With the holidays approaching, and many relatives and friends wondering about what to give to their favorite cyclist, here are some great gift ideas. Forward them to anybody who asks “What would you like for …” Click on the links for more info. (The photo shows René André and Lyli Herse at a cyclocross race in Paris during World War II.)
For the cyclist who just loves riding:
Bicycle Quarterly is a gift your cyclist will enjoy over the entire year. The quarterly magazine provides the inspiration for our rides, illuminates the science for the bikes we ride, and is simply an overall good read. The most common complaint is that it does not appear often enough! We also offer back issues, in case your cyclist has a subscription already. $32.
Need for the Bike is a delightful book about why we ride. Philosopher Paul Fournel “lives” the terrain that other travelers only see as spectators. A mountain is not simply a mountain, but “first a grade to climb, a test, a doubt, sometimes anxiety. At the summit, it is conquest, lightness. I’ve taken it in, and it is in me.” 155 pages, softcover, $15.
For the cyclist who loves looking at beautiful bikes:
The Competition Bicycle features stunning full-color photographs and insightful texts that chart the development of bicycles from the 1880s onward. Be amazed at the three generations of technology ridden by the leaders of the 1949 Tour de France. See a bike purpose-built for the races of the Paris newspaper couriers. Ride with Jacquie Phelan to the first women’s mountain bike championship. 176 pages, hardcover, $60.
The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles: If your cyclists doesn’t have this trend-setting (and best-selling) classic yet, now is the time! See the most beautiful bicycles ever made, and learn about the riders who rode them. Cycling was their life, and their bikes reflected that. 168 pages, hardcover, $50.
Smart Move is a gorgeously photographed book of a charmingly unusual collection of bicycles. From the multi-tube Pedersen to the latest time trial machines, Smart Move is full of oddball machines. Laugh at the ice bike and imagine straddling the suitcase bike and riding off. 246 pages, hardcover, $85.
For the cyclist planning their 2011 season:
Handlebars: Numb hands can spoil the most scenic ride. Suggest they try a classic handlebar shape specifically designed for long-distance comfort. $89-98.
Tires: Nothing transforms a bike like a good set of tires. Grand Bois tires will bring a smile on their face when they next ride their bike. Most likely, they’ll also shave minutes off their personal best. Ask them what size they need. $120-136 (pair).
Bottom bracket: Does your cyclist spend his time overhauling his bike instead of with his family? Give them a maintenance-free SKF bottom bracket designed for 65,000 trouble-free miles! Ask them what size they need. $109.
For the rider dreaming of Paris-Brest-Paris:
Paris-Brest-Paris 1891-2007 has French text, but the real appeal lies in the hundreds of photos: Ride with Terront on the first pneumatic tires in 1891, as he dodges nails strewn by the competition. See how early racers changed bikes cyclocross-style at the base of hills. (Gear changers had not yet been invented.) Ride with randonneurs over the cobblestones of 1950s France. Experience the kaleidoscope of riders and nationalities that are the modern PBP. 144 page, softcover, $55.
For the fan of European professional racing:
If they already have The Competition Bicycle (see above), Cycling’s Golden Age is a treasure-trove of old racing images. Climb the gravel roads of the Dolomites with Fausto Coppi, follow Jacques Anquetil in a time trial, and sprint to the finish line with Rik Van Steenbergen. 240 pages, hardcover, $55.
For the technically-minded cyclist:
Bicycling Science is a compilation of scientific research related to bicycles. Find out why bicycles work the way they do. Your favorite cyclist will exclaim time and again: “Now I understand why…” 477 pages, softcover, $27.
For the admirer of classic bikes:
The Lightweight Cycle Catalogues are reprints of rare brochures of classic British framebuilders, including Hetchins, Claud Butler, Gillot, Mercian and many others. 3 volumes available. $28-40.
For the cyclist who has everything:
Our classic books feature a number of rare, long-out-of-print books that your cyclist may enjoy.
Have a happy holiday season!
Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly