Staunton Blizzard: The 2nd Annual Front Range Fat Bike Race – January 20, 2019

January 17, 2019

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we love fat biking and we want others to love it too!

Because we know great trail conditions can make a good day into an awesome day, all of us at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop and Big Ring Cycles have partnered with 285 Nordic and Staunton State Park to raise money for grooming equipment at Staunton. Join us in building a great location for fat bike riders for years to come, right here in the front range. Here’s what you can expect. 

The event is this Sunday, January 20th at Staunton State Park. So, register today and you’re all set to join in the fun for the Second Annual Staunton Blizzard, the Front Range Fat Bike Race! There are two courses to choose from.

Amateur course: A beautiful 12.1-mile loop that includes the following trails: Staunton Ranch – Borderline – Mason Creek. Fatties rollout at 8,100 feet for a route that includes 2,000 feet of breathtaking elevation gain
Elite Course: A challenging 18-mile route. Trails to be announced.

The race categories:
• Masters Men’s (age 46 and above)
• Masters Women’s (age 46 and above)
• Senior Men’s (age 21-45)
• Senior Women’s (age 21-45)
• Junior Men’s (age 20 and under)
• Junior Women’s (age 20 and under)
• Elite course

The schedule:
Check-in begins at 8:15.
Races begin at 9:00

What if you are interested but not racing? After the race categories, join a “Smiles and Miles” group to ride this beautiful course.

Great! You’re IN! Now what? 

Well, get prepared! In our post, Fat Bike Essentials for First Time Fat Bike Riders, we give you the lay of the land of what you need to know. The quick rundown is to have the right cycling apparel! Stay warm and you will ride in comfort. Generally, the most important tip for keeping warm is to layer and to carry a pack to put your extra layers away. Some people prefer to wear ski goggles and a ski helmet, and lots of people wear winter boots. Poagies, insulated hand covers that slip over your handlebars, are also very useful for keeping your hands warm. Keeping your feet warm is key. Wearing boots, preferably waterproof, with thick socks on flat pedals or clipless boots with multiple pairs of socks works.

Are you wondering about drinking, and staying hydrated in the cold? Well, we have a few tips for you. First off, even though you might not feel the urge to drink as much when racing or riding your fat bike in the cold, it is still important to drink fluids. During the shorter race, you may opt to carry an insulated water bottle and start with really warm water. You can also add electrolytes or other ingredients to change the freezing point of the fluid but may find limited success if you think you’ll be out there riding for a while. When using a CamelBak or something similar, stick the bite valve in your jacket and blow out all the water in your hose. You can also buy neoprene insulators for the hydration hose to help keep the water as a liquid substance. 

What about pedals? There is the clipless/flat pedals debate for fat bikes. Ultimately, it’s your choice! The biggest problems people have making this decision is deciding how to best keep their feet warm. Having flat pedals will allow you to wear thick winter boots, which are more conducive to keeping your feet warm. However, you can buy clipless boots that are designed to handle colder temperatures. Using a clipless pedal could prove annoying in snowy terrain if you have to dismount and remount frequently during your ride. 

Finally, there’s tire preparation. What kind of tires is recommended? How wide? What pressure? Tube vs. Tubeless? It’s no different than the usual configuration – you have to match tire pressure with conditions. Softer snow conditions: 6psi. Harder conditions: 8-10psi. (much lower than the normal bike). Fat-bike tires are typically marked as 26 x 4.0 though most are really more like 26 x 3.7 or 3.8. The actual size of the mounted tire will vary depending on the rim width used for the wheel.  Many riders prefer tubeless because they reduce over a point of rotation weight and they provide better traction.

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we are all big fans of fat bike riding. We sure hope you are feeling the urge to take on this fun fat bike phenomenon and join us this Sunday, January 20th at Staunton State Park, 12102 South Elk Creek Road, Pine, CO 80470 for the Staunton Blizzard: The 2nd Annual Front Range Fat Bike Race

Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to get ready for the race.  Check out our fat bike selections, cycling apparel, hydration strategies, fat bike bike parts, and cycling accessories.  Plus, get even more of your questions answered in person!  Be sure to register for the event and we’ll see you on Sunday! 

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Smoothies Are A Perfect Mix For Cyclists

January 10, 2019

A study out of Stanford University School Of Medicine demonstrated that insomniacs cut the time to fall asleep by half, slept longer and enjoyed a better quality sleep after beginning to cycle 20-30 minutes every other day. And that’s just one of the benefits cycling can have on your life. But now that you’re riding, how do you keep energy going into your body when you are putting so much out? The answer is a smoothie one. Yes, a simple-to-make smoothie, with all the right ingredients can keep your body moving in the right direction, whether you’re coming or going on your bike. 

A smoothie to start the day

Before you kick start your kickstand, you want to get your body in shape to stay in shape. For cycling, you need energy to not just get moving, but to keep moving in order to get the aerobic benefit and build muscle tone. The smoothie habit is a healthy one to adopt, as it adapts to your active life. Energize first thing in the morning with fresh ingredients that taste good, are quick to blend and provide the boost of nutrients a cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal just can’t provide. 

Beyond the banana

Fruit provides important vitamins but also great flavor that can mask some of the other less tasty but oh-so-healthy additions. Of course, bananas make for the consistency, but also provide fiber, vitamins, and potassium. Other fruits kick up the flavor and the vitamin contribution as well. Then add some spinach or a bit of kale to a cold green tea or even coffee base, blend in almond milk and you will have just the morning lift to get you going. Explore the many combinations to make your perfect morning smoothie, adding honey and other healthy flavors until it’s just the way you like it.

A Smoothie Ride

Just as you need the right bike, with all the right bike parts to keep your bike running strong, it’s important to stay energized and hydrated to keep your body running strong. Again, a smoothie you can take along will make the going easier and keep your health on the right track. A coconut water based smoothie contains electrolytes, to which you can add seasonal fresh, low-calorie fruits like watermelon, a better choice than fruit juice. Hemp, ground flax or chia seeds will blend in a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acidsThis sip-n-ride mix will not only taste delicious, but will give you way more cycling stamina than water alone.

Bringing it home

Getting off the bike and jumping into a chocolate peanut butter smoothie is not only flavorfully rewarding, but with peanut and unsweetened cocoa powder mixed into regular or soy milk with a drop of honey, you’ll feel like you’re cheating while you’re replenishing yourself with goodness. Even a drop of protein powder, vanilla extract or a banana will dance on your tongue and bring nourishment back to your belly after a strenuous ride. Again, make your smoothie your own by trying different combinations of healthy ingredients.

Even more body benefits in smoothies

They are easy to make and easy to carry along, and smoothies can have health benefits for cyclists beyond being the well-balanced super-food you can treat yourself to without guilt. Depending on what you add, a smoothie any time can act as an anti-inflammatory, helping to keep your joints in check for the long run, so you can keep taking those rides comfortably for many years to come. They don’t say “A smoothie a day will keep the doctor away,” but with the right recipe, it very well could.


New Year, New You – Strategies to Keep your 2019 Cycling Goals

January 3, 2019

Welcome to 2019!  Does the New Year have you inspired, motivate, and excited to take on more in the coming year?  It’s a new year and a fresh start to actually doing all the things you want to do. Yet, as you may know, not all New Year’s resolutions and goals are created equally. Some are lofty and while you have good intentions, you know you aren’t really going after it. Then, there are other goals. The ones that would feel rewarding, satisfying and meaningful if you were to meet them. These are the heartfelt goals and resolutions that we’re talking about! The ones that inspire you and light you up!

What are those goals? How do you plan to achieve them? And how will you know when you have met them? Start 2019 off right by having a plan.

Define your intention. This is important. What do you intend for yourself? How committed are you? What are you willing to change in your schedule, your training, your bike setup, and even your approach towards meeting your goals.  Without having a clear intention and determining your level of commitment, you won’t reach your goals.  

Define your goals.  Identify specifically what you want to accomplish in 2019.   Make a list.  The more specific the better because vague goals can’t be quantified.  When you list out specifically what you want to accomplish and a time frame in which to do this, you make your goals SMART.  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.  What might these goals look like? For example, a goal to consistently hit target heart rate zones or power zones for specific workout.  Leverage cycling accessories that are available to you – as in power meters and /or heart rate monitors to provide objective feedback.  Based on your goals, you can then get an action plan together by defining your training objectives.

Define your training objectives.  Now that you have your goals set for 2019, it’s time to take inventory of your abilities to meet your goals for training and events. What are your strengths?  What are your weaknesses?  For every area of improvement, decide what activity is needed to improve that.  If you have poor bike handling skills, then schedule time each week for bike drills.  If your core is weak, schedule time for yoga or strength training. And, if you are like most cyclist, you could use a little stretching. Make time for stretching to improve your flexibility.

Define your approach.  Get a game plan together of how you plan to train and race.  Take stock of last year’s performances, where can you improve?  Check in with your commitment level again. What is it going to take to make manageable changes to your lifestyle to support your goals?  Take time now to review and plan ahead.  Take a fresh approach to 2019! Experiment with new ideas, products, and approaches. As in, maybe try a new on bike nutrition product. Experiment with different bike parts and bike components.  Consider designing and refining a pre-event routine, like a race day ritual.  This thoughtful process brings a fresh approach to 2019 and keeps you motivated through the winter months.

Define results: How will you know that you reached your goals? It’s important to have this dialed in so that you can celebrate your success and feel rewarded for your commitment.

Goal setting is much more than simply saying you want something to happen. Unless you clearly define exactly what you want and understand why you want it the first place, your odds of success are considerably reduced. Start the year off right with small, manageable changes to your lifestyle to reach your goals. Stay focused. Be consistent. And, keep your eyes on the prize! Here’s wishing you the very best in 2019! 


How Can Music Get Cyclists into The Zone?

December 27, 2018

Music (like sport) helps people fight depression, lifts the mood, and makes us feel more energetic but did you know that it can also inspire you to perform better as a cyclist? More and more cyclists are making musical gear an important part of their essential gear list when they take to the wheel, largely because of recent scientific findings which show that music can do much more than keep us cycling to a specific rhythm. One study by scientists at Brunel University found that music boosts exercise endurance by 15%. This is great news at times when you feel less-than-energetic and you need extra motivation to work up a sweat on your bike.

Music and Cardiovascular Performance

The above-mentioned study, published in the Journal of Sports and Exercise Physiology, found that when music was selected to sync perfectly with the type of exercise being performed, endurance was significantly increase. Athletes also stated they derived significantly more enjoyment from their workouts, and had a more positive view of exercise – even when their routine was intense. The researchers concluded that music has great possibilities when it comes to motivating people to get out and about. It can be used with any sport – including cycling. Currently, cyclists can instantly access interesting playlists for their sport or download playlists for spin sessions if they are cycling indoors. Bluetooth headphones easily hook up to playlists you can previously download onto your smartphone, making sure to pick music with the right beats for your workout. You can also place speakers on your handlebars so everyone riding with you can pedal to the same rhythm.

Music and Mood

When it comes to cycling, music can keep you on your bike for longer, thanks to its powerful effect on mood. A 2018 study undertaken at the American College of Cardiology found that people undertaking a cardiac test remained longer on their bike when music was played to them. In the study, those who had listened to music on a headset lasted around 51 seconds longer on the stress test than those who had no music. Researchers noted this time extension is significant, because stress tests are so difficult. In the typical stress test, intensity/difficulty is increased every three minutes. Most people last on the test for around seven minutes so tacking on an extra minute is a big accomplishment.

What Music Should You Select for Cycling?

There are dedicated playlists online and you can even check out your favorite cyclists’ playlists. However, because cycling performance is so closely dependent on motivation, creating a bespoke list with music you personally find inspirational, can be more beneficial. Aim to choose songs with between 120 and 140bpm (beats per minute). Go a little faster if you want an easier workout. For a higher intensity experience, 135 to 140bpm should do the trick. If you want a little inspiration, songs at around 140bpm or lower include Britney Spears’ Womanizer, Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, and Michael Jackson’s Beat It. Both R ‘n B and pop tunes that are upbeat but not too fast are ideal to to keep your heart at a consistently high rate. To warm up, choose pop hits like Kelly Clarkson’s What Doesn’t Kill You, Justin Timberlake’s SexyBack, or Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk. These pop songs run at 115 BPM. To cool down after a cycle, just put on your favorite slow music and stretch for around 10 to 15 minutes if possible.

Music can inspire and motivate you to last longer and give it your all. It makes you a more efficient cyclist, so you can utilize less oxygen to perform the same workout. For inspiration, have a listen to what others find motivating, but take the time to create your own playlist, filled with tracks that lift your spirits and boost your energy level.


Christmas Count Down  – What to Get For Everybody on Your List   

December 20, 2018

Imagine this: Your heart rate increases. Your blood pressure spikes. You hit a sudden wall of fatigue. Are you racing at the front of the pack? Trying to close the gap on the rider in front of you? Sprinting to the finish line? Actually, no. You are holiday shopping! We’ve got 5 days left before Christmas! Are you feeling the rush? Have you checked off everyone on your list? We’ve got tips to making the shopping stress easier and getting your checklist complete. 

Husband – Hmmm…you might be thinking your cycling husbands has all the bike parts and cycling accessories he needs. That is never the case! Think a little outside the box. Add a little giggle factor to your holiday and get your husband a fat bike!  fat bikes in the winter months but they can actually be ridden year round! And if getting a new bike isn’t in the budget, then splurge on a fat bike demo so he can try it out himself! Consider gifting your husband bike maintenance tools, lube, and other items to help him take care of his bike (and yours!). 

Wife – Are you not sure what to get your wife for Christmas? Maybe she has hinted at some new cycling apparel? Every woman wants to ride in style.  She can’t have too many women’s jerseys, shorts, tights, jacket, sunglasses, or cycling shoes!  Having a variety of cycling apparel to wear keeps cycling fresh and makes it fun to get out and ride!  Perhaps you are looking more for a stocking stuffer idea. Surprise her with a gift certificate.  She can use it for purchasing the precise gift that will make her the happiest.  

Children – We all know, the best Christmas Gift for a Kid is a bike! But what you may not know is that we have a huge selection of kids bikes, children’s cycling apparel, helmets, and  cycling accessories. This includes windbreakers, gloves, shorts, jersey’s, chamois, pedals, hats, backpacks, and all the cool things that kids love. 

Your Bike – Do you know what your bike wants for Christmas? You can’t leave your bike off the list!  There are plenty of thoughtful gifts available to show your bike just how much you care. Think new bottles, bike parts and components, saddle, and wheel sets. Any of these items will make your bike happy! 

Whew! Are you feeling that endorphin high yet from just finishing your whirlwind of shopping? Maybe not just yet…head on over to BikeParts.com or stop by and see us at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to finish up your last minute holiday shopping. Merry Christmas! 


What Does Your Bike Want for Christmas? 

December 13, 2018

 

You’re making your list and checking it twice, but have you remembered everybody on your list? As we’re officially into the holiday shopping season,  you have about two weeks to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list:

– Spouse – check

– Parents – check

– Siblings – check

– Children – check

– Bike –   ???

You haven’t forgotten about your two wheeled friend, now have you? Let’s think about this.  The holidays are for sharing gifts celebrating the special relationships you have with others.  Doesn’t your bike create fun, fitness, and basically, the greatest feeling in the world for you?  Show some love to your bike this holiday season.  Get it some presents!  If you’re stuck wondering what to get your bike for Christmas, then look no further!  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’ve put together a list of spin worthy list of holiday gift suggestions.  

Super Plush Gifts:
For those going all our for their bike, nothing beats a companion for your bike.  Yes! That’s right – get a new bike! You might think, your bike already has one – maybe two- or even three bikes…how could your bike need another? You and your bikes always need another bike. We all know this truth. One can never ever have enough bikes. Consider a new road bicycle or mountain bike.  Even better, opt for a fat bike!  

Maybe a new bike is a bit of a stretch, but you really want to treat your bike to something, consider purchasing a power meter.  A power meter is a great training tool and helps 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. Another option is the Pioneer Power Meter and a third option is a company that’s been around for a while now – PowerTap Power Meter. 

Plush Gifts on a Budget:
Gift giving for you bike doesn’t necessarily mean going all out financially. There are plenty of thoughtful gifts available to show your bike just how much you care. Some great ideas include some of these. 

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 and your bike likes them too! Buy a good bottle and stuff it with other goodies.

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

Lube: Bikes like to be seen – not heard! Every bike enjoys a smooth bike chain with just the right amount of lube. Get some now and stock up for the 2019 season while you’re at it!  

See how easy it is to get your bike a great gift for Christmas? If by chance you are still in need of ideas for creative Christmas 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 Holidays Friends!


The Best Christmas Present for Your Child is a Bike 

December 6, 2018

Do you know what tops Santa’s wish list for kids?  A new bicycle! There are plenty of reasons to support purchasing a bike over phones, playstation, and other sought-after presents.  For starters, having a new bike to ride gets your child outside – away from screen time and exercising. Not only does this promote a healthier and more balanced lifestyle now, but also paves the way for a long life of well being.  As Santa’s helpers, here’s our list of must haves to make your bike selection easy.  

Get the right size bike.  We mean it! This means having a bike that fits. If purchasing a new toddler or youth bike, make sure you avoid the common mistake of buying a bike that they’ll “grow into.” Doing so can set your child back a couple of years. When shopping, be aware that children’s bikes are measured by their wheel size (not frame size). The right size is one where your child can comfortably get on the bike and stand with his or her feet on the ground. If you have questions on the right size bike for your child, visit our staff at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop. We’re more than happy to help you select the right size bike for your child.

Get the right clothes.  Christmas is a time to spoil the children with all the things your parents never got you as a kid. From stocking stuffers to cycling accessories and even cycling apparel. Kids love clothes, gear, and bike parts too! Dress your kids for cycling success. Investing in a well fitting helmet, along with a jersey, cycling shorts, and a good pair of gloves inspires your kids and affects enjoyment levels and performance. If your child is comfortable, they are going to want to ride. We have bike parts and cycling accessories that includes windbreakers, gloves, shorts, jersey’s, chamois, pedals, hats, backpacks, and bikes that kids love. Most importantly, we have reflective materials to put on your child’s bike to make sure they are visible.  If you aren’t sure on sizes, we’re happy to help dial those details in! We know how important it is to open a present, and enjoy it immediately!  

Finally, did you know we have one of the largest selection of kids bikes in Golden, Colorado? We do! Better yet, we’re offering 10% off all kids bikes through the end of the year, in store and online! Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop or visit us online to make this year, your child’s most cherished Christmas.  Happy Holidays!