Tuesday, December 13, 2011


“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” And, it started beginning to look a lot like Christmas in our local department stores a couple of weeks before Columbus Day!  Can you believe that? Of course, the rage this year is LED lights. I noticed that there are even places that will take your old fashioned lights in on trade. In fact, I think I even saw a few “Rent to Own” LED light stores popping up here and there. In my neck of the woods, I had neighbors putting up their Christmas tree the day before Halloween. Good grief – I just got all my boxes of Christmas decorations put back up in the attic on Labor Day weekend!

But we’re not here to talk about Christmas trees, or decorations or Christmas lights – LED or otherwise. This a cycling article. We’re here to talk about cycling and, as always at this time of year, what to give your cyclist significant other. Yes, it’s time to dip into the old mailbag once again and review a sampling of the thousands of letters and emails that pour in throughout the year by perplexed spouses, partners, family members, etc. – all wanting to know what unique gift they can find to provide their cycling other-half with the best Christmas ever.  So, without further ado…

Dear Bertha
I know everyone always says this to you, but my husband is a cycling nut and he has absolutely everything that one can possibly imagine for his bicycle and more cycling apparel than even fits in our closet.  I don’t even know why I’m writing to you about this – I’ve pretty much just made up my mind that I’m going to go buy him a gold watch or a diamond ring this year. But, I thought maybe you just might have an idea of a unique cycling gift that I haven’t heard of yet.  
Hunting for Ideas in St Albans, West Virginia

Dear Hunting –
Believe me, no cyclist wants gold watches or diamond rings. Whether they are a man or woman, those kinds of frivolous baubles just don’t mean a thing to a die-hard cyclist. Trust me on this. I notice that you live in West Virginia – near Charleston. There’s probably a lot of tobacco farms in your area so there’s a good chance that your husband smokes (whether he tells you he does or not). The cycling accessory that is all the rage this year is the handlebar mounted ash tray. It comes in three basic colors: blue, red, and green. They are also available with the logo of your favorite beer emblazoned on each side.  Believe me, in this day and age when more and more cyclists are becoming self-conscious about just tossing their cigarette butts to the side of the road as they ride, these handlebar ashtrays are a true sign of a cyclist who really cares. I don’t think you can go wrong with this gift.

Dear Bertha
I know everyone always writes in and tells you that their girlfriend is a cycling nut and that she has everything imaginable in the way of cycling stuff. I was one of those people last year. I wrote in to you and told you that I was thinking about just getting her a vacuum cleaner because I couldn’t think of any cycling gift to give her. I don’t remember exactly what lame cycling gift you suggested, but I pretty much ignored you and got her the vacuum cleaner instead.  Well, let me tell you, spending the first three months of the year in the hospital was no picnic for me. As you predicted, the first chance she got, she used the vacuum cleaner to try and suck my brains out through my ear after I had fallen asleep on the couch while watching the football game.  This year, I promise I will pay attention to your suggestions.
Learned My Lesson in East Leroy, Michigan

Dear Lesson Learned –
You just can’t believe how it does my heart good to read letters like this. So many men think they know what is best when it comes to giving their wives and girlfriends meaningful gifts. I’m truly sorry that you ignored my suggestions last year. But hey – it’s a new year. Trust me. This year, I suggest that you give your girlfriend a new garbage disposal.

Dear Bertha
I know everyone always says this to you, but my husband is a cycling nut and there is absolutely not one thing that he doesn’t have – and at least two of, at that. I even got him the new handlebar ashtray for his birthday last August! Please, please, please – I’ve looked at every cycling catalogue and on every cycling website and there is nothing that he doesn’t already have.  I desperately need to find him the most unique cycling gift.
At Wits End in Eddyville, Oregon

Dear Witless –
You are so in luck! I just got an email today from this company that will make – are you ready for this? – a life-sized statue of your cycling nut loved one. Can you believe that? What greater honor can you give your husband? Imagine it – right there in your living room, or den, or on the back patio, or wherever – your husband and his bicycle, immortalized in resin and in full color wearing his favorite cycling kit. (Black and White versions are also available but for some silly reason, they are about 5% higher in price.) Let me tell you about the beauty of how this works. They put your husband and his bicycle in this huge vat about three feet wide, seven feet long and seven feet high. Then, when he is in his favorite cycling position, they insert a tube into each of his nostrils and attach them to an oxygen machine. Next, they fill the vat to the brim with some gooey, yellow substance. The gooey substance turns white as it hardens to make the mold for the final sculpture. Now, none of this is really all that important. What is important is that it takes about 48 hours for this stuff to harden to the point that they can break your husband out of the mold. This is more than enough time for you to go and do whatever the heck you please! Hey, what he doesn’t know what hurt him, right? Plus, this should more than make up for the fact that he bought you a vacuum cleaner for Christmas last year!

Well my cycling friends, surely by now this wraps up our gift-giving ideas for this holiday season.

Enjoy the ride!

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