I’m not really a Christmas guy, and I don’t care much for New Years either. Thanksgiving is more my speed, gratitude, family, friends, cooking, the smell of wood smoke, and near perfect riding weather. Christmas is a project I don’t need at a busy enough time of year. As the son of a Welsh farmer, I abhor the conspicuous consumption of it. New Year’s Eve is actually my birthday…and I don’t drink…so that gets complicated and anti-climactic and too busy, too.
But there’s no use living in denial. Christmas is upon us. The frenzy of acquisition approaches fever pitch. Stockings are hung by the chimney, albeit haphazardly, and my boys are dreaming of Xbox games and new skateboards. Among like-minded loved ones I have reached an understanding that we will not be exchanging gifts, but will very much be looking forward to spending some time together.
My curmudgeonliness is a struggle for my wife and kids. I have some very serious passions, e.g. cycling, but I also only want very specific things, and none of them has the experience to know what those are, nor do they have access to the industry discounts I have. Also, I already have too much cycling stuff, which is a blessing for which I am not short of gratitude (see: Favorite Holidays, Thanksgiving).
Nonetheless they ask, “what do you want for Christmas?” And I say, “nothing,” or “whatever you want to get me,” or some other series of unhelpful mumbling.
The stuff-of-the-minute on Planet Bike is actually pretty exciting. Cycling clothing is getting better and better. The traditional companies have all upped their games, and there is a sea of niche producers now that have piggy-backed on Rapha’s original idea with stuff that won’t leave you looking like a rolling billboard. Cycling computers are better and better. No one gets tires for Christmas, but I actually think tires are great right now. Frame bags have proliferated in quantity and quality, too.
So, this week’s Group Ride asks, what’s on your list? Are you getting cycling stuff for people? If so, what? And if you’ve asked for something for yourself, what is that? Or are you like me, too particular to buy for, and too jaded to ask for it anyway?