Cycling Inspiration for Earth Day

April 19, 2018

April 22nd is Earth Day! Yay! And, you might be wondering how bicycles benefit the environment? Or why ride them on this special day?

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we are big supporters in our local community and race teams, and as such, we know bike commuting is a win-win for our local community. Basically, for anyone looking to save money, embrace a green or sustainable lifestyle, and promote healthy, livable cities, cycling is important.

To kick off your Earth Day preparations, you will want to read our post, Pedal Power for Earth Day, to explore the many benefits of bike commuting. As a next step, you will want to decide how you want to celebrate the day and keep the Earth Day mojo going thereafter. The magic in Earth Day is making every day Earth Day. Bike riding is a natural fit! The key is inspiring others to keep riding.

Inspire others with bike education programs. No one likes riding a poor fitting bike. Having the right bike setup, cycling accessories and gear makes all the difference. Consider hosting a get together of friends and review bike safety. Or, participate in a bike maintenance class. Bicycle tools are different than regular tools and all tools aren’t created equal – some are good for mountain bike parts while others are designed for road bike parts. Knowing which tools to use on the appropriate bike components can make all the difference in making bike maintenance easy inspiring others to enjoy bike maintenance in addition to riding.

Inspire your friends with a list of rides and events. Colorado has some of the greatest road bike rides in the country. Some are shorter, convenient rides whereas others offer steeper, longer climbs and extended distances. Certainly you have your favorite list. Invite your friends for a special Earth Day ride and make it an annual celebration.

Inspire others with a bike-friendly shopping program. Everyone likes to shop, right? Inspire friends with bike parts bling! Many aspiring bike riding enthusiast appreciate a shop that offers quality bike components along with solid advice on bike parts and cycling apparel. Stop by the shop to check out our specials, discounts, and new cycling accessories for the season. Who says you can’t ride in style for Earth Day?

Inspire through reading. Maybe you just can’t make it out on Earth Day for a ride. No worries. Check out our posts for inspiration:
– Get Your Kids Bike Commuting – Here’s How!
– Summer Bike Commuting – Making it Work For You
– The Smart Cyclist’s Guide to Preventing Bike Theft

All in all, the most important thing to remember for Earth Day is that bike riding is fun. Fun includes enjoying the adventure of cycling solo and with friends. Fun also means riding a well fitting bike and feeling confident in riding the bike paths and the roads. This way, your Earth Day bike ride becomes an environmentally friendly activity you can do every day!

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Regaining Cycling Fitness for the 2018 Season

April 12, 2018

Peak Cycles / BikeParts.com Team Rider on a Spring training ride

Whether you are planning to ride a century, multi-day rides, race or aspire to longer or more frequent rides in 2018, getting a head start to your early season training sets the stage for a successful year ahead.

But what do you do if you are late to the game and missing rides? What is you are not getting the long rides in that you need to build endurance and fitness? Fear not! You are not alone. Many cyclist struggle early season as the weather isn’t always cooperative or they just don’t have the cycling mindset yet. There’s no reason to beat yourself up with guilt – just get with the plan and work the plan.

The post, Making up For Lost Training Time, suggest to focus on what you can control and let go of things beyond your control. What can you control? The intensity, duration, and consistencies of your workouts. 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.  You can also focus your efforts on training with power and heart rate. Both play a key role in training and you can use both to target weaknesses and strengths.

You may want to reconsider your goals or adjust them somewhat. If you’ve been inconsistent in getting your miles in, the trick is consistency. According to the post, Nine Golden Rules for Training, consistency is key. That means consistently training but also, consistently racing builds fitness too. Consistency in racing builds all kinds of fitness: mental, physical, and psychological fitness. If you are late to the game with your 2018 training, don’t shy away from your event or race plans; consider re-adjusting your goals and expectations so you can build from the effort and experience.

Finally, give yourself a break and ease into the season. The post, Why It’s Cool To Be Slow in the Spring tells us it is okay to be slower. “The short answer—so long as you have a normal base level of fitness—is about eight weeks before you want to be fast.”

So, take your time. Ease into spring. Enjoy quality training now that paves the way for a long, healthy, and enjoyable cycling season.


How to Choose the Best Bike Computer for Your Rides

April 5, 2018

There’s a funny joke among cyclist and it goes like this: “What do you call extreme cycling? Riding without a cycling computer.”
Cyclist like their data. They like their bikes, their bike parts, and they like knowing they are performing their best.

While the use of a smartphone to collect ride data is increasingly popular, a bike computer can still make sense for any rider, especially if you’re a data-hungry enthusiast. Given that, know that all cycling computers are not created equal. So how can you select the best one for you?

Determining the best computer for you starts with self awareness. What kind of rider are you? Casual? Weekend warrior? Competitive? If you are a casual rider, you may just need the basics. If you just want to know how far you rode and how fast, a basic unit may be appropriate. It will be smaller, lighter and usually have a longer battery life than a pricier option. You will want to look for computers sans GPS and data transfer.

However, cycling enthusiast and competitive cyclists may be looking for more features. On the upper end of the cycling computer spectrum are units that are both ANT+ enabled and have a built-in GPS receiver. These computers can receive data from ANT+ sensors, including power, speed, heart rate, and cadence. They also track your position using GPS, allowing you not only to see a map of your ride once transferred to a companion app, smartphone, or computer but also to compare your time on established segments using a service such as Strava.

When evaluating cycling computer features, you also have to have a clear picture of how much are you willing to spend? You will need to prioritize the functionality that is most important to you. Maybe it is computer connectivity or multi-bike options.  Regardless, the best thing you can do before purchasing or upgrading your cycling computer, is to have a clear idea of what you want to use it for. This will make your wallet happy and your riding experience all you want it to be.

Technology is improving all the time with more and more features to consider in your selection. Check out the cycling computers we have online or stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop and let us help you select the best computer for your type of riding. While you’re at it, check out our bike parts, cycling accessories, and cycling apparel. There’s nothing like launching into the cycling season than with fresh gear and bike parts!


Avoid Early Season Training Injuries with Rest and Recovery

March 29, 2018

Physiophyx for recovery

With 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? Are you recovering enough?

Now that the temperature is getting warmer, the days are growing longer, and the weather is improving, Colorado cyclists are beckoned to ride their bikes. While some may have trained through the winter months, many have not.  And the alluring call of gorgeous spring days lures many unprepared cyclist to ride too hard, too fast which can lead to injuries.  Whether you are planning to ride a century, multi-day rides, race or aspire to longer or more frequent rides in 2018, monitoring your early season training sets the stage for a successful year ahead.  

Recently, we wrote about Optimizing Your Spring Training and suggested training right, getting a bike fit, dialing in your bike parts and cycling accessories, and also, performing regular bike inspections.  Yet, there are two other relevant factors that play a role in optimizing your spring training.  That is – recovery and sleep. 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.”

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, a favorite nutritional product available for recovery 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.  

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.

Finally, put your mind at ease.  As mentioned, sometimes cyclist train harder in the spring thinking they are behind on training.  The combination of perceived effort versus actual effort can be inaccurate.  This false bio feedback can cause a cyclist to push too hard.  With that said, we suggest taking the subjective aspect out of your cycling performance evaluation.  We have cycling accessories to help you get precise bio feedback to remove the guess work out of your training – specifically power meters and /or heart rate monitors. Our post, The Best Training Aids to Launch into Spring Cycling, dives into the benefits of training with power.

So, take your time. Ease into spring. Enjoy quality training now that paves the way for a long, healthy, and enjoyable cycling season.


Your Spring Riding Survival Kit

March 22, 2018
BikeParts.com Team Riders Training in Spring Weather

BikeParts.com Team Riders Training in Spring Weather

One thing’s for sure, spring can be unpredictable. Balmy blue skies can quickly transform into rain and then, just as you’re shouting from the rooftops, “It’s tank top weather!” a merciless return of snow.  Here’s our survival guide to make the most of spring cycling.

Basic repair and maintenance kit
There are a few items you should bring with you for bicycle mechanical emergencies. All these items can fit in a small seat bag. The basic supplies you should have in your kit include a spare inner tube, tire levers, patch kit, mini-pump, and a folding multi-tool. In case of a chain break bring a chain master link. A small paper clip or zip tie can help keep the chain together to limp the bike home. While not considered essential items, some cyclist take their basic kit a bit further and include other items like a small amount of duck tape, zip ties or rubber bands.

Water and/or sports drink and a light snack
Staying hydrated is a necessity on a ride of any length, even in cooler weather. You might think that on a shorter ride, a snack is not necessary, but a breakdown or other unforeseen circumstances might put you out on the road or trail longer than you expected. Given that gels and bars are small, just slip a few in your jersey pocket to have on hand.

Cash, ATM card, Personal Identification
You don’t need a lot of cash but a little cash, say $5 or $10 just in case you want to stop for food or water. Also, it’s important to bring some sort of identification. A drivers license works best; others prefer to wear a RoadID. If you don’t wear a RoadID, you will want to carry something that has contact information in case of an emergency.

The right cycling apparel
Whether you want to ride in the new spring cycling styles or spin in your usual cycling gear, the main point to remember is to have clothing options available to you while riding. The weather turns quick and a rain shower or quick drop in temperature can make the best of rides turn sour quickly. Consider having a standby bike ready bag available. Pack it with arm and leg warmers, a headband or cap, rain jacket, and lube.

Despite the fact that most rides go well, there’s a lot that can go wrong on a ride and the chances are they’ll go wrong when you’re at your farthest point from home. Make it easy on yourself and have the right bike parts, cycling accessories, and bicycle tools with you.


Get in on the Fat Bike Action: Register for the Staunton Spring Fattie Frenzy! 

March 15, 2018
Staunton Spring Fattie Frenzy: A fat bike celebration

Staunton Spring Fattie Frenzy: A fat bike celebration

If you joined us for the STAUNTON BLIZZARD Fat Bike Race, then you know how much fun it was!  If not, now you have another chance!  Join us Sunday, March 18th for the Staunton Spring Fattie Frenzy!

We’re planning another crazy fun day of fat biking featuring a spectator friendly 8-lap circuit race and other fat bike shenanigans. Racers can go solo or in teams of 2 or 4 so gather your friends, plan your costumes (optional), and get ready for some fat fun. All for a great cause – grooming equipment to make fat biking at Staunton a blast for years to come!  

You might be wondering what all the fuss is about fat biking?  A brief history: fat bikes were originally invented for winter trail riding and racing in sub-arctic Alaska and simultaneously, for touring the deserts of New Mexico. Over the last few years, they have gained severe popularity! Their utility has expanded to include all forms of cycling; they thrive in snow, sand, desert, mud those that ride them, consider it normal mountain biking.  Accompanying the fat bike enthusiasm are manufacturers making newer fat bike models that are lighter. So while the fat tires may throw you off, these bikes are light and fun. 

Yet, as popular as they are, many have yet to experience this cycling bliss!  Following are the top blog posts to help answer your questions about fat bikes. 

Get in on the fat bike action!  Visit Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado for your bike parts and cycling accessories.  Take your cycling to another level of fun and register for the Staunton Spring Fattie Frenzy.  See you Sunday, March 18th! 


Cycling Success: A Guide to Launch Your 2018 Spring Cycling Season

March 8, 2018

BikeParts.com Team Rider Racing

Spring riding and racing is just around the corner and athletes everywhere are starting to think about their “A” races as well as secondary races to use for training and motivation. A given rule of thumb is that all races provide experience, training benefits, and act as a stage to assess your form. Because of that, targeting a handful of high and low priority races and events throughout the year can be useful as learning experiences and opportunities to dial in nutritional needs and race strategies. The question for many is, where to start?

Begin by committing to an event! This March and April, there are many tours, races, and events to choose from in Colorado. While this isn’t a comprehensive list, following are some of our upcoming favorite March and early April cycling events.

– Leadville Winter Bike Series 50k
– Pedaling for St. Pats
– Staunton Spring Fattie Frenzy
– Great Divide Grinder
– Louisville Criterium
– Buff Gold Road Race
– Oredigger Classic – Chad Young Memorial TT

Now, using your chosen event, set some goals. For some, early season races are just about getting harder efforts in and saddle time. However, having defined goals can help reduce prerace anxiety and also help you better evaluate your performance post race. So, begin by identifying what you want to accomplish with this event whether it be a targeted Heart Rate or Power zone, a solid nutrition plan, or attacking certain areas on the race course and use that to benchmark your success.

Next, evaluate the race route. Specifically, get to know the course and the conditions. Spring weather can alter race course conditions considerably. Take into consideration the bike parts you’ll be racing and confirm you have the bike components and gear needed to successfully race the course. For mountain bike components – consider tire selection carefully when riding wet and muddy trails.

Keep in mind, last racing season was some time ago. Your race day preparations might be stale so begin to prepare some race day rituals that you can use and build upon throughout the 2018 season. Give it some thought: does having a checklist of race day activities help structure your preparation to the start line? Include items such as nutrition, hydration, clothes, gear, extra bike parts and basic bicycle tools. This way, you won’t be forgetting anything as you prepare for your start. Maybe visualization, mantras, and breathing exercises are your thing. Regardless, early season races offer a chance to build on race day rituals that have helped you in the past and also enhance your support for the season going forward.

Remember to include in your race day rituals how you want to start the race! It seems simple enough to show up on the line and be ready for the gun to go off, but your start line mental state makes a difference – especially in early season races when nerves are running high. Your thoughts, emotions, and prerace behaviors are components of your mental state, so take inventory of your mental state and align them with your goals. It’s easy early season to compare your training and fitness to others. This is where having your race plan and goals specific to this event comes in handy. Stay true to your goals – not others.

Finally, evaluate your results based on your goals. What worked? What didn’t? What can you do next race to get a better result? Be objective and explore how your mental and physical training helped prepare you for this event. Remember to evaluate your bike and cycling accessory selections. Did you race the right bike? Would a different wheel set make a difference? Did you suffer from mechanical issues? Now is the time to dial in, replace, and buy the bike parts that you need going into your next event.

Whether you’re entering your first event or you’re a seasoned racer, planning your early season events can lay a foundation for confidence and physical fitness in which to build upon for the cycling season. Enjoy the March cycling events in Colorado and use them to catapult you into a great 2018 cycling season.