Buying a gift for a cyclist can be tough. We're quite demanding about what we want to wear on a bike and frankly no one needs a 'Cyclopath' T Shirt. To ensure that we're always focused on minimising our impact, we've focused on consuming less and experiencing more. We've still snuck in some tasty treats and feasts for the eyes, as we've pulled together some of our favourite Moors and cycling-themed gifts to get you thinking about the best gifts for a cyclist.
Rather than something that will get thrown away or languish in the back of a drawer, there's something great about receiving a piece of art as a gift. We've chosen three of our favourite local artists, whose work explores cycling or the Moors in a slightly different way. We love their work: whether they are turning air pollution into art, mapping the Moors or inspiring us to keep pedalling, we'd love to have one of these on our wall.
We're lucky to have some world-class cycling events on the Moors. The Struggle is one of the hardest rides the North Riding team has ever done: entries are now open for anyone that fancies a quick 112 mile trip up Fairhead, Caper Hill and Chimney Bank... If bikepacking is more your gift recipient's thing, Moors100 is a great weekend of off-road fun, camping and music. Entries aren't open yet but we're sure you could make your very own gift voucher!? New to gravel and think bikepacking might be a step too far? The Glorious Gravel ride from Duncolmbe Park in Helmsely might be just the thing to get you started.
Give the gift of knowledge this Christmas! One of the barriers to cycling can be worrying that you haven't the skills or confidence to head out for a ride: our selection of courses could be a great starting point. Dalby Forest Cycle Hub have a huge variety of training sessions perfect whatever stage of your cycling journey you're on. At Sutton Bank Bikes, channel your inner mechanic and learn your way round the parts of your bike that will probably break at some point. We'd also love for someone to launch a North York Moors School of Rocks! Started as a woman-led community to empower everyone to find joy in off-road cycling, The School of Rocks offers a curriculum of rides over 6-week terms. For anyone unsure about venturing onto gravel, this would be a great place to start. CyclingTips have more info on how to #shredthecurriculum.
If the cyclist in your life really deserves a treat, why not book them the perfect place to stay for their Moors cycling weekend? The Yorkshire Cycle Hub is a favourite of ours. As well as brilliant food and bikes to hire, it has Bunk Rooms, Camping Pods and Holiday Cottages to choose from, all of which give you access to the on-site facilities. High Paradise Farm well and truly lives up to its name: right on the edge of a forest, with incredible views and the Moors sweeping away behind it, the location couldn't get much better. It's a great spot for heading out on your bike, sitting round a fire or grabbing a piece of cake. If all you need is a bed, cooking equipment and a fire for the night, Kildale's Camping Barn might be just the space. Ideal for a lightweight bikepacking trip, it's right on the edge of the stunning Cleveland Hills.
We're well aware of the impact that overconsumption is having on the environment. If we're going to buy more, it needs to be sustainable, locally made and from a small business. Presca fit the bill perfectly: based in Middlesbrough, they're the world’s first climate positive sportswear company. Made from recycled bottles, their Grand Tour IW Jacket is what you need for when the Moors decides to throw its worst at you. Even better, Presca are working on making their range fully circular, meaning that you will be able to return your clothing to them to reuse the materials. Carrying an extra layer has got much easier over the last couple of years with the emergence of various bike bag makers. One of our favourites, Camel Chops, make waterproof, customisable bags from their base in Scotland. Check out their 'Blimp', which is ideal for everything you could need on a day's ride. We love a bike cap at North Riding. This one from The Bike Project is doubly good: not only will it probably match any piece of cycling kit but all proceeds go towards donating bikes to refugees.
The Good Stuff
At North Riding, we're big believers that food and drink makes a ride even better. If you're craving a snack to keep you going when you're not in the range of a pub or café, then Outdoor Provisions is a great choice. With flavours inspired by the National Parks, their range of bars and nut butters are utterly delicious. Even better, their packaging is compostable. We're just hoping that they develop a Fat Rascal Energy Bar one day... For a few years, the performance enhancing benefits of caffeine were thought to be so strong that it was actually on the banned substance list for cyclists. We can't think of a better way to dope than with Baytown Coffee's delicious The Bolts. Delicious however you take your coffee, the beans can also be found at many of our favourite coffee stops. After a hard ride, sometimes you do just need something a little bit more refreshing. Whitby Distillery's Original Gin is our go to, as it's combination of kelp, heather and honey is the tastiest gin we've had. The thought of that first sip has got us through a few tough final miles!
It can be tough finding the inspiration to drag yourself out for a ride in the dead of winter. If you need to keep the desire going during the colder months then look no further than the new Rough Stuff Fellowship book. Following the success of the first collection of archive photos, Further Adventures features lots more images, stories and bikes where bikes probably don't belong. Ever looked at a spot on the Moors and wondered, 'why can't I cycle over there?'. Then Nick Hayes' The Book of Trespass is what you need to read. A fascinating account of how 50% of England ended up in the hands of 1% of the population, it'll fill you with a burning passion for land reform. It joins the dots between enclosure, plantations and where we're allowed to venture today, whilst keeping you enthralled and amused along the way. Planning a ride to take your mind off the burning injustices of land ownership is made all the easier by Jack Thurston's wonderful Lost Lanes North. Crammed with great routes, stories and photos, it features some of the best rides that the North has to offer, including some on the North Yorkshire Moors itself.