What does your athlete Valentine really want? The answer may be simpler – and cheaper – than you think. Try these sweet (calorie-free) gift ideas:
1. Road ID, The Bracelet of Champions. Who says walking into Tiffany’s and buying the same thing everyone else has really says “I think you’re special”? Show them you really care with a Road I.D.–a bracelet (for wrist or ankle) with your athlete’s name and emergency contact info on it, plus room for their mantra or your favorite thing to tease them about. Now available in a silver/rubber version that’s sleek and kind of sexy in a Batman-meets-Movado way.
2. Their Bike, Made Famous. Celebrate your athlete’s attachment to their bike (hey, they may spend more time together than you do) with a very cool custom bike portrait by New York-based Taliah Lempert. The renderings are faithful while being beautifully arty.
3. The Perfect Workout Playlist. Renew his or her enthusiasm for pedaling or running to nowhere indoors with an all-new, custom-built-by-you playlist (thanks, triathlete Lisa Schwartz, for the idea!). Go to RunHundred.com, the web’s most heavily trafficked workout music website, and you can sort tunes by genre. Even better for your type-A athlete (not that anyone knows any of those): You can sort by beats per minute. Now that that’s done, there’s plenty else you can do with the time you’ve just saved your athlete (and testing that new seitan recipe is not exactly the point here).
4. A Sexy Single Speed. Get yourself one, too. Because you’d be hard pressed not to feel hot getting around on a bike this gorgeous (this track bike by Bertelli is museum worthy). Definitely not in the cheap category, but sometimes you have to go all the way.
5. A Clean, Dry Towel. And you there to hand it to them when they come back from a gross, rainy run/ride.
6. A Surprise Morning Feast. A feel-good workout feels even better when you get home and there’s a pot of coffee on and the smell of a home-cooked breakfast in the air. If your fridge is as emptier than a postrace water bottle, get yourself to Supercook.com. Enter any ingredients you can scrounge up (even mustard and beer) and the site finds you recipes for stuff you can make with them. Bonus points for heart-shaped meals and place settings.
7. A Good Bike Fit. Because when they’re on their bike for 2, 3, 6, 8 hours at a time, trust me, this benefits you, too. It’ll cost you $100 to $300. Worth it.
8. Sunscreen. You know: “you’re so hot I don’t want you to get burned out there.” Just make it the nice waterproof stuff.
9. Race Entry. Nothing says “I support you” like an entry to a race they’ve been wanting to do. Or pick a race you can do together. Easier than you think with this list from Active.com of the top Cupid Runs across the country.
Let it be said, of course, that a little bonus of flowers and chocolate never hurt, either.