December 13, 2013
Whether you're searching for those last few gifts for the holidays, or just getting started with your holiday shopping, here are some of my favorite gift ideas for Christmas, or any gift-giving occasion.
The gift of comfort is a hard one to beat. I picked up a pair of Footbalance Performance inserts for my cycling shoes this past fall, and they have been a game changer. They have a fair number of store locations across the United States and Canada, in addition to a large presence in Europe. They should be molded at an authorized dealer — the analysis and molding process takes under 15 minutes.
This color touchscreen GPS unit comes packed with some great features that make it an excellent addition to a bike's handlebars. Out of the box, it comes preloaded with a comprehensive U.S. topo map that includes over 5-million miles of roads, bike paths, mountain bike trails, and water features. Camgrounds, parks, and restaurants are also included as searchable points of interest. The Foris 850 allows you to enter in point-to-point directions, and gives you either vocal or visual cues for your various turns. It's all packaged in a rugged waterproof enclosure, and includes a tool-free bicycle handlebar mount. At $200, this gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
Who doesn't need a bike bag. Whether you have a mountain biker, roadie, or commuter in the family, a bike bag is always appreciated. Krieg's bags come in a wide assortment of design options to fit about any aesthetic. They are super durable with grippy velcro to keep them securely mounted in place, and large enough for a tube, CO2 cartridge, tire levers, and some cash for the general store. Krieg offers free shipping in the U.S., and is pretty good about getting these out fast.
There are tons of cycling movies out there, but instead of trying to decide on a specific movie, or purchasing them one at a time, why not just get that special someone a Netflix subscription to cover a broad range of films? Some titles available on streaming include Breaking Away, BMX Bandits, Pedal Driven, Ride the Divide, and Reveal the Path.
Everyone likes to feel good over the holdiays. Double up on that sentiment by making a donation to World Bicycle Relief on behalf of a family member or friend. You're helping create cultural and economic empowerment with the bicycle in communities throughout Africa. The bicycle allows these communities to tear down distance as a barrier between them and good healthcare, education, and economic opportunity.
Photo by Josh Tack
TOURING GEAR & TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling's member services department. It appears weekly, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead. Look for Josh's "Fine Tuned" column in Adventure Cyclist magazine as well.