You can't control how busy the stores are, but you can make getting to and from more enjoyable by Christmas shopping by bike. Here are our tips for a jolly good holiday shopping trip – by bike:
Plan Ahead and Shop Strategically
You probably have a shopping list started with the person's name and some gift ideas for him or her. How many of those items can be bought at the same store or nearby stores or a maker holiday market? Which of these locales makes for a pleasant bike ride destination? We don't want to discourage you from #bikingplaces but we also want you to enjoy your Christmas shopping by bike trip and let's be honest, some places are more pleasant to bike to than others. Older "Main St" shopping districts tend to be more hospitable to bikes than the malls outside of town, and you're more likely to fine unique gifts – and support local businesses too.
Once you have your shopping list culled to what you plan to buy at each place, the next thing to consider is how you will carry it all home. You'll most likely need all your bike bags, plus backpacks. It goes without saying that those of us with cargo bikes will have an easier go of this. If you need something in between bike bags and a cargo bike, consider investing in a trailer like the Burley Travoy.
There are a few reasons why you shouldn't wait until the last minute to do your Christmas shopping by bike. In most places, December weather is notoriously unpredictable, and can vary from pleasant fall day to snowstorms. If the weather's good one day and you can make the time to knock off a few items from your shopping list, seize the opportunity.
Another reason why you shouldn't procrastinate is that it might take more trips than you realize to get the job done, either because some items are too big or because you find more things that you want to buy in one place and don't have space to make additional shops.
Better With Friends
One way to tackle the unpredictability of Christmas shopping by bike is to invite friends along with you. You can pick out the perfect gifts for everyone on your respective lists, help each other figure out the best way to carry things home, and stop for hot chocolate along the way. Bonus if one of your friends has a cargo bike!
With these tips we hope you'll have a great holiday shopping season. Check out our gift guides for gift ideas. And are you ready for an extra challenge? Read Momentum Magazine's post on how to bike with your Christmas tree.