Tracking Biking Activity
It seems like everywhere you go, bike lanes are being created and bike docks are being built. Biking is inexpensive and doesn’t require a gym membership; it’s a great way to blast calories and drop a pants size. Biking apps, sometimes referred to as cycling apps, and some fitness trackers provide helpful knowledge about your rides. To get the most from your app, you’ll need a mobile device with GPS so you can track distance. Apps provide a wealth of information regarding your progress using charts, graphs, and mapped routes. Higher end devices with barometers even allow for information on elevation. Track calories burned, speed traveled, and duration, and even compete with others using an app. What is covered here is just a sampling of some popular apps that are available. Each app offers a variety of bells and whistles. Explore other apps on the Google Play Store and the App Store and search online for the best biking/cycling apps.
Apple Health App
If you have an iPhone, you might already have what you need to track basic cycling data. The Apple Health app can track your cycling distance and calculate your cycling average for the day, week, month, and year.
- Open the Health app, and then tap Health Data.
Tap Cycling Distance.
Tap Show on Dashboard to the On position. The toggle switch should show green.
Tap Dashboard to view your Cycling data, and then start cycling. You do not have to be in the app for the data to be captured. The Health app is able to detect which activity you are performing.
Many of the Fitbit trackers are designed for walking, running, steps, and general household activities. The Fitbit Surge offers GPS bike tracking, which enables you to view summaries including distance, elapsed time, average speed, average heart rate, and calories burned. If you use the Fitbit app, you can see all the stats except elevation. You have to view that stat using your Fitbit account on your computer.
The SmartTrack feature enables the Fitbit Surge to automatically recognize and record your activities such as running or walking, but it does not record GPS data, which is important in biking to calculate distance and other precise stats such as pace. You need to put your Surge into specific exercise modes to get the most precise information. The GPS data will then appear on a map in your Fitbit Dashboard.
The Google Fit app uses your phone’s motion sensors and GPS to track biking distance, duration, and calories burned. You can also view your biking route on a Google map and view elevation data in real time. For the most accurate data collection, put your phone in a sport armband or in a pocket rather than in a backpack or mounted on your bike.
Open the Fit app; on the main screen, tap the plus button.
Tap Start activity. A list of activities appears.
Tap Start to begin biking and view your route on a Google map. A countdown begins and a voice says “Session started.”
Tap Pause to pause the session.
Tap the Stop button to stop the activity and view a summary of your workout data.
The S Health app lets you set distance targets for cycling, enables you to monitor trends with graphs, and lets you record and select previous routes. To keep you motivated, S Health also offers audio coaching messages when you select routes and other targets. You can receive audio notifications at intervals during your ride about the duration, distance, and other information. You can even specify the intervals for notifications. For example, the default notification interval is 1 mile, but you can change it to half a mile, 5 miles, 5 minutes, or other options.
Open the S Health app, and on the main screen scroll down and tap Manage Items. A list of trackers appears.
- Tap Cycling to the On position. The toggle switch turns from gray to blue.
Tap the arrow to return to the previous screen. The Cycling Tracker appears.
Tap Start for the Cycling tracker. S Health pinpoints your location on a Google map.
- Tap the plus sign to change the distance target.
- Tap the musical note to listen to music while cycling.
- Tap More to hear audio notifications at selected times during your workout including duration, distance, and other information.
Tap Start and begin tracking your cycling activity. A countdown starts, and then your activity begins. A Pause button appears, allowing you to pause the exercise, and then you can tap Stop to end the activity and view a summary of your workout.