best apps for training

With more and more people buying smartphones and the proliferation of training apps now available for them, it’s never been so easy to accurately keep track of your training. Gone are the days when you kept track of your training in a notepad, with careful handwritten notes. ROAD.CC

The latest generation of training apps makes it far easier to record and analyse your training, as well as setting goals and targets and reviewing previous performances. We’ve chosen 10 of the most popular apps so you can kick start 2013 with a digital thump.

And with smartphones now offering GPS maps and large colour screens, many cyclists are opting to use them in place of a dedicated cycle computer. Either mounted to the handlebars or safely stored in a jacket pocket, recording your ride on a smartphone is now common.

Garmin Fit

Garmin’s Fit app allows you to use your iPhone or Android smartphone as a training tool. It can be used for various sports, and one you’ve finished it uploads your session to Garmin Connect. It costs 69p but Connect itself is free to use. Once there you get all the important data and there’s useful functions like a calendar that totals your hours of riding each week, giving you an easy way of tracking your training progress.

Available for iPhone and Android.


This app functions as bike computer but can also store your route in Google maps, which can then be exported to social media networks like Twitter nad Facebook. A calendar makes it easy to see your recent rides at a glance and help to plan your next ride, and your favourite routes can be saved for future use.

The Athlete’s Diary

You can easily keep track of training rides with graphs of the total distance and time accumulated with this app. Information is clearly presented with the main screen a log showing some of your latest rides, so you can see at a glance how training has been going. You can also search your recorded rides too. Data is manually entered, but there’s an Autofill option for rapid entry. Only available for iPhone and costs $19.99.


This app lets you share and compare in a number of sports. As well as speed, distance, time, it works with compatible heart rate monitor straps and cadence modules. You can replay tracks on Google Maps, share with Facebook and Twitter friends, and export to the SportsTrack website. It only works with Android phones and costs £2.99.

Training Peaks

A popular choice for cyclists, as it stems from Joe Friel’s TrainingBible series of books, Training Peaks is a very comprehensive training package that offers unlimited detail and control of your workout data. There’s training plans that can be bought and downloaded, taking the guesswork out of training, and there’s the novel Virtual Coach too. Works for Android, iPhone, iPod and iPad.


CoachMyRide, only available for the iPhone, lets you set goals and choose training sessions from a library of 105 included in the app. And for analysing sessions, Lionel Reynaurd is a professional cycling coach is available to offer feedback and share his knowledge. AS you progress in your training and you get fitter, the app easily adapts your training to suit.


Endomondo is a community based workout app that lets you challenge friends and analyse your training. A clean and clear display shows distance, speed and time when cycling, and you can customise what is show on the screen. Once you’ve done a ride you can upload to the website where you can create groups for your friends to share rides, and share through Facebook. With a Bluetooth heart rate strap you can add heart rate data to your training data. It’s free and works across all platforms.


Described as the “Swiss army knife of GPS tracking and timing” Kinetic lets you organise your training sessions by activity or event. It can set goals and monitor your progress against a predicted finish time. Voice notifications chart your progress in real-time. Kinetic GPS Lite is free, while the full version is $3.99.


Rather than automatically logging your ride data, which is fine if you want to use your smartphone on the bike, Cychosis differs by requiring you to manually enter data from each ride. So you can leave your phone safely at home or not have the battery drained in 5 minutes by the constant GPS usage, and enter ride information form your cycle computer when you’ve finished your ride. And if you love your spreadsheets, you can export ride data to your computer.


One of the most popular apps is Strava, because of its unique feature of letting you compared times on ‘segments’ of road. Users can create segments themselves, and any person that has ridden along this segment is added to a leaderboard. So you can see who is fastest on your favourite climb for example. With a community revolving around this feature, it adds a competitive element to training on your own. A suite of power and heart rate analysis tools makes it a good option for those who want to take their training seriously. Available for iPhone and Android.

How did you sleep last night

Been thinking I have not been sleeping well lately – not helped by the fact I came in from my 40km ride last night at 9pm. Always takes me a bit to switch off.
Have a app called sleep cycle which monitors your sleep pattern by picking up how much movement you make during the night to determine your moment of deep sleep. I woke at 3:30 for a drink of water then up at 6:50.
Monitoring over a few days gives you quite an insight into what you do at night and how that affects training.

Software for your Heart Rate Monitor and GPS

To some of us geeky MAMILS (middle aged men in Lycra), one of the biggest pleasures, next to the ride or run itself, is quantifying the vast amount of data available to us about our performance.  The prevalence of GPS based and downloadable cycling computers, combined with various websites and programs have made it possible to catalog, view and analyze mountains of data; metrics from average pace to peak wattage vs. peak heart rate are now at your fingertips.  Here’s a quick overview of a couple of the more common sites and programs out there.



my new favourite after a while playing with Endo … (see next) is the relative new kid on the block in terms of ride analysis.  Offering both free and frankly too expensive subscription services ($6 per month or $59 per year) will allow riders to directly upload rides from their GPS devices and track their performance.  Displaying a GPS track of the route you rode, along with an elevation profile and metrics such as distance, elevation gain, moving time, speed (max and average), average speed, average cadence and average power, you get a mass of information to sift through and analyse.

The coolest thing about Strava and it is something that Endomondo also does is social connection ….  You can link Strava to your Facebook page and twitter account and you can even challenge friends (or strangers for that matter) to competitions.  Strava has a unique feature that allows you to designate segments of your ride and run (climbs, TTs, crazy descents) that you can measure against every other person on Strava that has covered that route (or just a section) before and uploaded their ride.  It’s an excellent idea that promotes competition and growth amongst different riders all riding in the same area.

Here is a section of the Arran ride that someone has made into sections … woo hoo I did well without even knowing it.

For example, imagine your club has a friendly “climbing competition” up a particularly long, steep, or otherwise nasty climb.  Anyone who is a member of Strava who uploads a ride containing that climb will be ranked based upon speed, power, time and VAM (Vertical Ascent Meters) along with everyone else who has ridden that climb.  The best part of the whole thing is that once the climb is designated on Strava, the site software automatically finds that segment of your ride and analyzes it, compares it to everyone else, and posts it in ranking of fastest to slowest.  It’s an excellent tool to use to compare both your form compared to others around you, and to chart your own progress by comparing to your previous attempts.

PROS: Great community based concepts.  ”Segments” option for competing with your friends.  Excellent data presentation and layout. Standalone free iPhone app if you don’t have a dedicated gps hrm

CONS: Pay site is yet another expense (free site only 5 rides/month allowance)


My old favourite social exercise site – allowed you to see your friends workouts and comment on them. Again it allows analysis of the ride or run and also keep a note of your PB’s.

The social interaction may be slightly better on Endo although I prefer the slightly better analysis on Strava …. Again there is a dedicated app for iPhone so you can use that on commutes when your gps or hem is at home. Both these sites are better with Garmin products and that is more to do with the disinterest on the part of Polar and suunto more than the development of either of these two platforms. At the moment I import the gpx track from file although this loses the hrm info from the exercise. At the moment you can import the average and max readings into the endo workout but it is not a true graph.

Alternatives for Me

Movescount for Suunto users

Good analysis but lacking social connections as there is no app and your friends can’t compare to you.

Polar Personal Trainer for Polar HRM users

Better analysis but even less social connections.

e-paper watch for running, cycling and more

this watch looks very cool – not sure if it will record but might be a great interface for an endomondo or running app on my iPhone ….


Customize Your Perfect Watch. It’s as Easy as Downloading an App.

Pebble is the first watch built for the 21st century. It’s infinitely customizable, with beautiful downloadable watchfaces and useful internet-connected apps. Pebble connects to iPhone and Android smartphones using Bluetooth, alerting you with a silent vibration to incoming calls, emails and messages. While designing Pebble, we strove to create a minimalist yet fashionable product that seamlessly blends into everyday life.


Apps bring Pebble to life. We’re building some amazing apps for Pebble. Cyclists can use Pebble as a bike computer, accessing the GPS on your smartphone to display speed, distance and pace data. Runners get a similar set of data displayed on their wrist. Use the music control app to play, pause or skip tracks on your phone with the touch of a button. If you’re a golfer, feel free to bring Pebble onto the course. We’re working with Freecaddie to create a great golf rangefinder app for Pebble that works on over 25,000 courses world-wide. Instead of using your phone, view your current distance to the green right on your wrist. These apps will be the first, with more in the works!


Pebble can change instantly, thanks to its brilliant, outdoor-readable electronic-paper (e-paper) display. We’ve designed tons of watchfaces already, with more coming every day. Choose your favourite watchfaces using Pebble’s iPhone or Android app. Then as the day progresses, effortlessly switch to the one that matches your mood, activity or outfit.


If you need to stay on top of things, Pebble can help with vibrating notifications, messages and alerts. Dismiss a notification with a shake of your wrist. Don’t worry, it’s easy to disable all notifications.

  • Incoming Caller ID
  • Email (Gmail or any IMAP email account)
  • Calendar Alerts
  • Facebook Messages
  • Twitter
  • Weather Alerts
  • Silent vibrating alarm and timer

Android users can also receive Text Messages (SMS) on their Pebble. Unfortunately iPhone does not expose this data. Have any suggestions for other notification types? Leave us a message in the comments!

Rainproof iPhone holders: JerseyBin Waterproof Cycling Pouch (via All Seasons Cyclist)

These look perfect – must get me some.

JerseyBin Waterproof Cycling Pouch Every once in a while you find a cycling product and you know instantly you must have it. When I saw an ad for JerseyBin Waterproof Cycling Pouches I ordered three pouches immediately, and when they arrived a few days later it took all of 30 seconds to realize they were exactly what I needed. JerseyBins are lightweight, waterproof pouches that fit perfectly in your back jersey pocket. JerseyBins are constructed of 10 gauge vinyl and, depending on … Read More

via All Seasons Cyclist

Photographing the Tour de France on an iPhone

Great article from Wired showing that it is the vision and photographer that make great images and not just the best gear junkie …..


Bernhard Eisel of team HTC

Bernhard Eisel of team HTC gives an interview at Stage 15 in Montpellier, France.

Mark Cavendish Fans at the 2011 Tour de France

Mark Cavendish fans watch during the Stage 20 Time Trial in Grenoble, France.

Tour de France Photographers in Grenoble, France.

A photographer kisses his camera for good luck before the finish-line money shot during the Stage 20 Time Trial in Grenoble, France.

Autograph Hunters at the Tour de France

Autograph hunters go to work at the Stage 20 Time Trial in Grenoble, France.

Fabian Cancellara at the 2011 Tour de France

A boy reaches for a high-five from Fabian Cancellara during the 2011 Tour de France Stage 20 Time Trial.

David Millar at the 2011 Tour de France

David Millar starts the 2011 Tour de France Stage 20 Time Trial.

Thor Hushovd at the 2011 Tour de France

Thor Hushovd starts the 2011 Tour de France Stage 20 Time Trial.

Tour de France 2011 Fans

Fans scramble on top of garbage cans to see Cadel Evans on the podium after the 2011 Tour de France.

Spectators at the 2011 Tour de France

Spectators reach for handouts at the 2011 Tour de France.

Spectators at the 2011 Tour de France

Spectators cheer at the 2011 Tour de France in Montpellier.

There’s no greater misconception in photography than that it’s the gear that makes the photographer (Just ask Damon Winter). In the hands of a skilled shooter, even the iPhone 4’s camera can make compelling images.

During this year’s Tour De France, an event silly with photo pros trying to make a living, photojournalist and documentarian Gregg Bleakney took the opportunity to experiment with using his iPhone to capture the experience as he saw it. No more following the herd trying to get the same shot that everyone else was getting. caught up by e-mail with Bleakney in China to find out why he pursued the project and what it was like working without his DSLR in tow. So what gave you the idea for the project?

Gregg Bleakney: I’d just come off an assignment at the Giro d’Italia where I was able to negotiate great photographic access and was keen to do something similar at the Tour de France. But I quickly discovered that the media environment at the Tour was an entirely different animal than the Giro — there was almost always a massive scrum of photographers jostling to make pictures of the same “behind the scenes” moments in credentialed press and team areas.

As an emerging photographer, I feel like I should always push hard to separate my work from everyone else’s, and I started to look for another way to cover the event. I was really blown away by the energy and spectator culture outside of the restricted-entry press areas at the start and finish lines of the race; the occasional moments when athletes leave their security perimeter to interact with fans, the security perimeter itself, and with the spectators interacting with each other. So I decided to spend several stages working outside of credentialed areas without a press pass and jokingly dubbed this my “Totally Not Behind the Scenes at the Tour de France” project. What, if any, obstacles were you faced with while working on it?

Bleakney: Many of the fans were making pictures at the Tour de France with their mobile phones, so I decided that I should do the same if I really wanted to embrace this “NOT behind the scenes” culture. I’d never used an iPhone camera seriously before, and it took some time to get used to both the shutter delay and composing without a viewfinder.

Also, when betting nearly a week of my time and money on a personal project at a major event like the Tour de France, I was constantly battling my herding instinct and internal monolog chatter like, “OK, so I’m NOT going to sprint into that privileged access area to photograph Cadel Evans, or the Schlecks, or some of the other key athletes involved in one of the most competitive Tour de France battles in history, like all of the other photographers — photos which I know that I could sell. Instead I’m going loiter in the spectators’ area to shoot some kids waiting for autographs that no editor will likely ever buy? Why am I doing this again?”

But I stuck with the project idea and used couch-surfing and other social-media travel tools that week to keep my costs down. How do you feel about documentary work in today’s climate?

Bleakney: I find it absolutely thrilling to be a documentary photographer right now — there’s no better gig in the world for me. Potential outlets for thoughtful photo essays are nearly infinite, and there are incredible opportunities to distribute work that’s executed at a high level to a global audience.

Social media has allowed me to collectively learn and grow with other photographers who are sharing their work and ideas. With that being said, new (post-stock or traditional print media) revenue models are not fully established, and it can be more challenging than in the past to monetize good picture stories — but I have confidence that these things will work themselves out for photographers who really want it. Where are you currently based and what are you working on?

Bleakney: I’m based in Seattle. I’m working on a long-term project about the sport of cycling’s new global frontiers and have spent time in Colombia, India and China this year, photographing several new events sponsored by the UCI (the sport’s governing body) to encourage growth of the sport outside of Europe and the West.

It’s been fascinating to witness how, for many Western cultures, it’s become so in-vogue to use the bicycle rather than a car as an urban commuting tool, while citizens of the growing economies in Asia and the developing world (who represent the majority of world’s cyclists) are abandoning bicycles in favor of combustion-fueled transportation. I’m also working on a story about a black market smuggling operation taking place in Olympic National Park.

All photos: Gregg Bleakney

Bryton Cardio 30 ordered – to be reviewed soon

Interesting to see how the new upstart compares to others on the market.

Cardio 30

Cardio 30, the smallest GPS sports watch on the market, is for all levels of athletes. By setting goals in our pro-training programs, Cardio 30 can accurately calculate and record your location, speed, distance, pace, stride rate, cadence*, heart rate* and more. Your training results then can be shared and analyzed at

With built-in “G sensor”, no extra foot pod is needed for indoor exercise.

Obviously Garmin (with their patent infringement lawsuit) have their various Forerunners (which I found uncomfortable and too chunky) and Suunto with their T6C and Polar are main competitors … although Suunto/Polar have seperate GPS units which pair.

I wanted a system that worked on ANT+ so that my cycling and running as on one system …..

A review coming which will hopefully give more info and insight than the Bryton website.

Suunto (and Polar) needs to become fully ANT+ soon or be left behind.

Currently there are four major data exchange protocols used by fitness peripherals: Nike+ANT+ ,Suunto ANT and Polar WindLink. There may be more but these are the ones that I know of.

When it came to Heart Rate Monitoring Polar was the name that everyone wanted to replicate and copy. Polar  had a grand four data transfer standards (Polar Analogue, Polar Coded Analogue, Polar FlowLink and Polar WindLink). Sigma and Suunto where also available but nothing had the software power that polar had.

But then combined GPS running came together and Garmin grew. Other HRM like Timex released early GPS units with separate monitors and GPS units that paired. Then Garmin stole a march with early Foretrex / Forerunner units that allowed you to upload to a PC (the lack of Mac compatibility esp with Suunto and Polar is a reason many chose to desert them)

Then in  2008 Nike introduced Nike+iPod for the Gym. With an semi-open standard (Nike+) it allowed for cardio-equipment (treadmills, bikes, and cross-trainers etc.) to exchange data with the Nike+ and iPod (and now also iPhone). How cool was that? Moreover Nike and Apple provided free assistance for companies on how to integrate their protocol into equipment and suddenly several large manufacturers of cardio-equipment like TechoGym and Star Trac was compatible with an iPod/ iPhone. (cleverly capturing the wanted 17-40 age bracket)

another ANT+ adopter

In the meantime Garmin was on its heels, keeping it’s ANT+ for it’s serious use, and Polar, Sigma, Suunto, and the others did the same. Now the funny thing is that most semi-serious and serious running- and cycling-entusiasts keep at Garmin, Polar, Sigma and Suunto, although there is no free training software that allows input from all of them.

But then Dynastream Innovations Inc (part of Garmin) who controls both the ANT underlying network standard(which is in fact used by both ANT+, Nike+, Suunto ANT and WindLink) and Garmins own ANT+ data transfer standard, created the ANT+ Alliance and opened up the ANT+ protocol. So then ANT+ wasn’t limited to heart rate, GPS and cadence monitoring but a lot of fancy things, and the alliance is now joined by AdidasCycleOpsiBikeMcLarenMicrosoftTexas Instruments,Timex and Trek amongst others. I wonder what made this happen…

Suunto and Polar are in danger of being left out cold (but being Finnish maybe they like the bracing air) I have Garmin on my Bikes, as well as Suunto T6 for running (with a speed pod on one bike) but they dont talk to each other ….

So what happens next? Well since all these products are using similar hardware the obvious answer would be: They all now change to the complete open ANT+ standard, allowing for exchange between all equipment in every conceivable fashion. I doubt this is ever going to happen, but I think that something is going to happen. Because in the end people want to combine their cardio-watches, treadmills, maybe their music-devices and training managers in their own way. And these should be able to exchange data, and take input from all areas.

Bike Run and Heart Rate Monitoring apps which make the grade

Finally some apps I think are good enough for Heart Rate monitoring and Running and time on the bike.

For this to work you need an ANT+ Heart Rate Belt (garmin, timex, VDO – but not Suunto or Polar YET)

and a wahoo fitness dongle for £70 (to get that data into your iPhone or iPod)

In alphabetical Order

Ascent Mobile $9.99

AscentMobile allows you to record, display, and analyze activities involving movement. Tracks can be recorded on the iPhone using the internal GPS, or downloaded via WiFi from the companion desktop application “Ascent”. Altitude profiles and maps are displayed, as well as various reports and graphs that show your performance over time. Tracks recorded on the iPhone can be sent as an email attachment to your favorite email account for loading into any other compatible program or web site.

BikyCoach $2.99

Your pocket bike computer. Whether you use a mountain bike or a racing bike, Biky Coach is your personal trainer that helps you keep track of your progress and meet your fitness goals. Train yourself with your personal coach while listening to music and sharing your progress with friends, all with Biky Coach’s many features.


Using the GPS feature of your iPhone, Biky Coach provides real time information of all your race statistics (speed, distance, elevation, calories burned…) and stores them for later review. Biking Coach gives you all the information you would get from a GPS biking computer but for a fraction of the cost !

View your statistics with any of the 15 customizable graphs available. Unlike other applications, there is no need to upload your data to a website to analyze your results so you can quickly track your progress right in the app itself.

Biky Coach will give you personalized vocal updates on race statistics through your earphones! Hear all your stats including distance, speed, calories burned, and amount of time lapsed without slowing your pace or breaking your concentration to check your phone.

Allow your friends to follow your progress on Facebook, Twitter or by mail.

Biky Coach is now compatible with ant+ fisica key and heart rate sensors.

Fiscia / Wahoo Sensor Utility £free

REQUIRES the Wahoo Sensor Key or Wahoo Sensor Case, enabled by ANT+ technology, and compatible fitness sensor. Visit for more information on compatible sensors and more information.

Wahoo Fitness App takes advantage of all of the existing ANT+ sensors in the market including power meters for cyclists. It supports automatic upload of workouts to MapMyFitness, Nike+, TrainingPeaks, Garmin Connect, Strava and also exports files via email for upload and analysis anywhere! We’ve added several new features with V2.0 including importing wirelessly from select Garmin devices and free Live telemetry via MapMyTracks.

iMobileintervals $5.99

iMobileIntervals (iMi) turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into a powerful cycling or running computer. iMi is GPS and ANT+ capable with a feature-set to beat any of the leading hardware solutions. Telemetry to webpage-embeddable widget. Optional use of speech technology or tones to guide you through your workout.

///////// HIGHLIGHTS //////////

—– Performance Data & Location —–
With the WahooFitness Fisica ANT+ accessory, see your HR, speed, pace, cadence or watts, just like the leading hardware solutions costing hundreds of $$$.
Uses GPS for speed/distance/pace if no ANT+ stride, speed or speed-sending power sensor is detected.
Moving map of athlete’s location.
Telemetry: Send live data, viewable in embeddable widget or custom page. Includes a moving map. Not dependent on WahooFitness accessory.
All brands of ANT+ wireless stride sensors, speed sensors and powermeters are supported by the WahooFitness accessory.
Direct upload of data and route to Nike+, including heart rate.
Sync .fit file to your Dropbox (useful for Garmin Connect or WKO+)
TrainingPeaks workout calendar integration, both reading workouts and sending results: Automatically log completed workouts directly to TrainingPeaks, and see your data graphed immediately.
iPhone GPS Location track data logged to TrainingPeaks and Nike+.
Works offline; app saves multiple workout sessions and reports when network becomes available.

Livecycling $12.99 OUCH

You can view the full list of compatible devices on the LiveCycling website.
Your iPhone will turn into an high quality Cycle Computer!

What LiveCycling can do:
– Display the Heart rate and Speed/Cadence data in real-time
– Display the chart of Heart rate and Speed/Cadence data in real-time
– Register multiple bicycles and save each sensor and odometer
– Log Speed, Cadence, Heart rate and GPS
– Display the training log on the MAP
– Display the chart of the training log
– Display KML maps
– Display the total travel distance

not as versatile expensive but a nice bike display

Rubitrack $free

Turn your iPhone 3GS and 3G into a fully fledged activity recorder with rubiTrack Recorder! With rubiTrack Recorder you can record all your outdoor activities like biking, running, walking and hiking.

* Features

The activity recorder displays a live track preview with optional maps background with compass arrow and elevation chart. rubiTrack Recorder lets you lock the device so you can put it in a pocket during the recording. The history lets you quickly review and compare done activities showing their most important data and instant track and elevation charts.

In conjunction with the Fisica dongle by Wahoo Fitness and compatible ANT+ sensors, rubiTrack records and saves sensor data from heart rate, cadence, speed, power and footpod sensors.

rubiTrack Recorder directly uploads to rubiTrack for Mac via Wi-Fi without having to upload your data to an online web service.

Bike app for the iPhone

from Guardian

One of the main attractions of an iPhone, for me, was the thought of using it as a backup cycling satnav. First, I found the piece of kit I needed – an iPhone bike-mount, which holds the handset in a kind of plastic vice – at a price I liked: £20 on eBay. There is also the pelican 1015i case I think which has a clear lid and is pretty indestructible for mtb use …… The whole lot then clips firmly on to a mounting on the handlebars, padded to protect everything against vibration. It still takes a bit of a battering on bumpy roads, but so far my phone seems to have emerged unscathed.

The next issue was which app I was going to use. You could make do with the inbuilt Google maps, but following that little blue dot while coping with traffic isn’t really feasible, so I bought the £19.99 CoPilot Live app over the more high-profile £49.99 TomTom. It works pretty well, with a clear 3D display which is easy to see, even in bright sunlight. There’s a cycle mode, which is pretty savvy about cycle paths and bike shortcuts. In theory you can even tell it to avoid main roads, although it doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference for journeys around central London. You can search for your destination using postcodes, addresses or via the map, and there’s also a pretty comprehensive list of major landmarks.

Oh for a rotation lock, though! When you’re throwing your bike around, the display does flip upside down, which is enraging. And it does pick some pretty eccentric routes, displaying a particular penchant for touring south London council estates. (I’ve heard, anecdotally, that the TomTom’s algorithm for route-planning is better.) It’s also a bit on the sluggish side – although that may be because I’m using a geriatric iPhone 3G – which can present something of a problem on winding backstreets. And of course, the first sign of rain and the whole game is off.

More recently, I’ve been using Fullpower-MotionX’s simpler MotionX app, which gives you a compass and an arrow pointing in the direction of your destination, with the cyclist deciding the actual route. If you want a bit more freedom and you’re not in a particular hurry, it’s a great alternative.

Given satnav companies’ obsession with keeping motorists up to date on, say, speed cameras, it would be nice to see a few more bike-friendly options. How about telling us where the nearest set of racks to our destination are, for example? Or maybe a directory of cycle shops and repair centres?

What are your tips and tricks for urban satnaving? And what features would you like to see on the next generation of apps?

bike apps

We are getting blessed and cycling advocacy can only improve …

Sustrans launched its new iPhone app yesterday and it went straight to the top of the iTunes navigation chart for free apps.

The app is a mobile version of the National Cycle Network maps on the Sustrans website. Useful for planning journeys – especially on the larger screen of the iPad – the National Cycle Network app was created by Alan Paxton of Isomaly, who also produced the Cyclestreets app.

Cyclists now have a whole arsenal of journey planning apps so they can route away from busy roads.

The Bike Hub app – funded by the cycle industry’s levy fund and available for iPhone and Android – is also a satnav, helping cyclists navigate as they ride.

With the increasing number of bike-specific apps – for performance monitoring as well as navigation – smartphone savvy bike retailers are benefitting from the creation of a whole new product category: handlebar phone holders. There are now a number on the market such as those from NC-17Biologic , Minoura, and iBike

iPhone iPad app to make your sailing better

Best sailing tool might not be a gps or amazing fitness – it may be post race analysis to see where you are poorest … tactics. This is fascinating for sailors wanting to improve. I was watching a series the other night on my my iPad and it was really interesting to see why the goog always rise to the top. Was watching on particular race series and enjoyed one were a guy who was pretty good had a bad second race start … was interesting to see how he tacked his way out of trouble on the first leg. See their home page here


We’d all like to improve our sailing, but often it’s hard to really know what to improve. On a typical weekend, the good guys are quickly in front and there is no way to tell what they are doing right and you wrong.

Sometimes a race is lost on a “bad leg”, but what actually happened and what went exactly went wrong? Often we never find out. How do we identify our current weakest point of sailing that we should be attending to first? What is needed is information; hard facts, that are often not available to you on the race course.

With the availability of inexpensive GPS tracking devices, such as the QStarz BT-Q1000X,  it’s now easy to record a boat’s track around the course. And with TackTracker, you can play your GPS tracks and watch the race again, as it happened or navigate tack by tack.

But TackTracker is much more than just a player. It is a race analyser, and can give us leg by leg information on how far we have sailed, how fast we were going, and how high we pointed on both port and starboard tack.TackTracker can even deduce the ambient wind direction, and indicate which tack a boat is on at any time, and whether it was close hauled, reaching or running!

Its fun to play your track around the course, and there are plenty of things to learn. The real value is attained when a number of sailors get together and share their tracks with each other. Then you can ascertain who travelled the shortest distance on the windward leg, who was sailing fastest, and who highest. At moments in the race where you may have fallen back, you can see what you were doing in relation to the other boats you were competing with.


A Complete GPS Solution

TackTracker is designed to deliver a complete solution, streamlining and automating the entire process from uploading tracks into the software, archiving and managing tracks, to viewing and playing tracks.

The track browser maintains a library of your tracks organised by date, so you can easily find tracks from past races.  You can select individual tracks, or an event (race) which may contain multiple tracks. As each track or event is selected, it is displayed in the track player.

The track player has a group of navigation buttons at the bottom, which you can use to drive your boat around the course. You can also press “Play” and sit back and watch. Then speed up and slow down the action as required.

The track player lets you pan and zoom with the mouse, or you can turn on “auto zoom” to have the player automatically track the race boats. You can also drag the mouse to create a distance and bearing meter allowing you to assess the separation between boats at any point.

Races are defined in the “Event Editor”, where you set the start time and lay the course marks. This is all done graphically, allowing you to define the course in a matter of minutes. Once the course is defined, all participating tracks are analysed and all race legs computed. The Legs table gives you a summary of all the key statistics for each leg for each competitor.


You can sort the table by any column to compare results for any leg or competitor. Powerful!

TackTracker also has a great range of interactive charts that provide additional insight into your boat’s performance. The speed chart shows boat speed over the course of the current leg, whilst the deviation chart shows how high or low you are sailing to the true course. Together, these charts are an effective visual summary of your sailing efficiency.

The vertical bar indicates your current location. As your boats progress through the leg, the bar moves to the right. Alternatively, you can drag the bar with the mouse, and the boats will follow. (My daughter says this is really cool!)

There’s lots more to TackTracker, but this will serve as a quick introduction.

To learn more, the best thing you can do is download and install the free race player from the Download page. You can watch and interact with races available online that have been recorded at regattas for a range of classes. You can also read the User Guide, available from here.

I hope you have fun using TackTracker and that it helps you improve your sailing.


For a limited time, the TackTracker Player App is a FREE download from the Apple App Store.  Go to the App Store

New! You can now get a TrackTracker Player for your iPhone and iPad. You can browse the online races database and play and review all the racing from the convenience of your handheld device, wherever you are.  You’ll be impressed by the full-featured player with multi-touch panning and zooming and all the familiar graphics from the PC players. Includes a full regatta browser, competitor selection, and leg by leg stats and charts. See stats and charts for any two competitors side by side.

This new player is the first manifestation of a significant investment TackTracker is making in the Apple platform. We now have all the core software running natively in Apple’s application frameworks. Stay tuned for more to come.

iPhone Screen Shots


Searchable Regatta Index. Tap any Regatta to see the Regatta detail, including a photo and list of races.
Player: Note you can tap in the player to hide the top navigation bar.


 iPad Screen Shot

The iPad is a wonderful medium for TackTracker, with plenty of screen real estate for a compelling replay wherever you are.


Brompton Globe Trotter (youtube)

blurb info

If you thought Sadaam’s legacy was something you could smell in the air, you would be wrong. He’s gone and the city is now rebuilt and bold once again. Doesn’t mean they care about me, the humble cyclist though. What a novelty I was on those roads

Just came across this guy on YouTube and his Brompton GlobeTrotter Channel. Basic info is he’s a steward and takes his bike wherever he goes ….. this one the first is Kuwait – but there are others in Lagos, Nigeria and the Bahamas ….

Seems to be filmed on something basic like an iPhone but interesting never the less. Really should get himself something dainty like the olympus pen with a fixed 17mm lens …. in fact might suggest that to him.

Will post the more interesting video here but if you cant wait then access him here …..

Pace Calculator app by Runners ally

Found this last night a really handy app for pace calculation as well as being a predictor for race times over different distances. I based this on my last race and must say it predicts a 3h00 marathon time which is frankly very flattering. But although it is just a guide it also is quite motivational and makes me want to enter and train for one.
If I do enter a marathon my only desire is to beat my brother-in-law’s time which was 3H31 and he is 10 years younger than me.

I have done a half marathon before and did a 1H42 with no training and crappy running gear.

Will have to check my work schedule and see what I can do.

GPS Running and Biking apps for the iPhone a recap

screen grab

I did a brief review of apps a while back – thought it was time that I reviewed the ones that still stay on my iPhone …


I paid for this app – it is a great sub for a dedicated gps unit. It is very quick to pick up signals and lock on to the satellite signal. If you are buying an app as a dedicated gps then this is the one. For purely cycling or running there may be better.


See here


A more basic gps application. Screen comes up horizontal layout which is a better use of space on the screen. The top shows duration – centre shows speed with odometer below. On the left there is an average speed display and a maximum speed display. On the right is a trip display and a large  Start button which once pressed turns into a STOP button. Ease of Use is the primary benefit. Tracks can be saved and also uploaded to everytrail



A good gps unit equally good for biking or running. I have done 2 screengrabs. It is a vertical display on black background that is easy to read.

Vitals shows Speed and Distance and Duration. Good for cycling.

Stats Screen

Stats shows avg pace / avg speed and odometer


Downloaded for trial. Not one I will describe and recommend here.


Another good vertical display. Again more for bikes. Display shows Elapsed Time / Distance / Average Speed and Current Speed. Bottom half of screen is map display. Again this can be uploaded to GPSies where there are tools and tracks to share. While app is quite basic the website is versatile.


map screen

As it says on the app – running is in the name itself. Two screen displays – a read out of time avg pace and calories at the top and a map below.

split screen

Second screen shows /min splits. I believe in the pro version you can change this to /km splits. A good running app which will serve most runners well.








A really nice running app – I like the display and the readouts on this app – think it is the nicest app for running.

Display shows Distance / Time / Pace / Calories

Below it shows splits showing altitude climbed and /km splits. You can them email your route – it attaches a gpx file and also allows you to see the route in Google Earth.










Not so much a gps tracker as a track finder – finding routes in an area that you are visiting or living. Can display in vertical or horizontal format.