The best tools for your phone

Nobody’s glued to their computer. And with that, we thought we’d post our favorite smartphone tech tools for when you’re out on the road and on your bike!

Find your route: Ride the City.com

1. Where to go – and how to get there? Looking for the best way to bike from point A to point B; or, just a new route that’s less hectic or more bike-friendly? The best map for biking in NYC is Ride the City.

They have a very clean mobile website, as well as apps in both iTunes and Android OS. Simply enter in your start and end locations and Ride the City will tell you the bike-friendly routes to get there. Moreover, RTC offers you options for your experience. If you want bike lanes only, choose easy. If you want the most direct route, you can choose that, too.

Better than Google Maps, Ride the City is a bike map by New York City riders, for New York City riders.

2. How far did I go? Whether casual or competitive, for measuring the distance, speed – and even calories burned – MapMyRide is our tech pick. The GPS integration works accurately, capturing route and even elevation. (For those of you who ride uptown, you can measure the hills you’ve climbed.)

Track your fitness with MapMyRide

Available for both Android and iPhone, within the app you can choose to track your ride, then save the route for later, or review and remove it. A nice comparison for viewing your progress over time. Plus, if you’re into serious training, MapMyRide is part of the MapMyFITNESS line for running, walking or other exercise – your activities can be tracked with one tool.

Note that in iTunes, due to naming issues we’re supposing, the app has an extra “i”: iMapMyRide.

A side highlight: MapMyRide has several features for social sharing. We’re working now to see how we might integrate them into our site, for our customers looking for new routes – and riding friends!

3. How can I coordinate a group ride? Speaking of riding with others, hooray for the Brits. From the high-end Rapha line of cycling clothing is Rendezvous, an app for coordinating rides and group meet-ups.

Rather than texting a group of people and constantly checking in, the Rendezvous app allows you to browse upcoming rides (public or private, depending on your settings and permissions) that you might be interested in joining – plus see who’s going, and how to RSVP.

Rapha's Rendezvous app simplifies group rides

During the ride, you can message your status and location, so others know how to meet up with you along the way. Initial reviews show some challenges with the app running smoothly, but with Rapha behind the wheel, we’re guessing they’ll iron it all out soon. And when it comes to cycling in the New York area, we’re all for simplifying the communication around group rides!

The only app we’re still waiting for is a clean, easy-to-use tool for on-the-road repairs. Until someone creates one, here’s a link to a page on our website for tips on how to change a flat.

What do you think? We’d love your suggestions for other tools you use when you’re out on your bike!

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About bicyclehabitat

New York City's neighborhood bike store since 1978
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