A Christmas guide to giving on yer bike

By Andy Chivers

Bicycles are an important part of Christmas.  

Remember being given your first bicycle? What a joy it was to get! Bike ownership marking that rite of passage, an independent form of transport, the fun and freedom of it. 

Christmas provides lots of opportunity for giving to those with bicycles. With only a week to go to Christmas, are you still short of ideas for presents? If your giftee owns a bike, there will always be more cycling gifts to give, and of course you can feel good about the giving: it will keep them pedalling and with all the health and environmental benefits that comes with that (although do I now hear ‘Bah Humbug’?).  

You still have time to order online (just) and bike shops will be open until Christmas Eve so pop in and pick up those odd extras. 

We asked a few Cyclox members for some suggestions to add to your Christmas gift-giving (or receiving!) list. Here’s what they said:

  • “If there was one tool I would choose over all others, it is a track pump (a two-handed stand-up pump). They don’t cost that much (I have seen them for £12) and transform the job of keeping your tyres pumped up, especially if they have a pressure gauge built in.”
  • “You can never have enough lights. Have a cheap one on your bike so you are legal when you have forgotten to put your quality lights in your backpack. And invest in high quality LED lights so you can see and be seen. No harm in looking like a Christmas tree.”
  • “You need warm waterproof clothing at this time of year, and ear warmers and mittens will always be welcome.” 
  • “A lock. That festive spirit rapidly fades when you find an empty stand where you left your bike.” Remember that lock ought to be the gold standard D lock. It isn’t worth buying a cheap lock. 
  • For those real outdoor types that go out in all weathers: “Bikes get grimy in wet weather, and without mudguards, so will you! Even a basic mud catcher above the back wheel keeps your back clean and dry.” 
  • And for something truly Christmassy: “Spoke lights are festive and practical, improving your visibility in an eye-catching way. They come on automatically in the dark when your wheel goes round so no need to switch them on and off.” 

One member unashamedly suggested joining Cyclox: “Don’t forget that you can give the gift of membership to Cyclox. By joining you are adding your voice to the 600 others who want to see better cycling infrastructure in Oxford. And you get a pack with a splendid map, which helps you with route finding, and reflective stickers, plus discounts at several bike shops across the city.”

Thinking beyond a present for the bike: “The best Christmas present of all would be to have proper segregated cycle infrastructure and a normalised cycling culture in Oxford – this is what Cyclox campaigns for.”

Finally what about the gift of giving! “Winter is not the best time for bike riding. Indeed some people call themselves fair weather cyclists and put their bike into hibernation for the winter. But Christmas is a time to think of others. That child’s bike you have languishing in the shed can be donated to one of several schemes that refurbish bikes and donate them to children whose families can’t afford a bike.”

There are several brilliant projects going on in Oxfordshire which repair tired bikes and hand them on to people who want them. Get in touch with us if you have a bike (child or adult) that someone else might value and we will help find it a happy owner. 

Happy giving and the Season’s greetings!

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