balls. Yes, that's right. Balls. You might have already seen them, actually, I admit I saw it in one of those 'gifts for cyclists' articles I slated at the beginning of this blog post - ooops. I personally wouldn't want to get bike lights as a gift but these guys are a fun gift and a great gift for those with the appropriate sense of humour! I certainly class myself as a girl that 'has balls' so I would have them hanging off my saddle with pride! hehehe...
7. Spray bike. This! This is a great gift for someone who cycles an old rusty bike, or hates the amount of branding on their bike or just wants to give it a makeover but can't justify going to Armourtex and paying over the odds for a paint job. Grab a few of their favourite colours, put them in a gift box, maybe add some masking tape too and voila! I for one would be delighted with a gift like that. I'd polka dot every single one of my bikes. Actually, two of them already have dots, but one is still outstanding :) BLB bikes stock them, for more stockists visit their website.
8. Polygon bag. There it is. There's the Vel-Oh product I just had to put in here. Cycling to work comfortably needs a bag that doesn't cramp your style and it's not afraid of any weather. A waxed canvas handbag with backpack straps that tuck away is a great gift for any woman who cycles. It has that simple, elegant handbag look and it makes a rather cool backpack, I promise people are going to ask 'Where did you get that from?'. Yup, I did just say that, because I believe it's a great design and even if I personally hadn't designed it, I would love it as a gift.
9. Gift cards. There is NO SHAME in giving someone a gift card in my opinion. If you're not sure what to get someone, a gift card is a safe yet really great choice. It's certainly better than getting things just because you had to get something. Of course, you need to get the right gift card though! If you know of something they've been wanting to get for a while but has a big price tag than it's a no-brainer, any money towards it is appreciated. But if you don't know anything specific they want or need we suggest - Rapha. It offers a great variety of things for road cyclists as well as commuters. Or you could always get a Vel-Oh gift card and give money towards an awesome handmade bag ;)
10. Not every cycle-to work commuter is a CYCLIST, so you don't have to get them cycling related gifts! Just a thought ;)
Much love, Greta.