There’s an app for that
Four popular apps for mountain bikers
Free (Premium membership $6.99/mo)
Strava is the best known app among mountain bikers — spend five minutes in the Lunch Loops parking lot and you’ll no doubt see bikers pressing start/stop on their phones before/after their rides. Strava is a simple to use, but powerful app that tracks the vital stats of your ride via GPS and enables you to compare your time on “segments” (user defined stretches of trail) with others. The app is a love it or hate it phenomenon within the cycling community. Some are addicted and others despise it for encouraging poor etiquette and “racing” on public trails. Premium membership gets you more in-depth analysis of your rides, and allows pairing of training aides such as heart rate monitors and power meters.
Endomondo — Free (Pro $4.99)
Similar to Strava, Endomondo is a multi-sport app that can track virtually any outdoor activity you do. It lacks the public competition aspect of Strava, but you can compare your own efforts on predefined sections of trail. Pro version adds an “Audio Coach” to keep you motivated during your workout.
MapMyRide — Free (Plus Version $2.99)
MapMyRide is all about — you guessed it — mapping your rides. In addition to tracking speed, distance, time, and even calories, it also allows you to explore popular rides and routes in your area or wherever you may be — handy for those who travel frequently. The Plus version removes ads, adds music controls, and integrates with your smartphone’s camera.
AllTrails — Free (Pro membership $49.99/yr)
AllTrails is a handy little free app that has an extensive catalog of hiking and biking trails all over the country. You can filter the results by activity, difficulty, and rating (among other parameters). This app came in handy on a recent trip to Sedona; within a few minutes I found trail info as well as directions to the trail head. Pro membership offers downloadable maps for offline use.
— Noah Sears