Scared of Riding Solo in Remote Locations? Fear No More! Tips for Solo Rider Adventure Seekers

July 12, 2018

Adventure – we love it!  That’s why we ride bikes, right? The feeling of freedom riding a bike gives us is intoxicating and liberating.  Seeking adventure on our bikes just ups the game!  

The thrill of riding uncharted territory and exploring new rides and routes is exhilarating.  But sometimes, riding into the unknown can also be stressful – especially if you are doing it solo.  Fears of “things happening” when you are by yourself.  Fears about getting lost or getting hurt or even fears of bike mechanicals and having to walk a long distance.  Sometimes, things do happen but with a proactive approach, you can easily navigate riding solo in remote locations with confidence.  

Map it out.  Sometimes it is fun to just get on the bike and see where the ride takes you.  That is all well and good but when you are riding in a new location, it really is better to have some sort of a plan.  Either scout out your ride on the internet, carry a map with you, use your Garmin or cycling navigation tool to have an idea of the distance and terrain you will be covering.  The easiest way to ruin a ride is to get lost and spend countless, unnecessary hours trying to find your way back. You don’t need the stress of it all! 

Carry more than you need.  While you have an idea of what to expect on your adventure ride, expect the unexpected.  It’s a good idea to have an oversized pack. Carry more water than you normally would and pack for a variety of weather conditions.  A good rule of thumb is to carry a rain jacket, arm warmers, ear covers, extra food, and maybe a SPOT device if you are really headed to a remote location.  Don’t forget basic bike maintenance tools and chain lube to combat any mechanical issues you may encounter.

Be safety minded.  Obviously you want to be safe, but what does that really mean? Before you head out, check the weather and plan accordingly.  Also, inform others of the direction you are headed and what time you expect to return. While it may be tempting to deviate from the plan when actually riding, avoid the temptation to do it.  If something were to happen, it is wise to have others have a general awareness of your whereabouts.  Also, check your bike frame and bike parts for a good inspection. It’s easier to ride new and unknown trails and routes with the confidence that your bike is in good working order.  Besides, who wants to fix broken bike parts or cycling accessories on a ride? No one! So, give your bike a quick once over before heading out. 

Ride within your limits.  New ride routes and trails have a way of invoking cycling superpowers!  That is, they inspire us to ride fast and get after it! That is all fine and dandy but when riding solo in remote or uncharted territory, it may be a good idea to pull back just a bit. Keep some reserves in your energy stores in case you do get lost or the ride takes you further from your final, planned destination.  Be mindful of changing weather conditions that may tax your energy reserves and be proactive in eating timely and adding/ removing cycling apparel to make sure you keep your energy steady.  Nothing adds more stress to a ride than getting lost and / or being too cold and not knowing if you can even get to your final destination. 

Finally, relax! Enjoy the views! Bask in the thrill of exploration! 

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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! 


How to Make the Most of the BIKE MS: COLORADO

June 21, 2018

The Bike MS: Colorado ride is this weekend. If you aren’t up to speed on this ride, you’ll learn that it is unique.  

Not only will riders travel through quaint towns and backroads where they will enjoy rolling terrain or tackle great Colorado mountain climbs, but also, riders will enjoy choosing different routes as each day has multiple route options, all of which are fully supported with stocked rest stops every 10-12 miles.

What makes the event special is that it riders participation will drive MS research forward faster, and deliver services to those who face the challenges of MS every day so they can live their best lives.  That is inspiring and motivating!  

To make sure you capitalize on your motivation and also ride your best, there are a few ways to prepare.  As we’ve mentioned before in older posts, you’ll want to remember these important tips: 

  • Prepare your bike in advance. Give your road bike a once over. Notice any bike parts that need to be replaced. 
  • Know the course and aid stations. Primarily, you want to anticipate your needs as you tick off each mile. For instance, learn or write down on a card to put in your jersey the mile markers for the aid stations. You may also make note of the mileage between aid stations. You may end up passing through the earlier aid stations only to stop more frequently at the aid stations later in the event. 
  • Consider taking a rain jacket and extra chain lube in your jersey pocket or seat bag. 
  • Lay everything out the night before. This includes your every day cycling apparel: helmet, gloves, shoes, socks, shorts, jersey, sunglasses, water bottles, food, and sunscreen.
  • And remember – go easy at the start and ease into the ride. It’s tempting to go too fast at the start, but holding back some energy will allow you to finish feeling strong.
  • Finally, recover smart! At the completion of your ride, be mindful to cool down appropriately. Spin your legs out and get your heart rate down. Consider using a nutritional aid to accelerate the recovery process.  After all, the fast you recover, the faster you can ride your bike again! 

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have a lot of suggestions and advice on making the most of your ride.  Stop in the shop to pick up the bike parts you need to have the best MS Colorado ride. In fact, our online store, Bikeparts.com, has lots of different types of nutritional supplements, cycling accessories, and cycling apparel all in one place to help you make the most of your riding. 

So, enjoy the ride and the scenery!  After all, you are pedaling for a good cause! Remember, your participation will drive MS research forward faster, and deliver services to those who face the challenges of MS every day so they can live their best lives.


5 Step Plan to Make the Most of Your 2018 Cycling Season 

May 31, 2018

June is here! Welcome blue skies, sunny days, and longer days!  All the perfect ingredients becoming us to ride, race, and enjoy being on our two wheeled friends.
Whether you are a recreational cyclist or a competitive one, no doubt you have some cycling goals in mind for the season.  

As we’re just launching into this year’s cycling season, it’s important to make the most of it by planning now. When you plan, goals get met.  You don’t want to look back over the season at the end of the year with regrets. So, 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.  And at year end, you can look back with satisfaction with your achievements.  Here’s how to do it.  

#1 Think strategy first.  High level. What are your goals for the season? Are there races or events you have always wanted to do? Register – mark it on your calendar – and plan! We’ve written extensively on strategic planning.  Check out these posts for good ideas: Cycling Success: A Guide to Launch Your 2018 Spring Cycling Season and Keys to a Successful Cycling Race: Think Smart, Eat Smart.

#2 Next, prepare.  Preparation means alot of things.  Research your ride route. Identify the bike you will be riding. Replace old bike parts. Dial in your nutrition needs. Decide on your training plan.  Preparation paves the way for success.  And not to be overlooked, is dialing in your cycling accessories.  Get a checklist ready to have on hand for all your events.  We have a handy one here: Ready to Race? A Comprehensive Checklist for Spring Racing.

#3 As most living in Colorado know, weather conditions can change rapidly.  This means you have to be agile with your bike maintenance and cycling apparel.  You might want to read our popular posts Dry Pavement, Sloppy Slush and A Muddy Trail: Which Chain Lube Works Best? and Effective Training Techniques for Cycling in the Heat. Both offer useful information for making the best of your ride.  As for those afternoon rain storms, we suggest reading the post: Wet Weather? No Problem! 5 Essentials for Riding in the Rain.

#4 After a long or hard ride, recover.   it’s important to note that during the summer months it is easy to get swept away in the joys of riding. The temps are great – the trails are great- riding a new mountain bike or road bike is great!  But, with all the bike riding accompanies fatigue and over doing it. Be mindful to build in recovery to your training plan.  Some post worth reading include: Recovery: Ride Hard – Recovery Harder: Ways to Speed Up Recovery and Avoid Early Season Training Injuries with Rest and Recovery.

#5 Finally, take care of your bike!  Bike maintenance keeps you riding. You can either do bike maintenance yourself or bring your bike to us and we can do it for you.  Either way, some basic maintenance is necessary and to make sure you’re covered, you’ll want to read: 4 Essential Bike Maintenance Tips to Get Your Bike on the Road.

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.  There you have it – a 5 step plan to kick off your 2018 cycling season! Set up your 2018 right by planning ahead, getting your road bike or mountain bike in order, and getting the gear and resources you need.  With the right mental attitude and the best bike parts, your successful training and race prep is well underway.


Celebrating National Bike Month at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop 

May 17, 2018

Happy National Bike Month Image courtesy of League of American Bicyclist

In case you weren’t aware, the League of American Bicyclist recognizes May as National Bike Month.  As luck would have it, this week is also national Bike to Work Week.  Here in Colorado, bike to work day isn’t until June 27th, but what’s the harm in celebrating cycling and bike commuting more than once? As active advocates of cycling in the Golden, Colorado community, all of us at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop look for every opportunity to celebrate our two wheeled friends!  

Fortunately for us, Peak Cycles resides in a city that embraces cycling too.  The City of Golden is recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as one of the more bicycle-friendly communities in the country. With Golden’s Silver Bicycle Friendly Community Award, it puts Golden in an elite group of just 326 other cities in the country who are transforming their communities. Building on the community aspect of cycling, Peak Cycles has supported countless race teams over the years including  Peak Cycles XC, Gravity and BMX teams, Colorado School of MinesThe Golden High School mountain bike teamTough Girl CyclingTwin Peaks Racing, and The Colorado Collective

Individual and businesses can celebrate National Bike Month and Bike to Work Week too.  Obviously, a great way to celebrate is to ride your bike! If you aren’t already, begin bike commuting.  A great resource to get you started is our post, Summer Bike Commuting – Making it Work For You. It describes route planning and bike part essentials to have on hand. Keep in mind, bike commuting isn’t just for adults! Young children can enjoy it too. Our post, Get Your Kids Bike Commuting shows you how.

For businesses looking to celebrate National Bike Month, there area resources for you as well.  You can create a bike-friendly shopping program to encourage employees to bike commute this month and through the year.  Many aspiring bike riding enthusiast appreciate a shop that offers quality bike parts and components along with solid advice on bike parts and cycling apparel. Convenience helps too.  Look for a shop that offers online and store front shopping to aid in your cyclist needs.  Fortunately, Peak Cycles offers both!  Additionally, offer a bike education program to employees and their families.  Consider offering a bike safety class or participate in a bike maintenance class.  

There are so many ways to celebrate National Bike Month. The point is to celebrate it! Have fun!  Share your favorite rides and pictures of the fun you are having on Twitter and Facebook and be sure to tag #NationalBikeMonth to inspire others to ride their bikes! 


Celebrate Mother’s Day with A Family Bike Ride

May 10, 2018

Family Bike Rides Enjoyed by all at Peak Cycles/ BikeParts.comMoms do so much for their families on a daily basis. From cooking meals to scheduling events and chauffeuring kids. Mother’s Day is a special day to say thank you for all Mom does.  It’s also a day to create special memories.  

This Mother’s Day, why not get the whole family together for a bike ride? Bike riding as a family is a fantastic way to share the love of biking together while also having fun and exploring the wonders only a two -wheeled friend can provide!  The to making the day memorable is making it easy for Mom so she can pedal in pleasure!  Here’s how to do it.  

Before heading out, plan a short destination ride or round trip ride that all in the family can do with ease.  You don’t want to over reach on distance. Also, be mindful of the time of day. Too hot or too cold of temperatures can adversely affect the comfort of the ride.  Put a little planning into your route with stopping points, points of interest, a restaurant or coffee shop and you may find it keeps enthusiasm high and the overall ride more enjoyable. 

Mom’s are safety minded and you want her mind at ease on the ride. Educate your kids on the the rules of the road. Know what the bicycle laws are in your area, and follow them. In most areas, they are going to be very similar to vehicular traffic. Make sure you stop at stop lights and stop signs, signal before turning, and ride on the street. It’s important to model good behavior and teach your family the rules on the road. 

Safety also means making sure all the bikes are in good working condition. Have waternutritional items and food available. Remember to have sunscreen in case you are out on your ride longer than expected. A good rule of thumb is to carry basic bike tool kit with you too. All of these items contribute to a positive bike riding experience.

You can help your kids feel more excited by making sure everyone in your family has gear that fits. This means both a bike and a helmet.  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. Same goes for Mom! Every woman wants to ride in style. With that in mind, you can never go wrong in getting your Mom cycling apparel!  She can’t have too many 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 – especially on Mother’s Day! 

Making a Mother’s Day celebration memorable and unique doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive – just some thoughtfulness!  Remember to take pictures of the fun you have on the ride.  Encourage family members to make the day easy for Mom so she can enjoy it to the fullest. Ultimately, a Mother’Day family bike ride allows you to play and create memorable moments together. Enjoy! 


The Best Bike Part Upgrades For a Better Ride

April 26, 2018
Upgrade your bicycle components at BikeParts.com

Upgrade your bicycle components at BikeParts.com

Riding a proper fitting bike is especially important for people who cycle on a regular basis or ride longer distances. Without it, cycling can be uncomfortable, and even downright painful.

When the aches begin or when new and unusual creeks and noises arise from the bike are too loud to ignore, the first thought is to purchase a new road or mountain bike.

Granted, purchasing a new bike is awesome! But if the 2018 road and mountain bikes that are out are not within your budget., what are the best bike part upgrades that can make your ride more comfortable?

Before diving into any bike parts upgrades, you need to make sure you have a comfortable bike setup. No amount of money invested anywhere else on you bike will make a difference if you don’t feel comfortable and confident. With that said, bike fit comes first. Check out our post, Do You Know These 5 Important Bike Fit Tips? to get an idea of the 5 important bike fit tips to help you dial in your ride. And if you need help with your fit, look no further than Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop. We have a private, dedicated room designated for bike fits. We offer Specialize’s branded fit system, Body Geometry, accompanied by the newest technologies to give you a comfortable and professional bike fit experience. Not only can we help you with your fit, but we carry all the bike parts you may require to get your bike in the very best setup for your riding needs. Give us a call at (303) 216-1616 to schedule.

Aside from a bike fit, the single most effective upgrade you can make is the wheels you ride. A new wheel set will transform your current ride and if you decide later to get a new bike, they will be transferable to your next bike. Definitely a good worthwhile investment. Wheels impact ride quality, ease of pedaling, reliability, and functionality. The question is, once you’ve decided it’s time for a wheel upgrade, how do you know how to select the best ones? 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. Our video offers pointers or stop by the shop and we can help answer your questions.

There’s little point in spending money on a lighter wheel set only to ride them with cheap rubber. Invest in descent tires. One option is to go tubeless. To do this, you do need tubeless-compatible wheels to make this upgrade a reality. Most riders that have tried it never go back, so it’s an upgrade that’s well worth your attention. If you’re up for doing this yourself, you’ll want to watch our video: Going Tubeless? How to use Stans NoTubes.

Maybe upgrading your bike parts isn’t in the cards. Maybe you prefer to upgrade your cycling accessories or cycling apparel. Having a new jersey or new cycling shoes may be just what you need to bring a fresh approach and enthusiasm to the season. Whatever your needs may be, we have all the bike parts and cycling apparel you need. Just stop into Peak Cycles in Golden, Colorado to see what you might find. See you soon!