Categories: Travel Tips
The Perfect Gift(s)by ExperiencePlus! - Thursday, December 3, 2015
Bicycle gear for warm weather or cold weather and more. Suggestions from our staff and tour leaders for the cyclists and non-cyclists in your life.
The Price Family
Gift for 4-9 year olds: We recently found a new bicycle trailer called the Weehoo! This trailer allows your child to pedal along with you and unlike a tag-a-long ensures that they won’t fall off. We tried it on a week long vacation in Austria this summer—for our 3 year old it was a bit early as she tired of pedaling pretty quickly and it was less comfortable than our traditional Chariot Cougar for napping. However, the concept is great, and when we tried it with a 7 year old whose bike had broken down, you could really feel the pedal assistance (with the three year old, it was like pulling a trailer, not much help for the 8 km she biked!)
As it is very new to market there are some engineering details that will need to improve over time, such as streamlining how you lengthen the reach for different sized children, or the comfort of the actual seat. But overall, a great find for adventurous young’uns out there!
Maria Elena Malpezzi-Price – Co-owner
For the last several years our family has worked hared to minimize the number of things we buy each other over the holidays. Most of us stick to the agreement although admittedly some of us still do end up giving in to the desire to give a wrapped present. The one person who has fully committed to our “less stuff initiative” is my mother and she has done a great job every year of donating in our names to a variety of non-profits. Here are a few of the organizations we have supported in the past and who are known to do good work wherever they are helping.
- Save the Children
- Heifer International
- Shelterbox: currently helping with the refugee crisis in providing food and shelter
Paola Malpezzi Price – Founder
I suggest ear bags! Great under the helmet to keep ears warm. You don’t need a hat, unless it is really cold.
Rick Price – Founder
Everyone in the family should have bike lights that work. I still like the NiteRider Lumina series for the front headlight. You can buy different strengths of lights from 350 to 750 lumens. They have quick hand mounts that don’t require tools to take them on or off the bike and they cost around $100. A number of rear lights do a great job, including those by Cygolite and Portland Design Works.
Nadine Dirksen – Bicycle and Travel Support Architect
No question here! My latest addition to my wardrobe that I eyeballed for at least one and a half years! Meet the Patagonia Better Sweater. Endlessly versatile, snuggly warm, easy to wash and dry and goes with me from gym to trailhead to office to dinner. It will also be my key piece when I go to Europe in December. My new best friend indeed!
Julie Horton – Purveyor of Cycling Vacations
Clothing by Club Ride. Some of you may remember my review of Club Ride’s Jewel cycling underwear a few months ago. Since then I’ve tried a number of their other products and have been delighted. For those of us who prefer cycling wear that doesn’t look like cycling wear Club Ride is the answer. They have casual cycling clothing options with high tech qualities like reflective accents, and cunningly placed pockets. Much to my cycling friend’s amazement I wore my Shift Jeans (yes jeans!) on the last Monday night ride of the season. The transition between the 25 mile ride and dinner out was seamless (literally!). Were they jealous? You bet!
Joeann Gutowski – Business Manager
A gift that fits all sizes and ages – invite someone to enjoy the out-of-doors! It really does not matter if it is a neighborhood stroll, a bike ride, a swim, a swing in the park, a rugged hike, or a drive to a favorite overlook. The options are nearly limitless and they offer great health benefits. So grab your favorite someone(s) and head outside and smile through the holiday season. And, bonus points in my book if you catch a sunrise and sunset!
Erik Lunde – Marketing Director
For Christmas, my Norse ancestors traditionally gave a feast of rotten fish soaked in lye (Lutefisk) to their closest family and friends. While I am a man of tradition and still eat my annual ancestral feast of rotten fish on Christmas Eve, I do prefer giving gifts of two of the best things to ever come out of Norway: Lefse, the most wonderful and portable source of potato-based carbohydrates ever known, and Dales of Norway Sweaters, which make for the warmest, sportiest and sexiest woolen cold-weather cycling top on the market.
So if you’d like to eat and bike like a Viking on two wheels this holiday season, buy a package of real almost homemade Lefse and shop now for your Dale’s of Norway sweater . Once these two wonderful gifts arrive, slather a few Lefse in real butter, pour raw sugar over the butter, roll them up, stash them somewhere handy, then put on your Dale’s of Norway sweater, (and some other cycling clothes), and head out into the snow for a real Norse ride! Uff Da!
Staff at our headquarters in Italy:
John Giebler – Director of Tours
Whether it’s for taking beautiful nighttime shots, mastering razor-sharp images, or getting in the picture yourself, a tripod is many a photographer’s best friend. But who has room for a tripod on the back of their bike? You do, if you pick up a Joby Gorillapod. They come in different sizes that work for phones, compact cameras, or even full DSLRs.
Igor Baccini – Bike Fleet and Logistics Manager
If you, like me, want to cycle no matter the weather but you hate those shoe covers that make you look like a penguin, consider these great socks made by a UK company. You can rest assured they have developed and tested these socks over a number of rainy days as is the case for all outdoor equipment from the UK, and I can tell you that they do work. Your shoes will obviously get wet but your feet stay dry thanks to a waterproof, breathable membrane. They also stay warm thanks to a merino wool lining! They will make your winter rides more enjoyable!
Sara Letterelli – Italian Office Manager
Touchscreen gloves: they keep you warm as you walk/cycle, but also allow you to use touch screen devices once you stop, without freezing your hands! I have read several reviews online that agree Glider is one of the best companies for touchscreen gloves.
Betta Sazinni – Tour Leader Manager
When it comes to cycling in chilly conditions I love and highly recommend Specialized RBX Comp Knickers.
Sara Verlicchi – Italy Tour Manager
Here is a quick creative idea to liven up your walls. “Funky Frames” from Taylor and Wood is a creative wallpaper that allows you to stick your favorite photos, postcards, kids artwork, or anything you like into the wallpaper’s picture frames to create your own family gallery, or a world map of your bicycle touring pictures!
Sabrina Moriconi – France and Belgium Tour Manager
I don’t know about you, but during the cold holiday season I love reminiscing about summer trips. Last year as a Christmas gift my friends gave me a photo album of our trip together on the Amalfi Coast. What a great idea! They used Shutterfly, but there are many online sites to choose from. All you need is some good photos … and a little creativity. A truly special and personalized gift!
We managed to catch a few of our European tour leaders near a computer and here are their suggestions.
Alain Rimondi leads tours in Italy
For the Christmas holidays … we will all spend lot of time with our feet under the table tasting sweets and delicacies, while our trusty bicycles get dusty in the garage! If you are looking for a way to feel closer to your bike in these moments I have just the gift for you. A cake mold or cookie cutters in the shape of a bicycle will bring your passion to the table… and everyone will enjoy the results. Enjoy!
Magali Faugeres leads tours in France
For the artist I have an idea to share… a watercolor pocket box, which makes it easy for you to carry your art supplies with you everywhere.
For the New Year I recommend dividing and conquering by packing in cubes set…Helpful when packing and organizing your suitcase. Socks or Underwear in small cubes, T-shirts in slim cubes, Shirts and Slacks in large cubes. Eagle Creek has a few that we’ve used before and like.