Friday, September 18, 2009
I've been known to strap any or all available dodads or trinkets on my bike and/or body in an effort to "improve/remember/store/share" the "workout/experience". But when it comes down to it - the rides that are most enjoyable are totally unemcumbered by all the above.
I somehow became a proud?/confused/inept owner of an iPhone 3Gs. I was told by many this would be a life-changing experience. Well, sorry to say it wasn't. Either I'm too old/dumb or the learning curve is just too iSteep. Or maybe I just don't want my life changed?
While looking for road rides on a recent trip to western Virginia I stumbled upon this site. They offer a nice little iPhone app called iMapMyRide. The basic version is free, the "advanced" version is $4.99. Since I usually ride w/the phone anyway I figured I'd give it a try. So after a few short jaunts I figured I'd give the phone and app a test on a longer ride.
JB vs iPhone battery. The ride was really a test of the battery life. Could I outlast the battery?
Rolled out at just before sunrise to try and avoid as much of the Friday vehicle madness as possible. A little over 5 hours into the ride the I got the battery low signal. I still had a few miles to go. Then the signal again at 5hrs and 15 minutes. Battery power was at less than %5 so I plugged in an extra battery supply and finished the ride. JB 1, iPhone battery 0.
The route is instantly uploaded. All you have to do is press save, and be in range of a wireless network. It'll be on the interwebs before you can get to your computer :
- Accurate mapping, as good as any GPS I've tried, and I've had a few.
- Fast effortless uploading.
- The advanced version lets you snap pictures with the iPhone that wil upload with the route. Then you can click the camera icon on the map (you'll need to click "view full screen" to see those)
- Battery life. Stock iPhone battery seems yo last 5-5.5 hrs. So if you're gonna ride longer you'll need to get an extra power source, There's plenty out there.
- Interruption. A phone call or text message will interrupt the app, and it'll need to be restarted. See the dotted blue line ------->
- They say you can edit it online, but that's not very smooth or easy at this point.
- You can't edit the pictures you take before uploading them.
Final verdict - A great app to have if you iRoll with your iPhone anyway. Especially useful if you ride away from home on unfamiliar roads. If you want a GPS as a dedicated training aid, it'd probably best to get a separate one, but you're gonna have to pay.