The Trails Are Calling  – Steps to Transitioning from Road to Trails 

July 20, 2017

Peak Cycles/Bikeparts.com enjoys the evening views off Lookout Mountain

Do you hear the call of the mountain bike trails? Maybe you’re a bike commuter or you mostly ride the road and are curious about riding some of the popular mountain bike trails on the Front Range.  

Oftentimes, those making the transition from concrete to dirt experience a little trepidation in knowing what to expect and how to make the move with ease. However, with our tips, you’ll be shredding trails in no time!

First and foremost, you need to decide what mountain bike to ride.  Our post, Which Mountain Bike Should You Buy, walks you through all the options available, the pros and cons of each and help dial that in for you. Granted, you’ll need a mountain bike but what size wheel, bike components, hard tail or full suspension, and all the bike parts associated with your mountain bike of choice is up to you. Obviously, we’re here to help you so stop in Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to test ride some mountain bikes, as well as, get all of your questions answered.

Notably, after you have your bike – or get a rental bike – you’ll need to get the right cycling apparel.  If you’re a road cyclist or a commuter, you can wear some of the same clothing.  For instance, your helmet, jersey, and shorts will work. However, you may consider full finger gloves to protect your hands.  Also, mountain bike shoes are helpful.  Unlike road riding, when riding trails it isn’t uncommon to jump off the bike, walk or jog through a section, and then jump back on. Surprisingly, you may also want to swap out your road sunglasses for transition lenses. Mountain bike trails are exposed and also heavily covered with negation and trees making visibility different than when riding the road.  Protecting your eyes is one thing but being able to see the trails and ride comfortably is another. 

The next question is, where to ride? Trail difficulty ranges from easy to hard. The best part about harder trails is that if it seems to challenging to ride, you can walk that section. On the plus side, seeing challenging terrain gives you something to aim to achieve later. All of Golden’s trails can be found on the City of Golden website. For your convenience, however, we thought we would highlight some of our favorite cycling trails.

Chimney Gulch Trail – Skill Level: Moderate – Advanced
Not too far away from downtown Golden, Chimney Gulch is a visitor and local favorite because it ascends the well-known Golden landmark — Lookout Mountain. Chimney Gulch is mostly an uphill climb which winds through the Golden foothills and emerges at the top of Lookout Mountain. At the summit, you can park your bike to enjoy gorgeous mountain and city overlooks or visit the Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Preserve. And the way down is all downhill!

Apex Trail – Skill Level: Moderate – Advanced
Similar to (but less popular than) the Chimney Gulch Trail, the Apex Trail winds up and up into Golden’s western foothills. For much of the way, the track is surrounded by pine forests, giving you a feeling that you are far away from the bustle of city life. The Chimney Gulch and Apex trails can actually be connected for an extended ride up one and down the other. If you are combining the trails, you may want to consider stopping at Buffalo Bill’s grave at the top of Lookout Mountain.

North and South Table Mountain – Skill Level: Easy – Moderate
Both North and South Table Mountain (located on the east side of Golden) offer a unique mountain biking experience. The flat-top mesa makes for relatively easy cycling, which gives riders the chance to enjoy the open prairie. Both mesas have multiple access points and extensive trails that weave on top and along the side of the mountains, just out of reach of urban Golden. We find that morning and evening light glancing off the prairies make for an especially special ride on these trails.

White Ranch Trail – Skill Level: Moderate – Difficult
If you are looking for solitude, this is one of your best bets. On the north end of Golden, the White Ranch Park offers a different type of beauty from the rest of town and encompasses meadows, pine forests, views of buttes, and unique rock formations. It has about 20 miles of trails that wind through both rugged and gentle terrain.

With all this in mind, it’s important to note that before taking your mountain bike for a spin, it’s important to be prepared. Having plenty of waterfood and nutrition, extra tire tubes, and repair kits, as well as the right tires and maps will ensure you have an enjoyable and stress free experience. So what are you waiting for?  Answer the calling of the trails – ride them! 


Success Secrets for Kids Biking to School – A Win for Kids and a Win for Parents! 

October 1, 2015

A BikeParts.com bike commuter

Fall bike riding offers the chance to enjoy cooler temperatures, view the changing colors of the leaves, and reinvigorate your spirit with the freedom riding a bike inspires.  What is true for adults is also true for kids!  As the school season is underway, many children are coping with new daily routines which include more structure and less playtime.  Riding a bike to school is a great way for kids to get exercise, develop healthy habits, as well as, enjoy some extra playtime.

As many adults know, exercise helps reduce stress, aid with weight management and promote bone, muscle, and joint health.  But what you may not know, is that riding a bike to school may also help your child’s academic performance. Bicycling to school can help contribute to the developmental health of children.  Despite the benefits, some parents are left with concerns as to how to make bicycling to school a win – win.  A win for their child in that they enjoy the experience and a win for the parents in that you have confidence your child arrives safely on their commute. Here’s what you need to know to make biking to school a success for both you and your child. 

  • Think about whether riding a bike to school makes sense for your child. If your child attends a neighborhood school biking may be a good option. If you child is at a charter school across town where she plays the double bass in the orchestra, biking to school may not work. Look at your child’s schedule and consider biking to school on days that are best.
  • Scout a route to school. Look for side streets, other kids on bikes, low traffic speeds and good visibility. Ride the route with your child and make sure he understands the route. Have him lead to show you that he knows where he is going.
  • Talk with other parents and the principal to address real and perceived obstacles to getting kids on bikes. 
  • Dial in your child’s bike.  Bring it into the shop for bike maintenance and ensure all bike parts are working properly. 
  • Make sure your child knows the rules of the road.   
  • Invest in needed items.  Purchase a quality bike lock and teach your child how to use it wisely.  Consider getting a quality pannier or messenger bag instead of a backpack. Also, be sure to have the appropriate cycling apparel for the season.  

In fact, Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop is only store in Golden, CO that serves kids cycling needs. 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.  Stop by the shop or visit us online at www.BikeParts.com.  We’re here to help you and your family make biking to school a win-win for all!