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As much as we probably don’t really want to think about Christmas and all it entails, time really is marching on. Waking up on December 25th, knowing that you’ve likely got a full day of ‘festivities’ to endure, is one thing but waking up to find nothing except socks and Lynx shower gel beneath the tree …. well, that’s just too much. Hopefully, the Bear Bones festive gift guide can help – it’s crammed full of gift ideas for that very special someone.

Print it off, maybe put a tick next to those items you fancy and tape it to the TV remote or fridge door. Remember, using this list is in no way a selfish act, in fact you’ll be able to argue that it’s just the opposite and by making sure you get something you want … they won’t have their Christmas ruined by you moping round the house. It’s the very definition of win – win.


1/ Hard day slogging through bogs, wading through rivers and pushing your bike up mountainsides? Feel the need to slip into something more comfortable? The Nordisk Mos down shoe, could be just the thing for those cosy bothy evenings. They feature down insulation, a smashing fluffy fleece lining and a reinforced sole to cope with those rough stone floors. A large pair weighs 185g and at less than £25 they won’t break the bank … available in various colours from retailers across the Internet.

2/ Stick 4 fingers up to winter and wave goodbye to cold, wet hands (and one finger braking) with a pair of Planet X Crab Hand gloves. Not only are they waterproof, they’re also insulated with a generous helping of Thinsulate. The fingers feature a touch screen friendly coating and there’s a dash of reflective detail for those night-time excursions. £14.99 and available from On-One


3/ Unless you’re one of those ill-prepared, scrounging b’stards everyone hates riding with, you’ll need to carry some tools with you on your rides. The SKS Tool Wrap transforms this mundane everyday task into a pleasure … spend fun packed hours deciding what’s going to live where, which pocket for your multi-tool and which compartment for your tyre lever? When you’ve eventually decided, simply ‘wrap it up’ and strap it to you bicycle or shove it in your Jersey pocket. Available from bicycle emporiums everywhere but shop around as prices vary considerably.

4/ What better way to show the world your lightweight intentions than with a Pole-A-Bear carbon tarp pole. Each pole is hand-crafted from exotic materials by a ruggedly good looking bloke in a barn, high in the Welsh hills. Lengths are available to suit nearly every type of shelter imaginable with custom and one-offs also available. Weights and prices vary depending on spec but to give you an idea, a 1m pole will weigh just 65g and cost you £28.95. Bear Bones Bivvy Gear


5/ If ever there were a perfect example of how to turn an overlooked and largely ignored object into one of desire, the Spurcycle bell is surely it. Made in the good ol’ US of A from high quality stainless and brass, the Spurcycle bell makes a great addition to any bike, even those with 26″ wheels. On the ‘bling-a-ding scale’ it scores an impressive 10 and is available in both a natural raw version or with a special black coating – the next time someone shouts “Oi, haven’t you got a bell?”, reply “yes, it’s a splendid Spurcycles bell and it’s luuuuvely”. Available from Keep Pedalling prices from £35

6/ Do you break stuff? Are you one of those unfortunate souls with an anti-Midas touch? Surgu is a moldable silicone glue that once cured remains flexible and can withstand temperatures from minus 50 degrees up to 180 degrees. It sticks to most surfaces, is waterproof and really, really handy. So far, I’ve insulated the handles of my Ti mug, repaired my shoes and made a little silicone man who lives on my handlebars. It’s available in different pack sizes and various colours. Prices start at £6.99 for a handy 3 pack in the colour of your choice. Sugru

7/ Ever found yourself crouched down by the side of the trail, your right arm going ten to the dozen as you try and coax some life back into it? Course you have, we all have – Punctures are an inherent part of the cycling experience but sometimes you just haven’t the the time to pump. The LifeLine CO2 inflator is a quick and easy way to get things hard again and you back on the bike. It’s made from anodised aluminium, fits both Presta and Schrader valves and features an adjustable regulator and at just £3.50, it makes the perfect thing to fill your stockings with. Wiggle


8/ You may have noticed that it’s difficult to photograph an all black cycling cap and make it look exciting or anything but dull. Rest assured, the eVent cycling cap from Showers Pass is far more exciting than it appears. For a start it’s made from eVent, which is one of the most breathable waterproof fabrics available. Secondly, it’s very well designed and equally well constructed and lastly, wearing it under your helmet will instantly give you the look of a trail hardened ITT warrior, honestly it will. £23.99 Always Riding

9/ If you’ve never experienced that horrible sensation of cold water gradually working its way ever nearer to your nether regions, then waterproof shorts probably don’t make much sense. For the rest of us, they’re the perfect garment or at least they would be if they weren’t generally so expensive. The Protean shorts for Tenn Outdoors are waterproof and breathable. They have a mesh lining, waist adjusters and feature waterproof zips on the fly and pockets. However, as good as those things are, they’re not as good as the fact that these shorts are less than twenty quid. £19.99 from Tenn-Outdoors


10/ The Kleen Kanteen Reflect water bottle isn’t disposable. You won’t be discarding it in six months time and trading it in for a new one, it will become a friend for life, a long standing travel companion. Made from 18/8 food grade stainless steel, the bottles not only make the perfect drinking vessel but they can also be used on a stove (if you remember to remove the lid first), so you can make a brew in it or use it as a hot water bottle. Available in 532ml and 800ml sizes, the bottles fit standard sized cages and come in a choice of either brushed or mirrored finish. £20 or below from lots of places. Kleen Kanteen

11/ Perhaps, no other single piece of kit says ‘bikepacking’ quite like a titanium mug. The Mytimug 400 from Alpkit does exactly what any other titanium mug does but it’s cheaper than just about any other and rather unusually, it also comes with a lid. As you may have deduced from the name, it has a capacity of 400ml which is the ideal size for a brew and just big enough to function as a stand-alone pot. Everyone should have one. £20 from Alpkit

12/ A longtime favourite of that cuddly crafter of the bush, Ray Mears. Zebra pots are a simple, straightforward design that’s proven to be both tough and long-lasting. Pots are made from stainless steel and are sized by their diameter … the smallest is 10cm, the largest 16cm. Each pot has a stainless lockable lid, a ‘bail’ handle and a removable inner ‘plate’. Although a touch on the hefty side, I’ve personally found them ideal for cooking on woodstoves. In part, that’s due to the tough stainless construction but also due to the relatively low cost … it stops my tarty side becoming worried about them getting all back and sooty. £11.95 upwards from HERE and other places.


13/ What’s the furthest you’ve ridden in a day? 60 miles, 100 miles or maybe 130 miles? Imagine getting up everyday, no matter what the weather and riding somewhere between 150 and 300 miles – day in, day out. The Year by Dave Barter, tells the story of the men and woman who did just that. It’s not just a list of times and distances, it’s a story about people, people who took on cycling’s greatest endurance challenge. I feel I should just warn you – this book contains virtually no swearing. £20 from Vertebrate Publishing

14/ With the introduction of the new OS Explorers, there’s never been a better time to spruce up your map collection. The latest generation of maps still feature all those contours, fence-lines and green dashes we know and love but they also have a code inside. A code? Yes a code and it enables you to download a copy of the map directly to your phone, so it’s a bit like buy one – get one free. £5.85 from Dash4it

15/ In the second installment of Lost Lanes, Jack Thurston goes in search of somewhere we’ve all found ourselves at some point. Lost Lanes Wales is a collection of routes throughout Wales and the borders, that take in the quieter corners of the countryside and combines them with history, culture and very importantly, cafes and pubs. There’s a good mix of routes from high mountain passes to scenic coastal roads, from Newport to Llandudno and St Davids to Ludlow, with 36 routes inside, there’s plenty to go at. £14.99 from Wildthings Publishing

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