Today I downloaded a new app, the Cyclemeter GPS iPhone App for cycling and running by Abvio, Inc. My plan is to use it as I train up for the Group Health Seattle to Portland (STP) 2013 bike ride.
What prompted this action was the sun. Yesterday was a beautiful day and while everyone else used it to mow the lawn and do yard work, I wanted to bring out the bike and hit the road. So I did.
I wanted a way to track my progress via phone, and perhaps just as importantly, share it with my friends socially. After a little research, I chose the Cyclemeter GPS app as it boasted all the features I was looking for and the reports received for each ride are highly detailed yet presented in a layman’s, easy-to-understand fashion.
For example, the left screenshot below shows my ride route and the one on the right displays the ride time, distance traveled and current speed:
The app also tracks your rides over time, giving you an easy-to-navigate calendar where you can view this data. This will surely be useful as I ramp up training for the STP.
In the left-most screenshot below, my speed was tracked for the duration of the ride and you can see it graphically displayed over time. The middle screenshot shows the elevation covered from the start point to the finish point. As I activated the app about two miles in (once it had downloaded), you can see my overall elevation remained fairly constant with a slight upward grade.
The right-most image above shows its integration with your phone’s iTunes library. This means you can play the proper tunes for the ride.
Note: I am strongly opposed to wearing headphones while riding. Be safe if you plan to have a few tunes while you ride and use the phone’s speaker instead, and be courteous to others and keep the volume at a reasonable level.
Finally, you can integrate it with Facebook and Twitter. I connected it with Facebook after my ride and Twitter this morning, so next time I activate the app for a ride, my friends and followers will see my training progress (I may update this article with screenshots at that time). And, come the STP, they can follow my progress to Portland.
Other bicycling apps are available (check out a few more cycling apps here before you make your final decision), but the Cyclemeter GPS iPhone App seemed the best given you can view all the data right from your phone. That was the selling point for me; other apps require you to download information and view it via your laptop or PC.
I’m excited to dive into more of the features as I train up, in particular its social integration. But thus far, I am more than satisfied with its $4.99 purchase price. You get a wealth of information that would run you $50 to $100 were you to purchase a stand-alone odometer system, and it goes into far more detail than the standard odometer as well.
Update: March 14, 2013 @ 5pm
Alright, so I had a chance to use the social feature and, for the most part, I’m pleased. Facebook posts a lovely map of your ride and provides the key details anyone would want to know: miles covered, duration of the ride and speed in miles per hour.
Twitter goes two steps further by providing followers with two tweets: one at the beginning of the ride and one at the end.
Given Twitter’s 140 character limitation, a link is provided that goes into a lot more detail. You can zoom in and out of the map to see the path of the ride. It also provides, graphically, both speed and elevation on the y-axis over – and they give you options – distance, time, and ride time. Below the fold in the screen shot below is more data, but I’m not going to go into all that at this time.
I’m a bit disappointed that the integration with Facebook doesn’t provide a link to this page, but alas, maybe it will in a future update.
With this app, I’ll be removing that temperamental odometer unit currently mounted to my handlebars. I’ll be replacing it with an iPhone mount instead.
So yesterday’s ride saw me travel Dike Road from Mount Vernon to Conway and back, a total of close to 20 miles. If you’re wondering how the countryside along this route looks, see the image below: