Christmas gifts for bike-lovers
Running out of gift ideas for the cyclists in your life? Here are a few ideas to get your Christmas shopping cranked into gear.
Mountain biking calendar
An affordable, inspirational gift for lovers of analogue scheduling, this 2012 calendar is jam packed with photos of places we’d rather be. Produced by MTB legend Dave Mitchell, it's printed in Aotearoa, with a portion of proceeds going to the New Zealand Trail Fund. Since the first edition in 2000, Dave and his partner Ditte have been hard-out riding new trails and capturing great images for the next one.
Buy copies from good bookstores or online from Wilderness magazine.
Ground Effect Clothing
Talk about ticking the boxes! Give great gear, buy NZ made, and support a very cool Christchurch company that pays it forward by donating hard labour and cash to build more trails. We love their clothing – it’s hardwearing, stylish and designed specifically for our conditions. Sick of sunburn? Check out the Tip Top! Gift cards also available.
Digital Pressure Gauge
Do you know someone who simply squeezes their tyres to check the pressure? Guilty as charged! Turns out that we guestimators aren’t getting the best out of our rides, because tyre pressures radically affect their grippiness and traction. Even a couple of PSI either way can make a big difference. Once you’ve ascertained the optimum pressure for your weight, riding style and the terrain, ensure the pressure is optimised to within an inch of its life with a high-tech gauge, and then check your suspension with it too. Ground Effect stocks an affordable one, but we’re very happy with our new Topeak, too, as pictured. A gift the whole family can share!
No, we’re not talking about face masks and surgical gowns. We’re talking elbow pads, knee pads and full-face helmets. While not necessary for most riders on most trails, on trickier trails they actually do ‘double duty’ – not only protecting against injury, but also giving tentative riders the confidence to ride positively and therefore more safely. Take it from me: I invested in the brilliant Bell Super Air helmet (lightweight, with detachable chin-bar) last year, and it’s made a big difference to my singletrack riding!
Wall-mounted wheel stand
Know someone with bike storage problems? Hastings’ rider Gavin Pope was one of those folks until he invented these clever wheel stands complete with a padded hook to protect the wheel rim, and a hole for padlocking. Gav’s stands come in plain stainless steel or matt black powder-coated, and two sizes, one for wider MTB tyres and the other for regular/smaller bikes. Top-notch Kiwi ingenuity, and just $50 a piece. To buy, email Gav or check out his PSD Products Facebook page.
Wellington-based Trudy Morrison crafts feathery jewellery from used inner tubes, supplied by her son who works in a local bike shop. ‘The name Plumatic is combination of plumage and pneumatic, and the pieces are named after bike models, bike parts or birds.’ Bikes and birds – two of our favourite things, right? Choose from earrings, necklaces and brooches – beautiful, affordable, feel-good gifts, bought online or from her new Tawa shop, SoulyNZ.
Munro merino socks
Few things fit hand in glove like socks and Christmas. Give the gift of a whole new, colourful riding personality with a pair of New Zealand merino God Socks from Munro. Colour-match to your loved-one’s biking duds or go completely off track with striking stripes or over-the-top spots! (This combo is our model’s own. Can’t you tell?)
Bike skills course
Give the gift of greater skills, confidence, camaraderie and the promise of adventure to come! All sorts of bike skills courses are available now, from free, urban riding courses for all ages, to day-long or weekend, intensive camps for off-roaders. To get an idea of available courses, check out BikeReady (the government-funded national cycling education group), Joyride (women-specific group courses and private lessons), and WORD (MTB skills programmes for kids).
New Zealand Cycle Trails national partner Adventure South NZ have just launched a 'Darkside' 4-day MTB bike skills course, with pro-rider instructors and outings to the legendary Wairoa Gorge and Kaiteriteri MTB Park near Nelson. Find out more here.