Get ready for Colorado’s bike season
WHAT: Brown Cycles monthly maintenance class
WHEN: Third Wednesday each month, 7-9 p.m.
WHERE: 549 Main St., Grand Junction
COST: $30, includes free tube and patch kit
Though Grand Valley’s unseasonably warm weather is hinting at an spring, winter still may make a comeback. Now is the perfect time to prep your bikes (and yourself) for the season. Whether you ride mountain or road (or both!), be sure to do the following:
CLEAN YOUR BIKE
Sure you want to remember all the places you rode last season, but the bike may not appreciate being dirty. Clean off all cracks and crevasses, including spokes, drive train (remember to lube back up), and shocks (if you’re cleaning a mountain bike).
Chris Brown, owner of Brown Cycles (549 Main St., Grand Junction), suggests to purchase Simple Green, a biodegradable cleaning solution, which is available in stores like Wal-Mart.
Also be sure to check your tires and make sure the wear isn’t too bad. Depending on how many miles you accumulated last season, it may be time to replace them.
Check the pressure on your shocks for your mountain bike, too.
GET A PROFESSIONAL TUNE-UP
Kristina Kittelson, an avid Grand Valley cyclist and Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association spokeswoman, suggests to get a spring tune at your neighborhood bike shop.
“Have tires, chain and cassette, cables, and brakes all checked,” she said.
Brown suggested to head to his store and get the “blow-off-the-cobb-webs-and barn-dust” tune up for $30.
Also have a bike tech check your bike’s shocks.
Want to learn how to fix your bike yourself? Every third Wednesday from 7-9 p.m. Brown Cycles offers a maintenance class that teaches folks how to change flats, oil chains, adjust breaks, and more for $30. The class includes a free tube and patch kit. It is “BYOB” (bring your own bike).
GET A BIKE FIT
According to Brown, a personalized bike “fit” is ideal.
“It will make for a much more enjoyable season,” he said. “If you are over 48 years old, you are shorter naturally.”
He added that handle bars might need to come up an extra inch in the fitting.
TAKE CARDIO CLASSES
To get back into shape during pre-season, joining a gym will help.
“Take a spin class or two to get your cardio up during the intermittent misty weather,” Brown said.
The classes won’t simulate actual riding, but they can help increase stamina and cardiovascular levels.
INCREASE MILES OVER TIME
Start slow with early season training to prevent injury.
“Your last ride was 110 miles; your first one might only be 10,” Brown said. “That’s OK.”
Take it easy to prevent soreness.
START A BUCKET LIST
Did you get a chance to ride every trail you hoped last season? Brown suggests writing a “bucket list,” featuring big and small rides for spring and summer.
“Include places you have never ridden before and sign up for some local, social events,” he said. “You don’t have to hit them all, of course, but it will keep you motived throughout the season.”
Events could include Ride the Rockies, Tour of the Moon, Grand Junction’s Off-Road Epic, or Rumble at 18 Road. (Be sure to snag a copy of Free Press’s 2015 Cycling Guide due out in March for the latest on events not to miss.)
Who doesn’t love getting something new?
Pick up something fun — like a new jersey, cycling computer, helmet, or colored grips.
“New stuff is fun and is the key to happiness,” Brown said. “Don’t buy it because you need it; buy it because you want it; then go wear it out.”
MAKE SURE YOUR ‘fix-it’ BAGS ARE FILLED
Shae Kosmalski, a Grand Valley rider, said she likes to keep her “fix-it” kit fully stocked and always with her bike.
Be sure to include a brand new tube, CO2 cartridges if used, tire levers, patch kit, and tool kit.
“The rubber on the spare tube cracks and the glue evaporates from the patch kit during the winter hiatus,” Brown added.
CLEAN OUT HYDRATION CONTAINERS
Jennifer Sliney, a Palisade rider, suggests that everyone clean out and give a “hard core” soak to hydration bladders and lines before spring season arrives.
“I like to use white vinegar,” she said.
It is suggest to give water bottles a deep clean as well, as mold may be an issue, especially if flavored energy drinks were used.
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