Christmas, the season of goodwill to all. However, those of us with life on 2 wheels, will often see such goodwill stretched to its limits as we swing our leg over our first true love during the festive period. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a newbie to the cycling ranks, we have come up with our top do’s and don’ts to help you survive Christmas without divorcing your partner, staying in your family’s good books and using the bike to help the fight against food.
1. Ride enough to consume your body weight in festive treats
For us, this is a given. Christmas isn’t exactly friendly on your power to weight ratio at the best of times and going without all those lovely treats will haunt you all year, so embrace it and enjoy! Eating more is also the best excuse for riding more and don’t forget to take a nice turkey sandwich with you on Boxing Day to be enjoyed atop your favourite climb. As a rule of thumb, every extra pig in a blanket you eat is an extra 100ft of climbing you owe!
2. Remember to smile when you get the obligatory shit bike-related present
We all get them and they even sometimes come in handy for a Secret Santa present, but most of the time none of us want notebooks with bikes printed on, Poundland bike books, weird bike sculptures or handlebar tassels, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to smile so suck it up, and put your best school photo face on.
3. Don’t be a pig in a blanket!
As tempting as those lay-ins may be and god knows you probably deserve it, get up and out early. You can be almost guaranteed that your partner doesn’t fancy a 6 AM start and keeping the kids up for a festive movie the night before should see them snoozing in for a few hours. By the time you get back, the bacon will be crisp and the coffee freshly brewed.
4. Remember your local bike shop will be closed
I know our friendly local bike shops have been like guardian angels our whole cycling lives, but for a few days a year, you will have to do without them. Our advice, stock up on tubes and if your bike starts making funny noises, well it must just be a sign from above to put your feet up. In addition to your local bike shop being closed, the local shop will also more than likely be closed, but fear not, this means you have an excuse to ride to the only one that is open, no matter how far.
5. Don’t drink and ride! Ride then drink. Sensibly.
The legality of drinking and riding is a bit of a grey area so we won’t even attempt to tackle that here and we will go with the common sense approach, DON’T DO IT. At the very least you need to be on top form to get the most out of the little time you will have to stick the miles in and you want to have your wits about you with the road conditions hitting their worst around Christmas with ice, leaves and generally slippery surface all round.
However, once you have been out on your beloved steed, you have earned whatever tipple may take your fancy. Bikmo recommends that Eggnog should form the basis of all festive recovery programs providing ample amounts of carbohydrate and protein and sets you up for an afternoon of entertaining merriment.
Watch Die Hard!
It’s not exactly bike-related and it would technically be 6th on a list of 5, but Christmas isn’t Christmas without it and yes, no matter what anyone says, Die Hard is definitely a Christmas film and one that everyone can enjoy all year round at that. Don’t forget to get it lined up in the DVD, Blue Ray, Smart TV or even VCR for some post-ride nostalgic chillaxing.
As for the rest of Christmas you’re on your own and remember Christmas is a time for loved ones, so don’t neglect your bikes.