Paul Andrews

Posts Tagged ‘iphone cycling apps’

A Merry Cycling Christmas: The gift of an iPhone

In Equipment reviews, Mountain Biking on December 9, 2009 at 4:05 am

Our next gift suggestion for that amazing nonpareil cyclist on your list seems at first glance to have nothing to do with bicycles.

It’s an iPhone.

Here’s the deal. It used to be when I went out for a ride I would have to pack my phone, a camera, a digital recorder (for reminders, thoughts, ride review comments), a pen and pad for notes, and if I wanted video, a camcorder.

Then I got an iPhone 3GS. Not only does it replace all the gadgets, it does it in a lighter, smaller configuration.

So instead of having to jam a bunch of widgets in a bunch of pockets in my bladder pack, I pack one. The camera doesn’t boast as many pixels and the iPhone video isn’t up to the resolution of my camcorder. But you know what? The photos and videos pass the “good enough” test. In 80 to 90 percent of the cases they’ll do just fine. (For a sample, see below a recent clip I put together from Duthie Hill near Seattle.) And entering written notes and voice memos is even easier than the analog equivalents.

If that were it for the iPhone, it might not make a case for biking. But what clinches the deal is the growing number of bike apps. There’s a speedometer, a trip-ometer, a flashing headlight or taillight, a brake light, a gear calculator, a rear light warning.

Much more is on the way as the iPhone’s built-in GPS and map apps get put to use. A host of instructional apps, from fixing a flat to doing 10-foot drops, are surely on the horizon.

The best thing about the iPhone, though, is the ability to reach that special cyclist any time you want. My wife has even got hold of me 5,000-plus feet elevation high in the North Cascades. It’s amazing where you can get cell service these days as the Forest Service, logging companies and S&R squads work to spread the network.

Then there’s simply the peer factor. For some reason, the iPhone has caught on with the cycling community. You can’t go on a ride without finding a ton of them.

An iPhone may not say “cycling.” But no cyclist is going to turn one down under this year’s tree.

Daily Roundup: Naked cyclists! Crankworx, iPhone apps, kewl Portland, naked cyclists! and more

In Bicycling, Daily Roundup on August 6, 2009 at 1:09 am

Boy…dog days of August. Not much news to round up! But here goes…

Let’s start with the always reliable wakeup call, NAKED CYCLISTS! Usually naked riders in Seattle paint themselves…and this is probably why. My take: If a mother from Everett finds offense, she shouldn’t be comin’ to downtown Seattle. O my, the things you might see in the Big City! Hey, I’m offended by Everett blue-noses but you don’t see me running to KOMO News to complain…

Mountain Bike Action‘s Web site has video of Brandon Semenuk’s monster ride to win the Crankworx Colorado Slopestyle competition for the second year in a row. Now the trick is for Brandon to repeat on Aug. 15 in his home town — Whistler. A far taller order, the pressure being on…

You know those iPhone bike apps that get so much attention? Yeah, I don’t use ‘em either. BikeHugger explores why, using the Bike Your Drive app as the whipping post.

The Tyee, one of the best metro blogs around, based in Vancouver, B.C., looks at why Portland is just so kewl and finds cycling to be one of its “superiorities” to Vancouver. I’m not so sure on that point — Vancouver has gnarly biking and the Stanley Park/English Bay/West Vancouver mile-after-mile bike path, and there’s nothing anywhere in the states to compare to it — but whatever. It’s an interesting take.

BikePortland.org is cool, however, pointing out how McCain still just doesn’t get it. The butt-kicked Zona senator thinks the U.S. spends too much on bike paths.

Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance is tracking potential fire closures in the Seattle area. But rain supposedly is on the way starting Sunday! Is summer over? Statistically, we’ve had more than our share this year so yeah, get ready…

Speaking of Evergreen, regarding the turmoil in the club’s membership, a Town Hall will be held Monday, Aug. 31, at 6 p.m. in Duthie Hill Lodge near Issaquah. “Please bring an open mind, great ideas and positive energy,” the Yahoo! list invite reads. “We’ll touch on some specific pain points the community has brought to light…” They’re on the right track here but what do you say to a club ride at Duthie before the meeting!

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