Tag Archives: cycling

Five Must-Have Free Apps for Biking

Photo from Flickr by SimonQ錫濛譙

Photo from Flickr by SimonQ錫濛譙

If you’re heading out on a bike ride, you’re more than likely traveling light. And there’s no reason not to. With the multitude of resources available for download to your smartphone or tablet, you can have all the information you need just a touch away.

If you’re an avid bicyclist – or just a casual rider with an adventurous streak – here are five free apps that you’ll want to download today.

5 Must-Have Free Apps for Biking

1. MapMyRide

What’s it for? Tracking and planning routes.

Named one of the five best bike route mapping apps by Mashable, MapMyRide allows you to choose from already existing routes (great if you’re in a new area!) or map your own. If you’re a competitive biker, you can track your nutrition performance and access training tools.

Available: iOS, Android, Blackberry

2. BikeBrain

What’s it for? Route tracking, workout timing and speed.

Also on Mashable’s list, BikeBrain is the ultimate for the bicyclist who also seeks an excessive amount of data. This app can track everything from heart rate to biking speed and distance – even cadence and altitude. Biologic, the company behind the app, also sells a multitude of phone accessories specifically for bikers, including handlebar mounts and hard protective cases.

Available: iOS only

3. Wi-Fi Finder by JiWire

What’s it for? Finding nearby locations with Wi-Fi

Maybe not the first thing you’re thinking about when jumping on your bike, but if you’re in the need for Wi-Fi in the middle of your ride, this is the perfect app for you. Named to Inc. Magazine’s “10 Best Apps for Travel,” you can quickly find the Wi-Fi you’re looking for. It uses your phone’s GPS function to tell you where the closest hotspot is and gives you directions to get there. On a biking trip overseas? No problem. The most recent version of the app has indexed more than 650,000 locations in 144 countries.

Available: iOS, Android

4. Around Me

What’s it for? Finding restaurants, attractions, banks/ATMs near your location.

Maybe a bit more practical than the Wi-Fi Finder, AroundMe is another app that takes advantage of the GPS function on your phone to provide you with a list of nearby restaurants, coffee shops, banks and other attractions. It’s great for those rides when you stayed out longer or traveled farther than you initially planned … or if you’re biking in an unfamiliar neighborhood or city.

Available: iOS, Android, Windows Phone

5. WeatherBug

What’s it for? Location-specific weather forecasts.

There’s nothing worse than going for a bike ride and getting caught in the rain … because you forgot to check the forecast.

There are a multitude of free weather apps available for your phone. We like this one because of its precise location data and lightning information. Other good free options according to Re/Code are Yahoo Weather and The Weather Channel.

Available: iOS, Android

What About You?

What’s your favorite app for hitting the roads? Please leave us a comment to share it with the RhoadesCar Community.

3 Reasons to Take Up Biking

Photo from Flickr by anyjazz65

Photo from Flickr by anyjazz65

When the weather is nice enough, there’s nothing better than getting outside. Many people who exercise trade their treadmills and stationary bikes for sidewalks, pavement and actual bikes.

If you’re an avid bicyclist, you already know the benefits of biking. You’re also a trendsetter. According to a study conducted in 2011 and cited by Men’s Fitness magazine, bicycling has doubled in popularity since 1990.

But just because it’s the cool thing to do right now doesn’t mean that’s the only reason to take up biking. Here are three reasons that you may not have considered.

1. It’s a stress reliever.

We’ve been told time and time again that exercising is a great way to relieve stress. But bicyclists might actually reap the benefits more than those who run or jog. Why? Bicycling is a legitimate method of transportation. Studies have shown that those who use bicycles as a means of transportation have a significantly lower stress level than those who commute via cars and public transportation.

2. It’s a great way to connect with family.

It’s become one of the great iconic images of family life in the United States – the mother or father who is pushing a young child on a bicycle … and then lets go for the first time. Bicycling is a great multigenerational activity. Parents can go on bike rides with their children. Grandparents can ride with their grandkids. Tandem biking is a great family activity. (Going out in a Rhoades Car combines the possibilities of both biking and conversation; no more yelling over your shoulder while going on a ride!)

3. It’s another way to connect with the outdoors.

There’s a reason why we all migrate outdoors once the temperature starts to warm up. Biking is a great method of transportation to visit a local park. Many parks offer biking trails, allowing for another way to take in nature other than hiking. Taking in all of the fresh air and the beauty of nature, it’s hard not to feel young again when you take your bike out for a ride.

It’s time to get your bike out of the garage, clean it off, and take it out for a ride. It won’t take you long to fall in love all over again with bicycling.

Ready to pedal?

Bicycling is an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It’s a great way to get exercise while connecting with those you love and enjoying the outdoors. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Are you celebrating National Bike Month?

Get Involved in National Bike Month

Photo by Tejvan Pettinger

Did you know that May is National Bike Month? The League of American Bicyclists, which has been around since 1880, has encouraged communities across the nation to participate in events and activities celebrating the benefits of biking.

The most popular event of the month is Bike to Work Day, which is May 16. Bike to Work Week is May 12-16. Why encourage people to ride their bikes to work? The League offers the following statistics:

  • More than half of the population of the United States lives within 5 miles of their workplace.
  • Bicycling is rapidly growing as a means of transportation to and from the office. In cities the organization has deemed “Bicycle Friendly Communities,” commuting rates increased 80 percent from 2000 to 2011.
  • In the 70 largest U.S. cities, bicycle commuting is has increased 90.1 percent from 1990 to 2012.

Many cities across the country are participating in unique Bike to Work Day activities. Here are a few of our favorites:

In San Francisco, Bike to Work Day will be held on May 8 (rather than May 16). The 20th annual event is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of bicycling commuters.

In New York City, Transportation Alternatives is challenging work places to see which office can bike to work the most from May 12-16. Companies are competing for the title of NYC’s Happiest Workplace, bragging rights, and undisclosed but “awesome” prizes.

The Sacramento Region is challenging its residents to log 2 million miles on their bikes during the month of May. Employers have the ability to compete as well, with companies divided into small, medium and large categories.

In Ohio, the Dayton Five Rivers MetroParks is offering a delicious incentive for Bike to Work Day – a pancake breakfast for participants, complete with games and a photo booth.

Sound like fun? Interested in getting your office involved? Bicycling Magazine offers the following suggestions in encouraging your colleagues to participate in biking to work:

  • Ask. Send an email encouraging participation.
  • Remember the children. Find a way to encourage parents to ride with their children. Maybe create a “convoy” of parents and children riding together.
  • Show the way. Provide a map of routes to the office that are safe for biking.

Also, do some quick research prior to creating your event. It’s very likely there are additional offices already participating in some sort of community or city-wide effort. See what you can do to join in to those as well.

There are more events in National Bike Month as well.

CycloFemme is a bike event held nationwide on Mother’s Day (May 11), encouraging women to ride. As of mid-April, more than 90 cities in 13 countries had announced rides and events in connection with the day.

For the kids, May 7 has been declared National Bike/Walk to School Day. Similar to Bike to Work Day, it’s an event that encourages kids to seek alternative transportation with their parents and friends. The event’s website has a ton of information on suggested event activities for the kids, how to get the school and community involved and safety tips.

How about you? Are you in?

By working with either your employer to participate in Bike to Work Day or your school or PTA to participate in Bike/Walk to School Day, you’re encouraging others to consider a healthier alternative to commuting. It’s also a great way to build community with your coworkers or other families in your school district.

If your workplace or school is already planning on participating, be sure you get involved! Ride your bike (or your Rhoades Car) and encourage your kids to ride theirs as well. See what you can do to help promote biking in your community and spread the word.

Are you participating? Share a link to your local group in the comments please. We would love to learn more about how and where you’ll be cycling during National Bike Month.