December 9, 2010
Gifts for your favorite bike commuter
Here in the U.S., over-commercialized gift-giving season is in full swing! I thought I would share some unique gifts for the bicyclist in your life (even if that's YOU!). (None of these organizations/individuals even know that I am writing about them, and I have not received-somewhat regretfully-any payment from them for my comments.)
You could always start with the not-so-subtle hint on the Christmas stocking pictured above, made by etsy seller PursuitsofHappiness.
Once you get that bicycle, perhaps you'd like to add a bicycle cargo trailer. (Another not-so-subtle hint: I really want one of these!). They're on sale over at the Bike Shop Hub. I've ordered other items from Bike Shop Hub and always received prompt and efficient service.
If you're more of the DIY type, head over to Planet Green for some plans to make your own trailer.
This fall, I treated myself to an Ortlieb bicycle briefcase, fully pictured and reviewed at Ecovelo. I pretty much agree with their review, with the one caveat that the bike rack hardware can get a little uncomfortable when one is carrying the briefcase across a college campus.
You could also follow in the footsteps of Jody at that which rolls and make your own panniers out of kitty litter buckets. I love the concept, but I would look even funnier carrying that across a college campus.
(picture from Cyclelicious.)
Along with constant reminders to shop or else our economy will go to hell in a handbasket, this time of year brings cold, snow, and ice to many regions in the U.S. Yes, Virginia, you can bike in the winter. My compadres over at RocBike have lots of tips. In addition to the link provided above, type "winter biking" into the search engine there and you will get lots more tips and tales.
One item that many RocBikers have found useful in this time of shortened daylight is the DownLow Glow. (I wouldn't mind one of these in my stocking either.) You will definitely be visible in midwinter darkness with these mounted on your bike.
For the first time this year, I have studded tires for my bike. Now, I haven't actually had the time to put them on the bike, even though we have about a foot and a half of snow on the ground, but this weekend it will happen! I was sold on studded tires by Adam Durand and Jack Bradigan Spula, also of RocBike fame.
I purchased mine, but apparently you can make your own. Who knew?
One more winter bike necessity that would make a great gift are fenders. They keep that stuff on the road from ending up on your back.
For more DIY ideas, try the bicycle repair stand at Instructables. Or, head over to Cyclelicious for a whole bunch of ideas, including a sew-your-own bicycle cap, shoe covers from old conference bags (I for one have way too many of those), and a bicycle Ipod charger.
Happy whatever-you-celebrate! (Me, I mostly celebrate the end of the academic semester!)