Less than a week until Christmas, and derailed by the shock of Kim Jong-Il's death, I'll understand if you haven't bought that definitive, perfect present for the female cyclist in your life. Be it wife, girlfriend, mother, sister, or friend, here's a quick list [you're extra lucky if you're in Japan for some of these items] for the last-minute shopper...
If she trains through the winter...
Pearl Izumi Battery-Operated Heated Gloves and Booties
Available in Japan, these battery-operated lobster-claw gloves and booties are Pearl Izumi's latest winter product. Heating panels keep fingers and toes cozy enough and there are three levels of warmth you can choose from. Gloves and booties cost 15,540yen apiece, but if your giftee rides hard through the winter, these just might be worth the hefty price tag.
Craft Zero Extreme Women's Base Layer
Gifted a Craft base layer last Christmas, I am not embarrassed to say that I lived in it for the duration of an extremely cold, Boston winter [is that redundant?]. The new Zero Extreme looks even warmer and more comfortable. Being machine-washable doesn't hurt either...because who wants to hand-wash yet another item after a cold ride?
Sufferfest Training Video
Because sometimes a girl just wants to stay inside. And do intervals. You know?
If she likes to ride in the city...
Nantucket Bike Baskets
Gorgeous and adorable, I would happily buy a city bike just to get one of these baskets. I'm partial to the Jetties collection, which allows you to release the basket [which comes with a handle!] and stroll through a farmer's market in style.
Outlier 6-foot Scarf
What casual bike outfit is complete without an Outlier item? The long, merino scarf by the masterminds behind this awesome brand combines light-weight comfort and colors to lust after. One look and you'll want one in each color for yourself, too.
Pearl Izumi City Ride Winter Gloves
When I first saw these gloves, I imagined them curled around mustache bars on a stately yet simple city bike. Casual enough to be deceptive, but functional enough to keep digits comfortable, I wish I had had these instead of my leather, cashmere-lined gloves which I half destroyed by using them as riding gloves last winter. [Available only in Japan.]
And if you're looking to splurge...
Garmin Edge 800 GPS
It seems everyone has one of these, and for good reason. If the cyclist in your life loves to discover new rides but has a tendency to get woefully lost, this just may be the ultimate gift. With a waterproof screen and the ability to conjure up a phantom rider to ride at your "goal parameters," the only thing this doesn't do is tell you to stop for good coffee. But you already knew how to do that, right?
Have a great Christmas, guys!