by James Knight
What to get the ardent roadie, the trail bomber, the conscientious commuter who has everything? The first thing to remember is that they will never have everything for long. Blinky lights get swiped, jerseys become soiled and moisture-wicking performance gloves—well, they have a high-tech feature that might best be described as “memory reek.” But for a stocking stuffer, why not start small but indispensable: a map. The Marin Bicycle Map is a smartly drawn guide to all things cycling in Marin. Created by the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, the map puts the emphasis on county-approved bicycle routes, while color-coding busier alternate routes, and includes tips on special situations. Arrows designate grades that are moderately steep to very steep; many miles of trails and unpaved roads help the off-road cyclist to navigate when the smartphone bars vanish behind the last hill. It’s just $10, so if you’re feeling the holiday spirit, get two—one for that turned-around compatriot on the trail. Sure, even this most local of low-tech items can be bought online—on the coalition’s website—but I found mine at Mike’s Bikes. Founded in San Rafael in 1964 and co-owned by former employees, the 11-store outfit plays Santa Claus themselves, collecting bicycles to distribute in developing African nations. The only problem was, since my last visit they moved a little farther downtown. I could have used that map. 836 Fourth St., San Rafael (415.454.3747; 264 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma. 707.776.0606.—J.K.
The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.