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02/01/2011 // INFO 2 Comments

Why a cyclist receives so few cycling gifts?

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Is this a cycling gift

Did you get many cycling gifts for Christmas? I only ask because apart from a lovely pair of cycling overshoes I received no cycling related gifts.

I am not ungrateful: in fact I am very happy with what I did receive (I like my new sweater and the kitchen knives are very practical…) but it did make me wonder why friends and family did not give me more cycling gifts.

A clue may be in the fact that my 91 year old Grandmother (I hope she does not mind me saying her age) always complains that despite everyone knowing that she is a keen bridge player no-one ever gives her any playing cards or other bridge related gifts.

Perhaps people think that enthusiasts of any sport or hobby will buy themselves all the items that they require or want and that there is nothing else to give. This is clearly not the case. I don’t know too much about the world of bridge accessories, but in cycling there is a mass of kit that I would love to have but haven’t (or won’t) buy myself.

For example, whilst I have two perfectly adequate bottle cages on my Trek Madone 5.2, I would be delighted to receive a new set of lighter and less worn bottle cages. If that is too expensive then an alternative would be some new bar tape. So, if people thought a bit more they would recognise that whilst we spend much of our time browsing cycling kit we don’t buy everything we could ever want.

One other suggestion I received was that because keen cyclists know so much about bikes and are so opinionated on what is good and what they would wear/put on their bike etc, they are impossible to buy gifts for.  The fear of giving yellow handlebar tape to someone with a  red bike (a horrible clash that only a Spanish cyclist would contemplate) results in people playing it safe and heading to the knitwear section of M&S (if you’re lucky).

It was for this reason that we compiled four Christmas gift guides for cyclists. They were intended to provide a range of cycling gifts that non-cyclists could give their cycling buddies and family. Oh well…that didn’t seem to work too well for me. I suppose the only fool-proof way around this is to do what I did in respect of my overshoes…ask the person (in this case my brother) specifically for that gift and send the link to them by email!

2 comments [leave one]
Craig January 2, 2011 at 11:39 am

My personal theory was that for both of my hobbies friends and family did not give related gifts because they feared buy something that was poor quality, not useful or something I already possessed. Things that they felt would require the experts knowledge.

The simple answer for anyone wanting to choose an appropriate gift is of course to subtly quiz the would be recipient. Something we are not so good at these days it seems. So to take some of the mystique out of things I would like, and are not too expensive, I have compiled wish lists with prices and where to buy. Birthday and Christmas this list has gone out with a few other items on which are not cycling or photography related.

Two years and 4 gift events later with an average of 6 gifts per event and I have managed 2 gifts related to my main hobbies. Clearly I was wrong, they aren’t afraid of buying the wrong thing, my friends and family really think my hobbies are dull and boring.

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James - Going Going Bike January 5, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Craig – gift lists are certainly one way around this.

However, I like to think what a person is interested in and what they may need and then try to find something appropriate to give them…It is sometimes difficult to think of something original to give but if someone has a hobby (or in your case two hobbies) it really should (I would have thought) make life a whole lot easier.

BTW – love the concept of “gift events”…;o)

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