Vacation Interfering with Your Training? Here’s What to Do About It

July 21, 2016

Summer is a great time to travel.  It’s exciting to travel to new locations, spend time with friends and family but for many cyclist, there’s that nagging thought lingering in the back of your mind which prevents you from fully embracing the vacation experience. 

How much fitness do you lose when you stop training?  It’s a scary thought.  When you think about it, you’ve worked hard all year to increase fitness and maximize result on the bike. One option is to take your bike with you on vacation. However, that involves logistics, extra luggage, as well as,  the challenge of coordinating your bike riding with non cycling family and friends activities.   

Is there a way to take a vacation from your bike and not loose fitness?  

For starters, a little time off from the bike might not be a bad thing.  The post, Missing training – Adjusting the plan,  suggest a few options for recalibrating your weekly training schedule.  The big take away is the mindset. “Often remind yourself of the big picture. 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.”

With that in mind, there are some options to mitigate fitness loss and accelerate your re-entry to training upon return from vacation. 

While on vacation, splurge a little with your food but be mindful too. Eat well.  Vacation treats offer irresistible food temptations adding extra pounds to your waste lines.  Moderate your reaching for the goodies and opt for nutritious snacks. Eating poorly during vacation can affect your mood and motivation towards training when you return.  Mix a variety of non cycling exercise into your vacation.  Instead of driving to a close by scenic spot, opt to walk instead.  Look for hikes to do as a family. Enjoy other outdoor activities like disc golf or jogging. Discover all the different bike shops in the town you are visiting and make a goal to walk or run to explore the shop, discover the local cycling scene, and browse at bike parts

When you return from vacation, don’t beat yourself up for missed training! You don’t want to jump right back in to your training and riding routine where you left off before vacation. Ease back into it and give yourself some slack. Great suggestions to do this are made in the post, Making up For Lost Training Time.  Basically, be mindful of what you can control.  You can control the intensity, duration, and consistencies of your workouts.  Don’t go too hard to soon or riding too many miles right away.  You can also control the elements surrounding your training, as in, your bike parts, bike functioning, and being well prepared nutritionally to get the best out of your workouts.  Remember, while you may feel fresh, you did take some time off so be gentle with yourself.  You can also focus your efforts on training with power and heart rate. All play a key role in bringing your training back to where you want it to be. 

Enjoy vacation and time off from the bike.  With a little planning you can experience all the reward of vacation with minimal fitness loss.


Overtraining? How Nutrition and Sleep Play a Role in Recovery 

July 14, 2016

PhysioPhyx LPR available at BikeParts.comWith the great weather we’ve been having in Golden, Colorado, it’s hard to keep yourself off the bike!  Do you find yourself overtraining? Riding too many long miles? Or simply,  skimping on your regular self care? How do you know if you’re pushing the limits too far? 

First off, it’s important to note that during the summer months it is easy to get swept away in the joys of riding. The temps are great – the trails are great- riding a new mountain bike or road bike is great! All in all, riding in general is just plain amazing.  But, with all the bike riding accompanies fatigue and over doing it.  In fact, there are three stages of overtraining.  Each stage is defined by certain levels of fatigue and recovery time.  But in a nutshell, there are common symptoms cyclists can experience when they overtrain.

  • get a washed-out feeling
  • feel tired
  • get grumpy and experience sudden mood swings
  • become irrational
  • feel a lack of energy for other activities
  • suffer from depression
  • have a decreased appetite
  • get headaches
  • get an increased incidence of injuries
  • have trouble sleeping
  • feel a loss of enthusiasm for the sport
  • experience a sudden drop in performance

Yikes! That doesn’t sound fun – especially when the mountain bike trails and fun adventure road rides are beckoning.  What can you do about it? Consider the tools at your disposal to aid in recovery.

Nutrition Options: A favorite nutritional product available post ride is PhysioPhyx.  Here’s what we like about this product.  PhysioPhyx LPR takes recovery nutrition to a new level of support and performance by delivering a powerful, evidence-based blend of Carbohydrates + Protein + Leucine. This potent combination of nutrients has been precisely formulated to help ensure you rapidly and effectively restore muscle energy (glycogen), minimize muscle soreness, stimulate muscle repair and speed training adaptations after moderate, intense and exhaustive exercise or competition. In fact, recent studies have shown the nutrient trio of Carbs + Protein + Leucine taken after exercise creates an absolute ideal environment for your body to quickly go into recovery overdrive.  Who doesn’t like “overdrive”?!  Speaking of overdrive – you may enjoy reading more on the subject of nutrition and recovery in these post: 

Sleep: Included in the recovery process is quality sleep.  According to the post, This Is Your Body On Sleep, reduced sleep negatively impacts your HGH production, and your body’s ability to restore its muscle glycogen supply.  Ensure you are going quality of sleep by using the Sleep Cycle App.  This cool app analyzing users’ sleep patterns and displays data showing how well (or poorly) you slept during the night.  You might also add rolling or massage, stretching, compression, and low intensity activity to aid in getting a better night’s sleep. Many cyclist sleep in compression garments because they claim that it lowers perceived muscle soreness the day after a big day on the bike and they can reduce the swelling of legs after prolonged sitting. 

Ultimately, the best way to identify if you are over training is by listening to your body. If you can’t keep yourself from riding, then maybe try the distraction technique! Distract yourself from the trails and road rides with some bike bling!  Swap a training ride for a visit to Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop.  Check out the new bike parts we have in stock. Try on some of the new Specialized  Merino wool jerseys  that offer evaporative  cooling. Explore new tire or wheel options.  The possibilities are limitless.  And, once you have that spark back in your legs, you’ll enjoy your riding even more!


Unleash Your Inner Pro This July with The Ultimate July Event Calendar 

July 7, 2016

BikeParts.com Team Rider Racing July – the best month of the year! As cyclist, we all love July because the Tour de France is in full swing and so is the touring and racing season in Colorado.  With envy, many cyclist watch the pro riders at the Tour de France and wonder how they can mimic the fitness and performance of such talented athletes.  Cycling fans follow each day’s stage, drama, and favorite riders as the Tour unfolds.  

Many find themselves inspired by the passion and prowess of the Tour riders and feel the call to unleash their own inner pro.  Granted, we may not have the legs, power, endurance, or sprinting power of pro riders, but surely, each of us hears the calling to test our abilities – to push a little harder – to see if we have what it takes when the pressure is on.  

So given you’re not riding in the Tour, you can still take on the ultimate cycling challenge.  To do that, you need an event or race to test the limits.   Fortunately, Colorado has some of the greatest road bike and mountain bike rides in the country.  From bone-rattling descents to leisurely loops, locals and vacationers alike welcome the challenge of pushing the limits while taking in breathtaking views that only Colorado has to offer.  To unleash your inner pro, you have to select an event.  

Following are a list rides, road races, and mountain bike races from our friends over at Pedal Dancer  for the month of July.

Cycling Events

Road Races: 

Mountain Bike Races: 


Next – plan!
In your planning preparations, you’ll want to gather road ride or trail intelligence.  Meaning, there are key elements you should know before heading out on any unfamiliar route:

  • Know the profile – How much climbing and descending should you expect?
  • Know the route – Where is the start or the trailhead? How long is the route? What is the technical difficulty? What type of terrain will you be riding? And, What are the current trail conditions if opting for a mountain bike ride?
  • Know the weather conditions before, during, and soon after you expect to ride. Colorado weather changes quickly and sometimes, radically. Be prepared.

Ultimately, the best way to unleash your inner pro is to be prepared: mentally, physically, and have fully inspected your bike parts.  Functioning brakes are essential on the long, fast descents.  Proper gearing can make or break your chance of making a climb.  And, having the right bike toolscycling accessories, and extra bike parts on hand make a difference between a stellar ride and a bail out.

Next time you are watching a stage in the Tour de France and you find yourself inspired to see what you’ve got – go for it!  Pick a cycling event in July, get your bike and cycling accessories dialed in and go big! At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’re cheering for you!  


Red, White, and Blue: 5 Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July on Your Bike 

June 30, 2016

Happy 4th of July from BikeParts.comFrom 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.  

While many American’s hang an American flag from their home, car, or work building, why not celebrate the 4th from your two wheels?  You can decorate your bike with bike bells, streamers, and the like; but why note take it a step further and include your bike riding in your holiday festivities? Here’s how! 

Celebrate the 4th with a new ride!
Colorado has some of the greatest road bike rides and mountain bike trails in the country.  Knowing where and when to ride is half of the trick to enjoyable riding in Colorado.  For ride ideas, check out the post, 20 Colorado Front Range Bucket List Rides.  If that doesn’t inspire you, maybe this post will: Colorado Summer Vacations: Travelers Guide To Golden, Colorado Mountain Biking

Celebrate the 4th in style – get some new threads!
This year, the introduction of POC Sports’ 2016 line of cycling gear turned some heads in the biking community. New designs and innovations make the gear an attractive choice for cycling accessories and can even make you a better rider. Aside from the sleek style, the integration of new technology and compatibility adds a new-age touch to POC’s elegant design. For example, separate components of the new 2016 line are designed to work together to make a more enjoyable and hassle-free cycling experience.  At Peak Cycles, we have just received all this POC gear and more.  Ride in style this 4th with some new cycling apparel.

Celebrate the 4th with the Pro’s!
July marks our favorite bike race – the Tour de France.  Pick your favorite routes, cheer for your favorite pro cyclist and stay abreast of what’s going on right from the start with the  Tour de France Guide

Celebrate the 4th by drinking up!
While you might think of the 4th of July as an opportunity to consume adult beverages, we’re actually talking about water and other nutritional products. It’s hot out there folks -hydration and proper fueling for riding is important! Many cyclist have different preferences as to how they prefer to get their fuel while riding – whether that is in nutrition bars, gels, and liquids.  Some of our favorite nutritional products for summer are: Oslo nutrition ,  Scratch Labs, and Honey Stinger products. Stock up now and be ready to roll all month long. 

Celebrate the 4th by bike commuting!
Commute to parades and 4th of July outings by bicycle.  Along the Front Range, and in particular, our home town of Golden, Colorado, it’s easy to commute by bike.  Not only do we have a vast network of well maintained bike paths, but at bikeparts.com, we also have all the road parts and mtb parts, commuter bikes, and cycling accessories to make any bike commute easy and fun!  Remember to plan a safe route, make sure your bikes are well maintained, and get out there and have some fun! 

As a reminder this 4th of July, our shop BikeParts.com offers a huge selection of road bike partsmountain bike partsBMX bike parts and more. If you need it for your bike, then we have it! Because we sell our bicycle parts online, we are able to help customers all over the world – even if you don’t celebrate the 4th. Stop by our Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to pick up your 4th of July cycling accessories or visit us online at BikeParts.com.  Happy 4th of July friends! 


Ride Hard – Recovery Harder: Ways to Speed Up Recovery

June 23, 2016

Recovery Tricks To Get You Back on the Bike At the end of a strenuous training ride or race, cyclist quickly reach for their recovery drink with the intention of refueling their body to prepare for the next round of hard cycling efforts.  But what exactly is the goal of “recovery”?  What are the best ways to recover in the training cycle? And, is there a way to accelerate recovery?  Here’s a hint: recovery is not just drinking a carb loaded fluid after a hard effort.   

Think of it this way, according to Rowe and King, “all effective training plans are structured and involve carefully placed recovery phases. A recovery phase can be a single day in the middle of a training block, or up to a week to really recovery and peak before a specific event.  However, a common mistake made by cyclists is to repeat the same training, week after week, all season or all year round. It is the progression and overload, paired with recovery that leads to improvement.  Without allowing yourself to recover, you will stop making progress, increase the risk of injury and illness, run the risk of overtraining.”

Here’s what’s happening when you train – you stress your body and break down your muscles. According to Joe Friel, endurance coach and author, “recovery days come in two forms: days of complete rest (“passive” recovery) and days with light exercise (“active” recovery). Passive recovery is generally best for novices. If they take the day off from exercise the day after a workout they will improve greatly. For the pure novice any form of training may very well be too stressful. As fitness improves, the recovery days are better spent doing some very light exercise. For the novice this could be light cross training in a sport such as swimming or cycling. Novice runners should never run on a recovery day. It’s simply too stressful even for somewhat advanced novices.  The advanced, experienced athlete is best advised to train lightly on a recovery day as this maintains some of the most basic gains made in previous, harder sessions, especially economy of movement and aerobic endurance. Given the advanced athlete’s high level of fitness, such a light training session is not stressful. But it must be easy. Making these sessions too hard is the most common mistake in training at this level. Regardless of one’s level of experience or fitness, the harder the hard workouts, the easier one’s recovery days should be.”

Is there a way to accelerate recovery?  Whether recovering from a hard training effort or as part of your training cycle, there are quite a few actions you can take to facilitate quicker adaptations beginning with your ride style.  At the completion of your ride, be mindful to cool down appropriately. Spin your legs out and get your heart rate down. Immediately following your ride, Carrie McCusker, an endurance coach, recommends to “restore fluid and electrolyte balance, to replenish muscle and liver glycogen stores, and to stimulate protein synthesis. You can accomplish this by consuming carbohydrates, protein and fluids within thirty to sixty minutes of finishing your workout. Based on research data, athletes are encouraged to utilize this “glycogen window” to restore the muscles. It is particularly important for glycogen-depleting workouts, those that are longer than two hours or those with high intensity efforts, or if the day involves two or three workouts.”

Included in the recovery process is ongoing proper nutrition, sleep, rolling or massage, stretching, compression, and low intensity activity. Compression gear has risen to new heights in recent years.  Medical compression stockings have been used to treat poor blood flow for many years.  Recently, the technology has been made available to cyclist of all levels.  While the many claim it is difficult to prove that an immediate performance gain from wearing compression garments, many do claim that it lowers perceived muscle soreness the day after a big day on the bike and they can reduce the swelling of legs after prolonged sitting.

There are lots of resources online for you to learn about recovery best-practices and get the fuel and equipment you need for adequate recovery. Bikeparts.com has lots of different types of nutritional supplements all in one place as well as bikesbike partscycling accessories, and cycling apparel that can help you with your recovery training. And if you just want to talk to an expert, stop into Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to talk to one of our competitive cyclists. Have fun with your summer training!


Spin Worthy Father’s Day Gifts for Cyclists

June 16, 2016
Get Your Dad A New Bike from BikeParts.com for Father's Day!

Get Your Dad A New Bike from BikeParts.com for Father’s Day!

Father’s Day is almost here, and it’s the perfect opportunity to show dad how much you care. Nothing says “I care about you” more than showing interest in someone’s life – especially their passions.  

So, if  you’re stuck wondering what to get your cycling Dad for Father’s day, then look no further!  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’ve put together a list of spin worthy Father’s day gift suggestions.  

Super Plush Gifts:
For those going all our for their cycling Dad, nothing beats a new bike! You might think, he already has one – maybe two- or even three bikes…how could he need another? Truth is, you can’t ever have enough bikes. Consider a new road bicycle or mountain bike for your Dad.  Even better, opt for a fat bike!  

Maybe a new bike is a bit of a stretch, but you really want to treat your Dad to something he might not purchase for himself.  Give him power – a power meter that is!  If your Dad is a data junkie, then this is the ideal gift for him!  The main idea behind using cycling training tools is to dial in training to optimize performance as it relates to specific goals and objectives. Our post, The Best Training Aids to Launch into Spring Cycling, dives into the benefits of training with power. As for which power meter to purchase, consider our most popular one, Stages Power Meters, beginning at $1000. Stages Power meter is the lightest, smallest, most technologically advanced unit available today.  Another option is the Pioneer Power Meter offered at $2000 and is a bit more sophisticated.  A third option is a company that’s been around for a while now – PowerTap Power Meter. 

Plush Gifts that Don’t Break the Bank:
Does your Dad complain of hands falling asleep while riding? Or shoulder or neck pain after a long ride? Ease your Dad’s discomfort with a bike fit. A bike fit isn’t just for professional riders – they are for anyone who rides whether they are a beginner or advanced rider. A bike fit helps ensure riding comfort but it also impacts technique which is crucial to preventing overuse injuries and how an athlete rides. Give us a call (303) 216-1616 or stop by the shop in Golden to schedule your Dad’s bike fit. Not only can we help him with the fit, but we carry all the bike parts required to get the bike in the very best setup for his riding needs.

If you aren’t in the market for purchasing a new bike for your Dad, then gift him with a bike demo. One of our most popular demos is a fat bike! Riding a fat bike is a great new adventure. Renew your Dad’s cycling enthusiasm by trying out a new bike.  Or, try out some new bike parts! What cyclist doesn’t love bike parts? Whether it’s a new saddle, shifters, brakes, seatpost, fork, pedals, hubs or wheels, your Dad probably wants it.  The usual problem is how to know exactly what to get. Our answer, get a gift certificate.  

Plush Gifts on a Budget:
If Dad taught you to be thrifty, you may be looking for Father’s Day deals so you can get gifts for Dad that don’t break the bank

Tubes: This is one gift you absolutely positively will get used. Make sure you get the right size of tube. If you aren’t sure, stop in the Peaks Cycling Store and ask one of our friendly staff to help you. Or, visit us online at bikeparts.com

A good bottle: Every cyclist has a ton of bottles, but that’s not the same as having good bottles. Buy a good bottle and stuff it with other goodies.

Socks: Did you know Dad likes to wear their cycling socks even when he isn’t riding?  Why? Because they are so comfortable.  Pick out a pair of socks you like for your Dad and maybe even get a pair for yourself!

Tires: Treat yourself to Dad to some new rubber! We have a ton of tires for road and mountain bikes. 

Lube: Every Dad goes through it and we’ve got tons of it.

See how easy it is to get your cycling Dad a great gift for Father’s Day? If by chance you are still in need of ideas for creative Father’s Day gifts, stop by the shop in Golden, Colorado or give us a call at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop (303) 216-1616 and we’ll gladly help you out!  Happy Father’s Day!


Summer Bike Commuting – Making it Work For You

June 9, 2016
New Specialized Merino wool jerseys SL & RBX - Keeps you warm if you are cool - Keeps you cool if it’s warm outside - Evaporative cooling

New Specialized Merino wool jerseys SL & RBX
– Keeps you warm if you are cool
– Keeps you cool if it’s warm outside – evaporative cooling

Studies suggest bike commuting is one of the best ways to stay healthy.  

Fortunately, the number of bicyclists is growing rapidly from coast to coast. The National Household Travel Survey showed that the number of trips made by bicycle in the U.S. more than doubled from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009.  That’s great news!  

But as the Summer months beckon with warmer temperatures, is there a way to getting around safely, happily, and efficiently on two wheels?  The heat discourages many from hopping on the bike to ride to work or to run errands.  Yet, bike commuting improves fitness, health, saves money, and also benefits the environment by keeping one less car on the road.  If you aren’t a bike commuter now, maybe this Summer you will be.  And, if you already bike commute, perhaps you plan to commute by bike more frequently.

To get the most out of your bike commute it’s best to plan a good route. Knowing a clear path to your destination avoids the frustration of getting lost while also prevents overheating and sweating unnecessarily.  Learn how to pick a route you like. Google maps for cycling is a good option. If you are new to bike commuting, you will want to give yourself more time than you need.  This allows for a pressure free experience. 

Invest in commute specific cycling apparel.  Consider wearing clothing that is comfortable for your ride, as well as, your planned daily activity. Good options for men include the new Specialized Merino wool jerseys. They keep you warm if you are cool and cool if you are warm outside with evaporative cooling.  We  have a woman’s option too!  Casual women’s shirts  with short and long sleeved in Marino wool are great to wear for cool morning rides into the office or running errands on the bike.  

Aside from clothing options, a few necessary cycling accessories to have on hand include a good helmet; a repair or maintenance tool kit; a lock; and a way to carry things. This could be as simple as a messenger bag or as elaborate as a set of touring panniers.  These are the basic necessities needed to secure your road or mountain bike while you’re away at work or running errands.  Depending on your final destination, you may consider packing a “clean up kit” to freshen up after your ride.  Your clean up kit can be as simple as having some baby wipes, deodorant, a comb, face wash and sunscreen.  

A critical factor in bike commuting is having fun.  Fun includes enjoying the adventure, as well as, feeling confident in riding the bike paths and the roads.   If you are new to bike commuting and unfamiliar with the rules of riding on the road, register for our Bike Safety Class on June 16th. This is a great opportunity to get caught up on bike safety and the current rules of the road in Colorado.  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!  And…it gets even better! On the night of the event, Peak Cycles will be offering a 15% discount for all items, including bikes.  Keep in mind, discount excludes already discounted bikes and items. 

Embrace bike commuting this summer!  Make it an epic summer and set personal goals for the miles you want to ride this season.


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