How to Get Faster with Cycling Lessons from the Pros

July 6, 2017

Train to Win like a Pro Cyclist

Watching the pros battle it out daily during the Tour de France can inspire you to emulate whatever it is that makes them go so fast! You may wonder, how many miles a week are they riding? What are they doing on and off the bike that aids in strength, speed, and recovery?  

As amateur cyclists, are there lessons to be learned from pro cyclists that can be applied to non pro riders?  Absolutely – here’s how! 

  • Pro cyclist set goals.  What you can do is personalize your training and narrow the focus of your training to get the best results.  
  • To aid with goal setting and performance reviews, pro riders train with power and heart rate.  Some mistakingly think that technology takes away the “riding experience” or that it is too costly for their level of riding.  However, times have changed and power meters are much more affordable.  They offer objective bio feedback to help you perform your best.  Our most popular are 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 favorite is a company that’s been around for a while now – PowerTap Power Meter.
  • Obviously, pro cyclists ride really nice bikes!  That’s a given. Great road bicycles don’t have to come at a hefty price tag either.  Check out our road bikes online at bike parts.com to find a new bike for you.  
  • Pro cyclist have have a bike that fits, they have the right bike parts, and they wear the appropriate cycling accessories. It may seem obvious but the small things add up to bigger gains. Easy fixes for an amateur rider! 
  • Pro cyclists take nutrition seriously – on and off the bike.  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. However, oftentimes, the course may dictate other options. Regardless, proper on bike nutrition is critical.
  • Pro cyclists focus on R&R or active recovery is good too.  Some of the most elite cyclists use yoga as part of a successful training program, including 2012 Tour De France winner Bradley Wiggins. Wiggins’ benefits from the focus it brings to his cycling, while others, such as pro mountain biker and Olympian Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, use yoga to gain strength. From power to endurance, athletes at all levels are incorporating yoga to gain an edge over the competition, and prevent injury.

While you may not be a pro cyclist, you can certainly benefit from the training elements of a Tour rider lifestyle.  Stop by the Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop or connect with us on Twitter and Facebook for more training tips and cycling information to make the best of your summer cycling season.


6 Ways Cyclist Are Celebrating the 4th of July on Their Bike 

June 29, 2017

Happy 4th of July from BikeParts.com

While most Americans celebrate the 4th by grilling, outfitting themselves in the American flag, and watch fireworks, cyclists around the country seem to agree with the notion that July 4th should be celebrated on a bike.

Family barbecues, warm weather, and a feeling of freedom convert flawlessly into an invigorating, fun cycle. What are the most common ways cyclist are celebrating the 4th with their two wheeled friends? Following are the top ideas we’ve heard at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop: 

  • Race – Celebrate the 4th of July by racing!  Whether it is racing on a road bike or a mountain bike, you’ll want to check out the races that are going on this holiday weekend on 303 Cycling’s Race Calendar.
  • R&R – If you are up for some “active” rest and relaxation, then sit back and watch the Tour de France! Beginning July 1 – 23rd, the daily stage races offer your daily fix of cycling drama! No doubt, watching the tour will get your adrenaline will be pumping!
  • Drink – and it’s not what you think!  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 for the entire month of July. 
  • Bike commute – Maybe hanging out with friends and your family is your thing for the 4th of July.  That doesn’t mean you have to forgo your bike ride.  Bike commute to the farmer’s market, to see fireworks, to see a music festival, or a local restaurant.  A casual stroll on the bike is enjoyable for everyone. Plus, you get to see the local sites without the heavy breathing and fatigued legs you may experience when doing a full blown ride. 
  • Bike maintenance – With a little extra time off from work, many cyclist enjoy performing much needed bike maintenance over the holiday weekend.  Replacing worn bike parts and cycling accessories without the stress of added work and family pressures makes bike maintenance a pleasure and not a chore.  If the kids are around, engage them in the process and teach them a thing or two about bicycles.  Who knows? You might inspire them to ride too! 
  • Last but not least, if you are looking for additional ideas on celebrating the 4th with your two wheeled friend, check out our post, Red, White, and Blue: 5 Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July on Your Bike

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!  Visit us in in Golden, Colorado to pick up your 4th of July cycling accessories or visit us online at BikeParts.com.  

Happy 4th of July friends! 


3 Cycling Strategies to Manage Stress During the Holidays 

December 1, 2016

Happy Holidays from BikeParts.comWhile the holiday season brings times of joy and celebration, it is often tainted with juggling holiday parties, kids events, family gatherings, and travel.  While all fun activities, they can contribute to a stressful experience.  As athletes, we all know that there is only an infinite amount of stress the body can handle.  Holiday stresses of staying up too late, eating tempting treats, and overall training fatigue can create a loss of training motivation or just plain not riding.  Not fun, given exercise can aid in reducing stress.  So, what is the balance during the holidays to reduce stress, maintain fitness, and still hit all the holiday parties and complete those endless shopping lists? 

Manage Expectations!  Are your expectations for the holidays realistic? Asking yourself this question is the first step to managing holiday stress. Make a list of what you expect from yourself and your family during the holidays. Hidden within these expectations you might find your potential holiday stressors — the things specific to you that can cause stress.  Once identified, you can then write down what changes you can make to prevent or defuse stress. At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado, we get a lot of input from our customers as to common holiday stressors.  Here’s what we’ve got to say to beat the stress and still maintain your fitness.

Stress #1 – Weight gain.  Obviously, increased caloric intake combined with less exercise is going to add a little weight.  A little gain in the off season isn’t so bad; however, you don’t want  a little weight gain to grow into a lot.  So, focus on eating well. The holidays offer irresistible food temptations adding extra pounds to our waste lines and robbing us of precious energy.  Instead of reaching for the holiday goodies, opt for nutritious snacks. Eating poorly during the holidays can affect mood and motivation towards training.  Focus on good nutrition and choose your bike nutrition when you need it most- on the bike.  Being mindful of your food choices can positively affect your energy levels and help maintain your ability to ride and perform better.  It will help you feel better about yourself too! 

Stress #2 – Too Many Things to Do.  The holidays can make anyone feel scattered and worn out.  Yet, the flurry of holiday activities makes time precious.  Take the time you need to prioritize your ride schedule.  You may not have time for a lengthy ride, so make the most of the time you do have. Employ the strategy of focus and control. Increase your focus on what you can control.  Let go of things beyond your control.  Think about it and write it down. What can you control? Set priorities and let go of impossible goals.  Regarding your cycling training, you can certainly focus the intensity, duration, and consistencies of your workouts.  Using a heart rate monitor or power meter can help. 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.

Stress #3 – Guilt.  Yep, there it is.  As a cyclist, you want to ride. You know you should ride. And yet, you don’t. And, you beat yourself up for not riding.  We’ve all been there.  The strategy for dealing with guilt is just to accept it and move on.  Give yourself a break mentally and physically knowing the holiday season doesn’t last forever.  If you just can’t find the time or motivation to ride during the holiday season, at least feed your velo passion with pictures of new road bikes , new mountain bikes, and cool bike parts.  This will feed your spirit and breathe life into next year’s bike season.  In fact, the post, Missing training – Adjusting the plan, reminds us, “ 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.”

While the holiday season can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be.  It’s all in your approach. Try your best to make good food choices, exercise, and relax to restore energy.  Balance is key and you’re in control  Happy Holidays! 


Race Prep: What to Bring to a Cyclocross Race

September 15, 2016
Cycling Accessories for Your Cyclocross Gear Bag

Cycling Accessories for Your Cyclocross Gear Bag

Cyclist in general are obsessed with weight. As in, how much their bike parts weigh? How heavy is the bike? How much is the the scale lying to you?

And, the list goes on.  Ironically, cyclocross is the only cycling discipline that counters the weight obsession.  That is at least, in the preparation department.  Everything else applies. Cyclocross races are short, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour depending on category, yet they require the most equipment prep of any bike racing discipline. Part of that relates to the time of year and the variability of the weather. Racers need to be ready to deal with wind, rain, snow, hail, ice, mud, fog, etc.  The gear preparation and the cycling apparel adds up.  There is gear for warming up, gear for racing, gear for cooling down, gear for the bikes and gear for creating a fun and enjoyable atmosphere. In addition, it is often not enough to have a single piece of equipment or clothing; several may be needed for the day. 

Which ultimately begs the question- What do you bring to a cyclocross race?  It will take time to nail down the packing system that works best for you; there are lots of individual preferences.  However, we’ve compiled a checklist for you. For starters, plan to use a gear bag that opens up wide and allows you to see everything within quickly. Fill it up with these items: 

Clothing

  • Rain jacket, rain pants, waterproof boots.
  • One set of jersey/shorts and one skinsuit. One to warm up in, one to race in.  Having extras is good too.
  • Long sleeve jersey for warmups.
  • Extra base layers.
  • Vest, arm warmers, leg warmers, knee warmers. These are for warm-ups. 
  • Two pairs of shoes. Race pair and a backup just in case one breaks or the first pair is wet and muddy from pre-riding the course.
  • Two helmets. Again, in case of a mechanical.
  • Two pairs of gloves. Depending on the weather, you may opt for four or five pairs. Short and long-fingered race gloves, a light, medium, and heavy pair of warm-up or standing around gloves.
  • Tights or warm up pants.
  • Two to three pairs of socks, preferably wool.
  • Large garbage bags or ziplock bags to store wet and muddy clothes and gear.
  • Winter jacket. 
  • Cycling cap and or a beanie. 
  • Sunglasses with multiple lenses.

Gear and Equipment

  • Bike. Make sure it’s clean, tuned-up, and ready to ride. If you need bike maintenance, bring it into the shop!  Also, remember to take off the water bottle cages, your saddle bag, and anything else you’ve attached to the bike. 
  • Pump, tools, chain lube, and other maintenance items.
  • Safety pins to pin your number to your jersey.
  • Towels: large and small.  Use the smaller ones for clean up and the larger one for changing clothes. You might opt for extra towels to wipe down the bike. 
  • Baby wipes – great for cleaning everywhere after the race
  • Heat packs to stay warm prior to and post race.
  • Water bottles for before and after the race.
  • Energy drink mix, gels, bars, and nutritional items. 
  • Cash for coffee, food, and extras at the venue site. 
  • Folding chairs
  • iPod or music player – good for warming up.
  • Water – bring at least one gallon of water, not only for drinking, but for cleaning. 
  • Stationary trainer for warming up and cooling down. FYI, bring an extra rear wheel.  Warm up on the trainer with a regular tire. 
  • Spare wheels –Bring wheels with tires that have different treads for different conditions. 

Now that you have your gear bag ready, it’s time to race cross.  If you are new to cyclocross, check out our cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.  Dial in the best bike parts and and tire choice.  Finally, register for an upcoming cross race!  Click here for a list of races along the Front Range for September.  Bring on the cowbell friends! 


How to Train Like an Olympic Cyclist 

August 11, 2016
Training Consistency is Key for Podium Performances

Training Consistency is Key for Podium Performances

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games kicked off this past weekend and already the mens’ and women’s road races and time trial medal winners have captured the heart’s of cycling fans.  Watching the Olympic performances can inspire you to get slimmer, faster, and stronger.  More so, you can find inspiration in the Olympics to take your health and fitness goals to new heights.  Here’s what Olympic cyclists are doing that you can too. 

Olympic cyclists take nutrition seriously – on and off the bike.  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. Regardless, Olympic cyclist dial in their race day nutrition needs and execute their strategy accordingly. 

Olympic cyclists train with power and heart rate.  Some mistakingly think that technology takes away the “riding experience” or that it is too costly for their level of riding.  However, times have changed and power meters are much more affordable.  They offer objective bio feedback to help you perform your best.  Our most popular are 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 favorite is a company that’s been around for a while now – PowerTap Power Meter.

Olympic cyclist master race day jitters.  They set clearly defined goals; establish race day success rituals; have a bike that fits; have the right bike parts, and wear the appropriate cycling accessories for the event.  These may seem obvious but the small things add up to bigger gains. 

Olympic cyclist recover smart.  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.  May pro cyclists add rolling or massage, stretching, compression, and low intensity activity to aid in recovery and getting a good night’s rest. As a bonus, many cyclist sleep in compression garments because they claim that it lowers perceived muscle soreness the day after a big day on the bike.

With envy, many fans watch the Olympic cyclists and wonder how they can mimic the fitness and performance of such talented athletes.  It seems that pro cyclists are often thought to be blessed with nature’s special gifts – a huge heart, enormous lungs and infinite leg power.  That may very well be the case; yet, the truth is that most of us have the physiology to be a decent racer – if we trained as much as they do and if we adopted their training habits.  Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to unleash your inner Olympian! We have all the bike parts and cycling accessories to help you take your fitness to new heights! 


5 Training Strategies to Survive the Holidays 

December 3, 2015
Happy Holidays from BikeParts.com

Happy Holidays from BikeParts.com

The holiday season can wreak havoc on maintaining any kind of structured training plan.  Even when you make a solid commitment to staying fit through the holidays, even the best made training plans go awry.

Holiday parties, work demands, family obligations, illness, injury, and weather challenges all take a toll on training.  How do you make the best of it?  Stress out? Freak out? Beat yourself up? No! Get your game on with strategies to survive the holiday season.  These strategies will help you maintain fitness, manage your weight, and set you up right for the New Year. 

Strategy 1: Eat Well.  The holidays offer irresistible food temptations adding extra pounds to our waste lines and robbing us of precious energy.  Instead of reaching for the holiday goodies, opt for nutritious snacks. Eating poorly during the holidays can affect mood and motivation towards training.  Focus on good nutrition and choose your bike nutrition when you need it most- on the bike.  Being mindful of your food choices can positively affect your energy levels and help maintain your ability to ride and perform better.  

Strategy 2: Log your intake and outtake.  Many cyclist already track mileage or training time, but consider keeping a food log to track your caloric intake as well.  A free and favorite app to help do this is Lose It! Users get a customized weight loss plan and then use the app to track food, measure activity levels, and connect with peers for group support to reach their goals.  A great way to stay motivated to eat right.  An added gain, is that it can sync up with most of the popular fitness tracking devices and wireless scales on the market. It also has a large food database for easy reference making it easy to track your caloric intake on the go.  

Strategy 3: Maintain focus and control.  The flurry of holiday activities makes time precious.  You may not have time for a lengthy ride, so make the most of the time you do have. Increase your focus.  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.    

Strategy 4: Buddy Up! Use the ride to catch up with friends, training partners, and others.  Ride with friends, join a spin class, or host your own trainer session.  Committing to a time, place, and a friend creates structure keeping some consistency to your training. 

Strategy 5: Relax: If you just can’t find the time or motivation to ride during the holiday season, at least feed your velo passion with pictures of new road bikes , new mountain bikes, and cool bike parts.  It will feed your spirit and breathe life into next year’s bike season.  In fact, the post, Missing training – Adjusting the plan, reminds us, “ 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.”

There you have it! Strategies to survive the holidays.  Maintaining a holiday fitness plan doesn’t have be hard.  Be flexible, mix it up, and enjoy!


Tough Girl Cycling Team Inspiring Women Cyclist with Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop

May 21, 2015
Tough Girl Cycling Team - Sponsored by BikeParts.com and Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop

Tough Girl Cycling Team – Sponsored by BikeParts.com and Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop

At Peak Cycles Bicycling Shop, we all love bikes and we share our passion for the sport by supporting eight cycling teams in the Colorado Front Range area.

Members of our teams race in all levels and in multiple disciplines and plan to race a full arsenal of events throughout the 2015 cycling season.  That’s why we are proud to support the cyclists who are a part of the Peak Cycles – BikeParts.com Race teams – especially the Tough Girl Cycling Team.

In case you are unfamiliar, the Tough Girl Cycling Team is a non profit cycling group for women started in 2005 and “promotes active outdoor lifestyles through bicycle racing both regionally and nationally.” Their goal is to “have fun, stay fit, be competitive, and look great doing it!”  You will notice from their pictures, they do look great!  But their team members  are also great cycling advocates sharing cycling knowledge around nutrition; bike skills and drills; identifying the best bike parts for women riders; and also, tips on keeping mentally tough during training and racing.
When they aren’t inspiring others to ride, they are often found on the podium!  There are countless achievements to share but following are a few highlights.  Champion Titles include:
  • Kay Levesque is 2008 24-Hour Duo Mountain Bike National Champion and 2010 24-Hour Women’s Masters Mountain Bike National Champion
  • Lisa Strong is 2006 W’s Team 24-Hour National Champion, 2009 CO State Cyclocross Champion, 2008, 2010 Runner Up CO State Cyclocross Champion, and 1999 Runner Up Collegiate Cyclocross National Champion
  • Lynn Bush – 2009 Super-D National Champion – Open Women and  2006 W’s Team 24-Hour National Champion
  • Margell Abel – 2004 Cyclocross National Champion, Master Women 35-40, 2000 Cyclocross National Champion, Master Women 30-34, and 1st ever Collegiate Cyclocross National Champion – 1997, University of Colorado
  • Rebecca Gross – 2012 Masters Cyclocross World Champion 30-34, 2012 Collegiate Short Track D2 National Champion, 2011 Collegiate Short Track D2 National Champion
Members of the Tough Girls team have had multiple triumphs with podium finishes at various local Colorado and regional races such as 18 hours of Fruita in Fruita, CO and Turkey Cross in Lakewood, CO.
Be sure to spot these inspiring ladies on the trail! Look for them at upcoming events and keep current with Tough Girl activities and successes on their website, their Facebook page, on Twitter @ToughGirlTeam and on Instagram.