AUSTIN, Texas — Some folks might dream of sweater sets, cuff links or sugarplums, poor things, but we know the athletes on your holiday gift list really want stuff that makes them sweat.
We’ve rounded up a collection of goodies that’ll keep those cardio-happy hipsters moving at the speed of fitness. And unlike fruitcakes and eggnog, these suggestions will keep your loved ones healthy, too. What better gift could you ask for?
Want to cycle to work but don’t want to sling a backpack over your shoulders? Try this old school, eco-friendly, waxed cotton bag, perfect for stashing your laptop and lunch. Attach the bag to your handlebars with Velcro straps for the ride, then sling it over your shoulder once you arrive at your destination. ($35 at www.great usefulstuff.com)
We love the cushy, loopy soles and snowy good looks of the Cloudsurfer Prism model of the Swiss-made On running shoes. Drenched in white, with three pairs of colorful laces, the shoes make you feel like you’re running on soft, shock-absorbing sand — except you don’t get bogged down on the push off. ($129 at specialty running stores or at www.on-running.com)
Timex Marathon watch
Runners can be obsessive when it comes to checking pace, distance and calories burned. This sweat-proof workout watch uses GPS to monitor both, and stores up to 30 workouts. Comes in black, turquoise or chipper pink. ($99.95 at Amazon.com or REI.com)
Dog-E-Glow LED collar and leash
Sometimes the best exercise partners are the four-legged kind. Make sure your pup stays visible if you’re walking after dark — and show your school colors, too — with this light-up collar and leash. ($25.99 for collars; $29.99 for leashes at www .futurepets.com or www.doge glow.com)
‘Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die,’ by Chris Santella
Have wheels, but need to know where to pedal? Bicyling experts including Steve Coyle, past president of the Austin Cycling Association, share their picks for the world’s greatest destinations. Among the recommendations? Through fields of tulips in the Netherlands, past giraffes in Botswana, and, yes, into the scrappy, undulating terrain of the Texas Hill Country. (Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $24.95; available at Amazon.com and bookstores)
Nutcase bike helmet
Protect your shell with a funky bike helmet from Nutcase. We like the yellow taxi-cab number, but who wouldn’t want to swath their head in pink leopard skin, polka dots or even a watermelon motif? (About $60 at specialty bike shops)
Can the candy canes and stuff your sweetie’s stocking with a handful of iced gingerbread, peppermint stick or spiced pumpkin pie-flavored Clif Bars instead. ($1.39 at grocery stores and sports stores)