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The VeloNews early bird gift guide

We know, it’s not even Halloween yet. But although Christmas may be two months away, Hanukkah begins in late November this year, and some simply prefer to get their shopping done early. We love presents, so we’re doing just that.

For this little gift guide, the first of a few we’ll be rolling out as the days get shorter, we’ve focused on items that require a bit of lead time, or are simply small-batch operations that won’t be stoked on rush shipping you your gifts right before the big day(s).

Look Mum No Hands Podium (under)Pants — 25£ (about $40) for a pack of three

Pro travel tip: when you head over to Yorkshire for the start of the Tour de France next year and inevitably slip and fall in the continuous rain (so we hear), do not complain that you have soiled your pants. The locals will think you’ve just dirtied your undies from the inside.

If they’re kind, compassionate locals they might just point you towards podium pants from Look Mum No Hands, sold in packs of three commemorating the jerseys of the Tour — polka dots, green, and yellow. The (under)pants are made from a comfy yet stretchy 95 percent cotton, 5 percent spandex blend and will only be sold in limited numbers. Pre-order today and they’ll ship out in early November.

Service Course Wash Kit — $55

Fulfill all of your wildest bike washing dreams with this one-stop shop. Everything you need to soap up and rinse off is packaged in a 5-gallon bucket, which you’ll also use for bike washing.

The team, based near Washington D.C., normally only sells its pre-built wash systems to locals, at the cross races near its world headquarters. But now they’ll ship to just about anywhere.

What do you get? The bucket, of course, which is watertight with a screw-on lid for optimal water retention. Inside said bucket are three Tampico-bristled brushes — a big one for use on your frame and wheels, one conical brush for getting into those nooks and crannies, and one brush dedicated to solvent — along with a microfiber towel for the post-clean spit ‘n shine.

Your purchase supports a small, grassroots ’cross team and saves you a trip to Home Depot.

ThinFolio custom wallets —$25

This Kickstarter project is offering up high-quality wallets custom printed and built with your own photos. The company, created by avid cycling couple Mark and Anna Abramson (collegiate athletes may recognize Mark’s name, as his was the signature on the back of your license for many years), prints on the same Tyvek material that many race numbers are made of, sewing the durable, thin wallets by hand in California. Just send them six images, or pull from a digital camera or even your Instagram account, and they’ll do the rest.

This Kickstarter project ends on November 7, so if it appeals to you, jump quickly.

ProTour Pin-Ups calendar — £10 ($16)

We’ve previously featured the famed Cyclepassion calendar, the annual home of 12 scantily clad, furiously fast ladies in fascinating poses. This is the yang to its yin, if you will.

Twelve top male cyclists, from silver fox Jens Voigt to young guns Taylor Phinney and Alex Howes, posed for the ProTour Pin-Ups calendar, applying their star power to the benefit of women’s cycling and, of course, your bedroom wall. Most of the proceeds will be used to form a prize purse for the women’s Tour of Britain in 2014, while a portion will go Alex Dowsett’s Little Bleeders foundation for children with hemophilia and to the Davis Phinney Foundation. All worthy causes, of course, but the calendar itself is the real … prize?

(For some sample images, scroll through the photos at the top of this post.)

Podium Pee-wee skinsuit — $150

For the joker, the prankster, or the comic; for anyone who wants to stand out for their distinctive style and is fast (or very, very slow) enough to get away with it. Mid-packers need not apply.

Podium, based out of Gainesville, Florida, will sell you a long-sleeved, perfect-for-’cross skinsuit in the ensemble of Pee-wee Herman, Spiderman, Superman, or a denim-clad hipster, all of which are adept at distracting the cyclocross audience from the fact that you are either sandbagging or getting sandbagged.

Skills Drills and Bellyaches — $22

Jeremy Powers lends his carefully honed expertise to this detailed, beautifully photographed book, which covers everything from the contents of a proper ’cross toolbox to matching tire tread patterns to a course to, you guessed it, drills that will help you complete your own ’cross skillset. It is a fantastic primer for any new ’cross racer, yet still thorough enough to surprise and inform even a seasoned rider.

A portion of the proceeds go to Power’s JAM Fund, a non-profit organization focused on the development of young ’cross-bosses.

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