Training Secrets: How to Use the Fall Transition Phase for Fun and Fitness Gains 

October 17, 2019

While some cyclists are continuing to race cyclocross, many have ended their cycling season.  The epic rides have been replaced with shorter rides. Weekday rides may be exercised on the trainer or supplemented with gym workouts or yoga. The transition from all the summer fun to the end of season experience may have you asking yourself, what to do now?

As we wrote about in our post, Fall isn’t the end of a season, it’s the beginning of a new one, fall is actually the best time to transition from peak cycling form to a relaxed one.  Doing so doesn’t include missing rides.  It means shifting your mindset to embrace fall cycling while actually boosting your cycling performance for next year.  

The relaxed mindset includes maintaining your training regimen, but with a relaxed focus. One that includes fun and experimentation. 

Focus on Fun!
The key to late-season riding, racing and bike events is really to have fun! Earlier in the season, the focus is on improving fitness or achieving goals. Now is the time to enjoy the gains of your hard work. With fitness levels high, late-season bike riding and events offer a chance to experiment with race strategies and try out new cycling accessories. Consider checking out that new wheelset or a dropper post on your mountain bike. You have nothing to lose by experimenting this late in the season. And, if you like the bike parts you experiment with, you have the winter months to dial in your cycling position and bike fit.  If experimentation isn’t your thing, then at least replace worn out bike parts or catch deals on bike close-outs, bike parts, and components. Having a fun, relaxed attitude is a great way to finish your season.

Focus on Fat! Fat bikes that is!
Instead of missing rides and potentially getting fat, just get a fat bike! Fat bikes are the hottest trend in the mountain biking world right now and not surprisingly now is the time to get on board with them. This year there is more competition in the fat bike market than ever which means lower price tags. In addition to more complete bikes, there is a huge selection of fat bike parts available which makes it easy to customize your ride with wheels, tires, and other components that fit your riding style. Better yet, you can keep motivation high and up your giggle factor by participating in fat bike races through the winter months. 

Focus on Night Riding!
Riding at night can bring a fresh sense of adventure to your riding and fall is the time to do it. It’s not too cold and the weather is more cooperative. The trick is to have a There are benefits to night riding too. Riding in the dark heightens your senses, improves your skills and builds awareness.  Switching up the training regime can freshen your attitude, spark some fun, and maintain fitness while transitioning to the winter season. As luck would have it, we have lights on sale right now! LED, rechargeable, and affordable. Check out BikeParts.com for our wide variety of light options.  Or, stop by the shop and see which ones are best for your bike setup and type of riding.

The transition from summer riding to fall riding can actually be fun, interesting, and offer some unique opportunities that the spring and summer months don’t.  With fitness levels high and cooperative weather conditions, the fall season is a great time for experimentation.  Ride new routes! Explore different trials before winter weather arrives!  Test new bike parts.  During the racing and cycling season, the focus is on riding; whereas during the fall, there’s more time for mental wanderings and fun! Use this time to spark renewed interest in your cycling program and begin dreaming of your 2020 cycling goals.  

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Indoor Cycling Made Easy 

October 10, 2019
Trainers and Rollers at BikeParts.com

Trainers and Rollers at BikeParts.com

The cold is here! It’s our first really cold day of the fall season.  There may be some hardcore cyclists cycling outside; however, most cyclists are either skipping their regular training ride or pushing their workout off a day.  Either way, trainer season is officially beginning!  And by trainer season, we mean, training and cycling indoors. 

The trainer can be a love/hate relationship.  As a training aid, cyclist love it because it offers training options during poor weather and winter months.  Yet, on the flip side, trainer rides can be boring, lead to muscle-specific fatigue, and basically, offer uninspired riding.  Ugh. Is there a way to make it work?  Yes!  There is!  With a mixture of planning and dose of discipline, you can motivate yourself to get in quality trainer rides.  Here’s how. 

Get the equipment you need
The right equipment and bike parts can make your indoor workouts less boring and more effective. When we’re talking about equipment, sure, we mean having your road bike on the trainer, but we’re also talking about having a fan, a trainer tire, a riser block, a sweat towel, a trainer mat, indoor riding clothes, a cadence sensor, a power meter, and a heart rate monitor.  You might not think all of these cycling accessories add up to a great trainer workout, but it makes all the difference in the world. 

Set up your environment
Aside from the actual cycling components, it’s critical to create an inviting cycling environment. Why? Well, you need an environment that limits excuses and supports your fitness goals.  What do you need to inspire you?  As in, do you need bright lights to keep you motivated?  An upbeat playlist? Is there a time of day that works best for you?  Then, schedule your trainer training time then.  Your primary objective in creating a support structure is to foster an environment in which you are supported and held accountable.

Motivation
Sometimes seeing is believing!  Keep your motivation strong with visual effects.  Pop in a DVD training video or select a few YouTube clips to get your mind in the game.  Posters, a vision board, books, maps, apps, or pictures of upcoming races can trigger your motivation to not only get on the bike but maybe even dig a little deeper than you would have otherwise. Growing popular platforms make your time on the trainer more productive and entertaining. The post, Choosing the Right Indoor Cycling App, offers a list of apps and a description of how they function to help you decide which is best for you.  Some of our favorites from the list include ZwiftCycleOps Virtual Training, and TrainerRoad.  Try one or a few to dial in which best suits your riding style and aids with motivation. 

Vary your workouts
One way to make riding indoors work is to shorten your ride and add strength training to your workouts.  One way to do this is to avoid long rides on the trainer altogether. Year-round strength training for cyclists matters and substituting your indoor rides with strength training will do more for your cycling later on in the season than doing another trainer session.  In fact, a one-hour hard trainer workout will do more to improve your cycling and race fitness than 2 to 4 hours easy on the trainer. So, plan your time on the trainer accordingly and substitute ride time for strength training time. 

It may seem obvious, but scheduling workouts on the same day every week will help with consistency.  By creating a repeating schedule that you know works for you you minimize the chances of missing a workout. The post, 4 Habits to Increase Your Consistency, offers more suggestions on increasing consistency, such as, being purposeful, following your plan as best as possible, and getting in shorter rides when you have less time to train.

Granted, trainer rides will never replace the joy of cycling outside. However, you can take pride in that you are getting your rides in and building your cycling base for the season ahead. 


Cycling with a Bump – Is Cycling Safe During Pregnancy?

October 3, 2019

If you are an avid cyclist then you missing a ride here or there is fine. Yet, missing a season of riding isn’t okay! Many women love the sport of cycling and often wonder what to do when pregnant. Ride? Not ride? Maybe a little in between?

Most healthy pregnant women can benefit from twenty to thirty minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week, guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state. If you’re an avid cyclist, there’s no reason why you can’t continue to cycle during pregnancy. There are just a few things you should do to stay safe, comfortable, and healthy

Support your body with nutrition
A healthy and balanced diet is important during pregnancy. Make sure you eat enough calories to sustain your cycling — roughly 1,800 calories per day in the first trimester; 2,200 calories per day in the second trimester; and 2,400 calories per day in the third trimester. However, your appetite may not always be normal. Supplementing with prenatal vitamins can make nutrition manageable during pregnancy and provide the nutrients needed to support prenatal development. They’re even associated with lower risk of autism in children. In one study, 14.1% of children whose mothers took prenatal vitamins in the first month of pregnancy developed autism, compared with 32.7% of children whose mothers did not.

Be ready to make adjustments
Your bike will probably be comfortable enough during your first trimester, but you may need to make some adjustments once you enter your second. As your bump grows, try adjusting the height of your handlebars and saddle. If you raise the handlebars, you’ll be forced to sit in a more upright position with your shoulders back — a position more comfortable for your stomach. Moreover, if sitting on your saddle becomes uncomfortable, consider changing it. Saddles designed specifically for women often come with comfy extra padding. At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we can help fit you to your bike and we also have a variety of bike parts in the store and online to make the adjustments to your bike and cycling position as often as needed. 

Take it easy
Some people caution against cycling during pregnancy due to risk of falling. While many women continue to cycle safely during pregnancy, it’s important to take caution. Tiredness may become an issue in your first trimester, so avoid long routes. While it’s okay to get your heart rate up, don’t let yourself overheat. Additionally, your lung capacity decreases during pregnancy, so you’ll get out of breath quicker than normal. If this happens, slow down or stop and have a rest. 

Ultimately, you should get advice from your doctor about cycling at the beginning of your pregnancy. There may be a medical reason preventing you from cycling. And that’s okay. Do something else and resume cycling after pregnancy. The key is to do what’s best for you and the baby for the next nine months.

 


Spice Up Your Cycling Life with Cyclocross Racing

September 26, 2019

As a cyclist, do you want to get fitter? Faster? Stronger? And do you want to have a ton of fun while doing that? Well, if you haven’t already, you might want to introduce cyclocross into your cycling regime. Cyclocross racing is super fun and it can dramatically improve your bike handling skills, while also maintaining fitness intensity over transitional months and through the winter period. Sounds good, right? It is! 

Cyclocross is a wonderful way for road cyclists and mountain bike athletes to extend their competitive seasons and get a head-start on training for next season. The intensity of cyclocross racing provides a training stimulus that’s very difficult to replicate with standard interval training during the fall and winter, especially as the temperatures fall and athletes turn primarily to indoor cycling.  As the season is just now getting underway, what do you need to know? 

How To Get Started 
If you are new to the sport, a formal clinic can be a great way to get acclimated to the sport while making some racing friends. Attending a clinic can help improve your technical skills and help you confidently navigate your first cross race.  You can get a better idea during the clinic as to whether you want to try racing on your mountain bike.  Chances are that after doing a race or two, you will want to purchase a cyclocross bike. It is THAT addicting!  And, lucky for you, we have cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.

How to Train
Another thing to consider when starting out is how to train for a cyclocross race.  A good plan is to structure your cyclocross training week.   For specific training targets, the post, Preparing for Cyclocross Season, shares more on what you need to include in your training plan. Yet overall, a structured cyclocross training plan includes these elements: transitioning from the previous race season; running; race intensity workouts including some drills to gain confidence in your bike handling skills and cornering. A bonus is to include practicing starts, dismounts, remounts, shouldering, cornering, and riding through different conditions, as in, mud and sand. All play an important factor in racing efficiently.  

What To Bring To A Cyclocross Race
As for race day, your needs for a cyclocross race will be different from what you would pack for a road race or mountain bike event. We have a compressive packing list to make it super easy for you to remember because there is a LOT to bring to a race, as in a variety of cycling apparel, cycling accessories, extra bike parts, and wheel sets  You will want the checklist so get it here: What To Bring To A Cyclocross Race? One item that is not on that list that is a treasured piece of equipment is the Feedback Sports Omnium Portable Trainer. It’s the perfect bicycle tool to have for warming up before a race and cooling down after the race. The trainer is lightweight, portable, and quiet so it functions well at home as an everyday trainer during the winter months too.  Fortunately, it’s on sale now! 

So, now that you are motivated, skilled, and have your gear bag ready, it’s time to race cross.  Here’s a recap: If you are new to cyclocross, check out our cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.  Dial-in the best bike parts and tire choice for the type of racing you plan to do.  Finally, don’t forget to register for an upcoming cross race! Bring on the cowbell! 


Liv Women’s Bicycle Demo at Green Mountain – Saturday, September 21st

September 19, 2019

Are you feeling the itch for a new bike? Well, ladies, do we have a deal for you!  Join us this Saturday for a Women’s only Demo Day at Green Mountain

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, our job is matching bikes to riders and ensuring that your bike fits properly and that you are happy with it. If you’re considering a new road bike – try a new one out.  If you are thinking of riding trails for the first time in a long time, this is a no-risk way to dip your toe in the water while trying out a new mountain bike.  

What’s to lose? Nothing! Join us for a fun and free public event for women to try out Liv’s 2020 bicycles at Green Mountain! Here’s what you need to know.

WHEN:
September 21st, 2019 Morrison, CO
Liv Women’s Demo @ Green Mountain
9:00am – 3:00pm

WHERE:
Rooney Road Trailhead
CO-470
Morrison, CO 80465

WHAT TO BRING:
Photo ID & Credit Card are required to demo the bikes.
Helmet and Shoes: Please bring your helmet and shoes, we can provide pedals.

RIDE TIME:
Try as many bikes as you like, we just ask to keep your ride to 60- 90 minutes. Last bike out at 2:00 p.m.

AGE REQUIREMENT:
Must be 18 years of age or older to demo. If under 18 years of age you must be accompanied by a parent while demoing the bicycle and a parent’s signature is required on your demo waiver.

DEMO BIKES:
2020 MOUNTAIN BIKES FOR DEMO:

– Embolden 1 (XS, S, M)

– Intrigue Advanced 1 (XS, S, M, L)

– Intrigue 2 (S)

– Pique Advanced Pro 29 1 (XS, M)

2020 ROAD BIKES:

– Avail Advanced Pro 1 (S, M, L)

– Avail AR 1 Disc (XS, S, M)

– Thrive E+ EX Pro E-Bike (S)

Need more information or have any questions? Feel free to stop by the Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop at 1224 Washington Ave in Golden, Colorado or visit our Facebook Event Page.  We’ll see you on Saturday for a great demo day at Green Mountain! 


Get Ready For The Golden Giddyup

September 12, 2019

Only 2 days until the Golden Giddyup! Wait, what? Haven’t you heard of the Golden Giddyup?  Well, it’s a mountain bike community-sponsored bike event and trail stewardship program held in Golden, Colorado and it’s THIS weekend! All of us at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop are excited about the event. You’re invited to learn all about the GoldenGiddyup and encouraged to take part!

The History: The Golden Giddyup is a 501c3 nonprofit originally created to support Jefferson County Open Space with competent volunteer trail builders who help maintain some of the most loved and heavily used Open Space Parks. Each year in September, the partners at Jeffco Open Space close Apex, Windy Saddle and North Table Mountain Parks to host the annual Golden Giddyup race and there is a party, the Giddyup Get-Down, in downtown Golden. All of the proceeds from the event go back to supporting the Giddyup Trail Team and the stewardship efforts on the trail and off.

What is it? The Golden Giddyup is an all-day mountain bike event.  Part of the day is racing and all of the day is pure fun! As for the racing part, the Golden Giddyup features an enduro-style format, with three timed descents and three timed climbs.  As for course and race descriptions, there’s the Classic, the Chimpex, and the Lite. Each course option offers stiff climbs and bomb worthy descents.  As for the fun part, well, that’s an all-day thing.  The Giddyup Expo is from 10 AM – 5 PM in Lions Park. There is a free concert from noon until 5 PM. And the best part? Family fun and bike activities throughout the day!  There is a skills course for strider riders on up, a climbing wall, face painting and a variety of family fun activities.

Get involved!  If you’re a Golden Giddyup first-timer, then show up and enjoy the festivities! If you’re registered to race, then plan ahead and purchase any bike parts or cycling accessories to be prepared. Get your bike maintenance tools and prep your mountain bike for a great day in the saddle. 

The Golden Giddyup is a wonderful event and more so, an opportunity to really thank all those that make our mountain bike trails great. We’ll see you at the Golden Giddyup! 


The Benefits Of Cycling For Seniors Living with Arthritis

September 5, 2019

Nearly 50% of people over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with arthritis. Exercise can help alleviate arthritis pain and improve joint flexibility, however, arthritis can also make certain forms of exercise more challenging. Fortunately, cycling is a low-impact exercise option for seniors with arthritis pain, helping them to stay active and improve symptoms of their condition. As we’ve written previously, having the right bike parts can play a role in injury prevention and ease or riding for cyclist of all ages.  Yet, specific to older cyclists, partnership with the government is key to promoting better public health, as government sponsorship of cycling programs for older adults in the community can dramatically improve the quality of life for the 10.9 percent of Colorado residents who are over 65.

Cardiovascular Exercise is Crucial if You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes the body to attack its own tissues, resulting in inflammation. This inflammation is not just limited to the joints but affects all systems of the body, including the heart. As a result, people who have rheumatoid arthritis are 50% more likely to develop heart disease. Cycling is a great way to increase your heart rate and manage weight, reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke. The CDC currently awards 71.4 million dollars at the state and local level to raise awareness, deliver medical care and develop lifestyle programs to prevent and treat heart disease. Needless to say, using these funds towards a cycling program would help seniors with rheumatoid arthritis take charge of their cardiovascular health.

Cycling Improves Joint Health Without Causing Pain
Regular activity has a number of proven benefits for improving the health of people with arthritis. Running or jogging, however, may not be the best choice for seniors with certain types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis wears down the cartilage and tissue between the joints, which means that running while you have this condition results in bone rubbing against bone. Cycling, on the other hand, does not involve bearing any weight on your joints and flushes oxygen-rich blood through the joints to keep them healthy and lubricated. While it may be difficult to motivate yourself to exercise, especially if you’re struggling with pain or discomfort, joining a group at a local senior recreation center can making working out more fun.

It’s Easy to Modify Cycling to Meet Your Needs
Seniors with arthritis can take steps to modify their cycling equipment and bike parts to best ensure their comfort and safety, and the efficacy of their workout. Fortunately, at Peak Cycles, we are your bike fit resource offering improved comfort, efficiency, and performance regardless of the cyclist’s age.  And, since arthritis is the primary diagnosis in nearly 5% of seniors living in nursing homes, government programs can help provide funding for exercise equipment that makes cycling possible for seniors in assisted living facilities. A recumbent bicycle supports the back and allows you to exercise without placing any pressure on your knees. It may also be easier to get on and off a recumbent bicycle. A gel-padded saddle can also help you maintain proper posture and keep your lower back from aching. It’s important to make sure your road, mountain, or hybrid bike is properly adjusted to your height, to avoid having to bend over the handlebars uncomfortably. Again, this is where a bit fit makes a world of difference in comfort. 

Incorporating cycling into your exercise plan is a great way to alleviate arthritis and maintain healthy joints as you age. Finding safe and effective forms of exercise for seniors ensures better overall health and a better quality of life. If you’re over 65 and living with arthritis, start pedaling your way towards living pain-free.