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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The Vallee Report – All I want for Christmas

We’ve all heard that song declaring that this is the most wonderful time of the year. Trees, lights, presents, visions of sugar plums (whatever they are) and so on as we prepare for that magical day on the 25th. While I do enjoy Christmas, I am a bit conflicted when it comes to the most wonderful time of the year statement. Just three weeks ago I finally gave in and put my bike into hibernation for the winter. Right now the most wonderful time of the year for me is most likely a few months from now when I take the cover off the bike, shine it up and hit that start button for the first time in 2022. While some of our readers will be out riding the ice in a month or so, many are in the same position as I am waiting for the snow and salt to disappear so we can once again enjoy the freedom of two wheels. While these next few months may seem to crawl in anticipation of that day, I urge you to take this time to prepare for the next time you get to swing your leg over your machine.

If you are a biker or if you have a biker in the family, Christmas lists will no doubt have something related to two wheels on them. Last year Santa brought me a new air filter for my bike as well as some motorcycle apparel. Sure beats opening socks and underwear on Christmas day and I guess if you really wanted to you can cover those bases now as well and get yourself some fancy britches with your favourite motorcycle or brand adorning them. T-shirts, hats, tools, gift cards to your local motorcycle shop and of course new parts or maybe a subscription to your favourite motorcycle magazine (hint hint… ) are always a hit and a surefire way to make the biker in the family smile on Christmas morning.

My son raced for fourteen years and that made things pretty easy for Santa for every one of those years. Christmas 2003 saw a PW 50 show up under the tree and although things never got quite as extravagant as that again, it was a given that every year there would be a present or two under the tree related to his racing hobby. As every season usually required new helmets, gloves, boots or even leathers, Santa somehow always seemed to find the right colour and size when those gifts happened to show up under the tree. Maybe it was because he just had the itch to get back on the track or maybe it was because Santa had totally hit a homerun when he got his elves to make up the new gear, but many photos of Braden from Christmas days gone by will show him lounging on the couch wearing his new boots or playing his video game while sporting a new helmet. I would like to say that this kind of stuff only happens to the young ones but I can remember finding a pair of Fox racing gloves under the tree back in the day and wearing them around the house for the next week or so. I guess I should mention I was 21 at the time.

If you are not a racer there are still many ways to tie Christmas into your love of motorcycles. Maybe you are planning a big trip for next spring or summer that will not only involve many miles on the road but perhaps many nights away from home as well. Seems like the perfect opportunity to as Santa for some gift cards that can be utilized on your adventure. Gift cards for lodging, restaurants and even fuel will go a long way in making that trip more convenient and affordable. Now they even have websites that for a small fee will plan a trip for you when you supply them with information such as favourite destinations as well as some of your other likes and interests. How cool would it be to open up a gift and find out that a loved one has planned a trip for you?
The options are almost endless when you are buying presents for a motorcycle enthusiast and it sure makes shopping a little easier at times. Along with some of the things I have mentioned above, over the years I have received race tickets to a big event, movies, oil and even coloured duct tape back in my racing days. This year I have asked Santa for some kind of detailing package for my bike and perhaps a ceramic coating on my tank because boy am I sick of seeing those little swirl marks I seem to leave behind.

While many continue to say this is the most wonderful time of the year I am going to call it a close second. Just make sure you take advantage of this time and give some hints to Santa so you are well prepared for that magical day that awaits all of us come spring.

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