What Santa Brought Ride Velo...

We wrote several posts about what we wanted for Christmas - but what was actually waiting for us under the Ride Velo Christmas tree? We thought we'd share our new goodies with our lovely readers.

  Rapha, De Marchi and Endura in our stockings

Rapha, De Marchi and Endura in our stockings

I'd wanted a new base layer ever since that surprisingly hot spring day when I'd gone out riding around Richmond Park. I'd had to strip off my undergarment - but it wouldn't fit in my saddle post bag so I'd stuffed it into my bottle holder instead - which I thought was a terribly good idea at the time. Not only did it creep out and get chewed up in my chain, but not long after, the heavens opened and there was such a bad storm that there was an actual London flood! Ever since, Ive been riding round with one normal sleeve and one elbow-length shredded one. So I was delighted to receive a gorgeous merino base layer from Rapha which I will treat with the respect it deserves. And I bought Robbie a nice striped one in return. 

Sometimes we feature bargains being offered by cycle retailers which I can't resist buying myself as they're such good value. If you've been reading our articles, you'll know that we love all things Italian and when I saw these bib shorts by De Marchi reduced by 70% from Chain Reaction, I had to snap them up. I bought some for my brother as well, along with a very stylish jersey with Italian stripes across the chest. They're really soft and light as a feather - but we might have to wait a few months before we wear them!

I looked everywhere for nice cycling T-shirts and classy bidons and in the end, found both of them at the Rouleur online shop. Readers will know how much we love the Velominati (and how I frequently fall foul of Rule #5) so I had to buy Robbie this Rule #5 pavé T-shirt which I thought was subtle and funny at the same time. I like Rouleur bidons so much that I bought one for Mr Ride Velo and one for myself :) Robbie got a Rouleur magazine subscription too - so that'll keep him quiet for the next six months...

  Cycling stocking fillers

Cycling stocking fillers

My favourite stocking filler had to be the fixie pizza cutter which will take pride of place in the Ride Velo kitchen. I took my own advice and bought a couple of the DVDs I'd featured in our stocking filler guide because anything's better than watching Downton at Christmas, right? At the Attack the Pack launch party, we met the charming Anna Hughes, who told me all about the book she'd written: Eat Sleep Cycle, a travel diary of her 4,000 mile journey around the UK. She promised to send us a copy but obviously forgot, so I had to buy it because it looks really good. Review coming soon! And finally, The Bike Owner's Handbook by Peter Drinkell which I picked up at the Design Museum when we went to review the Cycle Revolution exhibition. This small and unassuming book contains all you need to know about cycle maintenance and repairs, with great diagrams and step by step instructions. It's going to be invaluable on our summer holiday - Ride Velo's cycle odyssey of Spain and Portugal. It's going to be a great 2016!

Let us know what cycling-themed pressies Santa left you! Share your favourite gifts here...