Fitness apps provide us with a great many ways in which to improve the way we approach exercise. They remind and motivate us when we need a little push, they track and analyse what we do and they inspire and instruct us, so that our routines don’t become stale or pedestrian.
Up until recently, many fitness apps have been, alas, a little one dimensional and used only by the real fanatics amongst us. Now, however, we are seeing a host of new wave fitness apps that are more user friendly, multifunctional and engaging.
Here we look at the range of cycling apps that are on offer, what they do and how new and innovative apps are expanding the boundaries of how and when we choose to ride a bicycle.
Strava the Great Allrounder
Strava is one of the most popular and most powerful cycling apps. It utilises GPS and can be used on and off road, it will tell you where you have been, how much ground you have covered and how quickly you covered it.
Designed to offer a comprehensive service, you can also plot routes on it and there are some other cool features.
Segment leader boards are a feature that allows you to view the data from a completed ride and then compare to data from other riders who have completed the same route. You can even plot yourself against professionals to see how you stack up.
Strava is not only for cyclists, it can be used when running, walking or skiing – basically any activity where you are covering ground outdoors.
Whether you are up a mountain, in the city, on foot or in the saddle, this app will assist and support you.
A Safe Commute
For those who use their bikes for transport as well as pleasure, Cycle Maps is a winner, it uses open source data to help you plan the safest and most enjoyable route to and from work and for other essential journeys.
And if you are cycling in towns and cities you can now even use an app to hire an electric bike.
Ancillary Cycling Apps
Brompton Bicycles are a company who have developed the app for their Brompton Electric Bike Hire service. The Bikes, that fold away and so can be taken anywhere, are housed in “docks” and the app lets you find the dock closest to you reserve a bike. There is also a built-in navigation feature so you can find your way around once you have picked up the bike.
The bikes themselves are purpose built for navigating urban areas easily and quickly – they use a 250W electric motor for assisted pedal power.
Hiring bikes has become popular in major cities across Europe, as it provides people with a convenient way to access pedal power as and when they need it and without planning it a long time in advance – perfect if you find yourself running late for a meeting on the other side of town.
The concept has been around in the UK for some time, “Boris Bikes” are found in London, but haven’t been as successful as hoped due to being heavy and hard to control – Brompton bikes are quite the opposite.
Finally, another cycling app that isn’t all about performance is Fill That Hole, this app is an aid to safety, cyclists use it to report things like pot holes to the local authorities and then, with any luck, have the holes repaired. Fill That Hole has no bells or whistles, you can’t do anything else with it, but, what a great idea.