This holiday season, give the cyclist in your life a sport-specific present shell cherish year-round. Some of these are useful, others may prove lifesaving and one, my number one wish-list item, is beautiful and historic and supports local bike business.
1. A musette from Raiment Cycling Clothing
The most original gift (and my most coveted item) which Im sure very few cyclists in Vancouver own no matter how avid or extreme a cyclist they are is an authentic tweed musette from Raiment Cycling Clothing, a Vancouver sportswear boutique. Every bag is original and handmade in England using authentic Harris Tweed on the outside and canvas inside. The bags retail for $65 and can be found in new Raiment store located inside the Musette Caffe.
2. Argyle compression socks
Although most cyclists already own a pair of compression socks, Im sure you wont find a pair of argyle recovery socks in their drawer. Compression socks help the vascular system return fatigue-inducing exercise by-products to the heart and speed the flow of fresh oxygen and white blood cells to accelerate the healing process.
The recipient of this gift will thank you the minute she puts them on after a hard training day. Although argyle socks are pretty cool, it might be too late to buy online. Locally you can purchase recovery socks at Speed Theory or West Point Multisport, both located in Kitsilano.
3. Live long RoadID bracelet
Although not as sexy a gift as argyle socks, the RoadID medical bracelet can save a life.
This small, engraved bracelet can be customized to display all of your vital personal information and emergency contacts in case something happens to you on the road.
Many of us often ride alone or with people we dont know very well so the RoadID speaks on your behalf.
The bracelet comes in almost every colour and several sizes so you can personalize your look. The bracelets must be ordered online and delivery time is three to four weeks; there may not be enough time to have it wrapped before Christmas Day but theres always next year.
A RoadID can be purchased for the ankle or a shoe instead of the wrist. They retail for approximately $20 to $30, plus shipping. IDs are also available for dog collars.
4. The luxury of Rapha
You cant go wrong with Rapha. For bike clothing in Vancouver, this is as good as it gets. Because of the brands high price tag, anything from Rapha is considered a luxury item and will be treasured always.
I own two pairs of Rapha socks (black and pink stripes) and have spent many hours drooling over their website and wandering into La Bicicletta to try on the clothes.
Their prices range from $30 for a cycling cap to about $440 for a hard shell jacket.
5. Race entry for 2013
If you feel like the cyclist on your list absolutely does have everything he could possibly need and positively does not need one more piece of clothing or gear, a great idea is to pay for his Cycling B.C. membership or pay for his entry to a 2013 race or event.
This gift becomes even more exciting if you are riding in the same event or are planning to train or race together. Either way, a free entry is always greatly appreciated.
Kristina Bangma is a coach, personal trainer and writer with a love of riding and racing. Email questions to Kristina@kitsenergy.com.
Here is a list of links to all the gift items mentioned in this story:
RECOVERY SOCKS: www.procompression.com
SPEED THEORY: www.speedtheory.ca
WEST POINT: www.westpointmultisport.com
ROAD ID: www.roadID.com
CYCLING B.C.: www.cyclingbc.net/cycling-bc/members/
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