Managing Early Season Race Day Jitters

May 18, 2017

BikeParts.Com Team Rider Racing in Colorado

Course strategies, break aways, riding in a small group or a large peloton – these are the thoughts and questions of cyclists wondering how to perform their best during in the first races of the 2017 cycling season.

The cycling season is just starting in Colorado and many are filling up their calendars with the big events.  While not a comprehensive list, following are some of the favorite Colorado May road and mountain bike races: 

Sounds good, right? Absolutely! So many different road and mountain bike events to choose from.  The main question is how to prepare? How do you know if you are race ready? Do you have a comprehensive checklist for Spring racing?  Early season races can bring on the nerves like nothing else!  After all, it’s been a while since you raced.  For the most part, experiencing those sensations is normal. Yet, oftentimes, early season jitters can exasperate the problem.

At Peak Cycles Bicycle shop, we’ve found that a little preparation can aid in reducing race day jitters. The post, 5 Simple Strategies for Overcoming Race Day Nerves, guides us through easy ways to shift the perspective of nervousness to be an enabler of positive sports performance. And there are other ideas for managing pre race nerves too.  

As you approach your first race of the season, you may want to read the post, A Guide to Race Day Nutrition to dial in your preferences as to get your fuel – whether that nutrition is in bars, gels, and liquids.  Also, while it may seem obvious, give your race bike a once over.   Notice any bike parts that need to be replaced. Consider replacing worn bike parts and purchasing new cycling accessories you plan to use for your A races later in the season.  This gives you a chance to dial in your needs early season and optimize performance in later events. 

Whether you’re entering your first event or you’re a seasoned racer, you’re always likely to suffer from some race day nerves. However, with a little planning you can gain confidence. The best part about early season races is the opportunity to assess your fitness level.  Enjoy the May cycling races in Colorado and use them to catapult you into a great 2017 cycling season. 

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5 Cycling Activities to do this Memorial Day Weekend 

May 26, 2016

BikeParts.com Racer in ActionWondering what to do with your day off this upcoming Memorial Day weekend? Ride, of course!  As the cycling season kicks off, there are plenty of casual and competitive cycling activities to do.

Rescheduled from a previous date, the infamous Koppenberg Race leads the weekend actives for competitive road bike athletes. The Koppenberg Race featuring a 17% grade climb and is considered the queen of the spring time cycling events in Colorado.  This event jump starts the cycling season with an impressive 5.5 mile road race circuit, with 300ft of elevation gain per lap, and includes 2 miles on a packed dirt road.  Join in the fun if you are ready for a lung burning, leg twitching feast! More information can be found here. And, while you’re at it, you can prepare to recover well from this race with our compression gear and nutritional recovery supplements- specifically bars, gels, and recovery drinks.  You have to get ready for the next ride, right?

Speaking of next rides, the 2016 – Cafe Velo Gran Fondo is on Sunday.  This event starts and finishes in Monument, Colorado at the Pikes Peak Brewery.  What’s great about this ride is that you have the option to choose from 1, 2, 3, 4 or up to 5 loops (110 miles, 9110 foot elevation gain) making it a great recovery ride from the Koppenberg Race or a great season starter if you are just now getting back on the bike. The ride covers a scenic 22 mile loop with an 1822 foot elevation gain through scenic Northern El Paso County; so plan according to your level of fitness.

While not local to the Front Range, this weekend also hosts the famous Iron Horse Bicycle Classic in Durango, Colorado.  The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic is one of the oldest cycling events in the country (since 1972) and is a multi-event bicycling weekend for cyclists of all levels.  Beautiful 10,000-foot mountain passes on the ride or race to Silverton on Saturday. Wonderful Sunday events in downtown Durango including kid races, the costume ride, road circuit race and mountain bike race. Monday completes the weekend with an individual time trial.
You’ll want to visit their website for more information.

If road riding isn’t your thing, consider making the trip to Gunnison, Colorado for The Original Growler endurance mountain bike race. This popular event usually fills up so fast you generally can’t get in to the event. Fortunately, this year’s Sunday’s Full – Growler and Half Growler are still open for registration.  Keep in mind, the course takes place in rugged, isolated backcountry terrain. That means, check your bike for the right bike parts, have your hydration pack full, bring your nutritional items, and have all your necessary cycling apparel on hand.  Why? Because the event is remote, organizers responding to mechanicals or an injured rider could be time consuming and difficult on this course.  Plan accordingly.

Finally, maybe traveling this weekend isn’t your thing.  No worries – we’ve got you covered!  Check out Our Guide to The Best Bike Trails in Golden, Colorado to create an adventurous day of trail riding.  Or spend some time preparing for the upcoming season.  Consider performing bike maintenance, schedule a bike fit, or shop for new cycling apparel. We bet Our New POC Cycling Gear Makes You a Better Rider.

Whichever rides or races you opt to do, Happy Memorial Day weekend to you!

How to Dial in Your Race Day Nutrition Needs

April 24, 2014

Preparing for the upcoming Gran Fondo Moab, the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Weekend, Ride the Rockies, Triple Bypass or Colorado’s Endurance Mountain bike series, takes methodical planning in terms of training, recovery, appropriate bike parts selection.  Yet, just as important as daily training is to get you to the start line, every day nutrition plays a critical role too.  The season is just beginning are you race ready?  Here’s what you need to know to dial in your daily, weekly, and race day nutrition for optimal performance.

You get a glimpse of the importance of monthly nutritional preparation in the post, Race Day Nutrition for Cyclist.  Overall it is a guide for monthly, weekly, and race week nutrition preparation with a focus on how viewing nutrition in terms of how it can support your physical training cycles rather than just eating for pleasure.  As many cyclist are already lining up on the start line, preparing nutritionally for weeks in advance isn’t an option.

As you approach your first race of the season, you may want to read the post, A Guide to Race Day Nutrition.  Many cyclist have different preferences as to how they prefer to get their fuel – whether that is in nutrition bars, gels, and liquids. However, oftentimes, the course may dictate other options.  As in, for mountain bike riders, a technical course may present obstacles in taking solid food while riding versus taking fluids.  Furthermore, as the post suggest, “having all of these different (nutrition) options can tend to create confusion and challenges for athletes as to which is ideal and which is best for them. In addition, choosing the right type of fuel depends on many factors such as duration, intensity and what type of activities such as cycling, running or multisport.” The end result: experimentation during training and early season races will aid in dialing in proper race day nutrition for your “A” races and events.

But what happens when you have stomach issues while racing?  How do you know what the cause is and what to do about it? As noted in, Stomach Issues while racing – Possible causes and solutions, poor pacing can easily lead to stomach issues, ingesting too many carbohydrates and or too much protein can be another possible cause for stomach issues, as well as too many surges within a long duration race can lead to a shutdown or at the least a slowdown of digestive ability.  Ultimately, it’s about utilizing the early season races to dial in your nutrition.  Preparing well and listening to your body is the key to preventing stomach issues during competition.

Next up?  Dial in your race day strategies!  Remember to set your goals, recon the route or course, practice race day rituals, and define your success parameters.