Biking? There’s an App for That

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It’s hard to find anyone today who doesn’t depend on technology. Each of us has our favorite devices or applications that we can’t imagine being without. Over the coming months, I want to have conversations with women throughout the area to find out just how they use technology to make their lives fuller, more organized or just plain more fun! I thought I would get the ball rolling by telling you about the application I found last summer when I started bike riding. Since I hadn’t ridden in more than 20 years and I live in the country, I needed a way to find a route to ride that wasn’t too long or too difficult. I tried using Google Maps to create a route and that was possible, but really not very easy. One day a friend suggested MapMyRide.com. I was immediately sold! Not only was it easy to map a ride, I could see the elevations along the way (I live at the top of a hill, so there’s no avoiding hills) I could also see rides that others had mapped in my area and sort them by distance. The next step was to download the free application to my Droid. That was really the icing on the cake! Now when I head out for a ride, I load the application and tell it to start recording. The application uses the GPS on my phone to figure out where I am and track me along the way. When I get back home, I stop the recording and save the ride. All of the details are uploaded to the website and recorded on my workout calendar. The site tracks my progress ― total miles ridden each month, calories burned and even my weight if I choose to enter it. I can also enter workouts manually, which is a great feature when I am riding my stationary bike inside on rainy days or during the winter. You can also set goals and enter your own challenge. Early on, I set a challenge of riding 300 miles in 30 days. When I logged in, the site showed me the progress I had made toward the goal, and I received e-mails once a week letting me know how much farther I needed to go to meet it. It was easy to reach it with the regular reminders and encouragement! Recent updates and a paid subscription (everything I’ve mentioned so far is absolutely free) gave me the ability to print my ride so I can take a map with me easily. Since I’m riding 30 – 55 miles these days and on roads that aren’t familiar to me, that’s important. You can bet I will be using these features throughout the spring and summer as I set goals and explore more areas around my house. I’ve never been one to embrace exercise, but this site makes it fun! If you are a runner and not a bicyclist, check out MapMyRun.com. It’s a nearly identical site, but geared toward runners instead of bicyclists.
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Tags: linda lynch, Technology, wired women