Peace, Love and Christmas Loot

Christmas is a special time of year filled with peace, cheer and good will to everyone. It is also a time to cash in on all the good juju you have attempted to earn all year in the form of some bitchin’ loot.

While apparently I was not quite good enough this year to deserve the Abici Amante Donna Luxury City Bike, I still raked in a pretty impressive haul, proving at least a mediocre ability to be good when it really counts.

On the “hahaveryfunny” side of things, my friends Paul and Shirley Martens gave me a lovely pink princess bell for my bike. I think the resemblance is uncanny.

Paul and Shirley are not bike people whatsoever, but have gotten used to the fact that I tend to show up at dinner parties in one of the following conditions:

1) nervous, because I have a bike race the next day
2) sore and tired, because I had a bike race that day
3) injured, from a recent bike race

The bell will match an equally hilarious gift I received from Dear Old Dad: a set of pink handlebar streamers which he made me promise to use for one race next year. I’m thinking they are likely best suited to a cyclocross race, which tends to have a more fun and festive atmosphere than the stoic roadie crowd would ever tolerate.

I also received a great new cookbook called The Athlete’s Palate which is a collection of recipes designed by top chefs with athlete’s nutritional requirements in mind.

I am almost as obsessed with food as I am with bikes, and have struggled to find a good balance between eating smart and eating well. Perhaps this cookbook will help by offering some nice alternatives to boiled chicken and brown rice, which of course I wouldn’t dream of cooking or eating. The book will also be a good replacement for this one, which I have been following religiously over the holidays:

My sister, who is all too aware of my tendency for tippage, gave me a nifty new CycleOps climbing block, eliciting many confused looks from the rest of the family, who didn’t have the foggiest idea of what the hell it was.

For those of you who are equally confused, a training block is used to hold your front wheel steady while doing indoor stationery training. The reality is that you can use almost anything for this purpose: a brick, books, piece of wood or even your cat if it is exceptionally calm or dead. In addition to superior stability and obvious bike geek appeal, this gizmo has a variety of levels you can use to elevate your front wheel to simulate going uphill, a feature not offered by a dead cat.

On my list I had also asked for a training tire, being meticulously detailed in my description of it, otherwise I have little doubt I would have received these instead:

Even though we all say it, everybody knows the notion that it is better to give than to recieve is bullshit. However, if you have to give, why not give loved ones stuff that you really like so that you can either borrow or inherit it back one day? With that in mind, I made sure to ignore the wish lists of others and give them cool bike stuff instead. As I suspected, they were all happy with the unexpected surprise.

My mother-in-law Madeline received a cool basket for the cruiser she bought herself for the cabin. It will be perfect for the Saturday morning trips to the farmers’ market, and will hold oodles of tasty Hutterite baking. Dear Old Dad got a Bianchi t-shirt, to match the bike he bought (and still rides) from Lindsay Gauld back in the early 1980’s.

My brother and sister each received cycling caps, hand-made by the lovely and talented Misses G., as well as a couple of Sufferfest videos for training. Everybody knows a family who suffers together, stays together.

As for the hubby, he got something so special it is going to get its own post, sometime in the next week or so. It’s a goodie.

Until then, I shall spend the remainder of my holiday time drafting letters to St. Patrick and The Easter Bunny, since my letter to Santa appears to have gotten lost in the holiday mail.