Monday, December 23, 2013

All About Snowshoes

Snowshoeing is a winter activity that I was not aware of nor had any knowledge about. When the winter months arrive the bike shop alters it's selection of product to include winter time fun. You'll see skates, skis, snowshoes, and fatbikes available for purchase or rent. 

We have a full selection of Redfeather snowshoes in stock for men, women, and children. This is a great way to get a local product as Redfeather snowshoes are made in La Crosse, WI. Upon my investigation of reading about why snowshoeing is a fun wintertime activity you should consider, I learned that there are snowshoes for fitness as well. This year we got in snowshoes made for runners! 
Snowshoeing is a great low-impact aerobic workout that boosts your cardiovascular health. It's said that if you can walk, you can snowshoe; the learning curve is much shorter than that of other winter sports and your risk of injury is very low.

There are a few techniques to learn, such as walking with a wider stance and choosing whether or not to snowshoe with ski poles. Using ski poles helps with balance but you may opt to use them more for an upper body workout. This is a great way to get outside and attain physical fitness instead of going to the gym every day.

Snowshoeing is a great way to get yourself outside and enjoy some sunshine and fresh air we often deprive ourselves of in the winter months. It's easy to do and learn which makes it even more fun to snowshoe with friends or family. An easy social activity in an outdoor setting? Yes please!

So come on in and see what we have to offer for snowshoes this season! Curious about what snowshoeing is like? Simple, rent a pair. We're here to answer your questions and provide you with a quality product that will make this winter much more fun for you!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fatbike Rental

Travis is very excited and pleased to bring Decorah another fun way to enjoy the winter season this year; Fatbike Rental!

You can rent a fatbike for 4 hours for $25.00 or a full day (24 hours) for $40.00 or $250.00 for a month.

I do not know anyone who hasn’t been the least bit intrigued by the fatbike craze. It’s really taken off within the last year. Everyone wants to know what all the hype is about; now you can experience it for yourself. You have your choice of riding a Surly Pugsley or perhaps you’ll choose to try out the new Trek Farley. Another nice feature of our rentals is that they come equipped with bar mitts; they protect against the elements and provide additional warmth for your hands as well.

Fatbikes are a great way to experience some play time in the snow as the larger tires roll over obstacles easily. You also have more to push as well; people who ride fatbikes do not care about pedaling around a few extra pounds. When the tires are squishy it gives the bike extra traction to tackle that snow.

Fatbikes are fun because they let you experience a different way of riding. It’s not about the speed and how fast you can go but about enjoying the ride and having fun! If you’ve had curiosity over riding a fatbike, now is your chance to experience it and maybe even fall in love with it. Don’t let the winter blues bore you and leave you waiting impatiently for the spring season; get out and roll in the snow!


Monday, December 16, 2013

All About Grips!

If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive upgrade for a bike this year, consider replacing the grips.  Based on the type of riding you do, different grips are associated.

Have you suffered from numb and tingly fingers? Consider a flared ergonomic grip. It has a “shelf” for you to rest your palm on and helps to reduce pressure on the ulnar nerve.
Ergon is one of the most recognized brands of ergonomic grips, and they have multiple shapes and sizes for different hand sizes or riding preferences.  These grips come in lengths for trigger or grip shifters as well as small and large sizes for different hand sizes.

They also come with or without a built in bar end. Bar ends allow you to have an alternate hand position and lets you not rest your hand in the same spot all the time. Bar ends also give you the ability to stretch out more and give you more hill climbing leverage. There are multiple bar end shapes and lengths to choose from.

One of the most important features of Ergon grips is that when they’re installed you will use a wrench to tighten the built-in clamp that locks them in place and maintains the angle that you find most comfortable for your hands. Other ergonomic grips that do not have a clamp built in will quickly start to rotate down because the shelf that you rest your palm on acts as a leverage point. That, combined with heat and general riding will end up rotating the grip so the shelf is pointing straight down and is no longer beneficial for what it was designed for. With Ergons you can set it and forget it and simply focus on enjoying your ride.

The shop’s favorite from the Ergon line is the BioKork version. Some of the benefits of this grip are that the body is biodegradable, the clamp is 100% recyclable, and the grip doesn’t become sticky or melt in the sun like some traditional rubber grips. It’s a great and functional product for the Earth conscious person in your life.
Another type of grip that’s commonly used in the mountain bike scene is a unique type of silicone grip from ESI. They are very light weight, grippy, and shock absorbent which gives the rider more comfort and more control while riding off road. The most popular of the ESI grips is the model called Chunky which is simply a thicker version that gives a little more comfort compared to others. Many people who ride in the winter will use these grips along with a carbon fiber handlebar because the two of them combined are less cold than aluminum bars and traditional rubber grips. Aluminum bars tend to hold the cold while carbon does not.

We regularly carry grips from Raceface, Specalized, Ergon, and ESI along with a variety of others. If by chance, we do not have the grips on hand that you want, we are happy to order alternatives for you. Grips are a fantastic, simple, and affordable way to freshen up any ride, so stop in today and check them out!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

All About Nutritional Supplements

When you come into the shop and look at the nutritional supplement shelf, you may feel a bit overwhelmed from the selection of goods we have in stock. An assortment of powders, gels, chews, and bars; how do you choose what is best for you and your needs? This post will educate you on everything you need to know about our nutritional supplements along with highlighting store favorites.

One of the most popular nutritional supplements in our store is Gu, a gel-based supplement that comes in a variety of flavors. If you aren't interested in a pop of flavor we suggest Vanilla or Just Plain; Josie’s favorite flavor is Espresso Love and Travis fell head over heels for Salted Caramel.

Gu should be ingested 15 minutes prior to any event, ride, or workout along with 8 oz of water. You should refuel once every 45 minutes after the start of your event. Gu is easily digestible for most, quick to take, and very pack-able.
Gu is high in sodium, potassium, and carbohydrates; it gives you energy and reduces cramping.
Some individuals enjoy getting a jolt of caffeine with their supplements; Espresso Love, Orange, Vanilla, Just Plain, Tri Berry, Jet Blackberry, Chocolate Outrage, and Salted Caramel all have caffeine. Salted Caramel has added electrolytes as well! Your body looses electrolytes gradually as you sweat and one needs to replace them.

Gu can be purchased individually for a $1.50 a pack or you can purchase a box of 24 for $30.00
Another fact that some may find appealing is that EFS and Gu also work with gel flasks that we carry in-store.

The chews preferred by our store would be Clif Shot Bloks, which are easy to open and can be eaten straight out of the package. No fumbling or mess! The Clif Shot Bloks also provide more texture and substance, which many runners prefer so they feel full and sustained.
Clif Shot Bloks are high in potassium and carbohydrates; they have more sugar content than the Gu gels. One should note that the blocks are 100 calories per serving and ½ the package is a serving size.
Another great fact about this product is that it’s 95% organic!

If you prefer a kick of caffeine: Black Cherry, Orange, and Tropical Punch flavors have caffeine added.

Travis loves Cran.Razz
Dan prefers the Black Cherry flavor for the caffeine
Customers Kristin Torresdal and Novian Whitsitt root for the Margarita flavor, which has 3x the sodium content for cramp busting.

We also carry Sport Beans by Jelly Belly which come in 4 delicious flavors: Fruit Punch, Lemon Lime, Orange, and Berry. In addition we have Honey Stinger chews in the Pink Lemonade flavor, which both Travis and Josie can vouch for being tasty! Novian loves the Powerbar Gel Blasts, which are a combination of gel and chew combined. We have Raspberry and Lemon flavors available in store for the Powerbar Gel Blasts.

For bar options we carry several varieties of Clif Bars, right now a fun option is the selection of seasonal flavors; Spiced Pumpkin, Pecan Pie, and Iced Gingerbread. Travis loves the Sierra Trail Mix Clif Bar while Josie found herself loving the new Pecan Pie Clif Bar.
The Clif Bar flavors we have in stock at the store are 70% organic and if you want a little caffeine with that, the Cool Mint Chip Clif Bar will have that.

Clif Bars are great when you really want to have the feeling of eating something sustaining, but not have it taste like a candy. Clif Bars are a good source of protein and fiber combined with vitamins and minerals. If you forgot to eat breakfast, one of these bars will help push you through those hill climbs and sprints.

Hydration mixes are another popular nutritional supplement that many people like. Skratch Labs Hydration Mixes are used by local mountain bike racer, Trevor Rockwell. Novian regularly uses Cytomax which we carry in Cool Citrus.

Skratch comes in easy to use single serve packages or 1 lb bags, the benefit of the 1 lb bags are you get 40 servings per bag! We have four flavors to choose from for the single serve packages; Raspberry, Orange, Lemons and Limes, and Pineapple. The 1 lb bags come in two flavors- Raspberry and Lemons and Limes. To use the single-serve packet, mix one packet with 16 oz of water.
Many individuals like using Skratch Labs Hydration Mix due to it not being sticky or sugary. Travis said that the Lemons and Limes flavor tasted just like natural lemonade. 

The hydration mixes are all natural and they replace electrolytes along with enough calories to help fuel muscles. They are flavored with real fruit; you won’t find artificial colors or preservatives in these mixes! Plus, the Skratch Labs Hydration mixes won’t upset your stomach or leave a bad aftertaste.

This is just a basic run down of our nutritional supplements and what they can do for you. You will find we have a variety of products but we aren’t even scratching the surface for variety.
For example other choices for chews are Gu Chomps or other flavors of Honey Stinger.
Alternate brands of gels are: Power Gel, Car-Boom, Honey Stinger, and Hammer Gel. We can also order smaller sizes of the EFS Liquid Shot for you as well.
There are several other Clif Bar flavors you can order along with Clif Builder Protein Bars, Luna Bars, and Mojo Bars.

If you see a nutritional supplement or flavor we do not carry in the store and would like to order, just ask! We are more than happy to get the product in for you and it usually comes within a day of ordering.