4 Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race Strategies

August 8, 2013

What is all the Leadville hype about?  For starters, the start and finish of the race are in the heart of Leadville, Colorado at 10,200’. More than 90 percent of the race is on dirt or double track roads featuring steep climbs and serious descents. There is a seven-mile climb to the 50-mile turnaround at 12,600′ and an approximate 14,000’ elevation gain. Whew!  That’s exhausting just thinking about it!

Not only is the race tough, but it’s gained national attention due to Colorado cyclist, Dave Wiens winning the event six years in a row. Levi Leipheimer won in 2010 and Specialized racer, Rebecca Rusch, has finished first in the last four races — 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.  For non professional athletes, what are successful race strategies to help conquer this demon of a race?

1.  Plan Right!  Sure, getting your bike parts  in order, lubing your chain, checking your tires are all good to do to prepare before the race.  But, what happens out on the course?  Crazy stuff can happen out there!  Be sure to carry an extra tube or C02  with you, have extras in your drop bag along with some tires , bike nutrition, and extra clothing.  Lube is good to carry on hand too if the course is dry.  Not sure if a certain bike part will hold up?  Have an extra one handy with some bike tools  in your drop bag to keep you in the race.

2.  Fuel Right! Proper nutrition leading into a race is critical.  Yet, staying properly hydrated and taking in appropriate levels of protein and carbs during your race will not only help keep your energy up, but it will help keep your mind fresh and alert for those technical sections.  Consider stocking up with bars, gels, and an assortment of nutrition requirements to have in your jersey and in your drop bags.  Also, consider how you are getting your fluids: bottles or hydration pack?  It’s important to plan your water intake between aid stations so if you think it will be a while between them, opt for a hydration pack.

3.  Pace Yourself! While the nerves are high and the muscles and energy are fresh, it’s easy at the start of the race to get after it and go out too hard and too fast.  Keep in mind, the more you spike your heart rate at the beginning of the race, the less you have available to pull from at the end of the race.  The trick to finishing this race is to ride a steady ride keeping your heart rate in check and knowing when to back off.  Use your cycling computer to keep yourself in check.

4.  Get Your Mental Game On!  Check in with your mental attitude, preparation, and willingness to “get after it.”  The level of digging deep and mental suffering for this race exceeds that of training rides or even shorter (60 miles or so) races.  Be prepared with mantras or mini goals to keep yourself going with the going gets tough.

There you have it!  Success strategies to get you to the finish of the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike race.  Good luck to all racers at the Leadville 100 this weekend!

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Peak Cycles Spotted! Mountain Bike Nationals and UCI BMC World Championships

July 25, 2013
Dillon Turner - riding fast at UCI BMC World Championships in New Zealand!

Dillon Turner – riding fast at UCI BMC World Championships in New Zealand!

Colorado bike races are more popular than ever. The physical challenge of Colorado’s altitude combined with amazing alpine views pair for a cycler’s dream.

What makes it even better?  Cool bikes, new bike parts, and team riders crushing it in local, national, and international mountain bike races.

We’re super proud of our team racers at bikeparts.com.

  • Congrats to PeakCycles BMX Rider Dillon Turner – riding fast at UCI BMC World Championships in New Zealand!
  • High fives to Joshua Murdock and Taylor Shull for impressive showings at the Mountain Bike Nationals in Bear Creek, Pennsylvania!
  • Stellar finish for Stacy Moller at the Leadville Silver Rush 50!

Congrats to all of our racers!  At BikeParts.com, we do all we can to support our competitive and non completive athletes.  And while our racers can tell you, racing takes its toll on themselves as athletes, but also on their bikes. The season is in full swing and most venturing into the shop want to know how to ride faster, ride easier, and what they need to do either get their bike parts in order or keep them well maintained.

What can we learn from our podium finishers?  For starters, they start their races with a clean and lubricated chain.  They make sure to lubricate the moving parts of brakes and derailleurs. Their brake pads are in good shape and tires have the appropriate air pressure.  And, most importantly, after they race, they inspect their bike and replace damaged bike parts.

Get in to the shop to hear about our racers most recent adventures and success stories.  Let’s finish this season strong!


Peak Cycles Crushing Colorado Mountain Bike Races

June 27, 2013

These are beautiful days on our Colorado mountain bike trails.  What makes them even better?  Cool bikes, new bike parts, and team riders crushing it on the Front Rage trails and mountain bike races.   Check out some of team riders styling with our latest mtb parts.

Team Rider Josh Murdock on the podium after crushing it on his Specialized Stumpjumper.

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Team rider Sam Cory has been crushing it lately on his Specialized Demo 8!

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Team rider Taylor Schmidt at Apex Park in Golden, Colorado

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Team riders at the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series Ridgeline Rampage

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What’s next on tap for the Peak Cycles race team?  Lots! Visit us at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to find out or look for our bike parts.com team tent at upcoming races!

  • Winter Park Epic Singletrack Series
  • Keystone enduro
  • Rocky Mountain Endurance Series
  • Snake River Mountain Bike Race & Festival
  • Guanella Pass Hill Climb
  • Leadville Silver Rush 50 MTB Race
  • Breckenridge 100

Boom! The 2013 Peak Cycles Race Season if Off!

May 16, 2013

ridgeline BESTWhat does the Ridgeline Rampage, Battle of the Bear, Eagle 40, and 12 Hours of Mesa Verde all have in common?  Sure, they are all mountain bike races but they are also all races in which the Peak Cycles Race Team have all raced AND celebrated their success on the podium!

Congrats to all of our racers!  At BikeParts.com, we do all we can to support our competitive and non completive athletes.  And while our racers can tell you, racing takes its toll on themselves as athletes, but also on their bikes.  The season is in full swing and most venturing into the shop want to know how to ride faster, ride easier, and what they need to do either get their bike parts in order or keep them well maintained.

So, what can we learn from our podium finishers that the rest of us can use to better our cycling season?  For starters, they start their races with a clean and lubricated chain.  They make sure to lubricate the moving parts of brakes and derailleurs. Their brake pads are in good shape and tires have the appropriate air pressure.  And, most importantly, after they race, they inspect their bike and replace damaged bike parts.

What other things can we learn from our top racers?  Find out for yourself!  Stop by the Peak Cycles Bike Shop for the shop ride in Golden, Colorado, follow us on Twitter, or catch up on Colorado racing in our recent blog posts.

What’s next?  Look for Taylor J Schmidt, Weston Burcar, Dan Dwyer and Joshua Murdock at this weekend’s RME Indian Creek race.  Cheer them on, or better yet, get out there and race!


5 Race Day Strategies for Spring Races in Colorado

April 11, 2013

11895116_879913045419413_8627429630943288070_oThe Spring Racing Season in Colorado is here! With upcoming events like the Karen Hornbostel Memorial Time Trial SeriesFront Range Cycling ClassicRidgeline Rampage, and Fruita Fat Tire Festival, road and mountain bike racers are ready to ride.  But, don’t think that just showing up on the line is enough.  Preparing mentally, physically, and being bike ready will ensure a successful start to the season.  Following are 5 strategies successfully used by our Bike Parts Race Team. 

Set Goals – For some, early season races are just about getting harder efforts in and saddle time.  However, having defined goals can help reduce pre race anxiety and also help you better evaluate your performance post race.  Identify 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.

Race Route – 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.

Race Day Rituals – Designing and refining a pre-event routine is an important part of building a successful race season.  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 bike 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.

Start Line Mental State – Your thoughts, emotions, and pre race 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.  Here is where having your race plan and goals specific to this event comes in handy.

Success Parameters – 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 mechanicals?  Now is the time to dial in, replace, and buy the bike parts that you need going into your next event.

Do you have any race strategies you’d like to share?  Post them here or stop by the Peak Cycles Bike Shop in Golden, Colorado!  We’d love to hear them!


2013 Colorado Road Racing Calendar: Which Ones Will You Do?

March 21, 2013

For some, the Colorado road racing season has already started; however, for many, it is just around the corner and many athletes may be pondering which tours and races to plan for in 2013. Whenever you want to achieve something, you have to have a definite goal.  As such, it’s important to plan your season right.   Whether you are a casual rider or a competitive cyclist, training, racing, recovering and having the appropriate gear, tools, and bike setup  are critical to reaching your goals.

For starters, what are you’re 2013 cycling goals?  As mentioned in our recent blog post,  it’s important to make your goals SMART.  As in, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.   With that being said, Colorado offers world class riding and racing.  Now that you are thinking about what your goals are, you need to pick the right events during the cycling season to help you best achieve those goals.

Notably, not all events are equal.  Some are harder than others and as such, competitive cyclist can use different course profiles, distances, and bike part options to mindfully select A, B, and C type races according to their training plans and race goals.  When you’re working toward a goal that’s important to you, the last thing you want is to face an obstacle or unexpected challenge.  A successful season starts off right by planning ahead, getting your road bike in order and getting the gear and resources you need.  By selecting the best races based on your specific goals and having the best bike parts associated with your riding style, you are successfully preparing for a rewarding 2013 cycling season.

Now, which races will you do?  While there are many tours, races, and events to choose from in Colorado, at BikeParts.com, here are some of our favorites:

  • Rocky Mountain Road Cup (RMRC)  Road racing events range from March through August.  The Rocky Mountain Road Cup is a season long points competition featuring a three-tiered points system that provides competitive cyclist with a great racing calendar.  Click here for a downloadable calendar of these events   
  • The Koppenberg  May 5, 2013  The Koppenberg race featuring a 17% grade climb is the queen of the spring time cycling events in Colorado.
  • Elephant Rock Cycling Festival: May 31–June 2, 2013  This year’s Elephant Rock Cycling Festival notes the 26th annual pilgrimage to Castle Rock for the Rocky Mountain region’s premier cycling festival.  Riders of all ages turn out for this event.
  • Ride the Rockies  June 8 – 15, 2013  The 28th annual tour will feature 3 scenic mountain passes, a trek over the highest suspension bridge in the U.S. and 20,400 vertical ft. over 7 days and 513 miles.
  • Coldwell Banker Denver Century Ride  June 15, 2013  The Denver Century Ride features bicycle courses for all skills levels and benefits BikeDenver. This healthy lifestyle cycling event is Colorado’s premier urban bicycle ride and is open to the public.
  • Mount Evans Hill Climb:  July 2013  Race up 7,000 feet in elevation in just 28 miles on the Mount Evans Scenic Byway.
  • Triple Bypass July 13 – 14, 2013  A two day ride from Evergreen to Avon.
  • Copper Triangle  August 3, 2013  The Copper Triangle is a 78-Mile course with an elevation gain of almost 6,000 feet over three mountain passes.  It has has long been considered one of Colorado’s classic alpine road rides Graced with breathtaking scenery, gorgeous roads and three challenging climbs.

Not sure which event is for you?  Stop by the Peak Cycling Bike Shop for help or visit us at bike parts.com for maps, information, or general bike components that you may need for your next big event.


Go Big or Go Home: The EPIC Bike for an Epic Adventure

March 14, 2013

2013 Specialized EpicPowering your fitness goals matter. Motivation doesn’t happen by accident.  Sure, warmer temps and the calling of seasonal races beckon us, but it is going for BIG that really gets the blood flowing.  How BIG are you thinking this cycling season?  “If your dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough.” There is magic in thinking big: it moves us past limitations, sparks expansion, and delivers on new results. As cyclist, most are gunning for improvement so thinking BIG can serve us well.

How do you think big?  At BikeParts.com we think of BIG in terms of bikes, bike parts, and epic rides.  One of our favorite bikes, the Specialized EPIC, sets the standard for thinking BIG.  It’s a powerhouse and because it’s a bona fide winner, you ride like a champ whether you are one or not.

Here is why you want it:  A three-time XC World Championship winner, the EPIC was the first full-suspension XC bike to capture the coveted Rainbow Jersey. Available in both carbon fiber and alloy models, the Epic features Specialize’s proven 29er geometry, 100mm of FSR suspension, and is equipped with the unique Brain suspension which reads the terrain to provide the perfect ride—whether sprinting uphill or descending at speed on rocky trails.  It offers unrivaled control, speed, and efficiency.  We find one of its best features to be an all carbon wheelset.  And….it’s hot!

Here is where you want to ride it:  Epic rides are the ones that push the limits.  They take a monumental effort to complete.

So think about it.  Do your goals thrill you? Or scare you? Or both?  What will it take for you to step up your game?  Thinking big challenges your confidence and abilities to make your goals come true. Stop by Peak Cycles bike shop or visit us online at BikeParts.com to get the mtb parts you need to set up your 2013 cycling season to be BIG.