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I hope you had a lovely Christmas together with your friends and family.

In Germany we exchange gifts already on Christmas Eve, before dinner, directly after mass.

Christmas, of course, is not only about gifts. Spending quality time with the family, enjoying good food and drink together is much more important.

This is why I always love to go home for Christmas.

My brother Olli, who still lives in my childhood hometown, started cycling this April, after I brought him a used rental bike back home from Mallorca where I have my annual training camp.

Since April Olli cycled 5,000 km, which is more than 3,000 miles. In the morning of 24th of December he showed me his favorite course.

What a great ride! It was my first long ride together with my brother. Beautiful landscape, narrow and quiet rural roads through the woods and alongside creeks made it an extraordinary ride. Most of our ride was on the trail of a former local railway which has been out of service since the sixties.

Not only the first ride with my brother, but also the first ride with one of my pre Christmas upgrades which I purchased for my Litespeed T5, my new Mavic Ksyrium Pro Exalith SL wheels!

I think that this low weight (1,350 gr) rim break clinchers with black alloy rims look great on my T5. Okay, they may not be as sharp looking as the Lightweight wheels I tested during Eurobike, but in appearance a real improvement compared to the silver rim Zipp 30s I had before.

By the way, if you want to know more about this stunning wall mount, which lets my bike float in my living room, it is a Tern Perch. Colorwise it matches the titanium of my Litespeed perfectly. Maybe this mount is an investment you want to make with some of your extra Christmas money?

My second planned upgrade will be a new saddle. The Brooks Cambium C13.

With this Brooks saddle tradition meets high-tech carbon, a saddle that is light enough to race on.

My brother Olli will probably go with a new Wahoo ELEMNT or ELEMNT Bolt. In April, when he was new to cycling he thought that GPS computers are useless. During our ride I showed him some of the ELEMNT’s features and he was more than impressed.

How will you spend your extra Christmas money and gift vouchers?