The recent snow and a small sidewalk traffic jam in "uptown" Waterloo (two bicycles, two pedestrians and too narrow a sidewalk) led to a few thoughts about Christmas gifts for cyclists:
The best gift, of course, is that you will ride with us. The next best gift is that you be just out of shape enough that we will win the sprint to the next hydro pole.
Failing that, here are some thoughts about what we want for Christmas, so we can ride all year long:
1. Fenders. We may peel these off in the good weather, but for slushy roads, nothing beats fenders. Make them light, plastic and/or rust-proof.
2. Winter riding gloves. I have been happy to use the full-fingered glove, but the lobster mitts are especially good on really icy February days.
3. Skull cap-style tuque to wear under your helmet.
4. Lower-face mask. I have used a neoprene face mask, but my glasses fog up. A polar fleece neck warmer that you can pull up to cover your chin and jaw-line will be effective.
5. Bicycle boots or boot covers. I hate having cold feet. And despite the fenders, your feet will be covered in slush in no time.
6. Lights. It's dark in the morning and the evening. Windshields are covered with snow and gunk. Visibility is a priority.
7. Wool socks. Not those grey, 10-pairs-in-bag socks, but good quality wool socks. Your feet will thank you. And finally,
8. Studded tires. The studs on the cheap ones will wear off after a season, but may be all your budget can bear.
May the shopping begin.