Smart Ways to Stop Sabotaging Your Late Season Training

September 25, 2014

www.bikeparts.com There’s a saying in the cycling world, “the off season is where you can make the greatest gains” and at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we couldn’t agree more. The off season is a time when cyclist can work on  weaknesses without having to worry about performance in upcoming group rides and races.   However, there are ways to sabotage the gains.

According to the post, 10 Things Endurance Athletes Need to Stop Doing, cyclist should stop ignoring recovery, stop doing other athlete’s workouts, stop ignoring your diet and your weight and stop ignoring technology in your workouts.  Another saboteur are headphones.  The post, Seven Reasons to Take Off Your Headphones, questions if listening to music while training actually helps or hinders results.  Unfortunately, knowing what not to do is only half the battle.  The other half is knowing what to do.

Making the most of fall season training is about keeping it fresh, trying something new, and also, targeting some fitness goals. You can start to make gains by focusing on recovery after your workouts.  When you think about it, training is all about stressing your body with hard workouts, and then letting your body adapt to that load. If you do not allow your body to recover and adapt to the training load you’ve imposed on it, you simply will not be able to train and stress your body as hard the next workout.  While many riders understand that recovery between workouts is key to building fitness, recovery is also a commonly overlooked injury prevention tool. Recovery, defined as stretching, hydrating, and resting, are traditional tools used by athletes.  Some opt for compression gear, as in socks or tights, which are designed to improve recovery and aid in overall sports performance.  Late season is a great time to test out new products and evaluate how your body responds.

Building on that – don’t let the hard work you’ve gained this year fall by the wayside!  As your training volume and intensity declines, it’s a good idea to begin paying attention to your nutrition and weight.  As noted in our post, Top 5 Apps for Cyclists for Off-Season Fitness Gains, managing your training and nutrition in the off-season can be manageable and can mean the difference between winning and losing during the 2015 cycling season.

Other suggestions for late season gains include strength training and yoga.  Year-Round Strength Training for Cyclists Matters. Since you are only as strong as your weakest link, the stronger system you build as a whole, the more potential you have for cycling specific gains.  And there’s a lot to be said for yoga.  Cyclists need to focus on leg strength, which many poses in yoga target, but they also need to focus on flexibility and lower back strength.  All key elements in extending the fitness gains you’ve made through the current year.

Finally, keep it fresh and fun. The Fall season can be a great opportunity to get new bike parts.  During the season, the focus is on riding; whereas during the Fall, there’s more time for mental wanderings and fun! Check out our daily closeouts and overstock items to spark renewed interest in your cycling program.


What You Need to Know to Prep for Cyclocross Season

August 21, 2014

It’s nearly that time of year again – cyclocross season!  Cyclocross is a wonderful way for road cyclists and mountain bikers to extend their competitive seasons and get a head-start on training for next season. The intensity of cyclocross racing provides a training stimulus that’s very difficult to replicate with standard interval training during the fall and winter, especially as the temperatures fall and athletes turn primarily to indoor cycling.

As the season approaches, what do you need to know?  The best approach is a comprehensive one.  Meaning, now is the time to begin planning your season  using goals, monthly progressions, and setting a weekly schedule. For those athletes who want to focus their efforts and manage their time, a good plan is to structure your cyclocross training week.

But what does that look like?  While training time, heart rate and power zones vary, a typical training week usually includes a variety of focused activity. As an example, the post, Preparing for Cyclocross Season, shares more on what you need to include in your training plan.

– Transitioning – this generally takes 4 – 6 weeks so you’ll want to account for that.
– Running – running can be an important part of the race. Incorporating running into your training activity is essential, especially if you aren’t comfortable with it.
– Race Specificity – focus on race intensity and include workouts and drills to prepare yourself for the cyclocross season.
– Bike Handling/Cornering – consider practicing starts, dismounts, remounts, shouldering, cornering, and riding through different conditions, as in, mud and sand. All play an important factor is racing efficiently.
– Equipment choices matter – dial in the best bike parts and and tire choice.  While bike setup and having the right cyclocross bicycle parts is important, one of the most important parts of all is tire selection and their pressure.

With a little pre-planning, your 2014 cyclocross season can be very rewarding.  Sure, cyclocross races are very high intensity and extremely demanding; yet, cyclocross as a sport is meant to be fun, otherwise, there wouldn’t be beer handoffs, money pits, crowds heckling the pros, or pros heckling the crowd!  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we’re gearing up for some cowbell cheer!


Will Stage 7 of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge Determine the KOM? 

August 14, 2014

USA Pro ChallengeJust days away from the start of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge, Colorado sports enthusiasts and cycling fans around the world wait with anticipation of yet another phenomenal pro race.  With stunning Colorado backdrops, high adrenaline , high altitude thrills of pro cycling, what’s more to like? Anticipation.  Watching the race unfold as leaders compete for different classification wins is thrilling. Yet, here in Golden, Colorado, we anticipate our very own Lookout Mountain may be the deciding factor in the KOM race.

The 2014 USA Pro Challenge takes place August 18-24 and will test riders’ strength and endurance over a 550-mile course.   The final stage, Stage 7, while titled Boulder – Denver, Golden is where the real racing will happen.  A a breakaway will stick or be caught by the time the riders complete what locals call the Lariat Loop. The climb up Lookout mountain is short and steep and possibly the decider in the KOM race.  The post, On the path of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge – Golden, shares details on what you need to know about the stage and Lookout Mountain.

STAGE 7 : 78 miles  Stage Map PDF   Stage Profile PDF
Boulder – Golden – Lookout Mountain – circuits in Denver
Race Begins: Approximately 12:30 p.m.
Race Ends: Approximately 3:50 p.m.
State Highways Impacted: SH 93, US 40, SH 391 (Kipling Street), SH 121 (Wadsworth), SH 95 (Sheridan), I-25.  (Route and Street Closure information)
Lookout Mountain Closure Friday – Sunday
Lookout Mountain will be closed to all vehicle traffic between white pillars and Buffalo Bill’s entrance. 3:00pm Friday 8/22/14 through 2:00pm Sunday 8/24/14.

About the climb of Lookout Mountain
Length: 5.1 miles
Total elevation: 1,438 ft
Average Grade: 5.3% (7%) (steeper in the corners)
Lookout Mountain climb is called Pillar to Post for the landmarks at the start and finish.

This final stage can be a make it or break it for the KOM race.  The climb up and the descent down the treacherous Lookout Mountain provides an intense challenge on the tour’s final day.  Where’s the best place to watch the pro cyclist on Lookout Mountain? Stop by the Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop for details on what to do near Golden and the best local places to ride in Golden. Need help before the race? Visit us at BikeParts.com


8 Expert Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Bike Parts, Bicycles, and Bike Components

August 7, 2014

Expert answersWhen most walk into our Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado, they are confronted by a dazzling display of road bikes, mountain bikes, cycling accessories, and cycling apparel.  It’s enough to make your head spin!

On the flip side, it’s the many questions that are asked of our staff and mechanic’s that make our heads spin!  And, we’re happy about that!  Obviously, we love answering questions and talking about the latest and greatest.  But, general questions usually center around road bike or mountain bike?  Tubeless or not? Full suspension or hard tail?  26”, 27 1/2” or 29” wheel?  You get the picture.  Those are great shop questions that we help answer for our customers.

Yet, there are more sophisticated questions asked.  Ones that take a little more time to explain. Answering those questions, we find the following posts to help explain in further detail.

1.  Technical FAQ: Tire widths, pressures, and more
2.  What Happens When the Six Million Dollar Man (bike) Crashes?
3.  Bike Inspections: A Guide for Injury Free, Enjoyable Spring Cycling  
4.  GoingTubeless? How to use Stans NoTubes 
5.  Bike weight and the myth of ‘fast’ bikes
6.  Ask a Mechanic: Which spare parts should I have on hand?
7.  The Quickest Way To Get Faster? Get a Bike Fit! 
8;  Wheelset Buyer Guide: What You Need to Know 

Asking good questions about your bike and bike parts leads to having the right bike and gear that not only gets you on the bike, but keeps you riding.  Ride on!


Destination Hotspots for Colorado Summer Cycling Trips

July 24, 2014
Breckenridge, Colorado

BikeParts.com biking in Breckenridge, Colorado

The lifestyle here in Colorado celebrates the great outdoors. Even better, Colorado has some of the greatest road bike and mountain bike rides in the country.  Some rides are shorter and convenient whereas others offer steeper, longer climbs and extended distances. Locals and vacationers alike welcome the challenge of pushing the limits while taking in breathtaking views that only Colorado has to offer.

According to ColoradoInfo.com, what makes Colorado so special is that it claims 53 peaks higher than 14,000 feet and the cycling and hiking trails ascending them are very popular and demanding. The state is something of a mecca for both long-haul road bikers and mountain biking enthusiasts. Bike paths are abundant on the Front Range from Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver, and Colorado Springs to Pueblo. In the mountains there are paved bike paths as well as hundreds of miles of single-track trails for off-road biking.

With that being said, which are the destination hotspots for cycling in Colorado?  No doubt, there’s too many great rides, trails, and locations to name them all, but following are a few of our favorites.

– 10 Best Colorado Trails
– The Athlete’s Guide to Boulder
– 20 Colorado Front Range Bucket List Rides
– Colorado’s Backcountry Biker’s Huts
– Top 10 outdoor trips and activities in Colorado

Now, aside from selecting your ideal riding location, there are a few additional elements to lock in to ensure a successful cycling adventure. Extra considerations include preparing for riding in Colorado’s altitude.  The post,  Racing at Altitude. What You Need to Know, gives some quick tips on acclimation and don’t forget about having your cycling essentials on hand. Meaning, make sure you have your maps, bike parts, hydration pack, and arrange in advance the details if you are shipping your bike.

Now, all you have to do is visit!  At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we invite you to visit Colorado’s cities, towns and mountain communities. Join us on road and mountain bike rides across the state and embrace all the beauty this glorious  state has to offer!


Can You Take the Heat? Heat Acclimation Tips for Cycling in the Summer Months

July 3, 2014

heatIt’s one thing to ride/train in the heat it’s another to RACE in the heat.  It’s that time of year, the summer heat has arrived and is making up for the lack of heat we had from the cooler temps to start off the cycling season.

Many cyclist, whether recreational or competitive, find dealing with the heat an issue.  Suffering from some degree of cramps at one time or another or heat related stomach issues, the heat brings on specific challenges to overcome in the summer months.   Specific to racing, many cyclist have encountered the negative effects of heat on race results. What, if anything, be done to help you train and race best in the heat?

When it is hot, especially when temps are in the 90-100F (36-40C) range, your body needs to work harder to keep your core temperatures in a safe range to allow the organs to function normally.  There are numerous heat–coping strategies to consider when planning a high-intensity workout or doing a race in hot weather.

  • Acclimate.  It takes about 10 to 14 days of frequent exposure to heat for your body to adapt. During this period of time workout daily in hot conditions at a lower-than-normal intensity. After a couple of weeks of near-daily exposure to hot conditions you will begin perform better in the heat than prior although performance will still likely be diminished from what you might have done in cooler conditions.
  • Nutrition. You want to eat “quality” carbs leading up to, and including, a hard effort or race day.  That includes eating plenty of fruits, veggies, etc.  Watermelon is a great fruit (carb) to consume even during race day.  Also, remember to stay away from the simple carbs. i.e. sugars, sweets, prior to the race or training in hot conditions.
  • Hydrate. This one is easy but also easy to forget! Water is 60% of your body weight and the number one concern on any athlete’s intake list. For both performance and health, the importance of your water intake exceeds that of your vitamin, calorie, and electrolyte consumptionFor your road racing needs, be sure to carry the water bottles and containers that you need on your bike but have extras available for bottles that are tossed and extras for immediate refueling post race. If you’re a mountain bike rider, you know tricky descents can bump a bottle right out of its cage.  This time of year, it’s best to wear a full camelback as well as have extra bottles on hand. For longer rides, opt for the Deuter Bike One 20 Hydration Pack- 100oz.  You’ll have enough fluids to get your ride in and also soak up the views.
  • Stay cool. Think shade and proper clothing.  Stay in the shade, warm up in the shade and cool down in the shade.  While it may seem insignificant, every effort to keep your body temperature down is important.  This includes wearing your sunglasses, having a light-colored helmet, and opening your the zipper on your jersey.  For longer rides, draping an ice-filled container around your neck may improve endurance performance.

To train and compete at your best all summer, it is important to understand how your body copes with heat, and what you can do to keep cool.  Everyone adapts differently to heat stress.  Need more tips?  Stop by the Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to chat with our racers, mechanics, and other cyclist to see what works for them. Maybe you’ll learn some new heat-coping strategies that will work for you too.


See You Monday! Memorial Day Demo Day at Green Mountain Open Space

May 22, 2014

Ride Life Ride Giant Demo @ Green Mountain Open SpaceAre you feeling the itch for a new bike?  Maybe you’ve heard all the rave of the new Giant Anthem 27.5 mountain bikes?  Well guess what?  We’ve teamed up with Giant to host a mountain bike and road bike demo day.

Celebrate your Memorial Day weekend by stopping by Green Mountain Open Space to check out and ride an impressive line up of Giant bikes.

At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, our job is matching bikes to riders and ensuring that your bike fits properly and that you are happy with it. If you’re considering a new road bike – try a new one out.  If you are thinking of riding trails for the first time in a long time, this is a no risk way to dip your toe in the water while trying out a new mountain bike.  And, if you’re curious as to what a 27.5″ feels like compared to a 26” wheel or a 29’er, here again, you have a chance to find out for yourself!  A short test ride will help you compare different bikes and make sure your new bike suits your needs exactly.

Mark your calendar!

  • When: Saturday, May 26th from 10:00am – 3:00pm
  • Where: Green Mountain Park, 1000 S Rooney Rd Lakewood, CO 80228
  • What to bring: Please bring valid ID, credit card, and helmet to ride.

If you have any questions be sure to stop by the Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop at 1224 Washington Ave #145, Golden, CO, give us a ring at 303-216-1616 or chat with us on Twitter or Facebook   You can find more information about the event here  and learn why Green Mountain Trail: Why It’s a Year Long Favorite of ours to ride.

See you Monday!