Quiz! Do You Know Colorado Rules of the Road for Cycling? 

April 17, 2014

How do you protect yourself as a cyclist?  We’re not talking about helmets , gloves, and protective gear.  We’re talking about riding safe and smart.  Sure you may have a general idea of the rules of the road, but do you actually know the laws?  What about your rights as a cyclist?

Many recreational, as well as seasoned cyclist, consider anticipating what drivers, pedestrians, and other people on bikes will do next is pretty much all that is needed in riding the road safely.  But at Peak Cycles, we know better.  In fact, we are big advocates of safe cycling that we’re hosting a FREE Biking 101 event May 5th at 6:30PM at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado. (REGISTER HERE.)

See how you fare answering these questions.  If you get them right, yay for you! If not, maybe it’s time to freshen your knowledge on the rules of the road, smart cycling tips, bike etiquette, and how to legally and appropriately ride on public roads.

Do you know your bike laws?
True or False?
Colorado has no helmet law. It is legal for all persons of any age to operate a bicycle without wearing a helmet unless otherwise provided by a municipal regulation.

True or False?
Colorado has codified a three foot passing requirement in three rules to address the variety of circumstances in which a bicyclist may be overtaken by a motorist

True or False?
Colorado has some of the most specific laws regarding where a bicyclist should ride, and just as importantly, where a bicyclist should not be obligated to ride in the nation.

How’d you do?  What? There are no answers?!  Guess you’ll have to find out at our Biking 101 event!  There will be food, drinks, cycling education, and even bike parts to drool over!  Become a street smart, savvy, safe, educated, conscientious cyclist.   Register now and see you on May 5th at 6:30!


How to Cycle Smart and Safely: Register Now for Peak Cycles- Biking 101

April 10, 2014

photo credit: League of American Bicyclist

Have you noticed?  Spring is here!  And you know what that means, right? The cycling season has launched! Hurray!

Now is the time to check your bike for spring riding! Do you have a flat that needs changing? Are your brakes working properly? Is your chain lubed?  Do you need new bike parts?

But wait!  It’s not all about the bike, right? Spring is also the time to reacquaint yourself with bike safety, the rules of the road, and proper cycling etiquette.  During the winter months, it’s easy to forget many of the basics to riding safely on the road.  And, drivers forget to look for cyclist when they are driving as they transition from the winter to springtime.   No fear – help is near!

Join us for a FREE class offered to all cyclists on laws are for cyclists. Learn what the laws are for cyclists; how you legally and appropriately ride on public roads; what the rules are for turning, stopping, passing; your rights and obligations; become educated on bike safety, commuting and much, much more!  REGISTER HERE.

When:
May 5, 2014
6:30 PM

Where:
Peak Cycles
1224 Washington Ave #145
Golden, CO 80401

Who’s it For:
All cyclist – especially new cyclist.  We will provide you materials and guidance, as well as the laws and etiquette you need to take to the roads and trails. You will leave feeling more informed, more secure in your rights and obligations as a cyclist, and more confident and comfortable as you embark on your cycling journey.

Don’t miss out! There will be food, drinks, cycling education, and even bike parts to drool over!  Become a street smart, savvy, safe, educated, conscientious cyclist.   See you on May 5th at 6:30! 

REGISTER TODAY


How Fast Are You?  Your Best Suffer Face Tells All

April 3, 2014
Team Bikeparts.com racer, Jason Kompf, climbing the first of many hills in the Gold Rush Run

Team Bikeparts.com racer, Jason Kompf, climbing the first of many hills in the Gold Rush Run

We’ve all had those moments when you swear you’re cranking it out on the bike, giving it all you’ve got, leaving it all on the table –  and then – you finish the ride and think to yourself, I’ve got more in the tank! I didn’t leave it all out there.  So, how can you tell that you’re working hard enough?  New technological developments may surprise you!

Traditional methods to help you gauge your efforts include heart rate training. There have been many myths  surrounding heart rate training.  For starters, you can only compare heart rate values with your own previous benchmarks. Meaning, comparing your heart rate  with your your friend or your teammate is irrelevant. The reason for this is that we all have a different anatomy of our cardiovascular system.  Also, not being aware of the factors that affect heart rate can be a pitfall in effective application in heart rate monitor use for training.

But on the flip side, power training offers a different type of comparison. Power is power.  Aside from spending endless funds on bike parts, many wonder why they should even buy a power meter.  But aside from taking the guess work out of your workouts, power meters also provide highly accurate details about how your fitness is changing throughout the season.

Yet there’s a new technology to help you analyze your efforts.  A selfie! After years of research and working with top teams and athletes, TrainingPeaks is launching their newest feature that will revolutionize how training loads are measured and quantified: the quantified selfie.  Facial Awareness Strain Technology, or F.A.S.T, uses cutting edge facial recognition technology to help you determine the stress of your training. Simply take a selfie with your phone during a workout and load it into the new app. Within seconds the technology will analyze your photo, determine your effort and give you a F.A.S.T. score.

So now, you have three ways to determine your personal suffer score!  If you do not have a trainer or coach to keep you disciplined during your workout, a heart rate monitor, power meter,  or a quick selfie can be a great substitute. It can tell you when your exercise is falling below your ideal intensity so you can instantly improve your performance.  It can be a great bio feedback tool and also help you to monitor your fitness, prevent overtraining, and take your performance to the next level. Bring on your best selfie!


Bike Inspections: A Guide for Injury Free, Enjoyable Spring Cycling

March 27, 2014

2013 S-Works Demo 8-7 at Peak Cycles Bicycle ShopEnthusiastic recreational riders and competitive athletes can make early season training errors.  Namely, taking on too much physical activity too quickly. Going too fast, exercising for too long or simply doing too much of one type of physical activity can strain your muscles and lead to an overuse injury.  Understanding how to pace yourself while getting fit is crucial.

Yet, having the right bike setup, bike accessories and gear makes all the difference too.  Especially so if you have taken it easier over the winter months. Transitioning to more time in the saddle and longer rides on the bike can be either a pleasurable experience or a painful one!  Here’s what you need to know to get your bike in order for spring cycling.

Bike Inspection:  Does your bike have cobwebs on it from non use during the winter months?  Now’s the time to dust it off, put some air in those tires and do a thorough bike inspection.  It seems simple enough  But there are some critical areas to pay attention.  What do you look for? Notice any bike parts that need to be replaced.  Saddle injuries are the result of poor seat position, height, angle or design.  While your saddle  may look and feel fine, looks can be deceiving.  Materials and composition deteriorate beyond what is visible.  Also, neck, shoulder, and bike pain can result of an improper fitting bike.  Handlebarsstems, and bike position all contribute to a rider’s stability, endurance, and safety. Make sure all is well before embarking on longer rides which could lead to lasting discomfort.

Wheel Inspection: Obvious inspection includes tires, rims, and spokes. Check that there is adequate air pressure in the tires. Check that there aren’t any cuts or nicks in the sidewall or tread of the tires.  But maybe you’re considering a new wheel set?  Or perhaps going tubeless on your mountain bike.  Sometimes making changes to your current setup can inspire motivation to get out there and ride.  Check out our video on Wheelset Buyer Guide for What You Need to Know.  Whether you are thinking about road bike wheel sets, mountain bike wheel sets or just getting some thoughts together on wheel buying parameters and how your wheel set will affect your overall ride and other bicycle parts, this video will guide your way.

Regular inspection: Bike maintenance can be a chore, but a necessity.  As you ride more through the early season, some things that weren’t visible upon your first bike inspection may become apparent as the season progresses.  Regular maintenance is essential.  There are several things you want to do to keep it in good working order for the early season cycling months.  For starters, wipe down and inspect the frame.  Rain, snow, mud, and road elements pose different cleaning challenges to your frame and bicycle parts.  Consider using a stiff, soft-bristled brush to knock off any chunks of dried-on mud that may be on your frame or wheels. Then, follow that up by taking a rag to your bike, wiping it down generally all over to get off any remaining dust or dirt.  If you are concerned about how to maintain and clean carbon frames, check out this video for best suggestions.  Don’t forget to lube your chain and cables.  As unglamorous as chain lube is, it is a necessity.  It will keep your bike parts in working order and squeak free! There are many lubes to choose – wet vs dry lube.  As conditions vary, you may want to have a couple of different choices on hand.  Finally, inspect your brake pads. You’ll want to make sure the brake pads are not worn. And, remember to inspect where the brake pads hit the rim; they should contact the rim evenly on both sides and not rub the tire in any way that may cause a flat.

Pre season bike maintenance and training paves the way for a long, healthy, and enjoyable cycling season.  Stop by the Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to pick up the bike accessories you need to maintain your bike or let us help you!


Are You Race Ready?

March 20, 2014

Peak Cycles Race TeamThe Spring Racing Season in Colorado is nearly here! With upcoming events like the Louisville Criterium, Front Range Cycling ClassicRidgeline Rampage, and The Koppenberg, road and mountain bike racers are ready to ride. But, don’t think that just showing up on the line is enough.  Preparing mentally, physically, and being bike ready will ensure a successful start to the season.

Previously, we shared in our Peak Cycles blog post 5 race day strategies to prepare for the Spring races in Colorado highlighting the importance of setting goals, knowing the race route, establishing race day rituals and getting into the proper mental state for racing.

Yet, with road and mountain bike races beginning as early as next month, you need to dial YOU in to your race schedule.  Are YOU race ready?  The post, 5 Steps to Being Race Ready, reinforces the need for mental and physical preparation, as well as nutrition and bike parts checks, but part of racing is using your energy effectively – on and off the bike.

Balancing work, family responsibilities, training and racing is a key component to being mentally and physically ready to tackle the demands of early season races.  As you transition from winter training to spring racing, your mental and physical demands will change.  You need to have a transition plan in place to find balance.

  • Consider making note of conflicting interests.  See what is incongruent with your schedule, your work or family life and commit to sorting things out in a harmonious way.
  • Communicate your needs and expectations to others.  And, on the flip side, let them know what they can expect from you.
  • Plan ahead. Be proactive.  Set specific times for work, family and the bike.
  • Give something back.  If your family supports you in your training and racing, show how much you appreciate it. Combine races with a family outing and maybe promise to take a couple of months off the bike at the end of the season.

You may or may not be at the front of the pack in your early Spring races, but you can definitely show up at the line in good form, race ready, and prepared for a healthy and strong 2014 cycling season.


Off the Back on Training? Dial in Your Training for Spring Racing

March 13, 2014
Spring Racing at Peak Cycles

Spring Racing at Peak Cycles

Daylight savings time is here!  That means longer days and more ride time.  Before you know it, the Spring racing season will be off!

Are you ready?

Like many, the winter weather has many off on the sidelines but there are ways to get in shape just in time for Spring riding.

The trick is efficiency.  With your goals that is. If you aren’t clear on what you are trying to accomplish, chances are, your training will fall short.  The post, Using the “Power of 3″ to Reach your Goals, shares 3 important questions related to positioning your Spring training and racing: What We Want to Do, What We Can Do, What We Did Do.  It illustrates the point that as you go about setting and obtaining your cycling goals, attacking them from 3 different angles will greatly increase your chances for success.

Starting with what you want to do –  it’s important to Make Proper Goal Setting a Priority for Your 2014 Cycling Season. What do you want to accomplish?  When? How do you know you’ve reached your goals?  Making SMART  (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound) goals not only boosts your chances of attaining your goals, but you also  become a better cyclist in the process.  Clearly define your goals for early season riding and racing so that they are realistic yet goal worthy.

Moving on to what you can do –  you can begin now to monitor your efforts and begin incorporating Zone 3 Efforts.  What does that mean?  According to the post, Improve Cycling Endurance Using Zone 3, it means,For cyclists entering into their late base training phases, increasing muscular endurance and strength on the bike needs to become a greater focus. The greater your muscle endurance, the less fatigue you will experience towards the end of a long race and the more intensity you can handle while training.”  Use a power meter, heart rate monitor, and other valid bio feedback tools to optimize your workouts.  Make your time on the bike matter.

Finally, evaluate what you did do.  Did you stick with your training plan? Did you complete your strength training? Have you registered for your upcoming races?  Reflect back on what you said you were going to do and objectively answer – did you do it?  Note where you fell short and why.  You can beat yourself up and feel guilty for missing training.  Or, you can learn from your mishaps and restructure your training plan to accommodate things you have control over.

The post, Missing training – Adjusting the plan, reminds us, “ It’s easy to beat yourself up over missed training, but if you have been steady with training, give yourself a break. Gaining fitness doesn’t happen in one or two days and losing fitness doesn’t happen in one or two days. It takes months of steady training to gain good fitness. A few days missed or logging a fewer less hours than planned for a week is a small blip on the radar.”

The key here – start pedaling.  Longer days means more sunshine and time to ride.  Now’s the time to dial it all in – your goals, your training, your bike parts, and your races for Spring 2014!


How To Create Your Own Spring Training Camp

March 6, 2014
Joshua Murdock climbing Old Three Mile Highway in Linnville, North Carolina.

Joshua Murdock climbing Old Three Mile Highway in Linnville, North Carolina.

Many cyclists like the idea of using a training camp as a perfect way to get into shape for the cycling season.  Yet, due to cost, work and family responsibilities, traveling to a designated week long training camp is not always a viable option.

If you are looking for a spring cycling camp to really challenge yourself and get in some great base miles, consider creating your own spring training camp.

There are a few factors to consider especially the overall goal of the camp. Sure, getting quality training miles is a goal, but more importantly, you may want to focus on improving ride skills and techniques as well as race tactics and strategy. With that in mind, you’ll need to decide how many cyclist to include in your camp.  Evaluate each other’s fitness levels, strengths, and weaknesses and commit to bringing together a group in which all participants have something to contribute, but will also leave having learned something too.

You will want to decide on a local or remote location.  Of course, weather plays a role in this but more so does your goals.  Are you looking for climbing opportunities?  What about long rides on quiet country roads for race scenarios?  Look ahead to your early season races and consider matching the topography of your camp destination with that of your upcoming races.  One way to stimulate race scenarios is to keep it competitive and fun.  Use Strava to track your progress and challenge your friends.

Optimize your time off the bike too.  Grabbing a few beers and some laughs builds camaraderie but sharing bio feedback, heart rate information and evaluating ride power analysis as a group can offer feedback and insights into your training and performance which may have been overlooked otherwise.  Take the time to discuss nutritional requirements – find out what works and what doesn’t for others and maybe add a few suggestions to your upcoming preparations as the season progresses.  And last but not least, focus on a mechanically sound bike.  Rides don’t happen if your bike isn’t it good working order.  Have replacement bike parts, tubes, and cycling accessories on hand to keep you in the saddle and benefiting from your training camp.

Creating your own Spring cycling training camp can be a fun adventure that gets you into shape.  Teaching and learning, challenging rides and  lots of laughter are all key ingredients to fuel the sprit for a successful 2014 cycling season.


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