A Plea For Votation from Fatty: As you know, I am an extremely vain man. I have purchased a special high-optic mirror, constructed for its perfect reflection, so that I can see exactly how handsome I am as I stare in that (very expensive) mirror for hours. I go to only the finest salons to have my hair styled. I wear the fanciest clothing REI has to offer.
I shave my legs twice per day.
This kind of vanity doesn’t feed itself. Well, actually it kinda does to an extent, but work with me here, because I’m leading up to a point:
My vanity must be fueled.
By awards. Lots and lots of awards. Acknowledgement that I am not merely awesome, but somehow more awesome than other bloggers. And I cannot do this without you.
It’s absurdly easy to do. Click here to go to the voting page on the site, scroll down to the voting widget, select my blog, and then click the “Cast Your Vote” button.
No registration, captcha nonsense, or anything like that. Easy as pie. And you’ll be able to sleep easy tonight, knowing you’ve done your part to sate the ravenous beast that is my vanity.
For the moment.
What It’s Not Too Late to Put in a Cyclist’s Stocking
Each year, I put together a list of stuff cyclists might like to get as Christmas presents. Ordinarily, I publish this list in plenty of time for you to order online, browse your local bike shops, and otherwise comparison shop.
This time it didn’t work out that way. I’ve been kinda sorta preoccupied with that little “Win a Whole Truckload of Awesomeness and Send Me to Team RadioShack” saga.
But you know what? I think that’s a good thing. Because I’m guessing there are a few of you who haven’t bought gifts for the cyclist in your life. And by “cyclist in your life,” I am of course including yourself.
This year, we’re going to focus on small things — stuff that fits in a stocking. And since it’s a little late to do mail order, we’re also going to keep it down to things that can be bought at your Local Bike Shop.
And they deserve and need your business anyways.
So let’s get started.
- Tubes: This is one gift you absolutely positively will get used. I love having a stack of five or six tubes in the garage, so I don’t have to go shopping for tubes anytime I get a flat. Make sure you get the right size of tube. If you know the kind of bike the stocking recipient has and what kind of riding s/he does, a bike shop guy will be able to help you get the right kind of tube.
- A good bottle: Every cyclist has a near-infinite number of bottles, but that’s not the same as having good bottles. Buy your cyclist some Camelbak Podium bottles. If they don’t mind getting an IOU in their stocking, maybe you should order some with the Fat Cyclist logo on them. Just a thought.
- A replacement Camelbak bladder: If your cyclist rides with a Camelbak, does so frequently, and puts a sports drink in it, chances are s/he’s got some gunk in the bladder. Keeping the bladder clean helps, but that tube’s just going to get nasty eventually, no matter what. So buy a replacement bladder. There are lots of sizes and kinds, so sneak the current bladder to the store with you so you can get a replacement that matches.
- Socks: Here’s an interesting fact: most cyclists like cycling socks so much — they really are comfortable — that they wear them even when off the bike. Smartwool socks are especially awesome. And once again, I’d like to throw the IOU idea out there and suggest getting them some Fat Cyclist socks.
- Shoe covers: Cycling shoe covers turn a miserable cold ride into a very nice ride. The thing is, they wear out. So even if your cyclist has some, if s/he’s had them for a few years, chances are they’re falling apart. Get some new ones.
- Gloves: Here’s another thing that every cyclist already has, but which every cyclist can always use more of. I’m a big fan of Specialized gloves. The Body Geometry thing is no mere marketing ploy.
- Energy bars / gels / chews: Instead of chocolate, fill the stocking with food your cyclist can use on the bike. I’m currently really digging ProBars. I also love Clif Shot Bloks.
- Lube: Every cyclist goes through it and will always need more. If your cyclist is already committed to a particular lube, make sure you get that kind — most cyclists don’t like to hop around from lube to lube. It’s a superstition, I think. For myself, I’m currently using and loving Rock N Roll Extreme Lube. Because I’m extreme, that’s why.
- A multitool: If your cyclist doesn’t have a multitool, s/he needs one. Be sure to ask the guy at the bike shop for one with a chain tool.
- A box full of sandwich bags: This may be a weird-sounding one, but I love having a box of sandwich bags in my garage. Before I go out on a ride, I put my phone in the bag, so it doesn’t get sweat, grime, and other miscellaneous crud on it during the ride.
- A gift certificate to your LBS: You’re supporting your local guys, and you can have perfect confidence that your present will be used.
- Rags: Cut up a few old cotton t-shirts, and make a present out of them to your cyclist, for bike cleaning and chain lubing. It’s a free gift, and incredibly useful. I guarantee this gift will be appreciated.
And when your cyclist compliments you on your awesome stocking-stuffer prowess, please take all the credit for yourself. That’s my gift to you.