Wednesday, June 26, is Denver Bike to Work Day, and lots of Denver Public Library employees will be pedaling to their branch that day. Some of us ride to work several times a week or more! What does cycling have to do with technology? Lots of things, actually.
Denver is a fairly bike friendly city. There are great routes all over, bicycle and mixed-use trails, and roads with dedicated bike lanes. There are a few tools I use to find my way on two wheels.
If you have an Android smart phone, Google Maps has an excellent trip planner for cycling. Just put in your start and end address (or intersection) and select the bicycle icon. Unfortunately, bicycling directions are not available for Google Maps app on iPhone; however, you can use the web version of Google Maps for the bike route option.
There are lots of places to pick up a paper copy of a Denver Bike Map for free. Or you can download the PDF version to your computer, tablet, or phone. Although the electronic version is a little bit cumbersome, it’s great for identifying major bike routes, and unlike Google Maps, shows differences between bike lanes, bike routes, and bike trails.
If you’re into tracking your rides, there are lots of apps out there for both iPhone and Android phones. They do everything from recording distance and elevation to tracking calories burned, speed, and pace. Apps range in price from free to about $10. I’ve used the free, iPhone version of MapMyFitness (MapMyRide is specifically for cycling) for a few years and it works for me. For more in-depth tracking, consider upgrading to a paid version, or check out Cyclemeter (Apple), Runtastic Road Bike Pro (Android & iPhone), Strava Cycling (Android & iPhone), or B.iCycle (all formats). Make sure to read reviews and investigate whether the app you’re interested in does what you need it to do, such as a sync with a heart rate monitor or let you post to Twitter, for example. Most of these apps have social networking functionality if you like getting support from friends or teammates.
Bicycles require maintenance, and if you’re ambitious you can find out how to fix them yourself using online tutorials. I just discovered the site madegood.org, which has videos on how to do just about any bike repair you can think of. If you do happen to think of something you can’t find there, just Google the problem, or search for a YouTube video!
Fun blog - is there an app that will find me a route that's downhill both to and from work?
I just bike to work (downhill mostly, of course) and take RTD Lightrail home...
Great blog, Melanie! Lots of cool stuff to help keep us motivated! Denver is a wonderful city to bicycle--pretty much anywhere you go, up or down hills...cycling makes the journey sheer joy!
Pedal hard--go up-hill in a strong head wind--will sure make you tough & strong!! if it doesn't kill you first :-D
Ride safe, everyone & just do it!
Excellent article! I love learning about a new phone app too!