Here in Nashville, it’s back to our regularly scheduled programming. Still cold and wintry, but the snow is all gone, so I’ve been able to ride again. The Bat was even talked into posing for a few photos to show off her new accessories — which my brother brought back from Amsterdam as a Christmas present.
I’m still very jealous that he got to Amsterdam first, but these new “On the Road” panniers went a long way toward making me feel better about it. They can carry a lot and fit perfectly on the rack. Great for grocery shopping.
Only problem is, they have to be buckled on and off the rack, which takes time (especially with cold fingers) and I don’t like to leave them on overnight, so I haven’t used them as much as I’d like to. Anyone have ideas for securing them to the bike? I know the canvas could always be cut, but I thought a thin cable lock or chain might be a deterrent — the kind of secondary lock people put on saddles.
One of these is carrying a little more than the other!
My other gift was a “brrring” bicycle bell, which my camera utterly refuses to photograph. Which meant googling “fietsbellen” to find a photo of one just like it! After going through 9 pages of results (those Dutch have a lot of different bicycle bells!) it finally turned up.
image courtesy of dag.nl
Mine is minus the battle scars, but I love the Dutch crown emblem. It looks great on the Bat, and is a big improvement over the stock bell that came on the bike.
Week one of our Bike Lover’s Gift Guide highlighted fun and beautiful handcrafts available on Etsy. For week two we are shifting our focus to gifts that give back to the bicycling community.
Life-Changing Bikes – Gift a bike in honor of someone you love via World Bicycle Relief. The Bicycles for Educational Empowerment program aims to give 50,000 bicycles to school children in rural Zambia – 70% of whom are girls – to enable the children to travel to and from school more easily. The cost is $134 per bicycle, which includes shipping and assembling the bike, as well as paying for a trained bike mechanic for each school. Any donation amount is welcome.
Local Bike Advocacy – Give the gift of membership to your local bike advocacy organization. In Chicago the Active Transportation Alliance works to create better conditions for bicyclists, pedestrians and public transit users. Membership is inexpensive and includes lots of discounts at retailers across the city, several membership events and a newsletter.
Bicycle Cooperatives – Give the gift of community. Examples include gift memberships at co-ops like Bici Co-op in Birmingham and used bicycles for purchase at Bikes Not Bombs in Boston and Working Bikes Cooperative in Chicago. Your community may have a bicycle cooperative you could support in some way through your holiday gift-giving.
The Open Road – Give the gift of adventure. A gift membership for the Adventure Cycling Association includes a subscription to Adventure Cycling Magazine, discounts on route maps and affiliate benefits, and if you join or renew for yourself now, you can give a holiday gift membership for half off. If you really want to go all out, you could give someone an amazing cycling tour.
Magazine Subscription – Momentum, The Magazine for Self-Propelled People, is distributed free in several cities across North America. Gift subscriptions are super affordable and help support this first-class publication.
Organized Rides – Give the gift of a fun day together. Many rides support bicycling or other environmental causes. If you find a ride you like in another city, make a whole weekend vacation of it. This ride along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront benefits Climate Cycle. The annual ride is scheduled for May 14, 2010 and cyclists select from a 4, 10, 20 or 62-mile course. Proceeds go to installing solar energy in Chicago public schools, which currently pay more for energy costs than books and computers combined.
If you have any other ideas or know of a worthy bicycling cause, please share in the comments!
Confession: Internet shopping is one of my favorite pastimes. I know it’s not right, but somehow filling a virtual shopping cart with crap I don’t need and then closing the window at the last moment, without checking out, is just as therapeutic as actually making the purchase.
Know what else is therapeutic? Passing the finds on to someone else. In that spirit, and because it is the season of gift-giving, we will be sharing some of our favorite bikey finds with you over the next few Saturdays. First up are some items from one of the places I find near impossible to resist: Etsy.com. If you haven’t heard, Etsy is a fabulous online marketplace where people (like our friends at cyclemumbreeze!) sell handmade or vintage goods. All of these unique gifts are under $50, by the way.