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Shop Small Business Saturday at Yorktown Cycles

Shop Small Business Saturday at Yorktown Cycles

Help make a lasting impact in the place you call home on Small Business Saturday. While everyday is a great day to shop small, this is a special day nationwide to celebrate the local businesses that make your neighborhood great. Small Business Saturday is a great day to celebrate all of the shops that makes our community in Yorktown unique!

Stop on in to Yorktown Cycles November 25th and enjoy great prices on your holiday shopping! We're so thankful for YOU - you make running this business enjoyable and worthwhile. We're committed to promoting and aiding cycling in our community because we happen to believe it's one of the best things for the health and happiness of our community. As you look for special gifts for the cyclist in your life, we have a wide selection of new and exciting products sure to light up his face brighter than a Christmas tree.

Sleep tracking: Helpful or Harmful?

Sleep tracking: Helpful or Harmful?

Sleep Tracking: Could it Be Making Your Sleep Worse?

Read this before you turn to your activity tracker for the secret to better shut-eye

Knowledge is power—and when it comes to sleep, many of us assume the more we know about our habits and patterns, the more power we’ll have to improve our ZZZs. But measuring the quality of your shut-eye isn't quite so simple. After all, the accuracy of data collected by sleep trackers isn't necessarily accurate—and even if it was, that doesn't mean it would help you optimize your sleep.

Earlier this year, a study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine examined the real-world effects of using sleep trackers. In a series of case studies, the researchers found trackers were unlikely to help people achieve better sleep. In most cases, they actually seemed to make things worse. “It’s clear some people take it too far, and become a little obsessed with making their sleep perfect,” says Kelly Glaser Baron, PhD, first author of the study and an assistant professor of behavioral sciences at Rush Medical College in Chicago. In her study, Baron and her colleagues wrote about one man who felt that if he did not log eight hours of sleep each night on his tracking app, he would likely be wiped out and unable to function properly the following day. The man was averaging 7:45 hours of sleep each night, but the stress of trying to hit his eight-hour goal seemed to be doing more harm than good, Baron says. “He was lying in bed even when he wasn’t tired, and doing other things that really weren’t helpful,” she says.

Can You Trust a Tracker's Data?

While sleep trackers are getting better and more accurate all the time, Baron says several studies suggest many tracking apps and wearables make mistakes. “Most can’t tell the difference between light and deep sleep,” she says. “People come into the lab with data saying they’re not getting any deep sleep, and that’s not the case based on what we see in their EEG readings.” (An EEG, or electroencephalogram, is a test that measures electrical activity in your brain in order to shed light on behaviors like sleep and conditions like epilepsy, says the Mayo Clinic.) In fact, Baron says, many trackers “don’t come close” to accurately measuring sleep—often because they misinterpret small wrist movements as signs of light sleep or wakefulness. “Movement detection at the wrist can’t [determine] what’s going on with brain waves,” she adds.

Even If The Data Is Accurate, Is It Helpful?

To date, there is no evidence that using a sleep tracker improves a person’s sleep. A 2015 study in the journal Sleep found “a critical absence of supporting evidence for the advertised functions and benefits in the majority of the devices.” Especially for those who already struggle to fall asleep or who feel anxious about getting enough rest at night, a sleep tracker may exacerbate that anxiety, Baron says. In her study, she writes that trackers may “reinforce sleep-related anxiety or perfectionism for some patients.” Some may argue that healthy sleep patterns are more likely to develop when you're not focusing so much on it. Overanalyzing sleep could lead you to think about it more when you climb into bed, which in turn could lead to problems drifting off. “Overall, I think a large number of people need to sleep more, so I’m glad people are getting interested in improving sleep,” Baron says. But, she adds, it’s not clear what sort of person would benefit most from using a sleep tracker. “I think your average, stressed out, over-worked person who doesn’t pay enough attention to the amount of sleep they’re getting could benefit if a tracker helped them realize they needed more,” she adds. “But again, there’s no data on that.”

A Better, Cheaper Option

There’s no doubt that many Americans need more sleep. A recent National Safety Council report found that half of Americans are sleep deprived. But rather than carefully tracking our sleep habits, most of us need to focus on improving them. “I think setting a consistent bedtime, and giving yourself time to transition before bed without a screen is helpful,” Baron says. “Not watching that extra show so you can go to bed 15 or 30 minutes earlier is probably going to help.” Some of these sleep tracking apps offer ways to record your pre-bedtime habits—what you ate or drank, or watched or read, right before bed on nights when you slept poorly. That could help you recognize stuff you're doing that messes with your sleep. Baron also recommends talking to your spouse or partner about wanting to get more sleep, and turning the light off a little earlier. She adds, “I don’t think you need another piece of electronics to help you with sleep." The article Sleep Tracking: Could It Be Making Your Sleep Worse? originally appeared on Prevention and Bicycling.com

Let's talk bike technology

Let's talk bike technology

Bike technology is always evolving, resulting in some exciting recent advancements. From helmets that light up to unbelievably light carbon, there is technology that you have to see to believe. The very materials bikes are made from is constantly improving, as well as the technology on the bike. As you look for the perfect gifts this holiday season, some of the latest bike technology might be the perfect answer for you. Read on for some of the advancements we're most excited about.

There is increasing tech integration between your bike and your phone and your computer. There are sensors that allow you to take training to a whole new level. We've seen advancements in security - from GPS trackers that hide in your handlebars to locks that are convenient to carry but prepared to baffle the most experienced thief. Bike lights are getting brighter and smarter - some even coming with forward laser projections to make your presence known even when you're hanging out in someone's blindspot. Carbon is getting lighter and lighter, especially with the new addition of graphene on some models. While new carbon is making road bikes lighter and lighter, we're seeing the trend of wider and wider tires on bikes ready to hit the trails. And when we're talking about bike technology, we can't forget to mention electric bikes. A true cyclist of yesteryear may have looked down his nose at electric bikes, but today's ebike is something to behold - and something even the most devoted cyclist is tempted to turn to.

Many of these new technologies make awesome gifts for the cyclist in your life, and even if we don't have it at our store, we have access to thousands of products that use amazing technologies and serve more than one purpose. Stop in today and talk tech with us!

New & Exciting Bike Accessories

New & Exciting Cycling Accessories at Yorktown Cycles

At Yorktown Cycles we're excited not only about the new bikes rolling into the store, but all of the new cycling accessories as well. The technology within the bike industry is always changing and improving, which means there are some exciting new developments to check out. From bike computers, to pumps, to lights, to even bells, there is something for everyone. Not only that, but accessories make great gifts - something to keep in mind as the gift giving season approaches! Stop on in and let us give you a tour of some of the latest technology to hit the store.

Some of the favorite items of our staff include the newest bicycle mirrors, sleek and functional phone mounts, bright lights for the darkest nights, spill-proof chill-guaranteed water bottles, and baskets and bags to perfectly fit everything you might need - or want - to carry. What's your favorite cycling accessory? Which accessory do you never leave home without?

Layering up for fall cycling

Lengthen your cycling season with layering

Layering up for fall cycling

Tempted to hang up your bike already? Don't do it just yet! Whether you prefer the woods or the road, pedaling into fall gives you access to sights, smells, and sensations that fair-weather biking can't offer. Here are a few key changes to your cycling wardrobe that will keep you cranking while you wait for the first snowfall of winter.

#1: Cycling Jackets
Okay, the temperature is 40°F to 60°F and your first thought as you head out is to bundle up.  Beware!  After 10 minutes of hard riding, your body will start generating some serious heat. A lightweight, wind-resistant shell makes a great outer layer to cut the chill until you are up to speed.  Make sure the jacket has a full-zip front for venting, a drop tail for coverage in the back and can be compacted to stow in a jersey pocket.

#2: Biking Jerseys and Tops
Wearing multiple light layers of clothing helps trap insulating air between.  Start with a thin polyester base layer that will quickly wick moisture away from your skin to keep you dry. On colder days, add an easy-to-shed middle layer such as a synthetic long-sleeve shirt or bike jersey. A vest is another good option, as it warms your core while leaving your arms free to move.

#3: Cycling Pants & Tights
The rule of thumb is to keep the knees covered at 60°F or lower, so time to trade in your cycling shorts for pants, capris or add knee warmers.  If it's colder than pant weather, use full-length tights.  Breathable tights that have wind-resistant fronts are best but a bit hard to find.  If the tights you select don't have padded bottoms (they often don't), wear them over your bike shorts.

#4: Biking Headwear
The vents in your helmet that are such an asset during the scorching summer months can become a problem when it gets cooler.  To prevent your forehead and ears from going numb, wear a thin synthetic headband under the helmet.  If it's especially cold, choose a skullcap with earflaps, or better yet, a skull cap that can cover your ears too.  Still cold?  Add a helmet cover to block off all the venting and keep the rain out.

#5: Biking Socks
Cycling socks with merino wool will add needed warmth.  Just be sure to pay close attention to how these thicker socks affect the fit of your shoes. Bike shoes tend to be snug anyway, and too many socks might cramp the fit.  Too tight a fit inhibits blood flow, which will cause your feet to get colder and numb.

#6: Bike Shoe Covers
Cycling shoe covers (or booties) cover the your shoes and protect from cold and wind.  Booties can be made from neoprene, Windtex or a variety of materials that block wind and water to keep your feet warm and dry.  Bring your riding shoes and be sure to buy something that fits well.  Other options include toe covers, and chemical heat pads.

#7: Arm & Leg Warmers
Mentioned earlier, arm and leg-warmers are perfect for not-too-cold or variable conditions.  Put them on for the start of a ride and peel them off as weather warms later in the day.  Arm and leg warmers provide lightweight insulation and can be removed and stowed in a jersey pocket without even stopping. 

#8: Bike Gloves
It's tough to shift and brake when your fingers are numb.  Leave the fingerless gloves at home and go for full-fingered gloves.  How heavy, warm or waterproof are really a matter of personal choice.  Even if not perfect, a lightweight, wind-resistant pair of gloves will come in handy on many fall and spring rides.