Happy holidays! For years now I’ve been asked about what to buy and how to outfit our cycling lives and what to gift our favorite bike riders (and to ask for ourselves) during this festive time. Now we all know that a great ride, in a favorite place, with dear friends IS a gift that keeps on giving, but below you’ll find a shortlist of favorite products, game-changing gear, and upleveling strategies to help you and those you love riding with reap the gifts of riding all year ’round. Here’s to an adventurous holiday, and New Year beyond!
There was a time when I was a reeeel naysayer about e-MTB, convinced that they would enable riders to get to places they weren’t capable of reaching without the electric boost. But the boost that this bike gave me during pregnancy, when my lungs felt like they were the size of grapes for 9 whole months, and the big adventures that we’ve been able to take this summer and fall on very little time have me as a lifelong believer *almost* ready to let go of my analog MTB’s all together. If you want to go further and faster, building strength and improving bike handling skills as you go, this is the bike for you.
This water filter is a life-saver during Colorado summer, when most of the places we want to ride are miles and miles from a convenience store, or water fountain. But, you’re never far from a natural river, stream, lake or snowmelt. And, with this water filter in tow, you’re ready and able to keep the miles rolling on.
Space for all the snacks. That’s the reason I love this little bag so much. And, it doubles as a sling bag should you need to take it off your bike to grab a snack, or some shut eye for the night away from your ride.
If a one-bike quiver sounds like a best case scenario for you, then the Diverge is the only bike you need. From the road, to the trail, this bike is competent, comfortable and capable. The front fork will accommodate up to a 47mm of tire clearance, meaning you can slap on skinnies for a comfy road ride, or chubby tires to get rowdy off road. Add a SWAT box in the downtube to keep snacks and spares, and a cushy FutureShock to keep the ride comfortable wherever you may roam – there’s nothing this bike won’t do.
This jacket lives in my bar bag all year round; for mountain missions in the summer, when you never know where you’ll end up or what the weather will be when you get there. For coffee shop rides where there’s a chill in the air and you want to stay out a little longer. For the chilly descent down the canyon from our driveway. For winter adventures when you *might* need an extra layer. And, for travel days, bikepacking trips, and other outdoor adventures where you want to have an extra bit of cozy with you. This jacket is indispensable – a must for well-prepared cyclists!
The only rain piece you’ll need – whether your riding road, trail, hitting up a hike, or just need a little rain protection on a road trip, this lightweight, super-breathable, supremely water-resistant and windproof soft shell is designed for cold rides, where you need sturdy protection. Stretchy, with optimal pocket placement, full range of motion and a soft knit next to skin, it’s comfy and versatile, the ultimate unlock if you never want the weather to rain on your parade.
Simply put, who likes riding in the cold and wet? Not I. But if your gear is so darn good that you basically don’t even KNOW that it’s cold and wet outside, well then, game on! These trail pants are like that. And when paired with the matching trail jacket, any day on the trail is a beautiful day for a ride.
There are few things more uncomfortable than “the screaming barfies” feeling of freezing cold feet coming back to a reasonable temperature after a brutally cold ride. So, stuff a toe warmer into each of your cycling shoes and hit the trail – even if you aren’t able to avoid the barfies all together, you’ll significantly take the edge off.
Riding better has everything to do with recovering better, and this is the best tool I’ve ever found for that job. I rarely find myself in a position to sit in NormaTec boots, still and at ease. But, whether I’m watching T.V. , riding in the car, flying across the country, playing with my son, or in between clients or cooking sessions, using the HyperVolt to massage sore and tense muscles works The Magic we need to be refreshed so we can hit it again tomorrow.
When you fuel better, you ride better. And while my opinion is *perhaps* biased, fueling with these freshly baked, heirloom grain baked goods is the best way I know to get the good stuff in so we can get the best out of us. Our baked goods feature local, Colorado-grown heirloom grains, a coconut sweetened chocolate from Guittard, and dialed nutrition science to bake up products that are best suited for long endurance events when our bodies need a bit of protein, fat and fiber to perform their best. Did I mention how much more enjoyable it is to eat a performance cookie than it is a lame, dry, “bar?”
If you’re training, or racing, without a fresh bike fit, then you’re missing the mark. The Retul Fit system is state-of-the-art, and can help to dial in your fit for performance or comfort, and helps to nip inconsistencies, injuries, power discrepancies and more right in the butt. With a machine fit specific to your body and abilities, you’ll be riding high.
There isn’t another saddle on the market that can tout it fits you not like a glove, but like a MIRROR. This saddle was designed by – truly – years of research involving putting lipstick on the lady parts of 10 professional female riders and tracking the pressure points they experienced on the ride. The result was revolutionary, and the technology that came out of it was Mirror; a 3D printed surface that supports and cradles, without increasing pressure (that ultimately causes lack of blood flow, discomfort and a bum ride.) Once I rode this saddle, I knew I could never turn back. Now, I don’t ride a bike without one.
There’s nothing so soft and buttery against your skin as this pair of superlight, and also superflattering jeans. They ride well, travel well, and even masquerade with boots and a sweater for days when you want to be unrestricted (without wearing yoga tights – ick.) They’re a go to of mine for travel days, trail days, or days when I’m not sure what my day holds but I want to be ready for a ride.
Whether you’re announcing yourself to pedestrians on the trail, or giving yourself a cheerful little ring on a challenging climb, this bell is happy and never tinny. This is the sound that happy riders make.
If I may be so bold, fueling your rides with stale bars, cardboard-like packaged protein bars, and sub-par gels is no way to ride your best. But homemade ride food recipes are my specialty and as a Recipe Club subscriber, you get a new recipe every week, access to the entire recipe library, plus the holistic wisdom that helped to craft each recipe.
Sometimes you just want a little wind in your face, and when you can get it while running errands, or heading to meetings, does it get any better? This incredible little powerhouse of a bike has the capacity to haul 450lbs over 65 miles, and while it’s hard to max out the carrying capacity, it’s also hard to max out the fun.
There are many “fitness trackers” out there, but nothing is as complete, intuitive and holistic as the Oura. Oura tracks not only your readiness to take on stress (which helps to determine what kind of training you’re ready for on the day,) but also helps to track sleep and stress. It’s the only tracker that can help you to read the doshas in your day (with a little tutorial from your Ayurvedic health counselor!) and acts as a tool for not just choosing your training, but choosing the routines, rituals, foods and activities that will help you to not just survive, but THRIVE.
You’re either using natural rhythms to slingshot your performance, or you’re not. And working with an Ayurvedic practitioner like myself can help you to make sure you’re aiming straight. Weaving Ayurvedic medicine into your training, racing and life routines is a bit like working with a nutritionist, dietician, meditation coach, yoga instructor, private chef, ready to dial all facets of your athletic goals, all at once.
Having a recovery meal within 45-minutes after finishing your ride is critical for recovery. And, one of the best strategies I know for making sure you don’t miss the cutoff is making a pot of rice in the rice cooker before you leave, so it’s steaming and ready, waiting for fried eggs, when you return. Additionally, the time you’ll save by having grains ready to make lunches, oatmeal made while you sleep, and so many other tiny meal hacks, is more time for you to sleep, rest and ride. WINNING.
While this spicy and sweet hydration drink isn’t a “recovery mix” per se, consuming it while you ride will help you recover better by keeping digestion high, so that you can better digest and assimilate your nutrition during and after your ride. The only sports drink that’s free of refined sugar AND nasty derivative sweetners as well, this is my go to for rides all year round. Enjoy some warm on your next spin in the snow!
Whether you’re recovering from a long ride, an intense interval session, a busy week or a heavy weight session, this portable mat will help you reduce inflammation, blast away stress, and reset your system. From the tips of your toes to the synapses in your brain, this little mat offers a biohack; the infrared heat helps to warm and soothe the physical body, while the PEMF helps to relax the nervous system and the musculature so you can get back after it whenever you arrive at your destination. I use this mat in my office chair, on long road trips, and even take it on long-haul international flights to make sure I’m feeling tip top on touchdown.
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