iPhone Apps That Might Make Your Bike Ride Safer, Certainly More Fun

stop.jpg

Wired gives us a look
at a number of bicycle-related applications for the iPhone, including
Back Light, which allows you to tell cars following too closely on your
back wheel exactly what you think they should do with themselves
("Stop!," of course). I’ll admit I would put a lot of other choice
statements there, but that’s because I’m not as sensible as you, dear
readers.

skidder.jpg

Another
app, Brake Lights, which accomplishes essentially the same thing but
won’t get you in as much trouble with someone behind the wheel of a
three-ton vehicle, is a simple brake light activated when the phone’s
accelerometer senses your movement slowing. Likewise, there are several
apps that intend to mimic your blinky, but I’m pretty sure nothing
could get as shockingly bright as a Planet Bike Superflash (do not hold that up to your face and look into it, please).

For
the fixie kids, there’s an app that helps you figure out the ratio for
your gears and shows you where on your tire all the skid-stops are
going to wear it thin. It also lets you know how fast you’re going to
travel at different RPMs, depending on your tire size. A bit arcane for
me, but obviously there are folks who find this interesting.

One
of the apps that didn’t make Wired’s list, iMapMyRide, tells you your
speed and distances traveled, and allows you to map your rides and keep
a record of them both on the hand-held device and online.

We’re curious to know what other apps out there that you find useful or interesting? Let us know in the comments.

  • Will Campbell

    I was using REI’s Bike Your Drive app for awhile but all those mapping apps are just monster battery drainers.

  • angle

    An iPhone as a rear blinkie? What’s next, a caviar Clif Bar?

  • David Galvan

    I use the TrailGuru app to map my rides (and hikes). It basically acts like a GPS tracker. Just turn it on, do your ride, then when you are finished you can post your GPX track to trailguru.com (it can be publicly viewable or only viewable to yourself) and download the GPX file, which you can later use to geotag photos you took with another camera. Or you can just look at your tracked route on a map. It also displays plots of the elevation gained or lost, and your speed during the route.

    Here’s a publicly viewable track of a ride I did from Downey to Long Beach on the L.A. River Bike path:

    http://www.trailguru.com/wiki/index.php/Track:718E

    TrailGuru is free, but requires an iPhone 3G or later.

    Oh, and to save on battery drain, here’s a trick: You can keep the app running even when the screen is turned off (locked iPhone) by doing the following: Before launching TrailGuru, go to your iPod and start a song playing. Then go back to the home screen (the song will keep playing in the background), and open TrailGuru. Start tracking, and then press the iPhone’s lock button to turn the screen off (without exiting the app). If you don’t want to listen to music, just turn the volume all the way down. Just make sure that you’re using a long playlist or your whole music library, because when the music stops, the trailguru app will stop as well (it’s not meant to keep running when the phone is locked, but this trick allows it to. Saves battery life because the screen is off.)

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Streetsblog Interview: Andres Tena

|
Back on the bike: Tena after the "Bike Not to Work Day" ride last week. Late one Thursday night, or early on Friday morning depending your point of view, this April an H3 Hummer hit a cyclist, and what followed is a controversy that fuels emotions that rivals last year’s Mandeville Canyon “Road Rage Doctor” […]

All Dressed Up With No Place to Park

|
I love riding my bike, even when it gets tense on the streets and even when I experience conflicts with motorists who don’t respect my space and come too close, cut me off, or endanger my life with their reckless driving. When I ride, I feel everything. Not just physically, when a small rock hits […]

Streetsblog Interview Series: Aktive

|
I can’t remember the first time I met Aktive, but it seems that every time I’m in the Northeast L.A. “Bike District” I run into him.  Going to an event at the Bike Oven?  There’s Aktive.  Getting the baby bike together at Flying Pigeon?  There’s Aktive.  June fundraiser?  Aktive. In a lot of ways, the […]

Catching Up With Laura & Russ Of The Path Less Pedaled

|
Laura Crawford & Russ Roca. (Photo by Path Less Pedaled) (Note:if you want to support Gary’s work and our regular coverage of Long Beach, join us at the Library Alehouse this Tuesday. – DN) Just about anyone with a passing interest in bicycle touring on the West Coast probably has some familiarity with the adventures […]