The holiday season is upon us and Christmas (or is that CXMass?) is just a few short days away. A few months back during Interbike, we were lucky enough to check out the latest in polished, anodized and carbon gear. While that prompted us to start our CXMass list (and check it twice), once the barriers began to go up, we had to set our priorities straight: ‘Cross first, anything else that takes time, costs money or otherwise distracts us from our all-too-short season would have to settle for a distant second. That means, if you’re anything like us, you are just about to start your holiday shopping. Well, time is short but fear not, we are right there with you and we are here to help. The staff here at Cyclocross Magazine has put together a short list of stocking stuffers and gift ideas to help you get started.
Renew your own or subscribe for a friend. It makes a great gift.
While we are certain that every diehard ‘cross fan already has a subscription to Cyclocross Magazine for the newly enlightened riding buddy (or the old pro that just needs to renew), for less than just one race entry fee, you can get months of ‘cross bliss, without the suffering ($18 at cxmagazine.com) while you’re there, check for any back issues that you may have missed ($8 each).
Riding in the elements can be tough – not just on the bike, but on the body too. Mad Alchemy Embrocation satisfies the skincare needs of cyclists looking to maximize their experience on the bike. Made from all natural ingredients and packaged in recyclable/reusable containers, Mad Alchemy has a variety of “heats” and flavors to satisfy any cyclist. ($17 – $23 at madalchemy.com)
The fine guys at BBG Bashguard have created one of the toughest chain guards available. At 1/8 inch of CNC’ed aluminum, these things are worth their weight (about 55g) in gold and myrrh. Given the anodized color offerings and the price, we might just use them to decorate the office tree. ($18 at bbgbashguard.com).
As beautiful as it is functional- the Chain Keeper by Paul Components.
Let’s admit it, we all have a thing for cool CNC’ed aluminum bits. That’s why the Paul Components Chain Keeper will always be one of our favorites. If you’re running a single chainring on your ‘cross bike, use the Chain Keeper to stop your chain from flying off when bunny-hopping barriers. ($52 at paulcomp.com)
If you’re not bunny-hopping barriers, then you are probably either racing home from work or rushing to get your ride in before dark. Either way, this time of year the sun seems to hit the horizon faster than a receding Katie Compton! Keep yourself prepared with the Beamer 1 light Set from Planet Bike. The new eXtreme LEDs are 4X brighter and last up to 100 hours. ($35 at planetbike.com)
While the cheers and excitement of ‘Cross Nationals are still ringing in our ears, we’ve already started to miss the fun. Thankfully we found these books and DVDs. Now you can re-live the season on the trainer or on the couch.
Beer.Cupcake.Mustache – This book from Pedal Power Photography is an illustrated exploration of human nature in the most demanding and yet the most fun cycling discipline. The book contains interviews and b/w photographs of 50 cyclocross racers and is sure to become a favorite. ($28 at pedalpowerphotography.com)
Dirty Pictures Volume 1 – Get dirty with pictures of the cyclocross bicycle racing world as it plays out in the Portland, Oregon, area. A selection of 160 gritty, poetic, outrageous black and white photographs. ($63 from pdxcross.com)
The 9 Ball Diaries – Follow newly re-crowned National Champion, Tim Johnson, as he tackles the North American cyclocross circuit, kicking it all off under the lights in Las Vegas. Then watch as he battles through the rain and mud of the grueling USGP series, eventually claiming the 2007 National Championship title on a brutal, frozen course in Kansas City. ($25 at cyclocrossworld.com)
CrossNatz – Speaking of Nationals, from the magicians that brought you Transition and Transition 2 comes this retrospective of the most important single day of racing in the US. Great footage and interviews from the top racers over the past few years. Guaranteed to keep you motivated until the 2010 National Championships. ($20 at cyclofile.com)
Show the world where you get your 'Cross news and information.
Sure, frites are a staple of ‘Cross racing around the world but on a cold, winter morning the smell of deep-fried potatoes and mayonnaise isn’t going to get us to throw a leg over the bike. For that we need a good cup of coffee. While you’re waiting for the caffeine to kick in, remind yourself why you’re getting dressed to ride with one of our own Cyclocross Magazine coffee mugs. Choose any one of seven designs. ($13 at cafepress.com/cxmagazine)
For the most ardent ‘Cross fan, a custom engraved cowbell is the only way to say ‘hup-hup’! ($23 – $185 at cowbell.com)
Outlaw Earth messengers bags are created with materials that are lightweight yet have rugged durability and superior strength. That’s just one reason that we like the Vigilante bag. The fine folks at O.E. also happen to be just about as fanatical about ‘Cross as we are and that makes them tops in our book. ($95 at outlawearth.com)
If you’re a regular reader you may have seen this in our product review a while back. The Dry Guy Widebody shoe warmer/dryer is the gift that we can’t figure out how we did without. While maybe a bit too big for a “stocking stuffer,” your feet (and your family) will thank you for drying out and de-funkifying your shoes after a weekend in the mud. ($89 from dryguy.net)
Lastly, for the die-hard among us, the ‘Cross season isn’t over yet. Who wouldn’t love a trip to the Lone Star CX Festival in Austin, TX? A full weekend of racing in sunny Texas on Jan 16 and 17, 2010 – that still gives you just about enough time to ride off those hefty holiday meals. If the beach is more your style, try the 3rd annual Miami Cyclocross. Miami Vice style! Sat and Sun Jan 9 and 10, only 20 min from South Beach, with all the glamor, mud and waffles we can muster. (priceless, from lonestarcyclocross.com or www.active.com/cycling/miami-fl/3rd-anual-miami-cyclocross-race-2010).