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Women's Corner - December 2017

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Holiday Gift guide for Your Favorite Women Bicyclist (FWB)

by Deborah Turton

As the holiday season begins, you may be wondering what to bestow upon your FWB. I can help. You should keep the following caveats in mind.

1. Gift at your own risk. Some of us FWBs are awfully picky about our kit, gear, and tools. If your FWB is like this, I suggest gift cards.

2. Women’s sizes are incomprehensible. Check out the manufacturer and size of her most recent favorite jersey and use that as a baseline. Save the receipt.

3. Of course, many of these gift ideas can be used for either gender. Keep in mind that just because she’s a she, she doesn’t necessarily want everything in pink, turquoise and lilac. Don’t fall for the ‘shrink and pink’ mentality when buying for women. Buy quality in whatever color she wants.

The Women and Bicycles committee is all about increasing the number of women cyclists. One way to do this is to start young. Is your favorite girl just learning to walk? There’s a bike for her. There are lots of fun and crazy bicycle helmets for kids. And there’s a group to bike with her: Kidical Mass. As she ages, there are more bikes for her. And don’t forget the tools so she can learn to fix her own bike. If you don’t know a girl that needs a bike, you can support one with a donation to Phoenix Bikes in the name of your FWB.

When your FWB goes out on the road, there are some nice safety products for her. The Take Your Lane Flag will stay perpendicular to her bike to encourage people in cars to give her more room.  The Hornit Horn and the Loud Bicycle Horn can be really helpful for riding anywhere. Their loud noise can cut through all the noise in a car and make a person pay attention. Monkey Lights make her visible at night while allowing her to express her artistic side. Or the discount version from Amazon. In case something goes wrong, it’s a good idea to have a bike camera like the Fly6 or the Hexagon. These cameras record video of what happened right before, during and after a crash. Here’s hoping she never needs one. Don’t forget the Road ID. It’s a way for your FWB to let people know important information when she’s not able to. And again, here’s hoping she never needs it.

After she (safely) returns home, she can store her bike with this wall mounted bike holder or this vertical rack. Or you could check out this article for a variety of ways to store her bike. Or this article to make her bike hang like a work of art. Personally, I think all of my bikes are works of art and deserve an artistic hanging. Except I’d have to keep my bicycles a little cleaner than I do now. The multiple bicycle racks are great for those of us with more than one bike.

I’ve been bitten by the crafting bug this year. Of course, I want to include bicycling in my projects. If you’d like to include bicycles in your crafting endeavors, try to avoid going down the bright shiny maw of Pinterest. It will suck up all the time you could spend with your FWB, thereby destroying any relationship you have with your FWB. So skip the Pinterest sites and dig a little deeper to find fun and amazing creations from bicycle parts. A good place to start is Recyclart. You can create moving walls, dream catchers or bike racks for your FWB.  You can also build useful products like wheelchairs. You can make holiday creations for her. Her old bicycle can grace her garden or the house. If she’s the crafty one and you’re all thumbs, head to the junkyard for used parts for her. If you have used bike parts that are no longer usable, here’s a guide on how to hand them off so others can create with them.

If neither one of you is crafty, but your FWB still likes interesting art from bicycle parts, there are many options. You can purchase upcycled bicycle parts like these Felvarrom creations. Or these works of art from local artist, Houkje Ross. Lots of jewelry is made from old bike parts such as these pieces from KatiesBike or this bracelet. You can buy objects for the house like this bowl or clock. If you search hard enough, you can probably find anything you want made from upcycled bicycle parts.

Finally, you can also go for the traditional: clothes. There are funky jerseys. You FWB might want an electric heated jacket. That sounds wonderful to me. Plus, you can plug your mittens into the jacket. If an electric jacket is too fancy for your FWB, there are lots of warm or stylish or reflective jackets for her. Personally, when the temperature is cold, I would rather be warm than stylish. For her hands there are bar mitts, waterproof mittens, combination gloves, and plain old warm gloves. Never underestimate how much warm hands can make your FWB happy.

If cooking for your FWB is your style, I recommend getting lost at the Bicycle Gift Hub. You can set the mood with candles lit by bicycle matches and opening some beers with a bicycling bottle opener. Then you can cook her a meal dressed in a bicycling apron, using bicycle pasta or pizza pulled out of the oven with bicycle oven mitts cut with a bicycle pizza cutter and serve it on a bicycling plate next to a bicycling napkin with that beer in a bicycling glass on the side. Finish off the meal with some homemade bicycling cookies. Then clean up using bicycle dish towels.

Remember to spend time with your FWB on or off the bicycle. Support her biking in whatever form it takes. That should go a long way towards keeping her happy. And isn’t that what we all want for our FWBS? Keeping her happy.

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