Kim Hull, The Alpes, France

4 seasons with WoolX

Cover: Kim Hull, The Alpes, France
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull


In one of those end-of-the-year moments spent browsing through photos from the last year, it occurred to me how often we had on a WoolX garment in the shot. Across the world over four seasons, we donned our WoolX through all temperatures and conditions. It was another 100+ nights on the road in 2015 and WoolX was always in our bags because it travels well, is comfortable, can be hand washed in a hotel sink, and it looks really good.

A visual recap of our year in WoolX

Spring 2015

Hiking at Lake Tahoe

Kim wearing WoolX while hiking on the Tahoe Rim Trail
Kim wearing WoolX while hiking on the Tahoe Rim Trail
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

This section of the Tahoe Rim Trail is such a beautiful hike! The trailhead is off of Mount Rose highway, and 5 miles out on the trail is the perfect spot for lunch overlooking the lake. It is simply gorgeous.

We love WoolX for hiking since it breathes well and can be layered. On this day, we layered a long-sleeved mid-weight top over a lightweight short-sleeved top that kept us warm in the chilly morning, then cool when the day started to heat up.

Greg wearing WoolX mid-weight shirt while hiking at Lake Tahoe
Greg wearing WoolX mid-weight shirt while hiking at Lake Tahoe
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Summer 2015

Europe

Kim Hull, WoolX, Rome, Italy
Kim Hull, WoolX, Rome, Italy
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

We headed to Europe in June to roam around before the Tour de France. Our first stop was Rome – such a wonderful, historic city. I’d read on the Vatican website that the Pope would be leaving in the early hours for a flight on one of the days while we were in Rome, so we hiked a few miles across Rome in the wee hours of the morning only to find his trip was canceled.

The reward for our early rise hike was pretty amazing – watching the sun rise over an empty St. Peter’s Square on a Sunday morning. After Rome, we hit Milan, Venice, Vienna, Zurich, Paris and then, it was time to get to work in Utrecht.

Le Tour de France

Kim Hull working at Tour de France 2015 Stage 12
Kim Hull working at Tour de France 2015 Stage 12
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

The 2015 Tour de France began in Utrecht and traveled through Belgium for two stages, before entering France. The Tour is 21 stages and two rest days, with most days beginning in one location and ending in another. It is exhausting, a ton of work and truly spectacular. I documented our coverage and what being at the Tour de France is like in “A Day Covering the Tour de France.

The temperatures ranged from shivering cold to extremely hot – and France can be brutally humid. With one roller bag each and access to a washing machine only once during the entire month it was WoolX to the rescue. When you change hotels every night, there’s only a little time for drying – the good news, WoolX dries in a couple of hours. Simply wash, hang to dry and it looks perfect.

Washing WoolX in Cannes, France Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media
Washing WoolX in Cannes, France
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Fortunately, we did have a couple of rest days on a few stops along the Tour that allowed for a bit of exploring, such as…

A stay on a gorgeous horse ranch in northern France.

Hostellerie De La Hauquerie - Chevotel, Quetteville, France, Tour de France 2015
Kim Hull in WoolX at Hostellerie De La Hauquerie – Chevotel, Quetteville, France, Tour de France 2015
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Some relaxation time in Cannes, France.

Greg Hull wearing WoolX, Cannes, France
Greg Hull wearing WoolX, Cannes, France
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

A bit of hiking in the Alpes.

Kim Hull, The Alpes, France
Kim Hull, The Alpes, France
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Fall 2015

Santa Anita Park

Greg Hull, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California
Greg Hull, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

In October, we headed to New Mexico and southern California where we spent a day at the historic and beautiful Santa Anita race track.

Home to both 2015 Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah, and the horse the world fell in love with, Seabiscuit, our day at Santa Anita Park was a blast – and the views of the San Gabriel Mountains were amazing – especially from the roof above the press box!

Hiking Lake Tahoe

Kim and Greg Hull in WoolX, Lake Tahoe
Hiking Lake Tahoe
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Returning to Tahoe, we hit the trail again for a hike at one of the prettiest places you can find to hike on the southwest shore of Lake Tahoe at Eagle Falls above Emerald Bay. It was Halloween and it turned out that would be the final hike of the fall as El Niño rolled in during November and the snow began to fall.

Winter 2015

Skiing Lake Tahoe

Opening day at Mt Rose Ski resort, Lake Tahoe
Opening day at Mt Rose Ski resort, Lake Tahoe Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Finally, a ski season where it snowed early and often! Mt Rose opened on November 11 and we were on the hill for some sun, snow, and skiing!

Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean

As the snow continued to pile up, we headed to the Caribbean for a few weeks of island hopping, sailing, resort shoots and even some horseback riding and swimming in Bonaire.

Greg Hull, Rancho Washikemba, Bonaire
Greg Hull, Rancho Washikemba, Bonaire
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Skiing Lake Tahoe

Then, it was back to Tahoe for one of the best winters of skiing in memory. The snow continues to fall and we are making our way around nine of the fabulous Lake Tahoe ski resorts – and wearing our WoolX base layers as we go.

It’s been almost a year since we became WoolX Brand Ambassadors because we loved their soft, comfortable products and, looking back at the past year, we can add high-performing to the list as well. Here’s to a fabulous 2016 and all it will bring!


Disclosure & disclaimer: As 2015 Brand Ambassadors for WoolX, we received product samples for evaluation. The content & opinions expressed are entirely our own. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.

Kim Hull, Northstar Ski Resort at Tahoe, Lake Tahoe, California
Kim Hull, Northstar Ski Resort at Tahoe, Lake Tahoe, California
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media
WoolX, Lake Tahoe

From midweight to heavyweight in 24 hours at Lake Tahoe

Cover: Kim & Greg Hull hiking Lake Tahoe
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull


While many were readying their superhero attire and prepping for Halloween shindigs, we headed to Lake Tahoe on October 31 for some fall hiking.

Although the day started out a bit chilly, as the sun rose, the day warmed into the upper 60s, perfect for a last fall hike before El Niño arrives in the Sierra for what we hope to be a phenomenal winter of Lake Tahoe skiing.

Lake Tahoe’s Eagle Falls

Eagle Falls, Lake Tahoe, California
Eagle Falls, Lake Tahoe, California
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

One of the prettiest places you can hike can be found on the southwest shore of Lake Tahoe at Eagle Falls above Emerald Bay. A popular spot for South Lake Tahoe visitors, the Eagle Falls Loop and Eagle Falls Lake hikes offer stunning views of both Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains.

Emerald Bay is located about 10 miles north of South Lake Tahoe on Highway 89. Parking can be found along the highway just outside the trailhead or in the Eagle Falls trailhead lot for a small fee. On the weekends and throughout the summer, Eagle Falls can be very crowded and the highway is busy and fast, so use extreme care when walking near the roadway. The Eagle Loop is a short, bi-directional trail that involves quite a bit of climbing up and down stairs constructed by the park.

Eagle Falls, Lake Tahoe, California
Eagle Falls, Lake Tahoe, California
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

For the Eagle Lake trail, a self-serve wilderness permit must be obtained at the trailhead. Once past the bridge, the trail involves climbing another stone staircase before leveling off, with Eagle Lake just ahead.

Eagle Falls, Lake Tahoe, California
Eagle Falls, Lake Tahoe, California
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

While the waterfalls are at their peak in the spring, the area is beautiful in the summer and fall as well. Bring a lunch, find a quiet spot and marvel at nature at her finest.

WoolX, Lake Tahoe
Hiking at Lake Tahoe
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

From midweight to heavyweight in 24 hours

For our late fall hike, we both wore midweight WoolX tops which were perfect with temperatures beginning at 47°F then warming to 67°F by midday.

So comfortable, WoolX clothing is made from the softest Merino wool with just a bit of stretch, so it both performs well and keeps you warm. After trying out several WoolX styles about a year ago, we loved their clothing so much we joined on as Brand Ambassadors. Now four seasons in, we live in WoolX year round. It looks great, fits great, and is washable and dryable – as in, you can put it in the dryer and it doesn’t shrink.

For hiking and skiing, we both are fans of the 1/4 zip, which is super comfortable, stylish and keeps you functioning at top performance.

From midweight to heavyweight in 24 hours at Lake TahoeThings change fast around here – we went from midweight on October 31st to heavyweight by November 1st.

Whoa! That must have been some Halloween candy-fest. Granted, while trick-or-treat candy dispensing (in my stylish black WoolX tunic) also resulted in quite a bit of M&M consumption, the fall days of October hiking at Lake Tahoe turned to snow by the next morning, as the first significant winter storm brought a covering of white to the Sierra.

Luckily, WoolX comes in multiple weights to accommodate the changing seasons as well.

November 2014 snow forecast#Winter is Here

Time to tune the skis, kick the ski conditioning into high gear, and pull out the heavyweight WoolX. Actually, midweight tops and base layers are perfect for skiing on bluebird days, but the heavyweight line is super for cold, blustery January days.

Either way, we’re covered – let it snow!


Disclosure & disclaimer: As brand ambassadors for WoolX, we receive product samples for evaluation and are not otherwise financially compensated by this sponsor. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.

Best of Reno Tahoe: Squaw Valley
Squaw Valley
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Travel Wifi Alpe dHuez

5 reasons you need a Travel Wifi when traveling to France

We are addicted to our connectivity. Facebook, Twitter, email, maps, Google – it is instinct to grab your phone throughout the day and find out what is going on in the world, get directions, or check in with friends and family.

Travel Wifi - Global data roamingWhen traveling outside the U.S., it is even more so. You wander down one street, then another, and 30 minutes later, your wandering leads you to wonder where you’ve ended up. So, you grab your phone and stare at the settings to determine if it’s a data worthy moment.

You know the thought – should you turn on the global data coverage or not? Oh, how you want to slide that little dot to the right and see it turn green. But, even a few minutes on global data roaming eats up those precious MB.

Travel Wifi: A better way

One of the first things you discover when leaving the United States is that data roaming rates are outrageously expensive.

Packages sold in 100MB increments? Seriously – I can burn through that before my croissant and cappuccino.

Fortunately, we found a MUCH better solution while in France – Travel Wifi.

What is Travel Wifi? A personal mobile hotspot with 4G coverage throughout much of France. What a bon idée!

How does Travel Wifi work?

Travel Wifi - Alpe d'HuezIt’s simple. The Travel Wifi device comes configured and ready to go with both a wall charger and a USB cord for charging using your computer.

You turn the unit on, connect your device to the Travel Wifi with a password, drop it in your purse or backpack and Voilà!– you’re ready for that selfie with the Eifel Tower.

5 reasons you need a Travel Wifi when traveling in France

1. Unlimited access: Travel Wifi provides unlimited mobile hotspot access

Unlimited. Illimité. That has to be one the best words in any language. No more checking usage. No overage charges. No surprises.

2. Coverage: Travel Wifi has great coverage in France

Travel Wifi can be used in most locations throughout France.

The mobile hotspot uses the French 4G Network of Bouygues Telecom, which has a super fast connection. Wherever 4G is not available, the hotspot connects to the fastest technology available.

Travel Wifi coverage map3. Devices: Connect up to 10 devices to your Travel Wifi

We travel with at least three laptops, two iPhones and two iPads. With the Travel Wifi’s capability to connect 10 devices I may just have to go shopping for more devices!

A great feature for friends and family traveling together.

4. Customer service: The Travel Wifi team is super friendly & speaks English

As much as I adore France and the beautiful sound of the French language, it is far more comfortable when completing a transaction to do so in your native language.

If you speak English, you are set with Travel Wifi. The website is easy to use and in English.

In addition to Travel Wifi information, the Travel Wifi blog has helpful tips for getting around Paris and is also written in English.

And most of all, the Travel Wifi team is a great English speaking group that is very accommodating and always there to help.

Travel Wifi location in Paris5. Convenience: Getting and returning a Travel Wifi is easy and convenient

Step one of getting a Travel Wifi mobile hotspot is reserving one on their website.

You can then receive your Travel Wifi by mail, pick it up at one of post offices at CDG airport, have it delivered to your hotel, or stop by the Travel Wifi office in Paris.

If you choose to stop by the office, it is in a great location near the Pompidou Center in the third district (arrondissement).

When you depart France, you simply drop the device in the postage-paid envelope for return or drop it back off at the Travel Wifi office.

Learn more!

Check out the Travel Wifi website for more information and reserve your mobile hotspot today!


Disclosure & disclaimer: We were provided a TravelWifi for our review. The content & opinions expressed are entirely our own. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.

Ryders Eyewear Cycling Sunglasses

Ryders Eyewear Cycling Sunglasses

Cover: Ryders Eyewear Cycling Sunglasses
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull


Things happen when you’re on your bike. Weather conditions change, rocks fly, tree limbs come out of nowhere, and occasionally you hit the ground and things like your sunglasses end up taking the brunt of it all. Ryders Eyewear states they have a solution for many of these issues, so we decided to put their sunglasses to the test.

The Ryders sunglasses tested

We recently tested two Ryders Eyewear models – one pair of the Caliber model and two pair of the Thorn model. We rode with them, ran in them, and also simulated some adverse conditions, checking for performance.

Ryders sunglasses: Thorn – Matte White & Orange with Anti-Fog Photochromic yellow lens US$139.99

Ryders Eyewear Cycling Sunglasses
Ryders Eyewear Cycling Sunglasses
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Ryders sunglasses: Thorn – Matte Black with Anti-Fog Photochromic yellow lens US$129.99

Ryders Eyewear Cycling Sunglasses
Ryders Eyewear Cycling Sunglasses
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Ryders sunglasses Caliber – Camo with Anti-Fog Photochromic brown lens US$129.99

Ryders Eyewear Cycling Sunglasses
Ryders Eyewear Cycling Sunglasses
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Here’s how it went.

Ryders sunglasses: Shatterproof, scratch resistant, durable & flexible

Since I’ve been known to break things the first day I have them, this is where I started. Ryders Eyewear says their lenses are scratch-resistant (not scratch proof) and their durability & flexibility comes from TR90 technology, a type of thermoplastic material. They also state:

All of our lenses are shatterproof, meaning they won’t break up into dangerous little shards when impacted. An extremely strong impact may damage the lens, but it will never shatter. If astronauts trust this material to keep their heads from exploding while on a 17,000 mph space walk, you’ll have nothing to worry about on your adventures, no matter how fast you’re going.

Polycarbonate is the extraordinarily durable thermoplastic that’s used in bulletproof glass, riot shields and astronaut helmets. It’s the ideal material for performance eyewear because of its high impact resistance, inherent UV protection and light weight. All of our lenses are made of polycarbonate.”

Well, the no exploding head thing sounds really good. And, since, I didn’t have any spacewalks in my near future and the closest I typically get to a riot is at a cycling race where there aren’t enough photographer vests (cycling photographers can be a wild bunch), this is what we tried.

1. The “my glasses are on the top of my head, what’s that up there, oops they just fell off back of my head” test.

Test glasses: Thorn white/orange
Result: They survived unscathed.

2. The “big hill coming, I think I’ll tighten my shoe a bit, oops, my glasses just flew across the road” test.

Test glasses: Thorn white/orange
Result: Again, no breakage or scratches.

Ryders Eyewear cycling sunglasses
© Chasing Light Media

Ryders sunglasses: Hydrophobic front

Hydrophobic literally means “fear of water” so the lenses are coated with something that fears water? Ah, it’s more like the water fears the glasses. The hydrophobic coating on the front of the lens causes water to run off and prevents streaking.

Since we are located in a desert and in the middle of a drought, we simulated conditions for the water-related features. We held the glasses under a faucet, wiped the back of the glasses, and then set them on a paper towel to take the image you see below. They performed pretty close to described with just a few beads of water remaining after the equivalent of a downpour.

Ryders Eyewear cycling sunglasses
© Chasing Light Media
Ryders Eyewear cycling sunglasses
© Chasing Light Media

Ryders sunglasses: Anti-fog back

The back of the Ryders lens is coated to “resist fogging, even in the most demanding conditions. It is permanent and washable so you can wipe the lens without the risk of removing its anti-fog properties.” Again, no humidity here. To test, I placed them on the counter while showering. The mirrors and the shower enclosure fogged but the glasses did not.

Ryders sunglasses: Photochromic technology

Photochromic lenses automatically adjust to light conditions.

Ryders states:

When exposed to sunlight, the lenses will start to darken instantly. The time they take to reach maximum darkness depends on a number of factors including the intensity of sunlight and air temperature. Generally speaking, the adjustment from light to dark is quite rapid. The adjustment from dark to light will begin instantly but occur more gradually.”

The yellow lenses are designed for very low light to bright light. The brown lenses are for medium to very bright light. We tested with the camo Calibers with photochromic brown lenses. For this one, I placed the sunglasses outside for 10 minutes, leaving the white anti-fog, photochromic sticker on the lens. When I brought them back inside, I immediately removed the sticker and took this image:

Ryders Eyewear cycling sunglasses
© Chasing Light Media

Ryders sunglasses: UV Protection, optically correct & RXable

Always important with cycling sunglasses, or any sunglasses, eye protection needs to extend to UV protection as well. Ryders provide protection against 100% UVA, UVB, UVC and harmful blue light to 400nm at all tint levels. Some styles are RX-able, with the Caliber falling into this category, depending on your prescription and the capabilities of your lens provider. With regard to optically correct, Ryders states:

The lenses in all of our sunglasses are made by injecting molten polycarbonate into a mold that is specially shaped to eliminate distortion.”

With the exception of goggles, I don’t think I’ve ever experience distortion, but we didn’t with any of the Ryders sunglasses we tested as well.

Ryders sunglasses: Summing it up

Overall, the Ryders sunglasses performed well and provide a good value for the price. They have a wide range of styles and options available from $50 and up. The glasses are very lightweight and both styles fit comfortably. The Calibers weigh 32g and the Thorns weigh 30g. I personally liked the coverage the Calibers provided – the wrap delivers a great field of vision.


Disclosure & disclaimer: We received product samples for evaluation for this review and were not otherwise financially compensated by the sponsor. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.

Kim wearing WoolX while hiking on the Tahoe Rim Trail

We’ve joined Team WoolX!

Cover: Kim wearing WoolX while hiking on the Tahoe Rim Trail
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull


When you find a product you really love it’s great to tell people about it. It’s even better when you can become part of the team! WoolX makes premium Merino Wool garments that are super soft, comfortable, and washable.

WoolX Merino Wool Mid-weight socksI’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical about WoolX’s “no itch” claim before trying it out. Having spent years using different products for hiking and skiing, wool products almost always itch and usually require dry cleaning, so we tend to avoid them. WoolX changed our minds. The wool comes from Merino Sheep bred in Australia and New Zealand, the clothing is amazingly soft, and it doesn’t itch.

According to WoolX, it’s because Merino Sheep wool fibers are very small – smaller even than human hair – and the finer the wool is, the softer it feels. WoolX uses SuperFine fibers and that is how they achieve such a soft, no-itch result. WoolX has a heck of a guarantee too, allowing you to wear & wash their garments for 30 days. If you don’t agree that the garment doesn’t itch during the 30 days, you can return it for a refund and they even pay for the shipping back.

The WoolX clothing is straight-forward performance with no logos on the shirts or tags inside that bug you. The garments are cut comfortably, are washable and.. they can be put in the dryer. Greg didn’t believe them and laid his shirt out on the counter the first round. Me – I pitched it in the machines and it was just fine. After multiple washings (and dryings) they have retained their shape and are just as soft or softer.

Greg wearing WoolX mid-weight shirt while hiking at Lake Tahoe
Greg wearing WoolX mid-weight shirt while hiking at Lake Tahoe
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

What do we wear?

WoolX comes in three weights – light, mid and heavy. The mid-weight is perfect for hiking in the spring and fall and is good for bluebird days when skiing. In the pictures, I’m wearing the Brooke 1/4 Zip Merino Wool Baselayer Top and Greg is wearing the Outback Tee – Lightweight Merino Wool T-Shirt. On our feet comfortably inside our hiking boots are WoolX socks keeping our feet happy and dry.

The WoolX clothing breathes well, ranks high for comfort and are great for layering to handle the changing conditions that happen in the mountains.

WoolX base layer for skiing
WoolX base layer for skiing
© Chasing Light Media

The base layer pants are some of the most comfortable I’ve tried for skiing. They are available in both mid-weight and heavy-weight which gives you flexibility for different weather conditions.

We’ll also be taking our WoolX with us to Europe this summer. We’ll be on the road for six weeks with once bag each, and the WoolX clothing can be washed in a hotel sink, then air-dried in an hour or two, which will be awesome. Additionally, the tops are stylish enough to wear to dinner, which equals space saved in the suitcase.

So, we joined Team WoolX

We love WoolX and when they asked us to join Team WoolX we said, “Absolutely!” Team WoolX members are a group of people across multiple adventure sports that share an appreciation for the well-made, high-quality, comfort of WoolX garments. Check out the team as we put #WoolXinAction!

Team WoolX


Disclosure & disclaimer: As brand ambassadors for WoolX, we receive product samples for evaluation and are not otherwise financially compensated by this sponsor. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.

Hamilton Sports, Aspen

Keeping the local – bike, ski, hiking, running – store alive

Cover: Hamilton Sports, Aspen, Colorado
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull


Support your local hiking and bike shopI must confess –  when we are home, the brown truck pulls up in front of our house multiple times a week.

Online shopping can be convenient. When you need that something that you’ve ordered many times, there is nothing like going online and, witkeystrokes strokes & two days, it arrives at your door.

But, the local store also needs to continue to have our patronage – especially sports shops.

Ask a cyclist about their LBS (local bike shop) and you will most likely hear stories that far surpass a place that sells bikes and cycling accessories. It is a place of gathering in the cycling community, where rides originate, mechanics work miracles, and expert advice & fittings can make the difference in a ride. Having moved around a bit, we’ve experienced some great local sports shops. Here’s a sampling of some of our favorites.

Local Hiking Shop: Mountain Hideout in Dallas

One day about 13 years ago, we parked alongside the road near the Continental Divide in Colorado and got out to go for a hike. It was cold and windy. If you’ve ever skied a windy day at Loveland – you know the cold I’m talking about. By the time we got our gear out of the back, my hands were frozen. It was a miserable hike and this was just before we were going to Kilimanjaro.

Living in Dallas at the time, we went straight to our local hiking store – Mountain Hideout. A great store, the staff and owners always had expert advice and would do whatever it took to try and solve our needs. I told them I needed the warmest gloves made. They went into the back and came out with North Face Himalayan Mitts. I asked them if they had two pair, they produced another set, and we were on our way.

In the image below, taken on Mt Shasta shortly after, they are hanging around my neck.

Climbing Mt Shasta
Climbing Mt Shasta Photo: Greg K Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

I used the mitts on Kilimanjaro, never got cold hands, and still ski in them today. Sadly, as I wrote this, I discovered the store is closing.

Local Bike Shop: Wheat Ridge Cyclery

When we moved to Denver in 2011 we needed new bikes. Ours had been stolen from a storage unit and we wanted something to tackle the many cycling opportunities the Denver, Boulder and Golden area has to offer.

Wheat Ridge Cyclery came highly recommended, so we paid them a visit. The shop had been started in 1973 by Eugene Kiefel and is now run by his son, former professional cyclist and 7-Eleven rider, Ron. Working with one of the staff, we told them what our price range was, where we planned to ride, etc. and they assisted with our selection. For me, they produced what is still my girl. I know she’s getting up there in the years, but I still love her.

My bike had actually been customized for a local racer who then decided on something else. I swapped out the seat for something a tad more comfy, they did a refitting for me, and I rode off into the hills. We put over 3,000 miles on our bikes that summer in Denver and were frequent Wheat Ridge Cyclery visitors, always receiving great personal service.

Elephant RockLocal Ski Shop: Hamilton Sports / Miller Sports in Aspen

Hamilton Sports, Aspen
Hamilton Sports, Aspen
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

There’s nothing like ending a great ski day with a visit to your favorite ski shop. As the door shuts behind you and you leave the cold and snow behind, the warmth of the shop and the smell of ski wax fills the air.

For us, that ski shop is Hamilton Sports in Aspen. Owned by former speed skier, Bill Miller, Hamilton Sports and now a second location, Miller Sports, are examples of authentic ski shops. It’s a place where skiing is a passion, questions are answered by experts, and only the best will do. Skiing equipment is expensive and not really an area where you should venture out on your own. Expert advice can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars, and make your day on the hill a much better experience.

Local Running Store: Reno Running Company in Reno

So, I recently got this crazy idea to run a half marathon. Given that I haven’t run in decades and have plantar fasciitis, why not? I had done a boot camp about 5 years ago and discovered my plantar fasciitis three days into the camp, which resulted in acquiring new running shoes with custom orthotics.

A  few days into my half marathon training, the plantar fasciitis reappeared. Thinking my shoes were probably a bit worn, we went to Reno Running Company for new shoes. Over two visits, Ivy and Joseph patiently worked with me as I tried shoe after shoe after shoe. In the end, once I told Joseph that I also had knee pain when running, he suggested the Hoka One Ones. My custom orthotics fit in them and Joseph even taught me how to tie a runner’s knot. Awesome.

Hoka One One Running shoesThe takeaway: Support your local sports shop

Whether running, skiing, cycling or hiking – or whatever your chosen activity – the expert advice found at a local store is valuable and can make the difference in your success, enjoyment and safety. Running a local shop is expensive and online competition will only continue to increase. Make a commitment to make sure these valuable resources stick around.


Disclaimer: The content & opinions expressed are entirely our own. We received no compensation for this article. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.

FitKit product review

FitKit

Article by Kim Hull


Traveling as much as we do, we have a list of things that we pack for every trip: a wine bottle opener, a power supply, extra phone charger cords, and now, the FitKit.

FitKit
FitKit
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

The FitKit contains all the fitness tools you need for a complete workout no matter where you are and it only weighs 2 lbs.

The FitKit: What’s included

FitKit contents
FitKit contents
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

The FitKit contains:

  • An exercise band with handles
  • A pedometer
  • A resistance tube
  • A jump rope
  • A door attachment
  • A reflective arm band
  • An ID tag
FitKit product review
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Amie on Dr Oz Health Segment
Amie on Dr Oz Health Segment

Developed by fitness expert, Amie Hoff, who you may have seen on The Today Show, Good Morning America or Dr. Oz, the FitKit also comes with access to a library of 250 exercises.

The exercises are easy to follow with images demonstrating how each should be done and are grouped by body area such as upper body, lower body, core, agility, flexibility, and aerobic.

Putting the FitKit to the test

The FitKit comes in a standard version (what I tried), a 50+ version that includes a fall prevention video and balance floor markers, a corporate/custom logo version, and a pink FitKit Hope, where 25% of the proceeds go to breast cancer research.

I first tried out the FitKit in our home gym and tested the pedometer on one of our afternoon 3-mile walks. The FitKit Getting Started Guide is the place to well…get started. The guide recommends stretching, then selecting 1-2 exercises for each muscle group from the Fitness Library and beginning with 2 sets of 10 repetitions for each, working up to 3 sets of 15 over time. The Getting Started guide comes with the kit, and both the guide and the Fitness Library are online at FitKit.com, so all you need is a smart phone or internet connection to access them when traveling.

FitKit exercise libraryI selected a variety of exercises that included:

FitKit exercises
FitKit exercises
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Back: Bent over Fly
that uses the resistance tube with handles anchored under feet

FitKit exercises
FitKit exercises
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Chest: Decline chest fly
which is done with the resistance tube anchored to the top of the door

Following my exercise sets, I jumped rope for a few minutes, then we then set out for a hike. A good rule of thumb is to try to walk 10,000 steps per day and a pedometer is a great way to keep track of your daily count and stay motivated throughout the day.

Chatting with FitKit founder, Amie Hoff

After trying out the FitKit, we caught up with Amie, who answered a few questions that were on our mind.

How did you come up with the FitKit?

Amie Hoff FitnessI started in the fitness industry as a personal trainer and loved the reward I got with helping people get healthy and fit. I wanted to help more people, even if I couldn’t work with them 1-1 directly.

My sister and I had always wanted to start a business together so with her business sense and my fitness background (and both love to travel and stay fit!) The market place was lacking an affordable workout solution that could be done anytime, anywhere. And FitKit was born!

How has it been received?

Because we started FitKit as somewhat of a hobby while we both had full-time careers, it was a slow start. But because I am lucky enough to appear on national TV segments as a fitness personality, I was able to share FitKit with the public.

Once I did that, it really took off and we have turned FitKit into a full-time endeavor. I also work as a corporate fitness consultant so it’s a natural “fit” for companies to buy FitKits in volume (we offer volume discounts) for their wellness needs. And because we can add their logo to the FitKits, it’s a great way for companies to encourage health while promoting their brand.

Do you personally use the FitKit?

Absolutely! Especially in the Northeast this winter, it’s often tough to get motivated to get to the gym. I also travel quite a bit so created FitKit to easily fit in a carry-on, pass through TSA and very light weight! Not every hotel has a gym so it’s my little security blanket. Not to mention I have no excuses!

What’s next for FitKit?

FitKit KIDS! We really want to help tackle childhood obesity and make fitness fun and exciting for kids. We are also starting to partner with community and state level initiatives to help spread awareness. Speak at events, teach classes to kids (and parents!) help schools develop programs to keep kids active. A few schools use FitKits but we are working on a component-specific kit with exercises by kids, for kids. Stay tuned!

The FitKit: Summing it up

Overall, you can get a great workout from the FitKit.

It’s compact, the equipment is easy to use, the exercises are easy to understand, and it eliminates that excuse of not working out because the hotel gym is dreary or the hotel doesn’t even have one. For working out at home, it adds numerous new options to your daily fitness routine without buying expensive equipment.

In addition to the fitness exercise library, the website has a health and fitness blog and additional FitKit products such as a 6 week nutritional and exercise program, a printed version of the exercise library, and other associated items.


The information provided is for educational purposes only. As with any fitness program, see your doctor before trying any workout to discuss one that is appropriate for you.


Disclosure & disclaimer: We received a product sample for evaluation for this review and were not otherwise financially compensated by the sponsor. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.