Christmas – the most wonderful time of the year. Except of course for the part where you have to smile as you open up presents that don’t quite hit the mark. If you’re a cyclist then your hobby often becomes a defining theme throughout the festive season as relatives clutch with relief to the one thing they know you’ll like: cycling stuff.

But not all cycling gifts are made equal. Here are four of the worst gifts you might have received over the years and that you have already tried to hide come 26th December.

 

1- Something from the wrong discipline

As well-meaning as your friends, family, work colleagues and overly friendly neighbours might be, many do not understand that bikes and cycling disciplines are not universal. If you’re exclusively a road biking enthusiast you really don’t want to be opening up a present of brand new mountain biking paraphernalia. The helmets are different shapes for a reason. There are different shoes, different aesthetics, different gear, even different mindsets. Getting the two mixed up can lead to an unhappy wrapping.

 

2- The same thing as last year

“It’s a multi-tool.”

“Oh yeah, I can see that. Thank you.”

“Do you not like it?”

“No I do. It’s just…you got me this for Christmas last year. And in 2017 as a birthday present.”

“Oh. Well, you can never have too many can you?”

“Erm…”

 

3- A bell and a basket

There’s nothing that says ‘serious about my sport’ than a novelty bell and a large basket. It’s largely down to a huge misunderstanding of what a ‘bike’ means to different people. Your get-around-town bike that you might use to pick up supermarket essentials or the kids might actually need a new large-capacity basket and a shrill bell to ward off meandering pedestrians. Your state-of-the-art road bike that you lovingly nurture through gruelling but rewarding rides in rain, sleet, snow and sun? Less so.

 

4- Naff cycling apparel

Are you even a fan or something if you don’t have a poorly made 30% cotton t-shirt telling the world you’re ‘biksexual’, ‘cycopath’ or something alluding to a significant other being less important than your two wheels? According to certain Christmas gift-givers, you’re definitely not. Your slowly expanding collection of tongue in cheek mugs, cufflinks, t-shirts and coasters is evidence of that. Of course if you’re a female cyclist you have an extra element of jeopardy with these kind of gifts. That typically means plunging v-necks, pastel pinks and rather old fashioned sentiments shoe-horned into the one lines. Ugh.

Bad gifts are a part of Christmas, and we don’t mean to stomp on the well-meaning efforts of your in-laws, your Secret Santa, or that cousin you haven’t seen in fifteen years.

But if you’re feeling sore and misunderstood on the cycling gifts front, how about treating yourself? The Road Book 2019 covers every facet of the cycling year: the riders, the teams, the races, the stories, and the unending stream of data, all wrangled into 900+ pages and bound in a beautiful red cover. It’s the perfect antidote to the worst gifts a cyclist could be given – or a perfect gift for any cycling fan you forgot about in the annual Christmas rush.