End of the Road

KineticWhen we launched KineticShift at the 2010 International CES we hoped to bring attention to the fact that many tech and gadget blogs called out products that entertained but few addressed that technology could also help make users healthier in the process. Since our launch CES has added a program that specifically addresses fitness technology, the trade magazine TWICE (This Week In Consumer Electronics) covers fitness technology and big box retailers such as Best Buy carry fitness devices including motion trackers and heart rate monitors.

There is now a whole category of wearable devices and major players from Google to Apple to Microsoft are now in this space. Fitness technology has come into its own.

On the one hand we could say “mission accomplished,” but of course this trend would have happened without KineticShift. While we managed to get on the radar of many companies and helped promote many products we have also realized that we were never able to break out.

We say kudos to those sites such as Gear Patrol, Gear Junkie and Uncrate that have managed to make a splash. We’ve covered an alphabet of trade shows: CES, SIA, E3, CTIA, SHOT, etc. (not to mention Interbike and many other shows), and we thank all our readers who came and read what we had to say.

We thank the sponsors that we’ve been able to attract as well.

Thank you for four and a half great years. All of us at KineticShift will likely continue to cover and report on fitness technology, but the time has come to for us to move on. While we could continue to do our daily updates the truth is that we were unable to grow and that has limited what we can do. With that in mind, we’ve hit the end of the line.

The KineticShift Staff

Fitness Journal: Working Out on Vacation

ParisThe summer is almost here! That magical time is often when families pile in the car and hit the open road – like Chevy Chase and family in National Lampoon Vacation – but many adults opt for a different sort of trip to get away from it. Instead of a week at Wally World you might opt for time away on a cruise ship, which hopefully turns out better than Leonard DiCaprio’s experience in Titanic, or a week on a beach, which hopefully isn’t as eventful as DiCaprio’s adventure in The Beach. But wherever you go we bet you’ve got the same concern: How do you stay in shape while you’re off having fun and relaxing?

Wherever your vacation takes you, vacation it should be – like the lyrics to the Go-Go’s song – a time “to get away.” What it shouldn’t be is a time to take a vacation from your workout routine, especially if you’re training for a big event. Even if you just want to stay in decent shape vacation calories still count, even if you’re not being charged for them.

Don’t Forgo the Workout
Unless you’ve specifically signed up for an active vacation, it’s important to find a way to make your exercise fit into your vacation in a way that doesn’t feel like work. Cruise ships, beach resorts and many hotels do offer a gym. Don’t avoid it; instead hit it early in the morning so you don’t have an excuse after a day of leisure activity.

If there is no gym, bring a workout program with you.

“Those would be easy to take on vacation and could be done in a hotel room,” said Dillon Martin, professional fitness coach. “They are typically designed as a 30, 60, or 90 day plan. My wife is taking two of her eight TurboFire DVDs with us when we go on vacation so that she can keep up some of the workouts.”

Dillon added that, “A week’s vacation doesn’t mean you will go backwards, and if well timed, it might be a positive in your workout plan.”

Super Leisure Vacation?
There are certain vacations that offer the promise to just sit back, relax and soak in the rays. This however can seriously impact a workout routine, even if you’re just focusing on staying fit or watching your weight. Two weeks on a cruise ship and you might end up looking too much like the Skipper on Gilligan’s Island by the time you reach your home port.

“If your vacation involves is one of pure leisure, such as a cruise or a trip to the beach it becomes hugely important to work out,” said Steve Edwards, director of results and fitness advisor for Beachbody. “A cruise ship has food available around every corner. While there are opportunities to work out and do things, it is so easy to sit on a ship – or a beach – and just not move.”

Edwards suggests moving regularly, and that means more than just turning over to get an even tan. He also recommends making regular trips to the gym.

“Throw it on the daily schedule and get it done and, and if you like even out of the way,” said Edwards. “That way you can then spend the rest of the day relaxing.”

But even when you relax break it up with a stroll around the ship or down the beach, take stairs instead of the elevator and if you’re at a resort take a walk instead of a cab after dinner. Consider some fitness opportunities too; many resorts and cruise ships offer exercise classes, climbing walls and even team sports like basketball and soccer as pickup games. And even if you don’t normally meet with a trainer spring for one while on vacation – you are treating yourself after all.

Vacations are about breaking from the routine so trying a new activity like rock climbing might be something else you can bring home with you.

Will You Be Sightseeing?
While most some people would count a hike in the woods during a vacation as a workout, the same consideration isn’t always given when it involves a walk along the Seine in Paris or through the Roman Forum. A day spent walking and taking in the sights is actually quite a workout in itself.

“It certainly can be,” said Edwards. “Walking around Paris all day can make you more tired than a real workout,” says Edwards. “If you’re on an active holiday, there is no reason to worry about breaking your workout routine for a few days.”

In fact, if you’re planning to see the City of Lights this summer and will to take in the museums and enjoy walks around town the city, you might even leave the running shoes at home and bring some comfortable walking shoes instead. Trying to get in a run after a day in the Louvre isn’t necessary and it could even be more than your body needs.

“Walking around Paris all day is a lot more athletic than a typical day at work for many people,” Edwards added. “Sightseeing can be mean 10 hours or more of activity and that is equal to an ultra marathon – the sort of race where people walk stretches of it.”

If you just can’t skip the workout and absolutely feel the need to go for a run on the Seine after looking at Mona Lisa and her pals, think about dialing back the workout Martin suggested.

“If you are walking six to nine plus miles a day while exploring the city this will cause fatigue, especially if you are not accustomed to that much walking,” said Martin, who suggested that dialing back to the intensity to 60 percent or, he says, is a good way to handle the fatigue. “Alternatively you could do shorter workouts and up the intensity. For example, find a pool and do 10 x 100 meter hard intervals. Done in under 30 minutes.”

And that leaves time for lunch or dinner.

The Vacation Diet
Food plays a big part of any trip away from home. When on vacation, most of us tend not to cook. And, for many, exploring new restaurants and sampling exotic cuisine is part of the experience. While those training for a big event should use caution, for those on more active vacations shouldn’t worry about a post-trip bulge if they indulge just a bit.

“It depends on your goals and what you are actually doing,” said Edwards. “If you are training for something it’s a lot more important to be careful, but for those who work out for general fitness, eating on vacation should be part of the fun.”

Just walking around a city all day requires a much more massive caloric burn than sitting at a computer.

“The more active you are, the more you actually need to eat,” Edwards added. “If you’re moving around, you might really need some junk food. Think of how ultra marathoners and bicycle racers eat a lot because they’re burning so many calories.” If you are training for a big event, such as a triathlon, it might be necessary to watch the diet and get in those workouts…or if you can, time the vacation to come after, not before, the big day.

And feel free to let loose a little. It is a vacation after all, and overdoing it at the desert table or bar early on in a vacation might just be the best way not to do it again.

Hit the Bike… Or Not
It is hard to avoid some walking on vacation, but increasingly it is hard not see people riding bicycles. While you can’t ride a bike on that cruise ship, you can rent a bike in many European cities. While the traffic of Paris and Rome may not be for the faint of heart, many destinations are quite welcoming on weekend afternoons when roads are closed to traffic. Other cities, such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen are ideal for seeing the sights on two wheels.

Even American cities are become bike friendly, with smart bike rentals popping up.

Of course if you spend a lot of time after work on two wheels, a vacation can mean time away from the bike and if you can’t rent a bike running and jogging can still provide a way to work the your legs. So when you head back home you’re still feeling ready for a long ride.

“Running or jogging is a very efficient way to build some aerobic fitness, and only requires a pair of shoes, shorts, wicking tee, and a sense of adventure,” said Stages Cycling’s power education specialist Benjamin Sharp. “However, for the trained cyclist, the impact of running can be a painful experience as supple quads and calves are pounded by the pavement. In many cases, a short walk around the neighborhood of the hotel, first thing in the morning, might be all you need to keep the athlete’s mentality and find equilibrium in the restfulness of a vacation and the desire to be able to perform when reunited with the bicycle.”

For those who work out regularly sometimes the best part of a vacation is getting back into a routine when it’s over.


Lock and Loaded

SkylockIf you have to leave your bike even for a second you need a quality lock. That means bringing keys or remembering a combination. The Skylock is a keyless lock system that works with your mobile phone. It can keep your bike secure – and even alert you if the bike is moved – plus it can act as an alert should it detect a crash.

But the best part is that it syncs with your mobile device so there is no need to bring a key! Video after the jump

Norco Crosses the Threshold

NorcoThe 2015Threshold is ready to go. This new cyclocross bike from Norco is heavily influenced by the B.C. brand’s mountain bike heritage, and features a frame with size-scaled tubing that ensures that that a heavier rider on a larger frame will experience the same ride characteristics as a lighter rider on a smaller frame, while proprietary Gizmo cable routing features plugs that create tight seals at entry and exit points, blocking water and debris from entering the frame and preventing cable rattle.

It features through-axles, disc brakes and offers quick handling on the course.

Norco Official Website

Ready, Aim… Watch Your Fire

FireWhile the warm weather is a good time to hone the shooting skills this year’s dry conditions need to be addressed. The National Shooting Sports Foundation is encouraging target shooters and hunters to do their part to help prevent wildfires, and offers a poster and audio public service announcement containing prevention guidelines for use throughout this fire season.

The poster encourages firearms owners to know the rules, regulations and fire-danger levels before going shooting in fire-prone areas; to minimize the risk of fire by not using ammunition that is steel-jacketed or contains steel-core components, by not using tracer rounds or exploding targets; to remember that a vehicle or ATV’s hot exhaust pipes could ignite a fire; and to properly extinguish campfires, among other fire-prevention measures.

NSSF: Shooters & Hunters: Help Prevent Wildfires Official Website

Tour de France Rides to the PS4

TourdeFranceThis year you don’t have to just watch the Tour de France – you can ride it in video game fashion. In fac this year there are two games including Tour de France 2014 and Pro Cycling Manager.

Tour de France 2014 invites you to wear the jersey of the greatest champion cyclists and take part in a 2014 Tour in a game packed with new features. The game lets you enter one of the most prestigious cycling competitions in the world that now takes you through the English countryside, London roads, cobbled sections in northern France, legendary mountain stages and the fabulous finish on the Champs Elysées. The 2014 version of the game will arrive on the Xbox 360 as well as PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in time for the race.

Pro Cycling Manager 2014 on PC is designed to thrill fans of sports management and catapult you to the head of one of the 75 pro teams in a riveting cycling season where you take part in over 200 competitions and 550 stages! This extensive 2014 edition offers meticulously rendered graphics, new off-race management options (R&D, financial management and improved sponsor relations, etc.), a more dynamic transfer market, a more realistic injury system, a brand new and highly intuitive interface and a race gameplay that is full of great features, including consecutive orders and race tactics!

Pro Cycling Manager Official Website


E-BikeKitWant to get some electrical assistance on the ride to work? The new E-BikeKit and E-TrikeKit from Electric Bike Technologies USA will electrify your ride.

“This is a significant endorsement for electric bike conversion in the U.S. market and a momentous opportunity for our company,” said Electric Bike Technologies CEO Jason Kraft. “We’ve been hard at work since 2008 developing what we know to be the best value in electric bike conversion kits and to have that recognized by J&B is a real honor.”

The systems are available now from J&B in all wheel sizes, front and rear, with several motor and battery options. Future plans include the introduction of a high-end 500-1000w geared motor and lithium battery options.

E-BikeKit Official Website

Magellan is Ready to Ride

Cyclo-505Magellan once again shows its customers the way, and this includes those on bikes. The company has launched its new Cyclo 315 and 505 GPS cycling computers in North America, following the debut of these last year in Australia and Europe The Magellan Cyclo units are designed to help guide the way for all bike riders from the hardcore triathlete to the body armored mountain biker, or even the weekend touring enthusiast.

At 3-inch in size, both the Cyclo 315 and 505 have the largest touch screens in the GPS cycling computer category. The units feature a highly detailed road network with cycling POI’s, enabling turn-by-turn navigation, as well as the very popular Open Street Map bike network, for either the U.S. or Canada. The Cyclo 505 is also the first GPS cycling computer to include Shimano Di2 gear data display and recording, Bluetooth Smart HRM/SAC sensor support, Android and iOS smartphone support for call and SMS notifications, Indoor ANT+ trainer support and enhanced ANT+ power meter support. Continue reading Magellan is Ready to Ride

Folded Blades

SpydercoThis month Spyderco noted that sometimes “progress” is actually a step backward. The knife maker called out new knife laws in other countries – noting that Denmark has prohibited any one-hand-opening knife. Rather than just fold up and go home the knife maker has addressed the issue with modified versions of its U.K. Penknife!

The result is the Spyderco Spy-DK Orange Plain Edge Knife, which features a reduced blade, and removed the one-handed opening, but is otherwise still a solid pocketknife that will come in handy when needed.

Spyderco Spy-DK Orange Plain Edge Knife Official Website

Go With the GoRemote

GoRemoteAs we’ve said many times a smartphone is a great thing on a ride but not everyone wants to put it in harm’s way. The GoRemote is Bluetooth 4.0 waterproof remote for the iOS devices that allows the handset to be safely tucked away – while this wristband and bracket gives users the freedom to take control.

The GoRemote is now looking to get going via a Kickstarter campaign. Continue reading Go With the GoRemote

Bike Friendly

BikeFriendlyThe League of American Bicyclists has announced its latest round of Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC).

“This round of applications overwhelmingly confirms what we heard from local elected officials at the National Bike Summit this year — riding a bike embodies the quality-of-life aspirations of communities across the country,” said League President, Andy Clarke. “Making this healthy and active transportation mode safe and easy is of growing importance to the 8 million residents of New York City and the 6,000 people in Franklin, Pa. alike. We’re excited that these communities have made the smart and vital investments to become a designated Bicycle Friendly Community.” Continue reading Bike Friendly