This year, the Cycle California! gift guide has a little of this, a little of that, and a few stocking stuffers. Whether you’re hunting for an avid cycle tourist/camper, or an over-enthusiastic recreational rider, here are some ideas for making their adventure fun and safe, into 2016 and beyond.
Active Edge bracelet
Pulsed electromagnetic field thereapy has been around for decades for treating a variety of conditions from pain and inflammation. Active Edge has come up with a way to infuse electromagnetic frequencies into bracelets and necklaces. According to the company’s CEO Kurt Walchle, people using Active Edge products have noticed an increase in range of motion, flexibility, and better sleep. $65-$95. www.activeedgegear.com
When old is new again! Bag Balm is a moisturizing salve that has been made in Vermont since 1899 or so. It comes in a cute, decorative little tin, you can find it in local drug stores and it’s perfect as a stocking stuffer. Bike riders use it as a substitute for chamois butter or when they have sores that need soothing after very long rides. It’s also great for dogs with tired, cracked paws! $5.99 for a 1 ounce tin. www.bagbalm.com
Aftershokz Bluez 2S
These behind-the-neck headphones hook over your ears and snuggle next to your cheekbones, transmitting sound without covering your ears. They take a little getting used to, but they do offer the safety of not having anything covering your ears as you rocket around on your bike. These headsets use bone conduction (that is, the conduction of sound to the inner ear through the bones of the skull). These headphones use Bluetooth enabling you to answer your phone with one touch of a tiny button on the side of the headset. They have the added advantage noise cancelling microphones that excludes ambient noise. $79.95 from the Aftershokz website. www.aftershokz.com
This full-sized sleeping pad aids a comfortable night’s sleep after a long day of touring, rolls up nicely into a stuff sack when deflated, and adds about a pound to a pannier. When inflated, its V Chamber design down the middle limits air movement and creates little siderails that help keep you centered on the pad as you sleep. It also comes with a patch kit. $69.95 www.klymit.com
The Fitbit Surge smart watch keeps track of your activities: From bike riding, walking, hiking, running, to food and beverage intake, even how much rest you get. It uses GPS to map and chart your walks, hikes, bike rides and runs.
While on a bike ride, the Surge tracks the distance, time, average speed, heart rate, heart rate zones, calorie burn, and elevation gain. Syncing your Surge to your mobile device or computer allows you to keep track of your stats, and share them with other Fitbit users once you invite them via Fitbit, Facebook, or email.
The Fitbit comes with seven-day a week customer support where can talk with a real live human. Or, if you prefer, there are help articles and a Fitbit community board on the website.
A premium membership ($49.95 year) gives you in-depth reports, a personal trainer for 12 weeks and more. The Surge also works with apps including Strava, FirStar, and over two dozen others.There are six Fitbit models for everyone from novice or performance athlete. $249.95 www.fitbit.com