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  • Gear Up for Giving: Top Gifts for Year-Round Cyclists

    As the holiday season approaches, the search for the perfect gift is on! For the avid cyclist in your life, whether they brave the winter chill or enjoy sunny rides year-round, thoughtful gear can make all the difference.

    1. Insulated Gloves:

    A great pair of insulated gloves is more than just an accessory – it's a winter cycling essential. Cold hands can quickly turn a ride from enjoyable to uncomfortable. Look for gloves that offer both warmth and dexterity, allowing your cyclist to handle gear shifts and brakes with ease, even in the chilliest temperatures.

    2. Enhanced Visibility Gear:

    Safety on the road is paramount, especially during darker winter months. Consider gifting a high-visibility cycling jacket or a separate visibility vest that can be added to their existing winter jacket. These additions ensure they stay visible to motorists, promoting a safer commute. Choosing gear with reflective elements adds an extra layer of safety during low-light conditions.

    3. Compact Multi-Tool for On-the-Go Repairs:

    Every cyclist knows the importance of being prepared for unexpected repairs. A compact multi-tool is a practical and thoughtful gift, allowing your cycling enthusiast to make quick adjustments or repairs on the go. Look for a tool that includes essential functions like screwdrivers, wrenches, and tire levers – a handy companion for any cyclist's journey.

    4. Winter-Specific Bike Tires:

    For the cyclist who doesn't let winter weather dictate their rides, consider winter-specific bike tires. These tires are designed to provide better traction on icy or wet surfaces, ensuring a more stable and secure ride. It's a gift that speaks to both practicality and a passion for year-round cycling.

    5. Fenders and Mudguards:

    Help your cyclist stay clean and dry during winter rides by equipping their bike with reliable fenders and mudguards. Designed to shield against slush, mud, and water splashes, these accessories not only enhance the bike's longevity but also ensure a more enjoyable ride. Look for easy-to-install options compatible with various bike types, providing comprehensive coverage and protection from the winter elements. With fenders and mudguards, your cyclist can pedal through winter landscapes without having a black line running all the way up their back!

    6. Cycling Headlights and Taillights:

    Enhance your cyclist's visibility during the darker winter evenings with powerful headlights and taillights. Opt for rechargeable or long-lasting battery-powered lights to keep their path well-lit and ensure they're noticed by others on the road.

    7. Merino Wool Base Layers:

    A cozy and moisture-wicking base layer can make a significant difference in maintaining comfort during winter rides. Merino wool offers excellent insulation while effectively managing sweat, keeping your cyclist warm without feeling overheated.

    8. Balaclava or Neck Gaiter:

    Protecting the face and neck from biting winds is crucial in winter cycling. A versatile balaclava or neck gaiter provides warmth and can be adjusted to cover various parts of the face, ensuring a comfortable and snug fit.

    9. Handlebar Mittens:

    For added warmth and protection against the cold wind, consider handlebar mittens. These attach to the handlebars and provide a cozy space for the hands, allowing your cyclist to ride comfortably in colder temperatures.

    10. Smartphone Mount:

    Help your cyclist stay connected and navigate with ease by gifting a durable smartphone mount. Whether they use GPS for navigation or want to capture moments on their ride, a secure mount is a practical and appreciated accessory.

    11. Progress Tracking App:

    For a budget-friendly gift, make a personalized gift certificate for a progress-tracking app. These apps monitor distances, ride times, and more; they are easily downloadable onto their mobile phone or another smart device. Ideal for cyclists aiming for personal records, the app adds a tech-savvy touch to their rides. It's a thoughtful way to support their fitness goals, provide motivation, and foster a sense of community by sharing milestones with fellow enthusiasts.

    As the holiday lights twinkle and the spirit of giving fills the air, there's something magical about finding the perfect gift for the cyclist in your life. Whether they're navigating snow-covered trails or enjoying the brisk winter breeze on city streets, these thoughtful gear suggestions are sure to elevate their cycling experience.

    Remember, it's not just about the item itself but the joy and thoughtfulness behind the gift. The right gear can turn a routine ride into an adventure and a chilly commute into an enjoyable memory. As you select the perfect gift, consider the unique needs and preferences of your favorite cyclist.

    Wishing you and your cycling enthusiast a season filled with warmth, safety, and the thrill of new adventures on two wheels. Happy holidays and happy cycling!

  • 3 Cycling Clubs in Calgary

    With the warmer weather coming, it is a great time to start a new outdoor activity. We obviously recommend cycling! Cycling can seem like a daunting activity to get into, plus who wants to ride alone. Lucky for you Calgary has many cycling clubs that can help you find your niche, and give you a group to ride with. Below are 3 cycling clubs in Calgary that can help you find your footing when it comes to cycling.

    Bow Cyclist Club

    Founded in 2013, Bow Cyclist Club has grown to a 250 member club with the focus of keeping the fun in cycling. Their team of ride leaders are passionate about cycling and able to accommodate many different levels of riders.

    BiciSport Cycling Club

    BiciSport was originally founded by a small group of cycling enthusiasts known as the Spokes Racing Team in 1988. In 1992, the name was changed to “BiciSport Calgary Cycling Club”. They are dedicated to promoting both a healthy lifestyle, and to supporting and promoting all levels of bicycle racing. They are a great place for junior athletes, and at the same time are keen to help all of their members reach their full potential.

    Calgary Cycling Club

    Calgary Cycling Club aims to grow the cycling community in Calgary focusing on inclusivity and connection. If you like long road rides, downhill, track, or commuting within the city this is the right group for you. They will be having all types of rides all summer long. The purpose of the group is to promote and expand the use of bicycles within and outside the city.

  • Best Cycling Podcasts

    If you’re like us and love to listen to podcasts about anything and everything (including cycling) - then you’ll want to hear some of our suggestions.  Podcasts have become a 21st century phenomenon that let anyone talk about anything they want and reach a very large audience of like-minded people. Cycling is no exception. There are tons on all things cycling that are sure to pique your interest.   

    We’ve compiled a list of the best podcasts on cycling for those who are interested in learning more about biking in general, bikes and gear, trips and routes, and everything in between.

    Hear cycling stories from all across the country and around the world right from the pros. You can also learn about bikes and gear, as well as training tips.

    CyclingTips offers the best advice, tips, and tricks, while sharing the beauty of cycling aiming to inspire all audiences.

    This incredible podcast hosted by Velo Magazine aims to bring you news about cycling, race results and reviews on the best bikes for all cycling enthusiasts.

    Brother UK offers an amazing source for everything on women’s cycling.  Meet some great riders in exclusive interviews or listen to some race reactions and analyses.

    If you’re looking for something that will make you laugh, look no further. The Slow Ride Podcast offers sarcastic and funny remarks on the world of cycling and spends a lot of time on cyclocross content for fans of the muddy sport.

    These podcasts are available on most podcast platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Anchor and more. Listen in a café, on your way to work, or with your friends!

    If you're also a book lover, check out our recommendations for books about cycling here

    Happy listening!

  • Mental Health Benefits of Cycling

    Cycling has been proven to not only improve your physical well-being – but also your mental health. Whether biking indoors or outdoors, we consistently see positive effects on your brain and body.  There are multitudes of benefits that can affect all parts of your life.

    Exposure to the outdoors has often been prescribed to combat mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Cycling outdoors is no different!  Your brain positively reacts to the influx of blood flow and nutrients and enables greater performance.  Meaning, consistent cycling in your day-to-day life keeps your brain healthy and young in your later years.

    Studies conducted on cycling have shown these are just some of the mental health benefits people experience:

    -Decreases in depression and anxiety

    -Greater well-being and relaxation

    -Enhanced creative thinking

    -Improved memory

    -Improved moods

    -Better sleep

    Additionally, you can reap the social perks of this hobby by meeting like-minded people who also greatly enjoy cycling.  There are endless ways to connect to these groups: many are on social media like Facebook and Instagram, or even on cycling apps like Zwift and Strava.      

    It is often recommended to cycle for about 30-60 minutes at a steady pace three to five times a week to enjoy those benefits.  This can be done on your way to work, around your neighbourhood, or anywhere else you like to bike. During the winter months, this can be especially challenging, but even getting on a stationary bike helps with your well-being and mental health.

    So, next time you’re thinking of commuting to work or wanting to get outside, grab your bike (and helmet) and see the benefits for yourself!

  • All About E-Bikes

    Go to Google and search e-bike reviews and one of the first sites that comes up is the well done, or EBR.

    This information source provides unbiased reviews of all sorts of electric bikes available on the market. It is run by Vancouverite Court Rye.

    Court is an energetic and knowledgeable e-bike reviewer who has a genuine interest in the environment, health and his community. His background was that he was in product management and did a lot of cycling to and from work. However, he had some previous skiing and surfing injuries, and found the summer heat made it difficult to get to work and still look fresh. That is how he discovered e-bikes.

    He bought his first e-bike online, not knowing anything about the technology, weight distribution or power sources. He loved that bike, but it was still heavy and awkward for his needs. He transferred his interest from the corporate world to the e-bike world.

    Court now operates his website out of Vancouver, BC. He told me he “loves the local biking community” and enjoys the diversity of British Columbia. He independently reviews all sorts of e-bikes through a detailed summary, photo album and video. He offers viewers tips on best affordable e-bikes, best electric fat bikes, best electric mountain bikes and several other categories.

    If you want to learn more about e-bikes, and especially if you are looking to get into one given the advanced technology now available, EBR is for you. Check out the excellent reviews and information.

    Written by Lonny Balbi.