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Featuring the Specialized Jett: fits better, for longer. Photo Credit: Specialized Bicycles

When is an appropriate age to start including kids into bike adventures?

1 year is the recommended age provided by the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) where babies develop the neck strength required to support the weight of a helmet and to keep their head from bobbing when riding over bumps.

Once your kiddo turns 1, there are many child bike gear options we carry at Skirack which are explained below, starting with the most important: a bike helmet.

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Ellie and Clarke run at the Lake Champlain Waterfront Marina in Burlington, Vermont. Photo: Zach Walbridge.

So you’ve decided to start running, congratulations! Building up a habit of running can have lifelong health benefits, create lasting friendships, and generate endless fun. Starting out can often be the hardest part so here are a few tips and tricks to get you out the door and keep you moving through your runs!

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Comments | Posted in Expert Tips Running By Jack Mitchell

On a hot day, Ellie runs along the Lake Champlain Waterfront in Burlington, Vermont. Photo: Zach Walbridge.

Exercising in the heat can create many challenges. Hydrating, food intake, proper clothing choice, and many other factors are essential to keeping you out there on a sweltering day. Many people think water is the key to a hot day...sure it is...but you NEED electrolytes or your body will suffer. It is also important to understand how to carry your fluids as well. This can carry over to not only hot days, but any training day. I am going to break it down for you to help with training, racing, and general exercise during those hot days.

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Take the time to wash mud or road grit off your bike - it's worth the extra effort. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

Whether you are riding around the latest and greatest the bike industry has to offer, an old school relic, or the die-hard four season commuter, admittedly as a cyclist, you care about the bike you are on. Keeping your bicycle running smoothly will only ensure the longevity of the bike, its performance, and the overall enjoyment you will get out of every ride.

While many tunes and services are best left for your friendly local bike shop, the first and foremost is something everyone who rides is capable of maintaining.

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Hiking at Hunger Mountain in Waterbury, Vermont. Photo: Zach Walbridge

There is nothing better than getting out and exploring new trails. This past year has been challenging to navigate but one silver lining is more people discovering the outdoors. Hiking is easily accessible with a low cost of entry. If you have a trail near you, or a way to get to some trails....boom! You are now hiking!

There are some ways to increase the hiking experience and I will provide a few tips along with a couple of my favorite Vermont spots.

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It's Not Me, It's You. When To Break Up With Your Running Shoes.

The purpose of exercise is to stress your body in a way that makes it stronger and healthier and gives you a feeling of well being. Whether it’s walking or running on roads or trails or something else, it’s important to pick a shoe that feels good on your feet with the proper fit.

Your running shoes are more than just cool looking fashion items, they are lightweight protective devices for your feet. Your personal experience may vary, but running shoes are generally expected to provide support and cushioning for 300-500 miles, depending on your physique and how you use them. And most of you tend to replace your shoes within six to twelve months.

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Comments | Posted in Expert Tips Running By Sam Hewitt

Celebrating Our Relationship with the Intervale Center. A close partner deeply aligned with our mission: to inspire our community to pursue a lifetime of
outdoor activity and environmental stewardship. Graphic: Carly Freeman.

For the past 36 years, Patagonia has been funding grassroot environmental organizations in an effort to, as their mission reads, “to Save our Home Planet.” Skirack and Patagonia Burlington have been fortunate to be a part of this effort through grant support to the Intervale Center. In recent years, the grant has been given to the Intervale Center’s Conservation Nursery, whose focus is to raise and plant tens of thousands of native trees every year to support and improve water quality in Vermont. This has also been put forward to sequester carbon, fight erosion and build a better wildlife habitat.

This year, we are happy to announce that through Patagonia’s Action Works Grant Program, Skirack and Patagonia Burlington have been able to once again show our support with a grant of $20,000 to the Intervale Center: to support not just the continuation of critical conservation projects through the nursery, but to expand into supporting the organization’s broad range of conservation and agriculture projects aimed to strengthen community food systems. The grant is providing core resources to maintain the best services they can to their farmers, improve land and water quality, and bring more people into the good food movement.

It is no secret that the past year has been challenging for everyone and through Patagonia’s grant program, the Intervale Center is able to continue their hard work and efforts, while also planning for the future health of their organization.

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1 Comments | Posted in News By Skirack

Sustainable Clothing Brands. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

When looking for the perfect activewear piece, there is a lot to think about. Is it moisture wicking? Is it comfortable? How does it fit? Can it be worn on many different adventures and seasons? Is it high quality and long lasting? And finally, is it sustainable? Sustainability has quickly come to the forefront and now more than ever is a major factor people consider when making buying decisions. At Skirack, we take all these questions into consideration when carefully curating our collections each season. We work closely with our trusted brands and dive a little deeper into what sustainability means, asking: who made it, how is it made, where are the materials sourced, and what is it made up of?

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Gravel biking is a great way to still ride while the trails are closed. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

As mountain bikers, getting through the ups and downs of the Vermont fifth season aka "mud season" can be challenging. One week, trails are dry and open - and the next week, they are closed due to rain (or even snow).

To get through this difficult time, we have come up with 5 things you can do instead of biking on the trails.

Keep up-to-date on trail status, find your Vermont Mountain Bike Association chapter and learn more about mud season at: vmba.org).

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Comments | Posted in News Bicycling Expert Tips By Michelle Peters

Measuring a customer's feet is the first step of the run shoe fit process at Skirack. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

A properly fitting running shoe influences three factors in your running and walking experience: injury reduction, comfort, and performance.

Having a shoe that is fit by a trained shoe fitter that has evaluated the way your ankle and arch moves can help determine the appropriate shoe category for your foot. The shoe category is correlated with the level of support in a shoe and is broken down into neutral, guidance, support, and motion control. Too much or too little support could potentially lead to injury or discomfort.

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