It’s that time of year again. The days are getting increasingly short. The trees have long since waved good-bye to their leaves. The temperature has plummeted. Despite all these negative changes the festive spirit has landed and it feels special. I have now broken up from university and am free to relax a bit more and get ready for Christmas. So I thought it would be a good idea to write a little bit about the cycling and adventure related gifts I am hoping for under the tree in addition to some more general gifts for cyclists.
These are essential for winter cycling and outdoor sport of any kind. My current one has been used prolifically so I think it is time for a new one to give me some additional warmth on cold days. They are also really useful for cycle touring, often mornings are cold but these pack up really small so are ideal if you are hard pushed for space.
50mm Camera Lens:
More particularly the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens. I currently just have the 18-55mm kit lens which came with my D3200. While I enjoy taking photographs with this I am keen to try out a prime lens. I think this will help improve my photography by making me think more about the composition of the shot. Without a zoom it will force be to get more involved with the shot, something that I am keen to explore. Also with a higher quality of glass hopefully I should get much better images rather than using my 18-55mm lens at 50mm.
55-200mm Camera Lens:
Okay so this is getting a bit camera heavy. However I enjoy the photography aspect of adventure and hope that through improving these skills I will be able to capture my adventures in a medium which is universally understood. This lens will allow me greater versatility when combined with the other two lenses and also provide me with the ability to zoom further.
Garmin GPS Sports Watch
These can be pricey watches however they can also be a vital training tool. They can replace your bike computer but also have the added versatility over bike specific GPS units that they can be used for other sports and adventures. Therefore I think one of these would suit me more than a bike-specific unit. Although with my trusty old Garmin HCx I do find it hard to justify purchasing one. However you never know what Santa’s elves might’ve made…
A new local clothing company based in Oxford, pig on a bike offers quality cycling leisurewear at very reasonable prices. If you live around Oxford they’ll even ride your clothes to your front door and they give some of their profits to charity. What’s not to like. They’re increasing their range in the New Year so I really wish these guys well with their start-up!
With technology becoming an increasingly larger part of my everyday life, for better or for worse, I think a decent dynamo hub would be an essential piece of kit for my next cycle tour. It would enable me to become more self-sufficient and venture to places a bit further off the beaten track. With my own pedal powered source of electricity I could easily charge my camera, phone, even GPS! Although pricey I think the ability to be self-sufficient, at least electrically, would be a huge benefit and save a lot of hassle in the long run.
I am a prolific worshipper of the morning coffee; espresso is my weapon of choice. It gets me up and going; the perfect start to the day. It improves my productivity and as one of my University tutors preaches “you can’t have good work without good coffee”. So really an investment in good coffee is actually an investment in good work… You can get pretty decent machines for cheaper than you think, so for the cyclist or coffee-fanatic in your life this could just be the perfect present. You could even team it up with some of these cycling-specific espresso cups or cycling EPO coffee!
Okay, so I already have this, even a signed copy, and I will be posting a review in the next week. However in the mean time this is a fantastic book about a truly honest and fantastic cyclist. It is definitely a must-read for any cycling fan or sports fan in general. So if you are scrolling down this list looking for a bit of inspiration, this is it!
“Great story, very well written & for such a brilliant cause”
“Buy it, you won’t regret it!”
“A truly inspiring and very honest account”
Plug alert…Whilst this is no penguin autobiography like Chris Froome’s it does have five stars on Amazon. It doesn’t cost too much and it will hopefully make you laugh, and feel a bit more inspired to get on the bike. Also most of the money from the sale of the book will go to the MS Society. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving. On a more serious note it would honestly mean a lot to me if you got the book and popped a review on amazon.
So here is my selection for 2014 of items that will be appearing on my Christmas list and some which will give some inspiration to the adventurer or cyclist in your life. The growth of cycling seems to be exponential at the moment in the UK so no doubt the expansion of new cycling brands, like pig on a bike, will make the task of making a wish list or getting presents for cyclists who seem to have all the kit they need a whole lot easier. I hope you all have a great holiday season and keep peddling through the colder weather!