What are the three best gifts to give cyclists when you are on a budget? (By the way, you should always be on a budget) Buying gifts for anyone should be a highly personal thing. You have to really know the recipient to hit a home run with gift giving. Somehow, it seems that this is even truer with avid cyclists. They are particular about their gear. Buying bike shorts, although they said they need them, is not good enough. They need a specific brand, or style, or chamois… give a gift card instead. They always fit and the color goes with everything. However, a gift card just isn’t personal. Personal gifts are always better than other gifts. Here are three suggestions for a more personal gift for the cyclist in your family.
Massages can get quite expensive and may possibly become addictive. However, a massage doesn’t have to be done by a professional. This is something that almost anyone can do and do a good job at it, too! In fact, I personally would rather have a massage from my wife. It draws you closer together as a couple. And, who knows, it might lead to something more… you never know. Just saying.
A cyclist, particularly a road cyclist, often get cramps in the back of their necks and down in between the shoulder blades from always having their head tilted up while they are riding; from being on the drop bars and riding with their head up to see where they are going. After a while, they get sore. Their head is often held at an uncomfortable angle for prolonged times. It is just a simple neck and shoulder rub, but you can make it into a full body massage if you choose to. It is personal and can be as intimate as you want. You can massage as long as you want. For example, you can give a gift certificate for a fifteen-minute massage. You just committed to fifteen minutes, but I guarantee it is something that they will appreciate for quite some time.
Encouragement is a great gift and it is also a freebie. I say this because a lot of cyclist feel guilty for riding. Particularly after this latest terrorist attack in NYC, the one where the truck driver ran over several bicyclist on a bike path. Spouses and family members are worried when you are out on the road and now bike paths too. They think it is dangerous. And, they are right. It can be dangerous. But, it is not any more dangerous than in a car. Statistically there are a whole lot more car accidents than there are bike accidents. Typically, a car accident is a whole lot worse than a bike accident, too. A bad bike accident generally involves a car. Therefore, I would argue that the car is the danger, and the more people we get on bikes the better. That is why I would encourage you as the gift giver to encourage your bicycle rider.
Now, it is not just people that feel danger out there that need encouragement. Often times when we ride, we feel like we are being somewhat selfish taking an hour or two away from doing anything with our family. So, it would be nice to have some acknowledgement that, yeah, this is something you are doing for yourself, but it is also a healthy thing, and staying healthy is good for the whole family. It’s like going to the gym. My wife goes to the gym for an hour and I don’t think she feels guilty about that. I hope she doesn’t. Not only is she paying for that honor to go to the gym, but the gym charges her whether she goes or not. So she had better go. That is kind of a weak argument because I already spent the money on my bike so I ought to use it, too. But for some reason going to the gym is considered okay but going for a bike ride is not. So encouragement in that respect would be a great gift. I don’t know how you actually wrap it up and give it but it is a great gift none the less. It’s a great gift.
Support is the third great gift idea for cyclists. Encouragement and support go hand in hand. Sometimes it is hard to tell which is which. Encouragement would be more verbal than support. Support is more like you would get involved in the bike ride and assist. For instance, you could drive the sag wagon. You don’t have to go ten miles per hour and follow your cyclist for fifteen miles. Instead, you could say, “You know what? You go ride thirty miles and I will meet you there”, wherever there is, “and we will do something together.” Maybe they ride to a festival of some sort and you can drive. Your bicyclist can either hitch a ride home with you, or ride. Or you could exchange roles and you ride your bike home and they drive the car home from the festival. Or… It would just be nice to have that kind of support. A simple, “Why don’t you ride your bike and I will meet you there?” makes a great gift.
Maybe your rider is going to do a hundred mile ride for charity. Why don’t you volunteer to drive them to the start of that ride and pick them up afterwards? It’s always annoying; I feel guilty asking my wife to do that. However, I wouldn’t feel guilty accepting an offer from her to do that. That is a cheap gift, but it is a greatly appreciated gift. That is a gift of time and support.
There is that kind of moral support and there is also the kind of support where you say, “Hey, why don’t I find out what this guy wants”, or this girl, “and get it for them for their bike?” You can go down a long list of things that are great gifts for bicyclists, but the thing that is great about them is when you give them. That is the gift. You can look at it this way: I work. I can buy my own tires and things like that. But it is nice when somebody buys them and gives them to me as a gift. I don’t feel guilty using that money. We already budgeted it for gifts. Make it a gift that I really want. Give the gift of tires. That is support. That is right back where we started: give them a gift card. It always fits. It is always the right color and size. Just make sure that they know it is for them to spend on themselves and their favorite hobby; bicycling. Make it personal.
So those are my ideas, my three best gift ideas for cyclists.