9 Bicycle Apps Worth Checking Out

9 bicycle apps

You don’t need a smartphone to have a happy bike ride, but these tools can add a little fun, convenience or peace of mind to your two-wheeled journey. Here are a few that I like:

Apps for getting there:

Google Maps

google maps app

Google maps. I love it especially when I am visiting another city and want to get around via bicycle. Google maps will give you voice step by step directions for biking, walking and driving. It also includes live traffic conditions, incidents and rerouting to find the best options. The Google Maps developer team has also pointed out that bicyclists provide some of their best on-the-ground data.

Spotcycle

spotcycle app

Spotcycle is the premier multi-city Bikeshare app. It shows you how many bikes are at a station as well as how many docks are available at your destination spot. You can set your app to save your favorite stations, or find nearby available bikes or docks and even set a timer so you don’t go over your 30 minute window.

City Mapper

citymapper app

I really like this app. I stumbled upon it a few months ago and it is sort of a combination of Google maps and Spotcycle all rolled into one. CityMapper will map out a destination for you. Choose bicycle and share and you will see the closest bike share station to where you are and your destination. You’ll see the number of bikes available and the number of docks available. You’ll also see how long it will take to reach your destination on quiet roads or on fast roads. And you can save these routes. The other cool feature is that it will show you the time to reach your destination via bikeshare + Metro which is pretty cool so you can take the subway and know which station is nearby to complete your trip.

Apps for data and competition

StravaMap My Ride, RidewithGPS 

strava app mapmyride app rwgps app_icon

These apps all provide similar services: you can plan and share routes, track your mileage, speed, pace, and elevation and see how many calories you’ve burned. You can also compete against yourself and others, form teams for contests, upload photos, and share your data on social media. Watch out, it can be addictive!

Apps to share your experiences

Instagram & Twitter

instagram apptwitter app

These are not bicycle specific of course, but social media can be a great companion to a bike ride. Share your photos and accomplishments, meet other folks who ride, and stay up on the latest bike news. Be sure to follow Women and Bicycles on Instagram and @WABADC on Twitter. Join the bigger conversation by using the #womenbikeDC or #bikeDC hashtag.

 

Apps for peace of mind

Road ID

Road ID app

I love Road ID, and this app is the digital version of their popular ID bracelet. It displays emergency contact info and other important information (like medicine allergies) on your lock screen, so if you fall or hurt yourself, someone can contact your loved ones and make sure you don’t get a medicine that you may be allergic to. There’s also an option to let friends or family know when you are out on a ride.

Remember to pull over to safe place before interacting with your phone. Don’t tweet that KOM while you’re still pedaling!


 

Women & Bicycles is proudly supported by The Potomac Pedalers Touring Club; hosts of the region’s most robust all-level group ride calendar and bike tailgates, Chipotle our delicious dinner party sponsors, and we’re supported by all our friends who donated through the Hains Point 100 ride.

chipotle-logo waba_women_logo_commuter potamac pedalers logo

 

Women & Bicycles Tip: DIY Bra Boombox

This entry is part of our Women & Bicycles Bi-Weekly Tips series. Women & Bicycles is WABA’s outreach and encouragement initiative to build a stronger women’s bike community and get more women on bikes.  Click here to learn more and get involved.

Bicyclists in the big city don’t have a lot of control over our sound environment. We can’t escape the roaring dump trucks, rattling jackhammers, and the constant white noise of muffled and not-so-muffled engines.

If you miss the  luxury of listening to music through your car stereo or headphones, I’ve got a suggestion—no, not headphones. That’s dangerous and against the law in Virginia and Maryland, and highly discouraged in D.C. I’m talking about your very own bra boombox (for those who are inclined toward lingerie), or the more generic pocket boombox.

Four easy steps to building your DIY bra boombox*
1) Select your tunes on your smartphone
2) Turn up volume
3) Insert smartphone into bra or pocket, speaker-side positioned at 12 o’clock**
4) Get your bike dance on

*Smartphone or battery-operated sound-playing device required
**Concerned about perspiration? Place your phone in a small unsealed ziplock bag.

Image courtesy of V and the Bats