1. We turn on the lights
We express our excitement by lighting up our bikes like Christmas trees. Countless flashing lights, front and rear to see which cyclist can bring the most Christmas cheer to British roads.
Some newspapers question whether cyclists are bringing too much cheer to the British public – a regular concern for any British government. Some argue that lights flash too brightly or too fast. I can sympathise with their concerns – I saw a cyclist with 4 flashing lights on his handle bar basket alone…
Photo: Bicycle Christmas lights by Richard Masoner, CC BY-SA 2.0
Ironically, the Germans (famed for their festive celebrations) regulate the intensity of cycle lights, and this could be standardised across Europe. The days of being blinded on your commute by festive cyclists might soon be over.
2. We get to break out THE WINTER GEAR
Springtime in Britain, cycle retailers start discounting as much winter gear as possible. You buy as many merino jerseys as your wallet allows and commit to wearing them before it gets to summer. Too late! Merino’s too warm for April. So cyclists love Christmas because they can wear all the gear they’ve been hiding from their partners for the last 7 months.
3. We get to spend on THE SUMMER GEAR
As frosts appear, cycle retailers start discounting their summer gear. Before you think this is a cut and paste of reason 2, cyclists have the added bonus of subtly hinting to their family what might make welcome presents. By emailing hyperlinks to the exact set of bib tights that will shave 5 minutes off their summer commute. Because that’s how bib tights work, obviously.
Are you planning to buy a first bike for your children this year? Read our guide!
4. We get to smug it up
Motorists get confused at Christmas. Everyone thinks they need to “leave earlier to avoid traffic”, because no other motorist ever thinks of that. A bit of rain or fog – traffic jams. Not for cyclists. I leave and arrive for work at the same time regardless of the season. It’s just satisfying to arrive stress free during the festive period.
5. The weather gets bad
There is only one of The Velominati rules I live by and it’s “Number 9: If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are [hardcore]…” That unspoken sense of camaraderie when you pull up at a red with another cyclist in freezing rain is priceless. When I arrive at work and someone says “you must hate that rain,” I pity them. They will never understand the significance of being part of The Hardcore Crew.
6. It’s a time for giving
As your relationship with your significant other matures, you become more relaxed about buying expensive moisturising agents to keep their skin in top condition. After all, you’re directly responsible for every “stress line” and unsightly stretch mark they’ve acquired over the years. So why not splash out on some shoe polish and cream to keep your leather saddle looking good?
7. It’s a time for giving
It’s tempting to make another joke about treating your other significant other to the new bar tape they deserve, but it would simply labour the joke. Fortunately, my partner shares my love of cycling. Although she’s not a commuter geek like me, Christmas is when I buy her a gift that inevitably disappoints her on the day, but by February she begrudgingly accepts that the product is useful.
Did you get your first bike for christmas as a kid? This month we present a contest to bring your memories back! Find an old photo with your bike, recreate it and then merge into one nostalgic picture. Share it for a chance to win fabulous prizes!enter the contest
8. We love random shots of adrenaline
A morning espresso wakes you. But not as much as saving yourself from a frozen drain, or black ice. The adrenaline hit you get recovering your balance is explosive. Just try not to fail like these kids because that would be much less adorable.
9. It’s a time to get heavy
Cycling retailers say the lighter the product the better. Maybe if you’re trying to win Le Tour, but I’m a commuter who’s trying to lose weight before the inevitable Christmas indulgence. I don’t enjoy carrying the additional changes of clothes the festive weather demands, but added weight is good.
10. We feel the season
I leave my house when it’s dark, cold, and possibly raining. I don’t suffer the elements, I experience them. I’m lucky my commute takes me through rural farmland then through a narrow wooded area. At Christmas, when I come out of that wood on the hill over looking the estate where I work, the sun is rising.
And no matter how cold it is, you feel it’s warmth on your face.