While some riders are happy finding their own way down a trail or up a winding road, increasingly they ride with digital mapping apps on their mobile phones. Like bicycles for every taste, biking apps are designed to appeal to different kinds of users.
Ride with GPS
A favorite with members of the Sacramento Bike Hikers club, Ride with GPS allows you to seek and find rides others have done worldwide, design your own rides, download rides and let the app navigate for you with voice directions, and catalog your rides, along with associated photos, in the “library.”
Strava is popular with riders who like to compare their performance or share their accomplishments with other athletes. It tracks and analyzes effort, synchs other devices and shares your location with loved ones. It allows users to see how popular a certain route is and who is leading the pack for a particular route segment at any given time.
One of the first cycling apps, Mapmyride can find and map a route and record a ride’s date, distance, time and elevation. It allows you to share your rides with other users. As with several other apps, paid subscribers get additional bells and whistles, including training plans and coaching, heart rate analysis and more.
The ubiquitous Google Maps app reports a surge in use by bicyclists during the pandemic and has worked to update its maps to reflect cities’ expanded bike lane development. The app will guide you to your destination via established bike routes and paved trails and, in participating cities, include bike-share locations.
This mountain biking trail database, map and management system allows riders to develop, plan and share their activities. It boasts tracking 443,478 miles of 342,924 trails in 123 countries. It gives trail condition status based on user reports and expected weather conditions and grades routes by level of difficulty.
Like Trailforks, MTB Project is an app that allows users to find mountain bike trails submitted by other users and sort them by difficulty, distance, elevation, trail type and other filters. The app gives riders the opportunity to add their own trails and is designed to work offline if you lose your cell signal.