But sometimes you don't feel like going back and rethinking every twist and turn you took, just to find out the mileage you rode, right?
iPhone to the rescue! It's quickly becoming apparent that every day applications are being created for the iPhone that make life unbelievably convenient - and this is one of them. I've found another use for my precious!
There are several bike related applications for the iPhone, but this one was free and the interface seemed to look pretty nice, so I signed up. To use this application, you need to create an account at EveryTrail. This allows the bike computer to record your statistics/ride, and export it to your computer. When you login, you can then review your ride, keeping track of elevation, average speed, and all other types of things. It's quite a nifty feature.
For all its convenience, bells + whistles... the application isn't perfect. So, for those looking for atomic-clock accuracy, you're better off with an actual bike-computer. The application relies on the GPS function of your phone and updates the computer with your position, relative to time elapsed.
When I reviewed some of my routes, it shows quite a bit of meandering when I'm supposedly stopped at a light. To make up for this, sometimes it shows my maximum speed at well over 50 miles per hour. While I'm certainly an experienced cyclist - I know I'm not riding that fast.
Utilizing this feature also requires that you mount your iPhone on to your bicycle so that you can view it. There are several affordable mounts on the market, but I can't speak for their security or durability. I have serious qualms about mounting a $300 electronic device on my bike. I'm not sure about the rattling, as well because I ride at night - I'm afraid it might be a neon sign inviting a mugging.
So when I've used it - I just slipped it in my phone pouch mounted on the front strap of my messenger bag.
So to review - the pros
- It's free
- It's easy to use
- Great web interface
- Fancy features provided by EveryTrail, including watching the progress of your ride in sped up time
- Very nice display on the screen
- Poor accuracy
- Risks inherent in mounting your iPhone to your bike
- Sucks up battery