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Can you buy gifts on the high street for a girl who loves to cycle?
Are you looking for that perfect Christmas present for a girl who loves to cycle, but hates the whole pretty, pink princess theme? Recently there's been a real push for kids clothes and toys to rid the "pink is for girls, blue is for boys" labels, and at the same time provide more empowering experiences for girls. So, to test out whether this has been working, I've decided to do a little experiment. Does that traditional bastion of Christmas gifts and trampolining dogs - John Lewis - sell suitable gifts for girls who are active and also love to ride their bikes?
John Lewis are one of the stores that have embraced the call to label their toys by how they're played with, rather than labelling "boys" and "girls".
Is it possible to find gifts for girls who love to cycle in a high street store?
My criteria was to search for gifts that had a definite cycling theme, and where possible included female role models (i.e. a girl riding a bike). Of course, there's absolutely nothing (except society's conventions) stopping them being suitable presents for boys too. At the end of the post you can read my thoughts on what I found.
I like this grey long sleeve t-shirt by Mango, which is going to get girls realising that cycling can be a really stylish way to get around - it's hard to look this cool in your parent's car!
Of course, the ultimate Christmas present you can give any child is a love of cycling, and these days you don't have to wait until they're able to pedal.
For slightly older children, the Kiddimoto balance bikes come in a huge range of fun designs, including spots, skulls and union jacks.
The pastel spotty version of the Kiddimoto Kurve Balance Bike also comes with the optional extras of a hooter and helmet.
However, I also really like this butterfly cycling helmet, which is suitable from about the age of two and a half.
The helmet fits heads with a circumference of 48-53cm, measuring around the widest part of the head.
If you're looking for a present for a child who has to be dragged off their bike and into bed at the end of the day, then these Joules PJ's could be just the thing to tempt them.
It's good to see that Joules have branded these PJ's as being "children's" rather than "boys" just because they happen to be blue (which we should all remember is also the colour of the Girl Guides!).
People who know me well will know that three of my favourite things are bikes, flamingos (don't ask!) and lovely notebooks to capture my thoughts and actions in. I think I've just found my perfect Christmas present in the form of this Rachel Allen A5 notebook!
One of the great things about this design is that the girl is riding a bike with a cross bar - not something you see much of, and something I tackle at the end of this post.
If I was still at school I would be desperate to have the lunch box version, because at that age I think food came above writing in my list of priorities.
The Rachel Allen Girl on a Bike lunch bag is PVC-coated fabric, which is BPA- and phthalate-free is easy to wipe down with damp cloth, so perfect for school lunches or trips out.
A word of warning - if you're going to be a princess in the twenty-first century, then you'd better be able to ride a bike AND drink a frothy coffee at the same time.This Anna on a Bicycle toy should bring hours of amusement recreating the "Cycling around the halls" scene - just make sure you don't trip over it on the stairs.
I also like this cycling bear jigsaw. As the bear is wearing a multi-coloured assortment of colours and rides a blue, red and pink bike, all young children should be able to identify with it.
The jigsaw has 20 pieces, so it's aimed at younger pre-schoolers.
Finally, we started with a top, so I thought we'd end with one too.
This pale green long sleeved top is exclusive to John Lewis, and has a pretty bicycle design, which sneaks around onto the back too.
Conclusion: Is it possible to find gifts for girls who love to cycle at John Lewis?
At the end of my little experiment, I've discovered that it is possible to go to a major high street retailer like John Lewis and find some decent Christmas presents for girls who like to ride a bike and want to celebrate this in their toys and clothes.
This is obviously a good move forward, but (as you'd expect!) I do have one gripe. You may have noticed that the bikes on the clothing are Dutch style city bikes, with flowers in baskets on the front. Very pretty, very girlie - it's like saying you can ride a bike, but make sure you don't get muddy or sweaty. What about girls who like to go mountain biking, or who ride road bikes or race weekly in cyclo-cross?
Thankfully, there are now so many cycling role models for young girls. There's Rachel Atherton (who won every round of this years Mountain Bike World Cup and World Championships) proving girls can go fast downhill and get muddy if they want to.
Luckily I race cos it's wicked fun going fast,because meeting you all at races blows my mind 😘😘👍👍🚲 pic.twitter.com/fTLzGqUwxd
— rachel atherton (@rachelatherton) June 6, 2016
Then there are the Olympic and Paralympic medallists including Gold Medallists Laura Trott/Kenny, Dame Sarah Storey, Joanna Rowsell Shand, Elinor Barker, Katie Archibald, Kadeena Cox, Sophie Thornhill, Lora Turnham, Megan Giglia and Karen Darke who show that nothing need stop you getting on a bike and going very fast indeed. Sometimes you just need a role model!
— Laura Kenny (@LauraKenny31) January 5, 2016
As time progresses it would be great to see even more toys and clothing depicting girls doing different types of cycling on various types of bike. However, it's the festive season and I don't want to be too grumpy. So I'm going to sign off by saying I'm actually pleased that I found so many suitable gifts for girls who love to cycle, (and which weren't all pink), and I look forward to this being the start of a growing trend. Happy Christmas!
If you've enjoyed reading this post on my efforts to find gifts for girls who love to cycle, please share it with your friends using the buttons below. And why not follow Cycle Sprog on Facebook while you're at it, so you get all the latest news and reviews about family cycling as soon as it's available?
Affiliate Disclosure: Like most independent websites, Cycle Sprog makes some income from affiliate marketing. This means if you buy gifts for girls who love to cycle through the links on this page then we'll get a small commission. This doesn't cost you any more, but will help us keep the website going in 2017, so thanks for your support. Karen
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