White Ranch Trail: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

March 7, 2013

White Ranch Trail, Golden, CO

If grueling climbs, steep and narrow descents and tight switch-backs are your thing, then White Ranch may be the trail for you.  White Ranch Trail, located in Golden, Colorado near the Peak Cycles bicycle shop, offers an extensive trail system of 20 miles of multi-use trails over both gentle and rugged terrain.  Here’s our take on this popular trail.

The Good:

With steep grades, loose rock, and fast descents along sloping terrain, this trail is a favorite for advanced mountain bike riding on the Front Range.  Rugged and rocky steep climbs challenge even the best of riders while smooth and gentle meadow shots offer a release from the death grip on the brakes.  Your hard climbing efforts are rewarded with sweeping views of the Great Plains and the Denver skyline.

The Bad:

It all depends on what you call “bad.”  Starting at Belcher Hill with an extended, technical climb up can be a challenge.  If you aren’t up for that,  you might consider that a negative. Also, with two foot + drop offs, you need to be ready for technical sections and not a walk in the park type of ride.  Take note: hissing isn’t just for aggravated riders or flat tires.  There are plenty of snakes on this trail.

The Ugly:

Not having the right bike parts  or gear.  A full suspension mountain bike  is recommended to easily navigate  rocky sections, water bars, steps and drop offs.  Also, because of a majority of the park is exposed, the sun exposure in the summer months can be brutal.  A hydration pack is recommended not only to carry plenty of fluids but also for easier drinking riding over technical terrain.

There are 2 possible starts.  Opt of the East Access: 5611 Glencoe Valley Road, Golden for an easier ride.  Or, take the West Access: 25303 Belcher Hill Road, Golden for the long climb up to the top.

Either way, White Ranch offers cyclist living close to Golden, Boulder, and Denver a more advanced area to mountain bike and better yet – it offers a great escape from city riding.


Train the Brain: The Power of Mental Suffering

January 24, 2013

When we catch ourselves visualizing or fantasying about racing, winning or accomplishing something big in our race dreams, rarely do we visualize ourselves falling apart.  On the contrary, we view the victory as coming rather easily.  Even if the scene involves us digging to the depths of our inner being to pull something out of nothing, that agonizing pull from our inner selves is viewed in fantasy world as masterfully manifested.

In real life, we all know it doesn’t actually work like that.  Many of us can suffer but there are breaking points and limitations to the line we cross. And while we aspire to be our better selves and pull out the magic in a moment of victory, the magic won’t be there if we don’t train it to be there.  Sure, we know how to train the body for suffering on the bike.  But the real master to train is the brain.

How are you training your brain?  Daily workouts offer opportunities to dig deeper.  Extended minutes at threshold heart rate or within specific power zones offer challenges.  Conquering a hill climb or masterfully navigating technical sections on the mountain bike  build confidence.  While these rides garner motivation to go beyond our limits, bigger challenges garner insights to training your brain for mental suffering.  Take these early season races and rides as an example.

Compare your mental attitude, preparation, and willingness to “get after it” when considering a race like the Triple Bypass  or the Copper Triangle versus a training ride with a group of spirited athletes.  The level of digging deep and mental suffering for a race exceeds that of a fast paced training ride.

Bigger challenges help to prepare for the mental suffering athletes are bound to encounter during the season.  They also help build mental fitness and confidence.  On the other hand, it is true, some athletes and recreational enthusiast focus on the bike itself.  As in, “Is it light enough?”   “Does it have the latest and greatest bike parts?”  Granted, having the right bike components and bike accessories makes a difference but to perform your best, you have to train your brain.


Light Your Bike Up Like Rudolph!

December 20, 2012

holiday light bikeHoliday lights, whimsical accents and outdoor Christmas decorations are trademarks of the season.  One of the best way to enjoy all the glittering Holiday splendor is to view a brilliant light display by bike.  See your neighborhood as it sparkles.  Enjoy nighttime views and the ambiance of your town.

But nighttime riding doesn’t have to occur only during the holidays.  There are benefits to training at night for cyclist.  Switching up the training regime can freshen your attitude, spark some fun, and maintain fitness.

The trick to capturing the benefits is to outfit your bike with a good light system.  Whether you are bike commuting, going for a holiday stroll, or getting in base miles, being visible is critical. Here are some tips to getting the right bike parts.

A Well Lit Bike

  • 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.

A Well Lit Cyclist

  • Purchase apparel that is visible.  There are options to choose from including vests and ankle bands.
  • Also, reflective tape is a good idea. 3M makes black reflective tape that is great to put on black wheels. You do not notice it during the day and it shows up white at night.

So, let there be light!  Enjoy strolling through your neighborhood enjoying the Holiday season or prepare for training in the New Year.  Be safe and have fun by lighting up your bike!


5 Training Tips to Get You Through the Holiday Season

December 6, 2012

Healthy Holidays! Holiday parties, shorter days, cooler temps, all temptations pulling us away from time on our bikes.  While this time of year poses unique challenges, there are ways to maintain fitness, reduce the holiday stress levels, and prepare for next year’s riding season.

  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 to 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.
  2. Buddy Up: Shorter days creates less motivation and time to ride.  Combat the winter woes by asking a friend to join you for a trainer session. Committing to a time, place, and a friend creates structure and accountability.
  3. Get Visual: Trying something new like a training video or dvd can add a new dimension to your riding schedule keeping it fresh and inspiring you to get on the bike even during the hectic holidays.
  4. Shop Ride: Join us on Sunday mornings at Peak Cycles in Golden, Colorado at 9:00 AM for our shop rides.  Nothing is more fun that joining a group of passionate cyclist out for a morning ride.
  5. 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.

Maintaining a holiday fitness plan doesn’t have be hard.  Be flexible, mix it up, and enjoy!


BikeParts.com You Tube Channel

April 9, 2008

We have setup a YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/bikepartsdotcom to post all of our video. Check it out.

      


Alien Run MTB ride – Aztec New Mexico, UFO Crash site

March 30, 2008

Alien Run is a 25+- MTB single-track and oil-field road mountain bike ride in Aztec, New Mexico.

The ride is named after the fabled Hart Canyon UFO Crash site. Little green men – or women, whomever you prefer.

 

The ride / race course is accessed through Aztec New Mexico. We started at the Aztec Motocross track for about 8 miles of Mountain View trail before we got to the Alien run trailhead. From there it was an 8 mile loop. Sandy, twisty singletrack with some slickrock then back to the moto track via Mtn View.  Total ride time about 2.75 hrs easy with breaks.

Alien Run MTB ride Photo Album
 


Ribbon Trail – Grand Junction, Colorado Mountain Bike Ride

March 27, 2008

So Tyler and I spent 5 days of our spring break riding in the Fruita/Grand Junction area.  We rode Rabbit Valley, 18Road, Ribbon Trail, Free Lunch, Moore Fun, Horsethief and Gunny Loop.  Check out some of the photos here and some of the video too!  Props to Ross Schnell for letting us invade his house during the trip!Rabbit Vally - Colorado/Utah border