February 13, 2010
Oh no you didn't! Valentine's Day is less than 24 hours away, and you're empty handed? If you're reading this, there's a decent chance both you and your sweetheart are cycling aficionados, and that might be all it takes to save the day. Here are some cycling related gifts that require little effort, and don't need to be shipped to your door.
1. Bike Tuneup - Sneak out to the garage tonight and give the bike of your significant other a quick tuneup. It doesn't have to be a complete overhaul, or require a lot of bike maintenance knowledge. Wipe down the frame, clean the chain, tighten the brakes, air up the tires, and maybe adjust the derailleurs. So long as you put some work into, you're off to a good start.
2. Bike Fit - This is a little more advanced, but if you have the know-how and a rear-mount trainer, it's a good way to show you care.
3. Casual Ride - The duration of your ride depends on your local climate and fitness, but regardless of what you choose to do, make sure to keep it at a conversational pace. If the weather won't let you get out on the bike, perhaps you can jump on an indoor trainer, or find some spin bikes at a nearby gym.
4. Dinner and Cycling Movie - There are plenty of great cycling movies to choose from, and you'll pick up some bonus points by pairing the dinner theme with the movie theme. Some examples would be Italian food with Breaking Away, French cuisine with Triplets of Belleville, or burgers and fries with American Flyers.
5. Plan a Bike Tour - Look at your calendar through the 2010 season, and think about possible tours you can take together. Perhaps you might find a 3-day weekend where you can depart from your doorstep, or even set aside a week, or longer, to explore a corner of the country you have been wanting to experience.
TOURING GEAR AND 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.