I’m a fairly recent convert to the iPhone. I bought my 3GS about two weeks before the new one hit the market (which saved me $$$). The app thing is very cool. I’m all about apps.
So, naturally, I went looking for bicycling apps, and there are bunches of them. Most of them are geared to sport/exercise cycling, but I’ve found three that I like toying with so far.
First things first: It seems like talking on the phone or texting while riding a bicycle is a transgression almost on par with doing these things in a car. I say “almost” because a bicycle driven by a texter is unlikely to cause as much mayhem in a crash as a car driven by a texter.
I’ve promised myself not to use my phone while riding, and I’ve pretty much stuck to that. I say “pretty much” because I have broken my own promise on a few occasions — having rationalized it this way: Quiet residential street, no pedestrians, no traffic, so what can it hurt? I really need to keep my promise.
So far, I’m enjoying these free apps:
The Bike Computer: This is a fairly simple app for keeping track of your miles and times. It uploads your stats to EveryTrial where you can keep further track of your trips. The app is a bit klunky, and sometimes the feature used to turn of the display while it’s in your pocket freezes the phone — at least it happens to me.
Bikenik: This one similar to The Bike Computer except that it works with Google maps. Again, it keeps track of time, miles, and other stats — mostly of interest to sports/exercise cyclists. Its display is also a bit more elegant than The Bike Computer. So if you have to choose just one free bicycle stats app, then go with Bikenik
IMapMyride: This is the most useful of the free apps I’ve tried. It’s solidly focused on sport/exercise, but it is also useful for utility bicyclists because it integrates with the mother ship at Map My Ride. But here’s a weird thing (and a turn-off): The app is sponsored by Cadillac, which either tells you something about the demographics of Map My Ride users or how much money GM has to waste on the wrong audience. Hmmmmm…
So that’s the free stuff. I haven’t used any of these enough to justify paying for an app (that may or may not be better than these). I’ll keep you posted.
Beyond bicycling apps, there are numerous things the iPhone (or Andriod phones) can do to make life easier for the utility bicyclist:
- The Weather Channel app is comprehensive, including hourly forecasts and a weather map. This app has kept me dry twice this year when I was caught downtown without rain gear. I was able to figure out how long I had to wait out the storms.
- As long-time Carbon Trace readers know, I like to carry DV and digital still cameras with me. Now I just carry the iPhone. I’ve used it for most of the pictures you’ve seen here recently. There are many free photo/video apps. Take your pick. But be sure to get ShareMedia to help you post to Facebook on the fly. Also, PS Express gives you some powerful photo editing tools for free.
- Evernote is a great way to keep track of information on the fly and includes a voice recorder and camera feature.
- You’ll find all kinds of GPS apps. The iPhone comes with a map app, but I bought GPS by MotionX because I really like playing with these things
So what am I missing? How do you use the iPhone to improve your utility cycling experience?