All about Apps!
Words By Nicole Ortiz
In this digital age, it’s becoming increasingly easy to keep ourselves more in tune with our rides in a way that wasn’t previously possible. We can now track our routes and ultimate distance traveled, see how fast we’re biking, check weather conditions the night before we head out, and so much more just from one device. It’s convenient to have features like this available with just a few taps on a screen, so here are a few phone apps that can help enhance your next ride.
This app is great for cycling as well as any of you who also dabble in running! Once you turn it on, it tracks your route for you, letting you know the distance traveled, your average speed, and how long it took you to do the route. One of the most fun aspects of Strava is that it’s also a social network, meaning you can connect with other running/cycling friends and hold competitions with them. You can compete against others or try to beat your own personal best on a route. And there are also featured routes that you can use to challenge yourself, which are especially great for those that are looking for a change of scenery.
If the name wasn’t enough of an indicator, this is a great app for tracking your route. MapMyRide is just one of the apps in the MapMyFitness series (along with MapMyRun and MapMyWalk). Using it, you can either create your own route or you can find one near you. And like Strava, MapMyRide offers you the chance to socialize with like-minded cyclists in your area and share your progress or challenge one another. Additionally, MapMyRide allows for you to track what gear you’re using, which helps users to avoid common injuries or discomforts. One of the downsides to this app, however, is that keeping the GPS on in the background risks draining your battery faster.
Lauded for being one of the most meticulous and advanced apps for cyclists, Cyclemeter unfortunately only works on Apple products. For those with an iPhone, iPad, or other Apple device, you can use Cyclemeter to record an unlimited amount of workouts (and they take up a surprisingly low amount of space!). Recording includes your heart rate, speed, cadence, power, and it also has automatic stop detection. You can also view terrain and traffic using Google Maps through the app. The app provides announcements while you’re riding as well where it’ll tell you your time, speed, elevation, heart rate, and distance. Using this app, you can easily train and create plans for upcoming rides or competitions.
Known for its simplicity and easy-to-register appearance, Endomondo is a great app for tracking your heart rate, distance, time, and speed while biking. They tout themselves as being “a free personal trainer in your pocket,” offering tips on reaching your goals as well as audio feedback along your route.
Here’s an app that comes from a more unique perspective. Getting an injury on a ride can be scary and overwhelming, especially if you aren’t sure how to handle it. And a potential ambulance ride looming overhead can be unnerving. St. John Ambulance created this app based on the most common types of injuries cyclists experience and offer advice for how to deal with them. And if you find yourself in an emergency situation, you can connect with someone immediately. The worst part of this incredibly helpful app? It’s not available anywhere outside of England! Maybe a push for bringing a similar app to the U.S. is in order now.
Staying motivated to complete your ride becomes quite simple using this app. With My Virtual Mission you set an ultimate goal that adds up to a ridiculous journey, something that can’t be completed anytime soon. Then each time you exercise, the app tracks your progress toward your end goal. While you cycle, you can even raise money for a charity along the way if you’d like! It’s a fantastic way to keep you invested in a workout.
Pocket Ranger’s apps focus on anything and everything to do with our country’s beloved state and national parks. Whether that means hiking, backpacking, swimming, or just relaxing, they cover it all. And that definitely includes a focus on biking, too. Using these apps, you can find a state or national park near you that has bike trails. The apps also differentiate between trails that are best for mountain bikes and paved trails as well as the difficulty of those trails when known. So if you’ve been craving an opportunity to explore our nation’s parks, then these apps were made for you!
Have you ever been interested in knowing all the bike routes in your given area, but weren’t sure where to find that information? Look no further than Cycle Maps. The app registers all bike trails, lanes, and maps of various areas so you can track routes in your area or in a place you plan to visit and want to bike at. It’s a handy app to have, especially if you enjoy biking when traveling to a new area.
For those who want to start experimenting with bike mechanics on their own, Bike Repair is an incredibly handy app to have. It offers detailed guides for repairing your bike as well as some advice for cyclists, like how to tweak your bike to avoid lingering pains or suggestions on what types of clothes to wear in certain weather. You can also keep a log of maintenance done on your bike so you can be more informed if you do end up needing to go to a shop for more assistance.
Finding a bike that fits you just right is often an arduous journey, especially if you happen to be a shorty like me. SizeMyBike works to make that journey a bit easier for you. Using six body measurements, this app helps you adjust a bike to be at its ideal size so you can perform at your best. It’s a helpful app to have and will lead to a much smoother ride experience.
Hopefully at least a few of these apps are just what you’ve been waiting for to improve your rides. Apps develop every day, and I’m personally excited to see how it all changes in the coming years!