A cyclist and app developer has come up with an iPhone app that sends out an alert if a disaster such as a crash happens while you're out for a ride.
Ross McCracken says the idea for Find Me Fast "came from riding in deserted and quiet areas alone whilst thinking: 'If I crashed over that barrier or into that ditch would anyone find me?'"
The way it works is simple. You activate the app at the beginning of your ride and if it doesn't detect motion for a set time it sounds an audible alarm on your phone. If you don't respond to that alarm, the app sends a text to your chosen emergency contact with your location and a link to Google Maps.
There is also a manual SOS option. With two clicks the user can send the nature of their emergency and their location to call for assistance. "Easier, quicker and more accurate than trying to explain over the phone where you are!" says McCracken.
You can use location-sharing apps such as Glympse, or the ride-following function of the most recent Garmin GPS units so that someone at home can keep an eye on where you are, but we like the idea of an app that sends an alert if you're stationary for too long. Just don't leave your phone in your saddle bag at a pub stop.
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.