So yeah, Christmas is this week and as usual we’re not even close to being ready. And by ready I mean ready for the Christ-athlon of present swappage; we already have our Christmas morn ride routes planned.
If you’re reading this you’re like us, or shopping for somebody like us, so here’s our take on some good, short-notice gift options that are available for the mountain bike folk in your life.
Skida Hats, $30-$50
Skida is a Vermont-based company with a rapidly growing assortment of cold weather head covers/beanies/caps/skullies/ear bands/tukes/toques. Many are made in Vermont, and they now offer an upscale cashmere collection as well. Available in men’s and women’s styles and in lightweight (Nordic) or heavyweight (Alpine). We recommend the Nordic for on-bike wear as it breathes well and fits cleanly under a helmet.
Ibex Scout Hoodie, $175
Ibex makes ridiculously high quality wool goods and is based out of the White River Junction area, so if you order early enough in the day you can get anything in their catalog overnight at standard shipping rates within Vermont. Their quality and function are pretty hard to beat, especially for cold weather active pursuits. While it’s hard to go wrong with anything Ibex we recommend their Scout Hoody in particular; it’s a great option for the casual workplace or just hanging out. It’s warm and soft (I know, men don’t care about soft) and is an awesome option for apres ride/ski/hangover wear. It’s also made in the US of A.
Mountain Flyer Magazine Subscription, $15
As a media organization we’re fans of media in general, and Mountain Flyer is a publication worth checking out. Think of it as an alpine-centric lifestyle mountain bike mag that’s neither pretentious nor ridiculously cluttered with ads or cheap inspirational malarkey. In spite of the yearly subscription’s small price tag they also offer a lifetime membership which is an incredibly cool thing, though I’d recommend reading a few of them before going all-in.
Tune Up Gift Certificate
At the Showdown we gave out awards for the best shop for service and best mechanic among many others ( iRide in Stowe and East Burke Sports in East Burke were the top two). This time of year the bike maintenance business of any shop is considerably slower than during the summer so you can really get your rig dialed so it’s ready to roll once the snow melts.
Grabber Toe Warmers
These are a great option to throw in your pack whether fat biking, skiing, snowboarding, or whacking about the backcountry on your no-talent snow shoes. Even if you maintain your equipment there’s always the chance that something could break or need adjustment trailside, and to fix it you’ll need to take off your gloves. The small, adhesive-backed warmers can be tucked into your gloves or stuck onto your socks to get you warmed back up. They’re also good to get you warmed up at the start of an adventure so you don’t spend the whole day with freezing cold extremities.
Available in many different pack sizes at local hardware, sporting, and hunting stores.
Jefferson’s Bourbon, $30
There are plenty of reasons why bourbon is an excellent holiday gift, but really in this context it wins on two fronts- one it fits neatly into a flask, and two it will warm you up rather than cool you down. If you’re going to do a mid-ride booze stop saying you stopped and had some bourbon makes you sound badass, whereas saying you stopped for a beer makes you sound lazy. Jefferson’s gets the nod here because it’s not only flavorful but also remarkably smooth on the rocks or neat.
Think of it as your gateway whiskey.
Gotta run- all this time typing has kept me from getting my shopping done…