I love women’s cycling fans – they definitely deserve the best presents, whether at Christmas, Hanukkah, for their birthdays, or just to show them how great they are. So to this end, I’ve been pulling together some lists of presents I really hope
someone will send me will inspire you. Part 1 and Part 2 are full of art, clothing, photography, jewellery, books, delicious oils and much more – and Part 3 will have more of that – including recommendations from all kinds of real-life women (and men) who love bikes, and ideas for things to buy from companies that support women’s cycling. Gift ideas for every budget – get shopping! As always, I’ve got no personal connection with any of these, and buying them doesn’t benefit me in any way… but it will benefit you, as your favourite women’s cycling fans think you’re fantastic!
Glacier Glove sponsor one of Dan and my favourite riders, Amber Pierce, and she raves about their gloves, especially for cycling in cold conditions. Ask her all about them on her twitter – she’s VERY enthusiastic! They also host her superb live Q&As on their facebook, so they’re more than worth a promote. I asked her why she likes them so much, and she said:
The Cyclocross Gloves keep your hands warm and let your palms breathe in cold, inclement weather – perfect for those crazy souls grinding it out in the mud of winter ‘cross races. But if you’re facing longer rides in freezing or sub-freezing temperatures, nothing will keep your hands toasty like the Perfect Curve, my personal favorite for warmth and – importantly – uncompromised dexterity for shifting and braking. For those who might need to race in freezing temps or in cold rain, the Super G Race Glove is super light, allows full dexterity, and keeps those digits warm and ready to shift on instinct. Great for classics-style racing!
If you want to buy some of these, Glacier Glove have given us a special discount code “amber” (no quotes) which will get people 25% off their purchase (no immediate expiration on the code…) on the glacierglove.com website – even more incentive!
Another Amber Pierce recommendation
Lezyne Femto Drive
These front and rear LED lights wrap around handlebars and seat-post for quick and easy installation or removal and offer a perfect solution for regular bicycle commuters who may need to pedal before sunrise or after sunset during these short days of winter. I carry these with me on long rides as insurance, in case my ride goes longer than anticipated and I find myself riding home in the dark. They’re light and easy and would make a great stocking-stuffer for any cyclist.
If you fancy giving your cycling fan some real pain, how about signing them up to the great nation of Sufferlandria? The Hell Hath No Fury cycling workout uses footage from the Road World Cups, including the Ronde van Vlaanderen, GP Plouay and a LOT more, and riders including Emma Pooley, Evelyn Stevens and Marianne Vos…. apparently when the Sufferfest team were making this one, they were amazed at how many attacks they had to take out! Click through for a video clip to see more about it, and find out as many details as you need!
Kit designed by a pro cyclist
You might remember Aussie cyclist Tiffany Cromwell from her work as a killer domestique in the 2012 Ronde van Vlaanderen, where she attacked on the cobbles, forcing a break that helped her Orica-AIS team-mate Judith Arndt win the race. Or maybe you remember her crazy-fantastic 103km solo breakaway that won her Stage 5 of this year’s Giro Donne? Well, what you might not know is that she’s also an aspiring designer, who studied fashion – and that you can buy kit she’s designed, from her website. Click through and see the different designs she has left – and if you have any questions, get in touch on her site
Après Vélo t-shirts
“Land of the devoted, home of the insane” is the motto of Après Vélo, who started making t-shirts in 1986 in Sydney. Their shirts for men and women make me smile – I’d have their life cycle or wheel love shirts. They also sell a lot of great stocking fillers – and of course, clothes for men, too! They’re running a winter sale right now, with different bargains every day, so have a look at what they do.
I seem to be on an Australian theme, and why not? Rocket Fuel are made in Aus, but ship all over the world, and I love the pretty cycling caps, made by a huge cycling fan. They make them in a variety of fabrics and colours – as well as pretty musettes. But the things that really made me smile were their reflective range – pretty bow necklaces and wristbands that double as additional reflective-wear, and wrist and leg straps. Very cute, and very useful! You can find out a lot more about the range, and about cycling in Sydney on the Rocket Fuel Style blog – makes me long for summer, seeing the photos of blue skies, and my legs itch to ride!
Cycling gear for women
I’m really, really useless when it comes to talking about cycling gear, so I’m the last person to ask about shiny and sexy things for women who love cycling…. Luckily though, there are lots of other people who are brilliant at it.
One of my very favourite blogs about cycling is by another Australian, Katherine Tye, who has this fantastic (and very funny) blog that makes me die of jealousy as she describes her amazing year of cycling in Africa, Japan, Thailand and all over the world. I love love love love love love love love love love love love this blog – and while I never thought I’d like a gear review, I really enjoyed her “Worst Gear review ever” – Part I: the bike and Part II: bags, clothes and how to get chain grease and road tar off your legs. Click through and read them – this is gear that’s ridden the Tour d’Afrique and all over the world, so it’s hardcore stuff – and even if you don’t get ideas for presents for cycling women in your life, I know you’ll laugh at them in all the right ways.
Katherine gave her her recommendation for gifts:
@_pigeons_ Christmas gift for the cycling girl who has everything: Nitto bottle cages! Gorgeous for the sake of being gorgeous.
— Katherine Tye (@tyekit) November 30, 2012
She’s right, they are gorgeous – not cheap, but beautiful. They’re made in Japan, and apparently only turn up in small batches – see if your Friendly Local Bike Shop can get you one – or try the online bike shops. A quick google search shows me that Compass bicycles in the USA sells them – and Tokyo Fixed in the UK – no idea what those shops are like, but if I can google them, so can you! To whet your appetite, here are the Nitto R (left) and the Nitto T (right):
More recommendations from more real-life women who love bikes
Katherine wasn’t the only brilliant bike-loving twitterer who sent me gift ideas – THANKYOU to everyone who recommended things they’d like to receive! Everyone’s so enthusiastic, so the best thing to do is just include your tweets!
(6/12/12 Edit: Quick note – I haven’t actually tried any of these products, or bought them myself, so if you have any problems buying them etc, I apologise – leave me a note in the comments and I’ll try to find you a solution)
There was a lot of love for Velobici gear – check it out on their website
Roo Paprika also has other recommendations for us:
— Roo Paprika (@RooPaprika) November 27, 2012
Lois had another recommendation for us, too:
— Lois (@ClaudAndI) November 28, 2012
@_pigeons_ I just bought two cycling ladies I know Ana Nichoola gloves for crimbo. True fact!
If you’re in the UK, you might know Anna Glowinski from the ITV4 show The Cycle Show – if you haven’t seen any of that, check out their youtube clips, including Anna at the Megavalanche. Anna’s the cyclist behind Ana Nichoola, with everything from gloves to jerseys to a dress designed for cycling in that’s pretty AND incredibly practical – the perfect solution for riders who love to ride hard, but don’t necessarily like the full-on lycra look on a gentle afternoon ride.
6/12/12 EDIT! It turns out that ordering via the site is down at the moment – so if you like what you see there, bookmark it and come back in the new year. If you’re in the UK, some bike shops are selling her range – and you can buy some online, including gloves, on Amazon.co.uk, on Evans Cycles (who both ship outside the UK) and Wheelies.co.uk – but check your favourite online bike retailer if you’re not in the UK, just in case.
Here’s Bioracer’s store – where you can buy kit from the Belgian, Dutch German, French and Luxembourg national teams – from small gifts like caps and gloves, to jerseys and bibshorts.
Everyone needs a Christmas jumper, so why not make it bikey? Skull’n’crossbones and cycling Santas – perfect!
Supporting your Friendly Local Bike Shop is always a great idea. You’re more than likely to find a present for your favourite women’s cycling fan there, but I’ve already been shopping in mine for Secret Santa gifts, stocking fillers and random gifts for my family – and I’m still wondering who I can buy the penny farthing-shaped pizza cutter for…
Rapha, of course, have a men’s and women’s cyclocross team, and it’s always good to support teams that support the sport we love. You can see their women’s collection and everything else they do – as well as their CX-specific shop – they open up as a UK shop for me, but if it doesn’t spot where you are and open a country-specific site, you can always change it on the site.
Gifts from companies that support women’s cycling
Of course, Rapha aren’t the only company that support women’s cycling – there are all sorts that contribute to the sport, whether it’s through sponsoring teams and individual riders or races, and when it comes to buying gifts, it’s always worth having a look at who helps your favourites, and spending money on them – ideally telling them why you’re doing it, by tweeting or emailing the company, or leaving a message on facebook to show your appreciation. Basically, if you have friends or family to buy things for, think about these.
Most teams will have a sponsor page where they list the companies – usually called “partners” – for example, Specialized-lululemon, Orica-AIS, Hitec Products-Mistral Home, Diadora-Pasta Zara, and my favourite British team, Matrix-Prendas. You can use those as a handy way to see if any of the companies fit with what’s on your list to buy people – sports clothes from lululemon or Diadora, for example, or new bike gear from Prendas.
Or maybe you have a favourite rider. If she has a website (and you can find out on CQ Ranking’s page of rider sites) – check out who her sponsors are, and shop accordingly. If you were impressed by Rachel Neylan riding to win silver in the World Road Championships, for instance, Rachel has sponsors from everything from coffee makers and fashion to the usual bike gear companies – or maybe you, like me, are a huge cyclocross fan, and really like British superstar Helen Wyman – check out her sponsor page.
The key thing to do is to tell the company why you’ve bought from them – I might be a Helen fan, and so I might buy one of the snazzy t-shirts from Attain Clothing, who sponsor her – it only takes 2 minutes to drop them an email to tell them I saw them on Helen’s website, thanks for supporting her.
Or maybe I read Kathryn Bertine’s interview with Colavita VP John Profaci, and liked how he talked about how and why the company’s been sponsoring women’s racing since 1996 – if I was in the USA, I could buy a whole host of the Colavita Italian food gift-baskets – as well as, of course, their team kit – a jersey, if I’m feeling flush, or bright green team socks, for a cheaper stocking filler.
Kathryn Bertine‘s books
Of course, if you, like me, love Kathryn Bertine’s articles on ESPN-W, where she’s been discussing women’s cycling issues, you could always buy her books. All the Sundays yet to come is all about her former career as an ice skater, written in 2003 and you could buy it from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or you favourite book-seller of choice – or if you want to know about her life on the bike, As good as gold details her quest to cycle in the 2008 Olympic Games – again, on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. I haven’t read these, but I always enjoy Bertine’s articles, and she has a great writing style, so they should be great reads.
Tickets to the Cyclocross World Cup 2013
If you’re going to be in North America in February 2013, how about getting tickets for the Cyclocross World Cup in Louisville, Kentucky. This is going to be an amazing chance to see the superstars of cyclcross racing in the USA – and the big contest has to be between 5-times World Champion Marianne Vos, and the current CX World Cup leader, Katie Compton. Compton has been trying to get those rainbow stripes for years – will she be able to finally win them on home territory? The women’s race is on the morning of Sunday 2nd February – find out more on the event website, and keep up with all the news on their twitter, @Louisville2013.
Comedy cycling jerseys
For some more comedy presents, Foska have all kinds of cycling jerseys in designs using classic British products like Marmite and Newcastle Brown Ale and much more – I love their crash test dummy design, and their London A-Z. Jerseys are £48.95 for women’s and men’s cut – although they also have a range of vests, winter jerseys, and what might be my favourite stocking filler of all – bike and triathlon themed pasta!
If that’s not geeky enough for you, then how about combining obsessions with Star Trek cycling jerseys – or Star Trek TNG – or maybe NASA? Those links take you to the women’s version, but check out the men’s versions and more bike geekery on ThinkGeek
Finally, if you have a cycling woman in your life, and you really want to make her happy, here’s an idea from @Petiterider:
@craighardie @_pigeons_Getting a fit from Craig was 1 of the best things I did this yr! Highly recommended: pescetarianrevolutions.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/bik…
Such a good idea! It might not be a physical thing to unwrap on Christmas morning, but everyone I know who’s had a bike fit absolutely swears by it. Ask your Friendly Local Bike Shop for advice, or your favourite bike manufacturer – I’ve always wanted a Specialized fit after I saw the videos with Emilia Fahlin, Evie Stevens (fit 1 and fit 2) and Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, but I bet your favourite bike maker can help you too. Just imagine, when her bike feels so much better, and even more of a joy to ride, she’ll think of you with love, and thank you very much!