It’s Christmas season again, that time of the year when you are hoping not to get another pair of Happy Socks and wondering what to get that cycling-fanatic partner/friend/family member that will bring a broad smile to his or her face. Below are a few suggestions that will most certainly do that, arranged from the most expensive to the least.
The Christmas gift to give to the person you love the most in the world and you want them to know it: a two-week cycling trip to… Brazil. Is there a better place to escape to when the days are so dark that it gets lighter in your living room when you shut the curtains? There is a marvellous cycling route, over 3,000 km long, that runs from Porto Alegre in the south to Salvador, Bahia, in the northeast. The path is paved, safe and largely avoids traffic but, best of all, it follows the coast, which means beaches. There are beautiful beaches at Florianopolis and lush, green beaches in São Paulo state. Daytime temperatures in January and February in Porto Alegre average between 21° and 31°C. Accommodations can be found along the route in small and usually inexpensive hotels, called pousadas. And there’s another upside – you absolutely cannot allow your beloved to travel to Brazil by themselves. Which means you’ll have to go too. The perfect gift. Of course, it ain’t cheap. And expect to spend a lot of time in the air. It’s far from home. But isn’t that the point? For tips on cycling in Brazil.
But maybe your beloved cycling freak has sun-sensitive skin or hates beaches or is afraid of flying and actually loves winter and snow (nobody’s perfect). What then? How about a dual-electric motorized bike fully equipped for winter conditions? Check out the new FAT-AWD from EUNORAU. In addition to the dual motors, this baby has a throttle, which lets you put the seat low, use your legs for balance (not just pedalling) and make tight turns without a worry, even in the snow. And it has fat Kenda Juggernaut tires, a rear rack to carry light cargo, front and rear lights, and fenders to keep you clean when you commute to work. And the price is reasonable: currently $1,699. And the company ships worldwide for free.
How about some furniture for the bike itself? The Chilean design company Chol#1 created furniture pieces that double as elegant bike storage. The minimal designs are especially practical for small apartments. Not only will they keep your bike safely stored but they will also make your flat look very cool indeed. Each piece is made of wood and is offered in a variety of colours. The price depends on the piece. For example, an elegant bookshelf/bike stand called Arrimo goes for about $430 plus shipping.
Or furniture made from bikes? Bike Furniture Design has been producing unique high-quality commercial and residential furnishings made from bicycle and motorcycle parts since 1990. They make stunningly elegant chairs, tables, bar stools and even lighting fixtures from frames, handlebars and other bike parts, such as this cool coffee table made with an MTB 26″ bike wheel, which sells for $425 plus shipping. Lots of other beautiful pieces can be found here.
Too expensive? Too complicated? The cycling lover you’re thinking of is just a random friend or a co-worker? Okay, how about some cool accessories, like the Wallfire Bike Phone Mount Bag? It keeps the phone safe, visible and within reach and has a high-sensitivity TPU touch screen that supports all touch operations when your phone is in the bag, which means that you can answer calls and check your locations on GPS. It supports all smartphones under 15 cm. It’s also waterproof and incredibly easy to install on all bike models. It costs £11.99.
The Respro City Anti-Pollution Mask may not be cool, but the recipient will know that you care about their well-being. It filters out common urban pollutants such as hydrocarbons (including benzene and pyrene), nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, lead oxide and black smoke. It has a contoured design to ensure the mask ‘seals’ comfortably, comes in four colours and sells for about €34.
Finally, what’s a gift list without a book on it? This Christmas, I’d give It’s All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels, by Robert Penn, for the title alone. Simply put, it’s about the author’s worldwide search for components to build the perfect bike. And for only €11.31 in paperback on Amazon, it sounds like the near-perfect present. (But a cycling trip in Brazil is the perfect Christmas present.)