I assume it’s fairly obvious, from just about every conversation I ever have, that cycling is what I’m interested in (to the exclusion of just about everything else I can get away with excluding). Even my wife might struggle to come up with three or four other genuine interests which aren’t related to life on two wheels.
I’m almost a parody of a cycling fan, so one-dimensional is my range of interests.
So if someone was moved to buy me a Christmas present it would make sense to stick to the cycling theme. If I were getting myself a present I would struggle to buy something non-cycling related that wouldn’t cause me to shrug with indifference, so where would anyone else start?
But as Christmas day approaches – and I don’t mean to sound ungrateful here – I can see presents under the tree of a suspicious shape and size? Why do I get the feeling that there might be clothing in there which isn’t bike specific, and food which isn’t sports nutrition, and books which make no mention whatsoever of heart rate, VO2 Max, or cadence?
I know my friends and family love me but they’ve got a funny way of showing it.
Don’t get the wrong idea; I’m not suggesting people buy me presents, and I don’t have some grasping need to accumulate new stuff in the annual consume-a-thon that we call Christmas, I’m just trying to make this a simple and happy process for everyone. If you’re spending £50 on me anyway, why not make it a Café du Cycliste base layer or a This-is-Cambridge winter casquette ?
My Christmas wish list begins at a (somewhat ambitious) Wilier Zero 7 (£4,000) and works its way through POC sunglasses (£200) and Chpt. iii short sleeved jersey (£190 – still ambitious) and goes all the way down to Arundel Bottle Cage (£40), and the truly functional but undoubtedly delicious Torq rhubarb and custard flavoured energy gel (£1.80 each – more realistic).
There’s something for everyone’s budget.
I had pictured myself sitting down to Christmas dinner this year in my festive Castelli Gabba (£110) and Isadore Neck Warmer (£20) opening the wine with my Campagnolo corkscrew (£170), and drinking after dinner coffee from my Rapha espresso cups (£40).
I fear this may be a pipe dream.
Sure, I probably wouldn’t really be making full use of the wind and water resistant properties of a Castelli Gabba whilst eating my Christmas dinner, and I don’t really need the mechanical precision of a Campagnolo corkscrew to open my bottle of Christmas Mont Ventoux red (£7.50), but we’re talking about an ideal world here.
(Just to be clear, I have no need whatsoever of a Shimano corkscrew. Or SRAM, obviously.)
But on reflection, in the cold light of day, I think I know exactly why people spend their hard earned money on things which have no cycling specific application. It is often pointed out that if I want something cycling related then I just buy it anyway (within reason), so maybe buying me presents isn’t easy after all.
We’ll both stand there as I unwrap it and my face will drop ever so slightly because it will be a good effort, but not quite right. I’ll be disappointed, and you’ll think I’m ungrateful, and you’ll decide right there on the spot to just go back to buying me alcohol and be done with it
You know what, just give me an envelope of cash and I’ll do the leg work.