The Trails Are Calling! Where to Ride for the 4th of July 

June 28, 2018

From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.  

While many American’s hang an American flag from their home, car, or work building, why not celebrate the 4th from your two wheels?  You can decorate your bike with bike bells, streamers, and the like; but why note take it a step further and include your bike riding in your holiday festivities? The question for some is, where to ride?  Ride trails of course!  Some of Colorado’s finest trails and beautiful views are in our backyard. Check out: 

  • White Ranch Trail
  • Dakota Ridge and Red Rocks Trail
  • North Table Mountain
  • Green Mountain Park
  • South Table Mountain
  • Chimney Gulch Trail
  • Apex Park Trail
  • Golden Gate Canyon State Park
  • Lair O’ the Bear
  • Buffalo Creek
  • Centennial Cone
  • Hall Ranch 

Now, before you head on any of these rides, be sure to be prepared!  Be especially considerate if you are taking young ones with you out on the trails or other riders that may not have been riding for a while.  Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • Know the profile – How much climbing and descending should you expect?
  • Know the route – Where  is the trailhead?  How long is the route?  What is the technical difficulty? What type of terrain will you be riding?  And, what are the current trail conditions?  Considering it has been so hot and dry lately, you’ll definitely want to bring along hydration options. Think water bottles and hydration packs.  
  • Know the weather conditions before, during, and soon after you expect to ride.  Colorado weather changes quickly and sometimes, radically.  Be prepared. 
  • Know what cycling apparel to wear.  Being over or under dressed makes for an uncomfortable ride. 
  • Know which bike components are best for the terrain type and the right mountain bike tire to use.

In addition to preparing for your ride, you will want a checklist of essential items to carry with you.  

What else would you add to the list?  Oh yes! A well maintained bike!  Before heading out on your holiday adventures, be sure to conduct a bike maintenance and safety check. Notice any worn out bike parts to be replaced. Lube the chain and other bike components. For extra tips on getting ready, read our post, Spring Cleaning, 4 Essential Bike Maintenance Tips to Get Your Bike on the Road

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! Because we sell our bicycle parts online, we are able to help customers all over the world – even if you don’t celebrate the 4th. Stop by our Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to pick up your 4th of July cycling accessories or visit us online at BikeParts.com.  Happy 4th of July friends! 

As a 4th of July bonus, read on for more ways to celebrate the holiday on your bike! 

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Surviving the Holidays with Tips from BikeParts.com

December 14, 2017

Stress Free Gift Giving for Cyclists at BikeParts.com

While 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?  Have a strategy! No different than approaching a race or ride with a strategy, it’s best to have some “go to” plans to navigate the holiday season.  

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. You might enjoy reading our post Battle of the Bulge – How to Fight the End of Season Weight Gain for more ideas on developing a plan to keep you on track during your most tempting moments. 

Strategy 2: Plan your time.  Primarily, 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.  If you find yourself pulled from ride time to do last minute shopping, consider shopping online.  Our post, Stress Free Holiday Shopping for Cyclists, offers tips to minimize stress and optimize gift giving.  

Strategy 3: 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.”  And if you are still feeling a tad guilty, read more – 3 Cycling Strategies to Manage Stress During the Holidays 

Surviving the holidays doesn’t take much but it does take a plan.  Be flexible, mix it up, and enjoy!  Happy Holidays from Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop / BikeParts.com


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!