We've already given you suggestions for Christmas gifts for performance minded cyclists, gifts for female cyclists, and a quick rundown of books for cyclists. Now it's time for VecchioJo to pitch in with his ideas for presents that are suitable for discerning cyclists... you know, cyclists who appreciate the finer things in life. We've really taken the hard work out of this for you, huh? We've done pretty much everything short of actually nipping down the shops and buying the presents for you. On you go, VecchioJo...
I’m not sure if these should be presented as a reward for doing the climb or a kick-up-the-arse incentive to lay off that second helping of pudding in preparation for doing it next year. Whatever. Cycling Souvenirs have these little models to collect of the kilometre markers you gasp past when ascending cols. There’s a whole range of Alpine and Pyrenean climbs to choose from so your favourite nemesis should be in there. They’re handmade and painted in the shadow of Mount Ventoux for authenticity. www.cyclingsouvenirs.com
Lois May-Miller is a graphic designer/illustrator from Brighton (where else?) whose recent conversion to cycling you can read all about on her blog. She has channeled her love affair via her scribbling skills into a collection of bikey prints and stickers. A ‘Love & Bicycles’ print with a ‘My other ride is a bike’ car sticker slipped in the stocking, please. www.claudandi.co.uk
More than just something to flick through when the EastEnders omnibus is on, Made In England is a beautiful book about the current state of bespoke steel frame building in this country. Concentrating on a dozen UK framebuilders, both old and new, the book is beautifully and extensively illustrated with photographs of their workshops and craft, while there are just enough words to make it both interesting and amusing without getting boring. If you don’t get it as a present, buy it with the book tokens that aged aunt always gets you. www.pushprojects.net
The south coast’s favourite cycling apparel supplier has just launched a new collection of riding and relaxing clobber in time for the winter season. Whilst not necessarily ideal for cracking off hundreds of chilly off-season base miles, this Gruppetto t-shirt is perfect for the inevitable pub-based celebrations. www.morvelo.com
I saw these at Eurobike and may have done a little not-very-masculine dance. I’ve worn Sidis since I first strapped a ‘proper’ pair of cycling shoes to my feet over half a lifetime ago; they just fit me, perfectly. Every other shoe I’ve tried has been nice but returning to the Sidis is like having my feet licked by Italian virgins, so you can imagine my excitement when Sidi announced their new Wire shoes. Using bits of tensioning wire in shoes is nothing new for Sidi, they’ve been doing it as long as I can remember. Everyone else has only just caught up. They might look pricey but if you’re having to buy The Other Half some Jimmy Choos for Christmas then these are going to be a bloody bargain, and worn more. www.bigbear.co.uk
Pâtisserie Cyclisme is a web-based resource for that cycling essential, the mid-ride tea stop, with over 150 user submitted reviews of caffs and hostelries from all over the UK and Europe. To kick you out the door and pedal to one of those caffs you’ll probably need a coffee. Pâtisserie Cyclisme can help here too with their Coffee Hopper Blend, which is dark, chocolaty, and with a “get on that bike” punch. www.patisseriecyclisme.com
You’re going to need something to put that coffee in though, and this’ll do nicely. The core of (iL) Soigneur is their nice line of very fashionable musettes, if that’s you bag (nice! – Ed). They also do this rather sweet espresso cup and saucer. It’s an authentic thick-walled Italian espresso cup that, if you’re doing it correctly, you’ll warm before your espresso is served. The (iL) Soigneur “for Cycling and Life” motif adorns the side. Amen. www.ilsoigneur.cc
I’m not sure when it happened but all the bar-end plugs you get with your handlebar tape these days seem to be black. Anyone with half an idea of What Is Right knows this is Wrong. Thankfully Cinelli come to the rescue with their Milano aluminium bar-end plugs anodized in the Correct silver, and a range of other hues to co-ordinate your bike. www.chickencycles.co.uk
Continuing their mission to make cycling clothes that are comfortable and technical enough to ride a bike in but are styled so you don’t look dorky once you get off the saddle, Vulpine have just released their Tailored Trouser. Made from water-resistant stretch fabric, they’re bulging with the usual Vulpine obsessive attention to detail, like Scotchlite reflective tapes running up the insides of both legs for turn-up safety with a right leg that can be buttoned tight to save chain chewage. You had me at turn-ups. www.vulpine.cc
Not just one or two sunny days but a glorious sweeping wave of hot. The kind where only used abroad iridium lenses can confidently be swapped into the glasses and you don’t have to think about packing another layer in the back pocket, just in case. Where a tan turns deeply stewed tea and sharp edged enough to cut cheese, sweat runs heavy into eyes, glistens on forearms and crusts racehorse thick on clothing, or drops like sizzling fat onto melting tarmac. That kind of summer.
Just because you want to be visible on your bike it doesn’t mean that you have to look like a navvy with your jerkin flapping gaily in the breeze. Wind and waterproof enough for training rides, bright enough for city riding. And not that grubby yellow. www.rapha.cc
Okay, so it’s just a water-bottle, but it’s a nice one; 28-ounces big (that’s US fluid ounces, about 830ml) with a usefully wide mouth to scoop energy goop or drop some ice cubes in. It’s also big enough to pop some pink Pretty And Strong Ahead spacers in there to make the gift a little more special, and a pink Ahead cap, and then maybe, if you really loved them, a pink Chris King headset. And a coffee-tamper. A percentage of each Pretty And Strong sale goes to the “Susan G. Komen for the Cure” campaign, a global fight against breast cancer, because cycling kind of needs a cancer charity to believe in right now. So not really just a water-bottle after all. www.evolutionimports.co.uk
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.