If it really is the thought that counts, then that’s never more true than on Father’s Day.
Of course, you could become wrapped up in the rampant commercialisation of what is a dubious event at the best of times — if you’d like to spend big on bike bits for your pedalling pater, we’re certainly not going to stop you and you’ll find every possible bike-based pressy online here. However, if you want to treat your cycling dad to something loaded with sentimental value, how about these suggestions…
Clean his bike for him
Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than doing the arduous chores that you can rarely be bothered to do for yourself. So giving your dad’s bike a thorough sprucing will be a hugely welcome surprise. Make sure you lube everything nice and thoroughly, be careful not to scratch the paint, and you could even finish off by giving the frame a polish. You’ll find our full range of lubes and cleaning products here.
For some basic tips, check this video:
Coffee stop surprise — have a personalised cake ready
A simple, but sweet idea here. If you and your dad plan a Father’s Day bike ride, why not phone ahead to your café stop venue and have them prepare a special Father’s Day cake, perhaps with a little message on it. There’s no quicker way to a cycling dad’s heart than through his belly.
Photoshop his face onto his favourite bike magazine cover
We did a similar thing for one of our cycling colleagues’ birthday recently. If you’re a bit keen with a keyboard and possess decent photo editing skills, it doesn’t take much to scan in a copy of your dad’s favourite bike mag, then find a nice head shot of the man himself and clone it over the top of the ‘real’ cover star. Then print it out on nice paper, stick it in an A4 frame, and Bob’s yer uncle (and dad’s yer cover star).
Have a day out at a cycling mecca
Why not immerse yourselves in a day of bike worship with a visit to cycling mecca, such as the National Cycle Collection in Llandrindod Wells, the Streetlife Museum of Transport with its bicycle gallery in Hull or the excellent cycle collection at the Brooklands Museum. Failing that, you could visit one of the nation’s superb velodromes, and while there, sign both of yourselves up for a track taster session.
Fit new bar tape
Cleaning your dad’s bike is a nice gesture, but to make it truly gleam almost as smart as the day it left the bike shop, fit some bar tape. Nothing creates quite such an instant improvement to a bike — both in terms of visual aesthetics and the feeling you get when actually riding it — than putting on new tape. It’s an easy treat with a big reaction. For some guidance take a look at the video below:
Book both of you on a sportive
Taking on cycling challenges as dad and son/daughter is a fantastic experience, so signing yourselves up for a sportive could prove to be a priceless memory. Even better if you can pick a sportive venue that holds a particular meaning for the old fella. If your dad has moved about a bit throughout his life, perhaps choose an event in the area where he grew up or spent a particularly enjoyable period. Our RIDE IT series has on and off-road challenge rides across the country all-year-round — see if anything suits here.
Go and watch a bike race together
If the idea of taking on a sportive together doesn’t hold any appeal, you could just enjoy a gentle spin together and perhaps ride out to watch some other cyclists doing all the hard work. Father’s Day is positive brimming with races up and down the country, including the HSBC UK BMX National Series in Glasgow, the Scottish Downhill Series in Innerleithen, the East Midlands Road Race League in Lincolnshire and the Team MK Central League Road Race. Log on to British Cycling’s calendar here to see what’s happening nearby.
Get his name put on his frame
A personalised cake on the café stop is one thing, but adding a little personalisation to your dad’s bike by getting his name emblazoned on the top tube is even cooler. There’s a huge range of companies who can make up some bike frame stickers for you. And, if you want to go the whole slushy sentimental hog, you could even get one printed that says ‘World’s best dad’.
Book him in for a bike fitting session
Forgive us for working with a stereotypes here, but if the stereotypical mum likes spa breaks or some kind of pampering sessions on Mothering Sunday, the alternative for a cycling dad is to enjoy the luxury of a proper bike fit. Not only will this drastically improve his cycling experience, but it’ll prove you’re happy to invest in his future, so there’s no rush for that inheritance.
Just go riding together
Whatever else you decide to do for your dad on Father’s Day, remember that time together is the most precious gift for any family. So go out on your bikes and just enjoy each other’s company.