iMapMyRIDE: Best Fitness App for iPhone

Route-tracking, a live friend locator and many more great features make this free app a cyclist’s dream

Out of all fitness apps, the one that stands head and shoulders above the rest is iMapMyRIDE. It’s actually just one arm of a suite of apps from the iMapMy group, which also includes apps specifically for running, walking and hiking Since we cover running later on with the excellent Nike+ app, we thought we’d take a look at something for the two-wheeled crowd.

iMapMyRIDE is wonderfully feature-rich. The best part is the ability to track your cycling routes using the iPhone’s built-in GPS function, so you can look back at your training rides at a later date. Crucially, your saved routes give you an accurate graph of the elevation incurred on the ride, so you can see exactly where the most hill-climbing is encountered.

At the very minimum, you’ll need a sports armband to hold your iPhone, but ideally you should get a handlebar-mounted cradle so you can see how far you’ve ridden and how fast you’re going. This app replaces any cycle computer out there.

Hardcore cycling enthusiasts looking to conquer their personal bests will appreciate the voice feedback, which provides information such as how far you’ve travelled, or your current pace and speed along a route. It can all be adjusted tosuit, too.

The website offers over 25 million routes provided by its members, so if you’re not sure where’s best to go in your area, you can head to the website and search for one-just remember to select ‘Bike Ride’! The only drawback is that there’s no way to upload the routes to the app. It’d be great to actually use it as a sort of pseudo sat-nav device for a bike, so you didn’t have to think about which way to go.

Another of iMapMyRIDE’s great features is the ability to hook up with other riders and track their location in real time -so if you’re going on a long cycle journey with a group and you happen to get split up at any point, you can easily pinpoint their location and regroup. Friends who use the app can be found just by tapping in their username, or alternatively dropping them an email. Your friends don’t need an iPhone to come along for the ride, either -the app’s multi-platform.

You can keep tabs on your daily calorie consumption in the Nutrition area. It tells you how many calories you should be consuming in a day according to the physical attributes you added to the Settings area. Though not as capable as dedicated apps, it’s certainly functional. You can also flick left or right to see how much fat, protein and carbs you’re getting with your current diet. If you’re getting too much of one thing and not enough of the other, just adjust your diet to suit. Not only will you become fitter, but you’ll be healthier and probably live longer as a result!

There’s a paid version of iMapMyRIDE available too, but provided you can live with the ads every time you use the app and you don’t need music while you ride (there’s no iPod integration) then you don’t really need the splash the cash.

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