I was slow to get an iPhone, but I’ve been quick to make use of its dizzying array of applications.
Like a kid with a new toy, I’ve downloaded dozens of apps — most of them free — that allow me to do such things as calculate tips in a restaurant, find discounts available through the American Automobile Association and listen to radio stations around the world wherever I have a cellphone signal.
One of my first tasks, of course, was to troll the Apple App Store for applications of use to a cyclist. Several are free, but most cost anywhere from $2.99 to $9.99. And some seemed so arcane that I didn’t think they’d be of much use to me, such as the Bicycle Gear Calculator for $4.99.
I settled on a free one called iMapMyRide, which I tried out on Friday during a leisurely 23-mile ride through Fort Worth with a neighbor. It seemed to work beautifully.
As you start your ride, you simply tap the application icon on the iPhone screen, tap “Record a workout” and then tap “Start.”
The app knows where you are because of the GPS function in the iPhone. With that as the starting point, it then tracks your progress on a map throughout the ride.
At the end of the ride, you tap “Finish,” and the application records the time of the finish, the elapsed time of the ride and the distance covered. It also provides a visual display of the route and an elevation profile.
All of that syncs with the Web site MapMyRide.com, accessible on a home computer.
On small drawback: The app has to be open on the iPhone to record your ride, and an incoming phone call will interrupt it. But then you can tap “Resume” to restart the application.
I’ve previously relied on paper training logs or an online one that was initially free but later cost $25 per year. The iMapMyRide seems a very good substitute — and free is good.
The wonders of technology!