Bike Your Drive for iPhone

Wired Magazine’s Autopia blog has a list of five iPhone apps designed specifically for commuters. Among the bunch is REI’s “Bike Your Drive” app, described as follows:

The outdoorsy types at REI have a free app specifically for bike commuters. It uses the iPhone’s GPS to calculate how far you’ve gone, how many calories you’ve burned and how much gas (and money) you’ve saved by ditching the car. It also tells you how much carbon you’ve offset by hopping on two wheels instead of four. The app is simple, with a self-explanatory interface and the option to submit multiple rides for comparison. Too bad the GPS doesn’t recognize changes in altitude. For people with long climbs and quick downhills you will not get accurate numbers for the commute. Still, it’s great for gauging ride times and distances over multiple days.

It sounds pretty cool, though as a lowly iPod Touch user I can’t vouch for it first hand. If you’re a iPhone user, check out the free download at the iTunes store and let us know what you think.

Autopia

6 Responses to “Bike Your Drive for iPhone”

  • Willis says:

    I have this app on my Iphone and it was one of the first ones I downloaded when I got the phone. Its’ a great idea that works pretty well but won’t supplant your cyclocomputer for long-distance rides. The speedometer works well enough but dosen’t refresh super fast so don’t expect to ditch your computer. Second, the GPS feature works well enough but the more accurate you set the app the more quickly your battery gets drained. I usually set mine at fairly innacurrate (not that it needs to be any more accurate than I set it, usually around 15 meters for the distance filter and 15 meters of accuracy) to conserve battery life and the battery will last 3-4 hours. Like I said good for a commute but not something that will work for touring. Here is where my real dissapointment set in, I wanted to use the app for a tour becuase I think it would be a great idea. Unfortunately, Apple changed the charging technology for the Iphone 3Gs from the straightforward (5watt I think) technology utilized on the older models of Iphone. As a result, I have tried getting a charge from a solar panel, and from a dynamo emergency radio with USB output both with negative results. I don’t have a dynamo hub or bottle dynamo but I don’t think either would work to charge the Iphone 3GS simply becuase the changes that were made require a constant 5watt charge or the phone will be upset at you. Otherwise, the app is fine and none of this is the app designers issue but rather a change to the Iphone. That being said though I did have the REI app conk out on me but I went to the everytrail.com website and they offer essentially the same app (probably it is exactly the same only with everytrail logos rather than REI, and the REI app uploads your trips to the everytrail site anyway.) Oh, one final thing that is real nice….when you take pictures in the app they are automatically geocoded so when you upload your trip you can look back at the photos and see where you were….nice feature and they are saved to your phone as well so if you use photo filter apps like I do you can take the pictures and go back and manipulate them later. Here is a link to a regular trip I run from Richmond where I live to Ashland Virginia (aka- The center of the Universe-town motto, and I’m not even kidding) which is also where the East Coast Route interects with the trans-america trail. Notice the battery only gave me enough juice to record the way out on the trip and not the way home.

    http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=306924

  • Alan says:

    @Willis

    Thanks so much for the thorough review! It’s a bit of a disappointment to know the app won’t supplant a cyclometer, but it looks like fun in any case.

    Alan

  • shane says:

    I’ve been using MotionX GPS for a few weeks now. It’s really great for $3, with the ability to capture tracks, compass, music, live map and sharing on social media. Capturing, saving and sharing your tracks is very easy to do. The selection of maps is amazing from google satellite, terrain to bike centric maps with marked trails. As with most sub $90 iPhone GPS apps that don’t store maps local, MotionX GPS is still reliant on network connectivity and GPS signal. My experience with both have been good. I always have good network and GPS (usually accurate within 50′) I have an iphone mount on handlebar and simply slide my phone in/out. I have a charger at home and at work and usually plug in my phone in both places by habit, charging could be an issue on long trips.

  • David says:

    Something seems off with the iPhone app’s screenshot. According to EPA’s calculator (http://www.epa.gov/RDEE/energy-resources/calculator.html), 4.4 pounds carbon = CO2 from 0.82 gallons gas. Driving 4.54 miles on that amount of gas implies the car gets 5.5 mpg.

    I’m sure there are other carbon costs of driving to consider, but this just seems extreme. For reference, EPA’s web page uses 20.4 mpg in their calculations.

  • Molnar says:

    I also question the calories burned (is that a delta over the calories you would have burned just sitting around for that length of time, or the total?) and money saved. Both seem far too low, but it depends on your speed and eating habits.

  • Lee says:

    “I also question the calories burned”

    My opinion is that all calorie counters are irrelevant. Gina Kolata has a great article on why: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/20/health/nutrition/20BEST.html

    Best,
    Lee

 
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