Planning a cycle journey with Bike Hub’s iPhone app

Bike Hub Icon 1

Tomorrow I’m heading to London for the Knog party at Look Mum No Hands, the new bike shop cum espresso emporium that seems to get more than its fair share of launch parties (so must be doing something right).

I know where it is. Roughly. And I could easily find it with Google maps on my iPhone. But why use car-centric mapping when I can use the Bike Hub cycle journey planner? I commissioned this app and am bursting to get it out there. I have a beta version installed on my iPhone. Bike Hub Version 1.0 is submitted to the iTunes App Store later today and all iPhone users will be able to get their hands on it very soon.

It’s a free app yet actually cost a load of cash to develop. iPhone users can thank the Bike Hub levy for the freeness of the app. [Next task is to create an Android version of the app so other smartphone users can be happy, too].

As well as the cycle journey planning – which, of course, uses and OpenCycleMap – the app locates nearest bike shops. Here’s a few screenshots of how I planned a cycle journey from Kings Cross to Look Mum No Hands.

SEARCH (using placenames, although could have also used postcodes):


QUIETEST ROUTE (routing engine here uses some waymarked cycle routes, but not religiously):


SAVED FOR USE TOMORROW (I’ve favourited ‘quietest’ and ‘fastest’ and will see how late I’m running tomorrow before choosing which route to take):


ELEVATION PROFILE (I have some climbing to do):


LONDON CYCLE HIRE POINTS (the app has lots of extra features like this, such as feature articles on the Cycle to Work scheme, cycling and the law, and other such goodness):



Follow Bike Hub on Twitter (it’s me) to get first news of the app’s successful release and info on updates.

Small but perfectly formed

My body has been back from Idaho’s Press Camp since the weekend. My brain has today joined it. Long-haul flying is bad for the planet, and not terribly good for one’s sleep health, either.

It might seem crazy flying half way across the world to see the latest products for the transport choice that boasts of zero-emissions. It is crazy. I feel guilty…but then I remember the riding.

Riding somewhere different opens your eyes to the ride opportunities on your doorstep. I hope. Apart from the short journey to school and back with my kids, I’ve done precious little riding since I got back from Press Camp.

And this is what I’m missing:

Press Camp 2009 from on Vimeo.

MTB and road action from Press Camp, Sun Valley Resort, Idaho. 20 journalists. 12 suppliers: Pedro’s; Smith Optics; Gore Ride On; Blue Competition Cycles; Gore Bike Wear; DT Swiss; CSG (GT, Cannondale, Sugoi, Mongoose, Schwinn); Saris; Lazer helmets; BMC; Hutchinson; Scott.

Dopey docs say maltodextrin is next

Caffeine is known to be a performance enhancing drug and, in bonkers quantities, was previously on WADA’s list of prohibited substances. Currently it’s on WADA’s ‘watch list’ but, clearly, preventing pro cyclists from taking on a double espresso or three at the Tour de France’s village depart is a big no-no.

Caffeine is not just found in coffee, it’s also now a staple in energy gels.

So, the report headlined ‘Caffeine use common in athletes’ is hardly ground-breaking stuff. The report is based on a study by researchers from Liverpool John Moores University, published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine.

“A third of track and field athletes and 60% of cyclists reported taking caffeine before competing.”

The BBC quotes Mark Stuart , a pharmacist for the Sydney Olympics, who said:

“There still seems to be some scope for athletes to exploit commonly available dietary supplements, such as caffeine, with minimal consequence.”

So, next time you pass a Starbucks at the start of a ride, keep on passing, the dope docs have got their eye on you.

And stop using energy powders in your water bottles. Maltodextrin is a performance enhancing substance and, to sports purists, really ought to be considered ethically unclean, and banned.