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Perfect gifts for cyclists of all ages - with love from Kendal
At the tail end of 2015 it started to rain in Cumbria - and it didn't stop for days. Here at Cycle Sprog we had been looking forward to spending our first Christmas at our new base in Kendal. Unlike so many others, we were incredibly fortunate, as whilst our offices were slightly affected by the flooding, it didn't devastate our home or business.
In some cases, it took over a year for the remedial works to be completed and for the flood ravaged properties to be occupied and filled with life once again. Time has passed, but small businesses are still feeling the after effects of this harrowing time. But they're tough up here, just dusting themselves down and cracking on making interesting and high quality products. Many are absolutely perfect for outdoor loving, cycling families, so here's my pick of the best presents from Kendal - I hope you find that special gift.
D C Hill Bike Art
Dave Hill has designed a fabulous range of cycling related gifts, such as t-shirts, coasters, prints and cushions which capture the essence of cycling, plus it's all important relationship with coffee!
His designs are available via Thuline.com and their studio on Highgate, Kendal.
Childs & Co
Iain Childs is a leading light in the Kendal cycling scene. Last year he set up Kendal CC, which has grown from zero to over 400 members in just over a year. Iain is the Chair of the club, which runs weekly rides (including dedicated women's rides) and has a growing Go Ride Junior section (which he obviously roped me into helping run!).
When he's not trying to persuade the local authority to build us a cycle track or coaching my boys at the local Go Ride sessions, Iain runs Childs & Co, designing and crafting personalised wooden products.
This personalised bike rack is the perfect gift for the cyclist who has everything!
Other products from Childs & Co include personalised storage containers, kids toy boxes and bread boards. You can order your gifts from the Childs & Co website.
Every day I cycle past Memo Illustration's workshop on the way to Cycle Sprog HQ. Helen Entwistle is a talented designer who has created a range of screen prints, greetings cards and other items, all using locally sourced and 100% recycled materials. Her cycling themed gift card reminds us why we cycle!
Helen also sells a similar image as an A5 screen print, which is perfect for framing on your wall, as well as these beautiful seed saver envelopes, which featured in last month's Guardian Christmas Guide.
Staff of Life Bakery, Kendal
One of my favourite shops in Kendal is Staff of Life - an artisan bakery that sells the type of bread and cakes that you deserve during or after a long cycle ride (their Billionaires Shortbread is UNBELIEVABLE and one of the reason's I'm not as slim as I'd like to be).
The ultimate present for a foodie is a bread making course with Staff of Life founder Simon Thomas. I bought one for Cycle Sprog's Chris last year, and have been dining on the most delicious home made breads ever since!!!
Fact - Simon's focaccia makes for an excellent lunch whilst out cycling the Cumbrian trails!
I'm sure I'm not the only person whose kids drive me to have an occasional drink. If it's too early in the day to indulge, then Armstrong Ward's Gin and Tonic candle might just be the answer!
Armstrong and Ward have a lovely shop in the centre of Kendal, but you can also purchase some of their fab Cumbrian made products at their Not on the High Street Store.
Bring Cumbria to your home!
One of the best things about living in Kendal is that we have the Lake District fells on our doorstep, so every cycle ride is so awe-inspiring - whether we're off-road, or on.
If you'd like to have a little bit of Cumbrian magic in your life every day, then there are some stunning products that will help bring the Lake District and Kendal to your home.
Nicholas Leigh is a member of the emergency services who did so much to protect and support the local community during Storm Desmond. He's also a talented artist who works out of his shed just outside Kendal. Nicholas paints the most incredible pictures in oils, which he then reproduces on a variety of household items.
His designs are available on mugs, place mats and coasters, as well as the more traditional prints.
Nicholas's metal water bottles might not be suitable for the bottle cage on your bike, but they're perfect for in the rucksack or bag.
Sophie Martin also produces a range of place mats and coasters as well as greetings cards. You don't need to live in Kendal to get to experience "The Auld Grey Town" every day! Her shop is currently shut, as she's on maternity leave, but will re-open in February 2018.
Jon Allison's Lake District Prints are based in Kendal. His 2018 Lakeland calendar is a limited edition (act fast!) and will give you a fresh view of the Lakeland fells each month. Alternatively, just choose your favourites by browsing through the collection of prints in the gallery as they're bound to take your breath away.
I do hope that this range of gifts has inspired you to support some of the fine small businesses that make Kendal such a creative and vibrant town.
Please check out some of our other family cycling gift ideas with these articles:
This article was originally published in 2016 and has been updated with new material on November 2018.
Affiliate Disclosure: Cycle Sprog is a small business, and we use affiliate marketing on some of our links. This pays us a small commission when you make a purchase (it doesn't affect the price you pay). Thanks so much for helping support Cycle Sprog by buying your Christmas presents through the links on our website.
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