Some of it's pricey, but there's a wide range of cutting-edge and basic gear available for cyclists ranging from racers to commuters to Sunday riders. In this city of year-round wheeling, the world of Lance makes for great gift shopping.
Your cycling sweetie has been extra good all year, and now it's your turn to go all out with a custom-built bike that will be the envy of every pedaling fiend you know. Davidson Handbuilt Bicycles has what you need (2116 Western Ave., 206-441-8144, www.davidsonbicycles.com). More than 30 years' experience goes into the building of a custom ride that is perfectly fit in steel with custom paint and top-of-the-line components. From the 2005 price list: $1,999 for the frame, $300 for a Davidson Custom Road fork, and $2,450 for the Shimano Dura Ace 10 Double. Add a copy of the Lights' "Your Boyfriend Has a Beautiful Machine," from Beautiful Bird (contact the band at email@example.com).
Gregg's (www.greggscycles.com) has several models of Trek's Madone (up to $4,599.99) for your faster, lighter racer. Or perhaps a gift certificate for renting a road racer ($30–$60 per day) would be more in line with your budget.
When it gets cold, it's time for the Trek Trektec long-sleeve jersey ($52.99). The fleeced fabric jersey is cut for a loose fit and has three back pockets. You can find it at Bicycles West, which has shops in Burien, Tukwila, and Lynnwood (www.bicycleswest.com).
Should your favorite cyclist want to really push the limits (and perhaps the law), Sugoi's Wired jersey has a sleeve pocket for an MP3 player and a hole for threading the earpiece up to the shoulder and around the neck ($70; www.sugoi.com).
It never hurts to be sure the bicycle is in tip-top shape. Recycled Cycles' performance and safety tune-up is $45 (1007 N.E. Boat St., 206-547-4491, www.recycledcycles.com).
WWLH: He rode the Trek Madone SSLx throughout the 2005 season.
Women on Speed
Terry Bicycles (www.terrybicycles.com) has bicycles, clothing, accessories, and gifts made specifically for women. One of the most popular items is the women's saddle that comes with a guarantee: "Ride and love it or return it within 30 days for an exchange or refund." You can get the Butterfly CrMo saddle ("wider in the rear than typical race saddles for good support of a woman's sit bones") for $60, or the 20th anniversary limited edition Butterfly Aloha ($110).
New clothing this year includes a side-venting mandarin-neckline performance jersey in azure or magenta ($90). Among the necessities is Craft's foul-weather shell ($80), which is breathable and water repellent with reflective piping and a full zipper with a front storm flap. Some riders wouldn't be caught without their skort (bicycles shorts with a wrap skirt over them). Check the Commuter skort in wildebeest, with an inner-short inseam of 8 inches ($80).
Relaxing around the tree? Pewter molded ornaments—in road bike, sprocket, or Santa designs—are $10.
New to the bicycle line for 2006 is the Madeleine, an all-aluminum bicycle with relaxed touring frame geometry ($1,550).
WWLH: Whatever his fiancée, Sheryl Crow, wants.
The Mongoose Alley Cat ($149.99), a folding tag-along bike, which attaches to the grown-up's seat post so kids 4 to 10 years old can ride, too. Check Performance Bicycle in Redmond and Tacoma (www.performancebike.com). While you're there, look over the seven-speed suspension K2 ZED 24-inch mountain bike junior ($249.99).
Younger kids fit neatly into the venerable Burley trailer (starting at $225.99) at Bike Sport (5601 24th Ave. N.W., 206-706-4700, www.ilovemybike.com).
A "Born to Trike" bib ($9.95, www.velogear.com) will put Junior on the right track.
WWLH: Son Luke and twins Isabelle and Grace will be fast. It's in the blood.
Helmets, bells, baskets, streamers for the handlebar grips—whatever you're looking for, check with your favorite bike shop or Fred Meyer (www.fredmeyer.com).
Riders can boogie all night long with Trek's Disco Inferno taillight ($25.99), which has numerous settings and makes the bicycle visible from many angles.
A global positioning system (GPS) can help map a ride and generate more info from that ride than one can imagine. Try these bicycle compatible units: the Garmin Forerunner 301 ($325, www.garmin.com) and the Suunto X9 ($699, www.suunto.com).
WWLH: The global positioning coordinates for a ride without having to race every bike club member who happens by.
Off the Bike
Velogear (www.velogear.com) is a one-stop spot for books, posters, calendars, videos, and DVDs and official Tour de France merchandise. Keep your training log on the road-racing calendar ($13.95) or the Lance Armstrong calendar—all the photos are by extraordinary cycling photographer Graham Watson and cover Armstrong's career ($14.95).
Nothing says lovin' like a bracelet made of spoke nipples mixed with yellow ceramic beads (to honor the Tour de France) from Velogear ($14.95).
Cycle Sport America ($49.95 per year, www.worldcycling.com) is packed each month with news, updates, features, and history. Bicycling ($19.98 for 11 issues, www.bicycling.com) is the U.S.-grown source.
World Cycling Productions (www.worldcycling.com) will set you up with Magnificent 7, the DVD of Armstrong's final Tour victory in a four-hour ($49.95) or 12-hour ($89.95) edition and the special collector's edition DVD of his seven wins (four hours coverage on each Tour, $199.95).
Anyone who has watched any bit of racing will love Dancing on the Pedals: The Found Poetry of Phil Liggett, the Voice of Cycling ($9.95, www.velogear.com), which arranges his most exciting spontaneous exclamations into verse.
Armstrong has retired from Euro racing, but not from the battle against cancer. Get the original, yellow Livestrong wristbands (10 for $10) at www.livestrong.org.
And look into keeping all bicycles safe from thieves at www.stolenbicycleregistry.com. It's free.
WWLH: Doesn't he have it all?