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Monitor cycling workouts with Strava on the iPhone

13th February 2012   

Cycling is a great form of exercise Ė just you, your bike, the open road and fresh air. One of the great things about cycling is that you can stop peddling, sit and have a rest any time you like!

Going up hills is hard, but going down the other side takes no effort at all and it gives you time to get your breath back. How many other forms of exercise do you know that you can do sitting down?

Strava Cycling is one of those apps that use the GPS in your iPhone to determine your exact location in the world and then to track your movement over time. The idea is that you start it going and then set off on your bike ride. When you get back you stop it.

Like many other apps of this type, it displays fascinating statistics about your ride, such as the ride time, distance and average speed. It also shows the maximum speed achieved during the ride and the elevation Ė the height climbed. Itís all very interesting and it is useful for monitoring your fitness and training progress.

Strava Cycling   Strava Cycling   Strava Cycling

It logs all your rides and you can look back on them to see how you have been doing. Your details are stored at the Strava website and you can log on to it using your computer to access extra features, create a profile, see more information about your rides, and so on.

The most interesting feature is the social side. Tap the Explore button and the app works out your location in the world and displays a Google map. You can see rides that others have done as flags on the map.

Tapping one of these flags displays details about the ride and a larger map. This means that you can find rides in your local area wherever you may be, and you can also see how fast others have done it. You can then compare yourself to them, see if you can beat their best time, and so on.

The website seems to have more features than the app. Most of the rides on the map in the app appear to be short sprints, yet I was able to search for activities on the website and find long rides. Itís a shame you canít do this from within the app, or at least I can't see how, but you can still use the app to plan and record your own rides though, and before you set out you can always search for rides on the website.

This is a great app for serious cyclists and the competitive aspect will improve your strength and fitness.

To get the app: Go to the App Store on your iPhone and search for 'Strava Cycling'.