Thursday, January 27, 2011

App yourselves

Last Saturday I rode a nice route that for some reason I don't ride often. I went out of town through the Limassol road, and then through the villages of Kalo Chorio, Ayia Anna, Psevdas and back. It's really a sight for sore eyes at this time of year since everything is green and the air is fresh and crispy. With such views of the hills I don't understand why some people hate winter and live only for the summer. Don't get me wrong, summer is all good but it gets too hot for anything, and too humid, and everything looks dead.
Anyway back to the ride. The nice constant uphill route to Psevdas should be really good for developing strength in my skinny legs. And the way back is the prize! You can easily ride with higher speed since it's - mostly - all downhill. I took a two minute break to take this lousy photo:

I also had a chance to check out the Cyclometer app for the iPhone. At 2.99GBP it's one of the most expensive apps I've bought, but it's well worth it for someone who has an iPhone and is saving money for new wheels and doesn't want to fork out for a dedicated GPS cycle computer i.e: me. The Cyclemeter uses the iPhone's GPS capabilities to display useful data like ride time, speed, average speed, maximum speed distance, elevation and location. Your ride is then stored in a very nifty calendar. You can open the calendar and access all the info for your rides, as well as your route on a map, a speed vs distance chart and an elevation vs distance chart. There is also a 'splits' record which - surprise surprise - splits the ride into each kilometre with all the aforementioned info.

Comparing the data with my computer, I found some differences. Namely, the average speed was about 1km/h less than the computer's, and the maximum speed a whopping 8km/h difference at 50.22km/h as opposed to 58-59km/h recorded by the computer. I think I trust my computer more when it comes to precision, but the Cyclemeter is a very useful app. One of the nicest features is that you can export all the data into a GPX, KML or CSV file so you can transfer in other devises I guess. My favourite option is the Google Maps link. So now you I can share my rides with you because I love you that much! :)

One of the limitations of using the Cyclemeter, is that you are depended on the iPhone's battery. Since it utilises GPS it does drain the battery faster. For the specific ride, it used a little bit more than a quarter of the battery, so for longer rides it might be a problem.

Anyway I will be using it loads more and keep you updated if I see anything else I hate or love about it.


  1. I've found that disabling 3G improved the battery life on my iPhone when running Cyclemeter or similar apps.

    I'm not sure why this works, but I suspect it might be to with the way the iPhone will use GPS data if it has a signal, or otherwise will try to get a less accurate position via 3G/Edge/GPRS. 3G tends to use more battery I guess.

    My battery always used to run out on longer (60+ miles) rides but after turning off 3G I still have some battery left by the time I get home.

    You can turn on/off 3G by going to Settings -> Network.

    Hope that helps,


  2. You're 100% right Tom. I already have the 3G disabled anyway since it messes with the gsm signal - in Cyprus anyway.