Best wishes to you as we ring out the year with twinkling lights to brighten our long, winter nights. During the holiday season I always find it a gift to get out on my bike when the weather turns briefly nice.
Yesterday I led my annual Holiday Lights bike ride, and a few intrepid souls joined me in the rain.
Are you looking for a cycling-related gift? Of course my first suggestion is a copy of Biking Puget Sound, which came out in its second edition this year. With 60 rides instead of 50 and all-new research, it is sure to have a ride for any cyclist on your list.
But if your cyclist friend is not fortunate enough to live in the Puget Sound region, I’d like to suggest a few other books and cycling-related items that would make great gifts.
Thinking of bike commuting or just using your bike more to get around the city? Madi Carlson’s new book Urban Cycling lays it out for you. Great detail and lots of fun ideas. It’s from my publisher, Mountaineers Books.
Does your cycling friend live elsewhere? Order up a book for their region! Mountaineers Books has created a series called “75 Classic Rides” that cover different areas: Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Northern California… They’re all over, and feature some great routes.
I always steer readers toward Willie Weir’s adventures. The Adventure Cycling magazine columnist travels the way I like to: exploring and meeting people. His stories, compiled into two books, are warmhearted and insightful.
This time of year I have bike lights on the brain — literally. The rechargeables have been getting brighter and cheaper, and the Vis 360 helmet-mounted system (available at REI) made it onto my noggin this fall. It’s bright, super-easy to use and provides supplemental lighting to the bike-mounted head and tail lights. Bonus: with a light mounted right above your eyes, it’s easy to shed some light on something you want to see better: just look in that direction!
Adventure Cycling Association memberships also make a great gift. But don’t stop there. Sign up your friends for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy too! It’s a one-two punch of great cycle touring advocacy and resources.
Maybe you’re not into gifting. I get that. How about inviting your friend out for a spin and packing along a thermos of hot chocolate. Pair it with some gingersnaps and you will have one delighted friend as you share a wonderful ride.