The Apps You Need If You Cycle to Work
Apps are forever creeping into more and more areas of our lives, particularly when it comes to health and fitness. Luckily for us cyclists, there’s a whole host of apps especially designed for those who wish to plan their journey; improve their ability and/or connect with other cyclists. A pretty compelling reason for keeping your smartphone handy on that commute!
Here’s a round-up of our favourite apps for the cycle to work.
MapMyRide is probably one of the most standard of all the cycling apps, not least of all because of its easy-to-use interface and simplicity. As well as enabling you to plot your route to work in real time, you can also use it to discover new routes and track the duration, distance traveled and calories you’ve burned. There is a premium version for those wanting more stats, but the free version really does the job.
Fill That Hole
Come across an annoying pothole on your way to work? Lingering potholes tend to be a common irritation for many cyclists and, due to their renowned difficulty of reporting them to the local council, they very often remain this way.
Fill That Hole allows you to report any potholes straight away with a few simple, fuss-free taps…even from the side of the road if you need to. Many cyclists have reported almost immediate results, making this app an essential tool for improving your own journey and that of others too. Unfortunately it’s only available on iPhone at the moment, but its creators say there’s an Android one in the works.
Bike Doctor is your very own bike mechanic; a godsend for those times when you’re too far from a bike shop. With simple, step-by-step guides for performing essential tweaks and quick-fixes, its great for those wanting to learn more about looking after their bike or who happen to find themselves stranded. Just make sure you’ve got your mini-tool kit handy!
Bike Doctor is £2.99 on iPhone; £1.79 on Android.
For those who just love to analyse their ride and set themselves goals, Strava is the app to have. Track your ride; analyse every detail of your performance (from speed, to distance; even honing in on various parts of your journey), and then compare and share it with other cyclists. With a robust assessment capability, lots of cyclists love this app for its precision and social factor makes it more fun.
Will it rain? Won’t it? How to dress for this morning’s commute? These are all regular questions riders have to consider every day. With Dark Sky, you can get in-the-moment updates of the weather up to an hour in advance, letting you know exactly whether you can expect rain, and when. Described as ‘hyperlocal’, the app will send push notifications to your phone warning you of any sudden changes to the weather, so you’ll know to pedal harder if you’re mid-ride, and plan your wardrobe accordingly.
Once you’ve got into the habit of cycling regularly, Cyclemeter can enable you to start improving your performance. With a host of stats – speed, time, distance etc – it provides you with new workouts to follow, maximising the potential of your commute so you can challenge yourself.
It also has built-in announcements to spur you on during your ride, so you won’t need to look at the screen during your journey. And you can even upload your data to Strava, if you’re a user of that too.
National Cycle Network
Created by the charity for sustainable transport, Sustrans, National Cycle Network enables you to become part of a wider cycle community, not to mention explore more of the UK on your days off! The app has over 25, 000 miles of cycling and walking routes up and down the country, so whether you’re looking to go for a casual ride in your local area or plan on exploring unknown territory in the countryside, you’ll never be stuck for ideas or directions.