Staunton Blizzard: The 2nd Annual Front Range Fat Bike Race – January 20, 2019

January 17, 2019

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we love fat biking and we want others to love it too!

Because we know great trail conditions can make a good day into an awesome day, all of us at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop and Big Ring Cycles have partnered with 285 Nordic and Staunton State Park to raise money for grooming equipment at Staunton. Join us in building a great location for fat bike riders for years to come, right here in the front range. Here’s what you can expect. 

The event is this Sunday, January 20th at Staunton State Park. So, register today and you’re all set to join in the fun for the Second Annual Staunton Blizzard, the Front Range Fat Bike Race! There are two courses to choose from.

Amateur course: A beautiful 12.1-mile loop that includes the following trails: Staunton Ranch – Borderline – Mason Creek. Fatties rollout at 8,100 feet for a route that includes 2,000 feet of breathtaking elevation gain
Elite Course: A challenging 18-mile route. Trails to be announced.

The race categories:
• Masters Men’s (age 46 and above)
• Masters Women’s (age 46 and above)
• Senior Men’s (age 21-45)
• Senior Women’s (age 21-45)
• Junior Men’s (age 20 and under)
• Junior Women’s (age 20 and under)
• Elite course

The schedule:
Check-in begins at 8:15.
Races begin at 9:00

What if you are interested but not racing? After the race categories, join a “Smiles and Miles” group to ride this beautiful course.

Great! You’re IN! Now what? 

Well, get prepared! In our post, Fat Bike Essentials for First Time Fat Bike Riders, we give you the lay of the land of what you need to know. The quick rundown is to have the right cycling apparel! Stay warm and you will ride in comfort. Generally, the most important tip for keeping warm is to layer and to carry a pack to put your extra layers away. Some people prefer to wear ski goggles and a ski helmet, and lots of people wear winter boots. Poagies, insulated hand covers that slip over your handlebars, are also very useful for keeping your hands warm. Keeping your feet warm is key. Wearing boots, preferably waterproof, with thick socks on flat pedals or clipless boots with multiple pairs of socks works.

Are you wondering about drinking, and staying hydrated in the cold? Well, we have a few tips for you. First off, even though you might not feel the urge to drink as much when racing or riding your fat bike in the cold, it is still important to drink fluids. During the shorter race, you may opt to carry an insulated water bottle and start with really warm water. You can also add electrolytes or other ingredients to change the freezing point of the fluid but may find limited success if you think you’ll be out there riding for a while. When using a CamelBak or something similar, stick the bite valve in your jacket and blow out all the water in your hose. You can also buy neoprene insulators for the hydration hose to help keep the water as a liquid substance. 

What about pedals? There is the clipless/flat pedals debate for fat bikes. Ultimately, it’s your choice! The biggest problems people have making this decision is deciding how to best keep their feet warm. Having flat pedals will allow you to wear thick winter boots, which are more conducive to keeping your feet warm. However, you can buy clipless boots that are designed to handle colder temperatures. Using a clipless pedal could prove annoying in snowy terrain if you have to dismount and remount frequently during your ride. 

Finally, there’s tire preparation. What kind of tires is recommended? How wide? What pressure? Tube vs. Tubeless? It’s no different than the usual configuration – you have to match tire pressure with conditions. Softer snow conditions: 6psi. Harder conditions: 8-10psi. (much lower than the normal bike). Fat-bike tires are typically marked as 26 x 4.0 though most are really more like 26 x 3.7 or 3.8. The actual size of the mounted tire will vary depending on the rim width used for the wheel.  Many riders prefer tubeless because they reduce over a point of rotation weight and they provide better traction.

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we are all big fans of fat bike riding. We sure hope you are feeling the urge to take on this fun fat bike phenomenon and join us this Sunday, January 20th at Staunton State Park, 12102 South Elk Creek Road, Pine, CO 80470 for the Staunton Blizzard: The 2nd Annual Front Range Fat Bike Race

Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to get ready for the race.  Check out our fat bike selections, cycling apparel, hydration strategies, fat bike bike parts, and cycling accessories.  Plus, get even more of your questions answered in person!  Be sure to register for the event and we’ll see you on Sunday! 

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New Year, New You – Strategies to Keep your 2019 Cycling Goals

January 3, 2019

Welcome to 2019!  Does the New Year have you inspired, motivate, and excited to take on more in the coming year?  It’s a new year and a fresh start to actually doing all the things you want to do. Yet, as you may know, not all New Year’s resolutions and goals are created equally. Some are lofty and while you have good intentions, you know you aren’t really going after it. Then, there are other goals. The ones that would feel rewarding, satisfying and meaningful if you were to meet them. These are the heartfelt goals and resolutions that we’re talking about! The ones that inspire you and light you up!

What are those goals? How do you plan to achieve them? And how will you know when you have met them? Start 2019 off right by having a plan.

Define your intention. This is important. What do you intend for yourself? How committed are you? What are you willing to change in your schedule, your training, your bike setup, and even your approach towards meeting your goals.  Without having a clear intention and determining your level of commitment, you won’t reach your goals.  

Define your goals.  Identify specifically what you want to accomplish in 2019.   Make a list.  The more specific the better because vague goals can’t be quantified.  When you list out specifically what you want to accomplish and a time frame in which to do this, you make your goals SMART.  Making SMART  (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound) goals not only boosts your chances of attaining your goals, but you also become a better cyclist in the process.  What might these goals look like? For example, a goal to consistently hit target heart rate zones or power zones for specific workout.  Leverage cycling accessories that are available to you – as in power meters and /or heart rate monitors to provide objective feedback.  Based on your goals, you can then get an action plan together by defining your training objectives.

Define your training objectives.  Now that you have your goals set for 2019, it’s time to take inventory of your abilities to meet your goals for training and events. What are your strengths?  What are your weaknesses?  For every area of improvement, decide what activity is needed to improve that.  If you have poor bike handling skills, then schedule time each week for bike drills.  If your core is weak, schedule time for yoga or strength training. And, if you are like most cyclist, you could use a little stretching. Make time for stretching to improve your flexibility.

Define your approach.  Get a game plan together of how you plan to train and race.  Take stock of last year’s performances, where can you improve?  Check in with your commitment level again. What is it going to take to make manageable changes to your lifestyle to support your goals?  Take time now to review and plan ahead.  Take a fresh approach to 2019! Experiment with new ideas, products, and approaches. As in, maybe try a new on bike nutrition product. Experiment with different bike parts and bike components.  Consider designing and refining a pre-event routine, like a race day ritual.  This thoughtful process brings a fresh approach to 2019 and keeps you motivated through the winter months.

Define results: How will you know that you reached your goals? It’s important to have this dialed in so that you can celebrate your success and feel rewarded for your commitment.

Goal setting is much more than simply saying you want something to happen. Unless you clearly define exactly what you want and understand why you want it the first place, your odds of success are considerably reduced. Start the year off right with small, manageable changes to your lifestyle to reach your goals. Stay focused. Be consistent. And, keep your eyes on the prize! Here’s wishing you the very best in 2019! 


Christmas Count Down  – What to Get For Everybody on Your List   

December 20, 2018

Imagine this: Your heart rate increases. Your blood pressure spikes. You hit a sudden wall of fatigue. Are you racing at the front of the pack? Trying to close the gap on the rider in front of you? Sprinting to the finish line? Actually, no. You are holiday shopping! We’ve got 5 days left before Christmas! Are you feeling the rush? Have you checked off everyone on your list? We’ve got tips to making the shopping stress easier and getting your checklist complete. 

Husband – Hmmm…you might be thinking your cycling husbands has all the bike parts and cycling accessories he needs. That is never the case! Think a little outside the box. Add a little giggle factor to your holiday and get your husband a fat bike!  fat bikes in the winter months but they can actually be ridden year round! And if getting a new bike isn’t in the budget, then splurge on a fat bike demo so he can try it out himself! Consider gifting your husband bike maintenance tools, lube, and other items to help him take care of his bike (and yours!). 

Wife – Are you not sure what to get your wife for Christmas? Maybe she has hinted at some new cycling apparel? Every woman wants to ride in style.  She can’t have too many women’s jerseys, shorts, tights, jacket, sunglasses, or cycling shoes!  Having a variety of cycling apparel to wear keeps cycling fresh and makes it fun to get out and ride!  Perhaps you are looking more for a stocking stuffer idea. Surprise her with a gift certificate.  She can use it for purchasing the precise gift that will make her the happiest.  

Children – We all know, the best Christmas Gift for a Kid is a bike! But what you may not know is that we have a huge selection of kids bikes, children’s cycling apparel, helmets, and  cycling accessories. This includes windbreakers, gloves, shorts, jersey’s, chamois, pedals, hats, backpacks, and all the cool things that kids love. 

Your Bike – Do you know what your bike wants for Christmas? You can’t leave your bike off the list!  There are plenty of thoughtful gifts available to show your bike just how much you care. Think new bottles, bike parts and components, saddle, and wheel sets. Any of these items will make your bike happy! 

Whew! Are you feeling that endorphin high yet from just finishing your whirlwind of shopping? Maybe not just yet…head on over to BikeParts.com or stop by and see us at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to finish up your last minute holiday shopping. Merry Christmas! 


The Best Christmas Present for Your Child is a Bike 

December 6, 2018

Do you know what tops Santa’s wish list for kids?  A new bicycle! There are plenty of reasons to support purchasing a bike over phones, playstation, and other sought-after presents.  For starters, having a new bike to ride gets your child outside – away from screen time and exercising. Not only does this promote a healthier and more balanced lifestyle now, but also paves the way for a long life of well being.  As Santa’s helpers, here’s our list of must haves to make your bike selection easy.  

Get the right size bike.  We mean it! This means having a bike that fits. If purchasing a new toddler or youth bike, make sure you avoid the common mistake of buying a bike that they’ll “grow into.” Doing so can set your child back a couple of years. When shopping, be aware that children’s bikes are measured by their wheel size (not frame size). The right size is one where your child can comfortably get on the bike and stand with his or her feet on the ground. If you have questions on the right size bike for your child, visit our staff at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop. We’re more than happy to help you select the right size bike for your child.

Get the right clothes.  Christmas is a time to spoil the children with all the things your parents never got you as a kid. From stocking stuffers to cycling accessories and even cycling apparel. Kids love clothes, gear, and bike parts too! Dress your kids for cycling success. Investing in a well fitting helmet, along with a jersey, cycling shorts, and a good pair of gloves inspires your kids and affects enjoyment levels and performance. If your child is comfortable, they are going to want to ride. We have bike parts and cycling accessories that includes windbreakers, gloves, shorts, jersey’s, chamois, pedals, hats, backpacks, and bikes that kids love. Most importantly, we have reflective materials to put on your child’s bike to make sure they are visible.  If you aren’t sure on sizes, we’re happy to help dial those details in! We know how important it is to open a present, and enjoy it immediately!  

Finally, did you know we have one of the largest selection of kids bikes in Golden, Colorado? We do! Better yet, we’re offering 10% off all kids bikes through the end of the year, in store and online! Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop or visit us online to make this year, your child’s most cherished Christmas.  Happy Holidays! 


The Perils of Training Indoors and What to Do About It

November 8, 2018

It’s tough this time of year figuring out how to get training rides in. The warm, summer days are gone. Winter is not quite here, yet there are blasts of cool days followed by warmer days and yet the days themselves are shorter.

Combine those variables with the fact that the holidays are right around the corner and training rides seem to get shorter or skipped all together.  Perhaps missing a day or two of riding doesn’t seem like much but it does. According to the post, What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Riding, within a relatively short period of time, undesirable consequences result. As in, your metabolism stagnates. Your blood pressure rises. Your blood sugar surges. Fitness declines. And, inevitable wait gain surfaces. Not fun! The goal this time of year is consistency.  It is consistent training that helps prepare your body for the physical stresses of the season ahead. Given the constraints many face this time of year, indoor training becomes the most reliable source.  

Now tell the truth. How do you really feel about training indoors? Most have a love/hate relationship with trainers and rollers but you can find ways to embrace riding indoors to support your cycling training now and all the way through to next season.  Here is how. 

Apps – Fortunately, there are now many apps that make your time on the trainer more productive and entertaining. Additionally, these apps record your workout so you can analyze your effort and get your best bang for the buck workout wise. 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.  

Bike Setup – Granted, apps can make your ride more enjoyable; yet, having the right equipment can make a difference too. 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, and indoor riding clothes.  If you are using a basic trainer, you may also want 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  if you’re looking to take your training to the next level, having the right bike parts helps support motivation and training consistency.

Maximize Your Time – Make your indoor riding really count. It’s hard to stay motivated riding indoors for days in a row. So, another way to make riding indoors work is to shorten your ride. 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 time on the trainer or rollers accordingly.

If you haven’t found yourself on the trainer yet this season, you’re lucky! The indoor riding season is fast approaching.  When you think about it, indoor training doesn’t have to be as bad as you think.  Options are available. It’s all about how you approach it.  


Obvious Yet Worth Repeating: Why Bike Lights Are Important 

October 25, 2018

Bike Lights at BikeParts.com

 

 

 

 

If you have been cycling for a while, chances are at some point in your cycling career you have had an unpleasant experience with a car.  No one enjoys that!  And, while it is a given that vehicle and motorcycle drivers understand that there are certain rules that make things safer for everyone on the roads, they may not know that there are specific guidelines for dealing with cyclists. Likewise, riders must obey certain traffic laws to keep things safe for themselves and motorists. However, you don’t need a license to ride a bike. That’s why it’s even more important to educate both drivers and cyclists about safety on the road.  

This time of year, some cyclist forgo their rides in fear of lack of visibility and poor road conditions to avoid the potential conflicts of not being seen by drivers.  Yet, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we encourage you to keep riding.  Safety equates to being seen by drivers, as well as, pedestrians. So to continue riding through the fall and winter months, forgo your fear of the dark! Invest in the right bike parts and cycling apparel to ride in the dark. As a result, you will have the confidence to do it. Remember, visibility is crucial – for you and your bike. 

Outfit your bike with a good light system. You will want lights for the front of your bike. Consider having multiple lights for the front of your bike. One on your helmet so you can shine side roads and traffic and have a second light on your handlebars so you can see at least 10 ft. or more in front of you. For the rear of your bike, opt for a rear red light-particularly one that blinks. A blinking red light is much more likely to get the attention of a passing motorist who might otherwise not notice you. 

Commit to regular bike maintenance.  Fall weather conditions create a bit more havoc for your bike. With that in mind, we encourage riders to be mindful of having a well maintained bike with properly working bike parts to maintain safe riding conditions.  We also support mindful bike riding.  As in, not riding on the sidewalk, not riding to close to the curb, maintaining eye contact with pedestrians and motorist, and always wearing a proper fitting helmet.   

Being seen and staying safe on the bike is easy.  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we provide cycling accessories and cycling apparel to keep cyclist safe.  While having a bike belllights, a safety vest, and a helmet are all helpful, we also encourage riders to know the rules of the road. The post, An Essential Cyclist Safety Guide for Riders and Motorists, shares more details on bike safety.  Additionally, the post How to Not Get Hit by Cars shares important lessons in bike safety.  Be an informed and safe rider – know the rules of the road, ride safe, and be seen. 

Lucky for you, 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.  See you soon! 


The Importance of Having the Right Bike Parts for Cycling

October 18, 2018

Cyclists generally subscribe to the idea that having more than one bike matters.  Who couldn’t agree with that?! But on the flip side, have you ever wondered if bike parts matter? Sure, bike parts make are part of a complete bicycle but does one particular bike part matter than another?  

When you think about it, bike parts do contribute to your riding comfort. If you don’t feel comfortable, safe, or in control of the bike you are riding, chances are you aren’t going to ride it very often.  Also, bike parts do make a difference in injury prevention.  In a sport based on such a highly repetitive action, like pedaling, the first line of defense against injury is having a proper saddle with aligned seat position, height, and angle – not to mention a few other important factors like handlebarsstems, and the correct bike position.  All of these factor in to a comfortable riding position as well as a rider’s stability, endurance, and safety. 

But what other bike parts are important?  First and foremost would be the bike frame itself.  Whether it is a road bike, mountain bike, or cyclocross bike, the frame provides strength and rigidity and largely determines the handling.  In fact, Triathlete magazine provided the following advice to one of its readers: “When it comes to how your bike fits, rides, handles and reacts, the frame is the most important physical part of the bike. The frame is also usually the most expensive part of the bike and the most involved to replace. Buying a bike with the right frame the first time can not only help you enjoy the benefits of a better riding and performing bike now, but can also save significant money down the road as you will only need to buy some new parts, instead of buying a whole new bike, to upgrade.”  At the end of the day, it all comes down to fit. The frame needs to be the right size for you. 

Following the frame, other considerations include bike components and wheels.  Regarding cycling components, we’re talking about the drivetrain, gearing, and braking systems.  Focus on getting bike parts of a level that are designed for your riding style and frequency.  And wheels – they matter! They can make a basic bike ride a lot better while sub-par wheels can make an otherwise exceptional bike feel mediocre.  There are different wheel types, a variety of options for tube or tubeless wheels, and ideas to consider in tubular wheels, rim shape, spoke count, and hub options. While wheel options may seem overwhelming, it’s really straightforward. To make it easier to understand, check out our post and video, Wheelset Buyer Guide: What You Need to Know

All in all, bike parts do matter. They keep you safe and comfortable and out riding your bike.  Fortunately, at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we believe that there is much more to fitting a cyclist to his/her bicycle than just the physical dimensions of a bike. Each cyclist has a different history, experience, comfort level, and goal on the bike.  Stop in to see our road and mountain bikes. Check out any bike parts you want to upgrade or replace. Better yet, schedule a bike fit and dial in your optimum riding position.  Happy Riding!