As the Festive Season hots up, many shoppers will around about now be falling prey to the age-old twin afflictions of Buying-Useless-Nonsense-Out-Of-Sheer-Desperation, and Having-Some Christmas-Song-Or-Other-Stuck-In-Their-Head.
But if nothing else, Christmas is a time for hope, what with the cyclo-cross season in full swing and its devotees celebrating the recently lifted U.C.I. ban on the use of disc brakes.
It’s also a time for proper, emotional hope, though, and if you have found your way to these pages before the 25th we congratulate you on your good fortune.
Studies have shown that the best way to rid yourself of a Christmas song that has been on week-long heavy rotation between the ears is to take the melody and rhythm of the song in question, and rework it with some new lyrics.
To this end, and to that of coming up with some good suggestions for Christmas presents, we recently put our thinking caps on.
We concluded that anyone using a bike in deep winter should -
Be visible in the dark.
Have warm hands and head.
Not be totally reliant on a derailleur.
Be able to take their bike inside without causing annoyance.
Have some place to stow 14 Imperial Pints of mulled wine.
And of course, they should have a well-maintained saddle to sit on. We also figured that in such straitened times as these, where a nicely phrased text message sometimes counts as a birthday present, there must be some way of bestowing upon bike-using loved ones the gift of… good-natured cynicism? For free?
With all of that in mind we say “Get your credit card out, put your hands together and give a very special Brooks welcome to the New! Improved! Slinkier! Linkier! Twelve! Days! of! Chriiiiiist-maaaas!”
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas my true love sent to me-
“Twelve Brick Lane Roll-Ups…” (For the mulled wine)
“Eleven bike snob blog posts…” (For the free, good-natured cynicism.)
“Ten woollen Walz caps…” (Headgear. Pick a fabric, any fabric.)
“Nine cans of Proofide…” (Can be used in emergencies to baste a turkey.)
“Eight Bromptons ‘brompting’…” (It’s in the 2011 Oxford English Dictionary.)
“Seven Sturmeys ‘arching’…” (The Rohloff for purists?)
“Six lotions splashing…” (Not so much stocking-fillers as ways of life.)
“Five B-Seven-teeeeens…” (Nobody ever gave one of these back.)
“Four mand’rin Swifts…” (For that special hardcourt bike polo buff in your life.)
“Three Flyers (aged)…” (A morale-boosting ‘buy-for-self’. Crazy not to.)
“Two Giro gloves…” (Rhymes beautifully with ‘turtle doves’.)
Pedants might point out that the Twelve Days of Christmas are in fact those ones immediately and consecutively following Christmas Day. To which we might reply-
Don’t spend it all in one shop.