If you like to go by bike and you're one of the growing number of Android users in the UK, then good news: Cyclestreets, the Cambridge-based UK cycle routing outfit whose systems power the Bike Hub app, have released a fully-featured routing app for Android phones. It's available now on the Android Market.
CycleStreets is a social enterprise spin-off project born out of Cambridge Cycling Campaign, and they've been at the coal face of UK cycle mapping for a good while; to date, 840,000 miles of route have been planned using their technology.
There's plenty of good stuf included in the app. You can plan routes all across the UK using the road network and traffic free paths. You can switch routing between fastest, quietest, shortest and balanced options, and the app takes account of topographical data so it won't send you up the local 25% ski slope. Turn-by-turn instructions are available.
The app is postcode-searchable, with a full gazetteer and you get a choice of map styles including OpenCycleMap and OS Street View. routes up to 200 miles in length are supported, and all routes planned are saved so you can view them or use them again.
On top of that, there's useful functions to report obstructions or log cycling infrastructure such as bike parking, with the option to upload a photo to the library, already 30,000 images strong. If you're a real egghead, the project is open source and available for modification if that's the kind of thing you like to do.
"This week is Bike Week, and with lots of people trying out cycling for the first time, our app and website is a great way to find the best way around town using a bike rather than a car", said Martin Lucas-Smith, one of the project's developers. "Part of the development of this App has been funded by Cycling Scotland and it's only been possible thanks to the hard work of a team of volunteers."
An iPhone version of the app is also available, now on version 1.5, and the team are working on a mobile web version of CycleStreets for other mobile platforms.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.