Monday, February 20, 2012

Guest Post: Top Apps in 2012 for Cyclists

Don’t get left on the side of the road—technology will help you find rides, fix your bike, and fuel properly

Did the chain fall off your bike? Are you looking to find like-minded cyclists to ride with?  There's an app for that? Or do you want to map your cycling routes so that you can find them next time? Of course, you do! The good news is that there’s an app for that and tons of other cycling-related information, techniques, and tools, many of which are completely free—as long as you have mobile broadband service.

So to help you map your bike routes, fix your flat tires, improve your cycling abilities, track your speed and distance, and hook up with group rides in your immediate area—here are my picks for top apps in 2012 for cyclists:

1. iMapMyRide (Free)
iMapMyRide is a must for any cyclist because it finds biking routes within 10 miles of your home and servers them up for you to take advantage of. This app also provides user reviews so you know the good (smooth trails) from the bad (loads of dog walkers), plus interactive maps, as well as detailed terrain reports on routes, including things like climbs and elevation changes.

2. BikeDoctor ($4.99)
Ever got stuck in the middle of a ride because of a flat tire or chain discombobulation? Well the Bike Doctor app teaches you the basics of DIY bicycle maintenance and repairs so you’re not stuck miles from home without a proper-running ride. This app offers a user-friendly navigation complete with color, step-by-step visual instructions for all basic bike repairs.

Safety is the primary concern of Cycling Proficiency—regardless of if you’re a newbie biker or a veteran cyclist. This app provides a rundown of the rules and laws of the road for cyclists, bike technique tips, and even advice on how and what to purchase as far as cycling clothing. It’s all you’ll ever need as far as cycling common sense.

4. Cyclemeter GPS ($4.99)
The ultimate cycling tracking app, Cyclemeter GPS tracks your speed, distance, elevation, and time—right in the app itself—so there’s no need to transfer data over to a computer or another mobile device. Cyclemeter GPS also integrates directly with Google Maps so you can map out and share your favorite cycling routes via Facebook or Twitter with your felling bikers. How cool is that?

Are you looking for like-minded cyclists to ride with? Or just hoping to hook up with a regular, organized riding group in your immediate area? The Rendezvous app can help with that by planning and arranging rides for you. Meet up with the newest cyclists in your area, share a rendezvous point, invite other cycling friends on rides, see who else is along for the cycle, or if you’re already booked with a group you can send messages, see the mapped out route, set reminders for your group, examine the terrain, or even let them know if you’re running late for the daily ride.

Bikes pedal thanks to your feet—and your feet work better if you’re properly fueled for the ride ahead. Don’t be left on the side of the road due to poor nutrition. Let the Calorie Tracker app from LiveStrong keeps track of all your meals, your portion sizes, your calorie, fat and protein intake to ensure you’re properly nourished and adequately meeting your diet goals (if you’re trying to build muscle or shed a few extra pounds). This brilliant app syncs with the LiveStrong DailyPlate website, so you don’t even need to manually enter your food intake, the app does it all for you.

Author bio: Melanie Gray is a writer for BBGeeks, a popular site that provides BlackBerry news, commentary, reviews and beginner BlackBerry tips for BB newbies.

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