Small Business Saturday: Cody’s Christmas List

It’s Small Business Saturday, which means it’s time for our annual Cody’s Christmas List. This year, it’s made up entirely of things and stuffs you can purchase locally, right now, and possibly even today. 

One very important note that we make every year, but it appears the point isn’t being made clearly enough. This is real. These are the things I would like for Christmas. Don’t read this and think, yeah, that’s cool, but I’m going to just get him some socks and or t-shirt or maybe another set of nail clippers. This is the real, swear-to-God-man-I’m-not-kidding list to shop from. Thank you. 

Tires. 2020 was the year I lost my faith. In tubeless. First. I blew through over $150 worth of Schwalbe Pro Ones in less than two weeks, with two tires slashed like your old boss’s tires in the parking lot. Then, in my constant swapping and searching for a good gravel set-up, I wasted another $45 on tires that were really, really not good, even at less than half price at the Brick tent sale. Finally, I spent the last three months of the season riding Al’s Continental 4Seasons that he let me borrow in Georgia…two years ago. Those thick 32s are great for my retirement, but there’s no way this newly misshapen and gelatinous Dad Bod is going to be able to push all that rubber at TNR in 2021. So, in the spirit of perseverance, I’m hoping for a set of Bontrager AW2 Hard-Case Lite TLR tires in 28c. Or, I can go back to what runs in my blood; Panaracer GravelKing 28s with the tan sidewall. 

Wahoo Tickr. Do I need a new heart rate monitor? No. But I would like to get back to my Wahoo days. I have had two Tickrs previously, but both succumbed to my Sovis’ infamously corrosive sweat. Ask any bike mechanic in town; we’re acidic. Wes typically sweats through at least two headsets a year, just from dripping on it, and that’s riding outside! The perk would be able to pair the strap via Bluetooth, which would let me use my laptop or iPad, instead of having to park an ANT+ dongle somewhere. It is life and death? Of course not, but nothing on this list should be. 

Brew Gift Certificate. Of the many things I’m missing in this pandemic, my daily commute to Brew is one of the most simple and aching. The routine of packing up my backpack, riding through downtown in the dark, racing cars between the lights on Front Street, and settling into the fourth table from the end on the bench was an exciting and active way to start the day. When things shut down, I remember ordering a dozen sugar cookies to hold me over until it was safe to come back. There was a weird divide between what I knew would be, for the outside world, a prolonged and dark period of trial and deprivaiton, and my own world’s very temporary inconvenience. It could be a year or more until I get to ‘work’ at Brew again, and while I count myself extremely lucky to have a job and a home from which to continue that work, spending mornings with the Brew Crew and solving all of the world’s problems with Sean one coffee and one cookie at a time was the simple sort of pleasure we all miss. 

Full Tune-Up. Available by gift card, my bikes all need a tune-up. All of them. Never much of a mechanic, this year, I freely admit to have completely abandoned any pretense of responsible care. My 3T’s drivetrain is beyond blown out; I can almost see some slack in the chain from it being so thoroughly stretched beyond the normal bounds of use. My Giant has only three usable cogs in the back; the lower 11t is almost round, while the upper 42t is so chipped and bent that I wouldn’t trust it as ornamentation. The pulley wheels on all of my derailleurs are caked in grease and the teeth are spiked and cracked. Even my singlespeed has a creak, though where it might be located, is very much beyond me. 

Dog Backpack. This fall, we lost our best friend, Manfred. At 50 pounds, Manfred was just a little too big to join me on my rides, and even in a lone attempt to toss him in our Burley child carrier (thanks, Jeff Owens) the thirty seconds of terror in his eyes was enough to convince me he wasn’t going to be joining me on any coffee outings. 

Losing him was, admittedly, more devastating than I would have ever expected. However, it also showed me that dogs are too brilliant, too loving, and too wonderful not to have in your home. In the meantime, we’ve been joined by a small baby (I’m told she’ll grow) whose safety and comfort is paramount. And so I think I can make the sell to my wife that a small, friendly dog is a great fit, preferably one who doesn’t mind early mornings, babies, and hearing the same story about the one bike race I’ve ever won over and over and over again. So please, keep your eyes peeled for a pup who meets such a description. 

Hammer Fizz. I go through at least one per ride or workout, so having a few tubes around is really good insurance. I dig lemon and grape. NOTE: These make great stocking stuffers, 

Clif Bar Minis. Why small? I’m working out about half as much as I used to and doing so on about a third the amount of sleep. In fact, I’m typing this with one hand as the other cradles our sleeping baby. She perceives any attempt to lay her down in her bed as betrayal, and I’m too soft a parent to insist. And so, we live at least in part on the ease and satisfaction of Clif bars to keep going…even if they’re bite-sized. 

Shimano XTR pedals. For years, I insisted that my Crank Bros Candy pedals were fine. And they really are, especially for cyclocross and fat biking. They’re the best in mud and snow, but they’re also essentially disposable. Nice ones or cheap ones, I would go through two pairs per season, and rebuilding them would usually only get another few months. I give up; I’m going Shimano. 

Donation. But more than any of this nonsense, I hope you’ll splash some cash on my behalf. Giving Tuesday is December 1, but non-profits in our community are always in need, Below, I’ve got a list of causes we’ve worked with this year for kolo t.c. fundraisers, and maybe donating $5 to one or two will help keep the good going this winter. 

Goodwill of NW Michigan

Child and Family Services of NW Michigan

Father Fred Foundation


Cherryland Humane Society

Great Lakes Human Society


Less Cancer

The Festival Foundation

Habitat for Humanity

A Website.

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