It’s that time of year again, and I’ve been thinking about
things I’d love to receive in my Christmas stocking how to show all my friends how much I love them… so here’s a selection of lovely things you can all buy me gift ideas for any women’s cycling fans in your life, for Christmas or any other reason. I don’t know what the online equivalent of leaving a catalogue/advert lying covered in giant circles around what you’d most like to receive, as a super-subtle hint to your nearest-and-dearests, but feel free to do that with this!
I’m always on the look out for fun things, so if you see present ideas you think I should know about, leave me a comment, email me at prowomenscycling [at] gmail [dot] com or tweet me on @_Pigeons_. I’ve had some great suggestions already on twitter, so I’ll put up another post next week with people’s recommendations.
A unique blend of six essential oils specifically selected to help physical restoration and mental balance. The completely natural ingredients, which include Arnica, Lavender, Geranium and Chamomile are also reputed to reduce swelling and inflammation and improve recovery from the muscle pains associated with cycling.
I’m allowed to say this, as I’m a girl, but those oils are very good for period-related fun – and I also love pouring this into the bath, and just mellowing out, because it smells SO good. Plus Simon is a great guy, very generous and kind – the reason I blog about women’s cycling is because he asked me to guest-post on his old website, years ago – so I’m extra-happy to promote him. But I’d never recommend you spend money on
presents for me anything just because I like the person – this is bloody good, whoever made it!
Read on for more lovely things
Bags made by a pro cyclist
Rabobank cyclist and winner of the Open de Suède Vårgårda World Cup, Iris Slappendel, is also a product designer, when she’s not racing, and one of the things she makes is bags for both women and men. These are all unique and hand-made, using recycled materials such as innertubes, chains, gears and even materials you send her yourself. Prices start from €40, and you can find out more about these on her website, in Dutch or via google-translate – and there’s a gallery of bags she’s already made on her website. She tweeted a photo of a bag she made out of innertubes, fire hose and seatbelt, for an Austrian fireman. Contact her via her website if you’d like to know more about these, or anything else on her design site.
Ride like a girl
Lois makes bike-related art – really pretty bike prints, and stickers – and now she has this fantastic new print for women’s cycling fans and women who like to ride their bikes: Ride Like A Girl. It looks great, and is a huge bargain at just £10 (including postage costs) in the UK for the print, or £32 if you want a framed print (also including p&p). If you’d like one and you’re outside the UK, check out her shop page, or if you can’t find what you need, email her via her contact page and I’m sure she’ll sort it out for you
Marijn de Vries’ book
If you’ve listened to our podcast or read anything on this site, you’ll probably know that Dan and I are big fans of Dutch pro cyclist Marijn de Vries, who’ll be riding for Lotto-Belisol next year. We love her blog (in English and in Dutch), and I’m sure if we could read Dutch, we’d love her book, too.
Vrouw & Fiets (women & bike) is “a handbook for cycling women”, by Marijn and her friend Nynke de Jong. It gives an introduction to all things bike – and I am never going to describe it as well as google translate does, so click through and read that! If you have Dutch-reading friends, this is the one to buy – you can order it online from bol.com or selexyz.nl.
Elizabeth Robins Pennell: Over the Alps on a Bicycle
If you’d rather have a book in English, how about one about a woman describing her adventures cycling over the high Alps…. in Victorian times? Massive thanks to Cycling-Challenge for pointing this one out to be, because I *really* want this now!
Elizabeth Robins Pennell was born in America, but lived most of her adult life in London, where she was a writer, critic and patron of the arts. Her first book was a biography of early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, which she followed with books of art criticism, reviews of food, and more biographies. Alongside all this, she started riding a bicycle in 1870, and she and her husband Joseph toured England and Europe by bike, and she was a strong and important advocate for cycling as a leisure activity.
Over the Alps on a Bicycle was published in 1898, and it’s her descriptions of her Alpine cycling adventures, illustrated by her husband
(I am assuming it’s early photographs, but I’ve not seen it yet) and it’s published by the British Library. Here are the details:
Over the Alps on a Bicycle, Elizabeth Robins Pennell, The British Library, London, 2010, ISBN: 9781241598587.
It’s for sale on Amazon.co.uk and on Amazon.com and doubtless in lots of other online and actual bookshops – or there’s a free digitized version of the original on Archive.org – or have fun looking for first editions. I’ve found a couple out there already, and wished I had the cash to buy them!
Read more about her on the wikipedia entry – many thanks, Will, for pointing this out. Everyone should have a look at Cycling Challenge too, to compare Pennell’s adventures to what it’s like cycling the Alps now. And I hope I don’t need to say this, but I can guarantee I don’t benefit in any way if you look at or buy anything I’ve linked to!
Track stars mugs
I really like Richard Mitchelson‘s minimalist designs of cyclists, and I am a huge track fan, so I’m hoping this year Santa will bring me the Laura Trott mug to drink my Christmas-morning cuppa out of, from his collection for Rouleur and British Cycling. You can buy Laura Trott, Vicky Pendleton, Chris Hoy and Ed Clancy mugs from the Rouleur shop – as well as his Sky riders and heroes of cycling mugs and t-shirt designs – and you can see a lot more of his work on his website. If you want to check them for accuracy, here’s Rich’s photo of Laura with her mug!
I’ve posted before about FreeBirdVelo‘s fantastic “When I grow up I want to ride like Marianne Vos” t-shirts – and I love wearing mine (thanks Dan!) – so these have to go on the list. At the moment, her Etsy shop has Marianne Vos t-shirts (in unisex and women’s fit), hoodies (sweatshirts), an Evelyn Stevens “Evie would attack” shirt in women’s sizes, and her “Every domestique has her day” shirt in women’s fit (all USA sizes, but she links to size charts, so you can see how that converts to Euro/Aussie/GB/etc sizes) – as well as a whole load of other cycling-related designs in her shop. As with most Etsy sellers, what she has tends to change as she sells out of stock – but if you want to ask her about sizes or anything else, she’s got a questions page on her website, so you can get in touch and ask her – or tweet her at @freebirdvelo, she’s very friendly!
If you want something more substantial for the women’s cycling fan in your life, there is some rather lovely bike-based jewellery from Dutch gold- and silversmith Karin Springer. Her bike collection is on her site, Het Hamertje, and it has all sorts of beautiful presents for men and women that make me drool, including rings, bracelets, cufflinks, necklaces – everything. She also takes commissions, so if you want something unique, or in a size just for you, click through and email her.
Women’s cycling team gifts
It’s no secret that I am an über fangirl for British-based cycling team Matrix-Prendas, and they have a whole range of team kit you can buy from Prendas, from their stylish team jersey to stocking-fillers like team caps.
Hitec Products-Mistral Homes sell their jerseys via their website – click the icon in the top left corner of their site, and it’ll bring up the email address for you to ask about it. If you can’t remember what the jersey looks like, there are a lot of photos on their website (note, you sadly can’t buy Emma Johansson’s national champ’s jersey!)
Specialized-lululemon will have their team kit and t-shirts on their website very soon – keep an eye on the site
(An aside – it does surprise me that more women’s cycling teams don’t sell their jerseys, or fan goodies – especially teams like Rabobank and Orica-AIS who have shops up and running for their men’s team stuff. It really confuses me!)
A subscription to the Velocast podcast
This isn’t women’s cycling-specific, although they did recently have a documentary episode devoted to women’s cycling, which included Rochelle Gilmore, Stef Wyman, Heather Bamforth and me! The vast majority of their many, excellent podcasts are available for free, but this year Scott and John also added a paid-for daily podcast on the Tour de France, and it was so successful, they did the same for the Vuelta a España – and that did so well that they’ve taken a huge leap of faith, ditched their day jobs and are planning to head over to Europe and podcast directly from the Northern Classics, Tour de France and the Vuelta – and I think subscriptions to these would be a fantastic present. Check out the various packages on their site – and don’t worry, they still have LOADS of shows for free – check them out!
That is a LOT of gifts! I’m sure there are all kinds of things I’ve forgotten, or have no idea about – so if there’s something you think I should know about, get in touch… my Christmas list can always be longer, and I’ll be putting more ideas, including your recommendations, more books and women’s cycling gear, next week.