A cycle route finding iPhone app aimed at helping new and hesitant cyclists has proved a big hit.
As we reported at the weekend, the Bike Hub Journey Planner was released just last Saturday night. By Monday evening it was in fourth place on the navigational section of the iTunes free apps list.
The app was produced for the Bicycle Association of Great Britain to a specification designed by Carlton Reid, editor of the new Bike Hub website. It’s free because it was paid for by the Bike Hub Levy, a voluntary levy on most of the bikes and accessories sold in UK bike shops. The money raised is used to pay for projects that promote cycling.
It’s the first UK-wide journey planner to use the cycle-specific route functionality of cycle routing website CycleStreets, which uses algorithms to find the best routes for cyclists, including off-road routes and cycle paths. Users choose whether the route to be planned is for confident, fast city cyclists or slower recreational riders.
As well as routing, the app will point you towards your nearest bike shop. There’s also a bike events calendar, a news section and more detailed articles about topics like cycling and the law, and the cycle to work scheme. You’ll find more detailed information on the Bike Hub.
From later this week the app will have a new feature: drop pin navigation, which will make life easier for those who don’t know the postcode or spelling of their chosen destination.
But it’s the next step of development that’s exciting Carlton Reid. He said, “We’re about three months away from turning the iPhone into a proper voice-based sat nav for cyclists so you’ll be able to clip your iPhone onto your handlebars and follow voice instructions.”
Perhaps the best news of all is that cycling commentator Phil Liggett has agreed to voice the instructions. Although there will probably be a small fee to pay for the privilege of having Phil telling you which way to go in his inimitable way, it’s surely worth it.