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December 20, 2010
I don’t know how Christmas snuck up so quickly. One day it seemed like we were talking about the World Championships and all of a sudden it’s now only few days before Christmas. I haven’t even thought about my gift shopping yet.
To me, the perfect gift is some luxury I would love to have but wouldn’t necessarily spend the money to buy for myself. This makes things very difficult for Mrs. CT because I’m a bit of a freak when it comes to indulging on frivolous cycling accessories. That said, here is a list of things that I’ve either bought in the recent past or I have on my Christmas wishlist for under $100. Most of these can be bought in the shops that I’ve linked to but some can only be bought online. It’s tough to say if online orders will make it on time for Christmas, but I’m always surprised at how quickly this stuff is shipped these days. Domestic orders from Australian companies still have a good chance of arriving before Christmas day.
Feel free to add your wishlist. I’m sure there’s heaps of cool things I’ve forgotten.
Rocket Fuel have a great range of high quality cycling caps and make the perfect stocking stuffer. A’qto, Rapha also make some excellent caps that no cyclist in their right mind would turn away.
Apres Velo, A’qto and fyxomatosis are among my favorite cycling themed t-shirts. They’re each Australian companies and fantastic quality. Much more than a novelty t-shirt.
I love getting cycling books as gifts. If I didn’t already own most of these, here are some that I’d love unwrap on Christmas morning:
Bike Snob by Bike Snob, Revolution by John Veage, The Cyclist’s Training Bible by Joe Friel, The Rider by Tim Krabbe, The Peloton by Timm Kölln, Le Metier by Michael Barry.
Receiving a magazine subscription is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s a gift that I always buy at the last minute (usually Christmas morning) and never fails to please. Some of my favorite here in Australia:
RIDE Cycling Review, Bicycling Australia, The Wheeler and Velonews (this is a US magazine but I still love getting my subscription every Christmas from my Dad. Hint hint…)
Chasing Legends – this can only be bought online, but an “I owe you” in a card will make the cyclist in your life just as happy. Overcoming, Hell on Wheels, The Flying Scotsman, Road to Roubaix or any of the Classics or Grand Tours on DVD make an awesome gift. Cycling Central has nearly every cycling DVD you can imagine.
This is something that makes a great inexpensive stocking stuffer. Sable and Argent (Sydney) and Northside Wheelers (Melbourne) both stock Rapha skincare for last minute shopping.
Things like multi-tools, a good floor or hand pump, a maintenance stand, or a GPS cycling computer make for great gifts. The Garmin 500 GPS is over $100 but has to be one of my favorite purchases I made this year. If you don’t have one, be sure to hit-up Santa.
BikeForce has among the cheapest Garmin GPS‘s in Melbourne. If you want to spend a bit more I’ve heard great things about the Garmin 800. BikeForce has opened up a new online shop where you can do all your Christmas shopping. Another good gift idea is a Strava gift subscription along with a Garmin 800.
Lezyne makes some beautiful floor pumps and hand pumps, multi-tools, carbon bottle cages, and accessories. Lots of shops are carrying Lezyne now. A place I’d highly recommend that I’ve been visiting lately is Bikes@Brighton. The Bike Gallery is another great new shop that just opened up and carries Lezyne. You can find all the dealers in Australia here.
As demonstrated last week, saddle bags are definitely PRO and you should all aim to have one in the new year. I’m still waiting for Velominati to change rule #29.
Mrs CT and I just arrived back in Canada to spend the Christmas in the snow with our Canucklehead family and friends. It’s damn cold here and I’ve already lost 3 toes (I forgot to bring pants and socks). For the first time in 2 years I’m looking forward to spending a few weeks away from the bike and getting back to my redneck roots. Hockey, snowboarding, snowmobiling and dog sled racing will be on the daily agenda and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If BSNYC and Fyxomatosis can take vacation once in a while I think I should be able to do the same thing. I’ll be taking a break until early in the new year and will be back writing about the Bay Crits, the Australian National Championships and the Tour Down Under. There’s lots of exciting things coming up in Australian cycling that I’m looking forward to blogging about.
From Mrs CT and I, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and all the best in 2011. I also want to thank all the site sponsors and advertisers for their support and generosity. I couldn’t afford to do it without them. Ride safely and may the tailwinds be with you!
Note: I’ve delayed announcing the winner for the Rapha film competition until the new year as we’re still negotiating the timing and budget of our next ride. These factors will help decide our next location and help us pick the winner. Stay tuned for the announcement early in 2011. Thanks for understanding.