Mobile app puts exercisers in the action

BOULDER – A mobile app that makes you feel like you’re riding along a Tour de France bike route from your stationary bike raised more than $10,000 in two days on the online fundraising website Kickstarter.com.

Boulder-based FitTrip will use the money to market the mobile application, said company co-founder Shane Schieffer. The company plans to sell monthly and yearly subscriptions to the mobile application for iPad and possibly the iPhone, starting in November, he said.

Videos at various locations, along with related fitness information, helps users feel like they are in a location, Schieffer said. The user wears a heart-rate monitor device, which feeds personal information into the application.

“This is exciting for us. We didn’t expect it to go this fast,” Schieffer said of the Kickstarter fundraising. FitTrip’s goal was to raise $7,500 in 40 days of the campaign.

Available mobile application videos include segments of road and trail trips for the annual Ride the Rockies bike ride in the Colorado mountains; at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison; along a bike path in Cozumel, Mexico; and along various routes in the French Alps, among other places. Schieffer said.

FitTrip plans to grow once it reaches 10,000 users buying either a monthly subscription at $5.99 or an annual subscription at $59.99, he said. The company has four employees, including co-founders Schieffer and Trey Marshall, who met each other at a Boulder-Denver New Tech networking event in Boulder. The third co-founder is Nikhil Patel.

Schieffer said he got the idea to create the mobile application one day when he was on an eight-mile run on a treadmill in a Boulder gym training for a half-marathon. To combat boredom, Schieffer visualized his favorite mountain biking trail and realized it was something other athletes might also be interested in.

One potential video is the running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, Schieffer said. A user would have to outrun the bulls or the video would stop early, he said. In general, FitTrip does not want to offer video applications that feel like video games, however, since most athletes don’t seem to like them, he said.

So far, the company has focused on stationary bike, treadmill and elliptical users, Schieffer said. For details of the kickstarter campaign, go to: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1091456302/fittrip-the-world-from-your-gym/posts.


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