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April 8, 2014

Life meets Lumia #2: your perfect cycle partner

Velocipedists, rejoice! With the help of a great Windows Phone app, your Nokia Lumia is now equipped for miles on the road. It’ll even connect to Strava and RideWithGPS.


Last week I told you how my Lumia 925 helped me train for my first half marathon (I got 1 hour 42min, btw). However as I explained back in January, your Lumia is adept at a number of sports.

I’m also a keen cyclist and have been using a brilliant and popular app called Strava for a number of years. Unfortunately, it’s not yet available for Windows Phone (I keep my fingers crossed), so have been searching for an alternative.

Recently, I came across Cycle Tracks GPS that, from the outset, looks like any number of cycling apps. However, the trick that drew me in was its ability to connect and upload data to my existing Strava account.

If you don’t have, or use, a Strava account, don’t worry – it’s a great cycling app for Windows Phone in its own right and works in many countries.


I have my Lumia 925 attached to the handlebars of my bike (it’s a Giant FCR C, if you were wondering) using a Bestwe Universal mount, which protects the phone from the elements and allows me to interact with the screen through the plastic.

Better still, Cycle Tracks GPS has been designed with big, clear buttons to prod at when on the move. It also compliments the Windows Phone UI – just swipe up to access your ‘quick panel’ to pause, resume and stop tracking; swipe up further to bring up a more detailed menu containing settings, routes and track history.

It’s here that you can download offline maps in case of mid-ride signal loss.

During a burn, you can have voice-guided turn-by-turn guidance (this costs £7.99) and/or follow the visual route that you’ve plotted. If you drift off course, just tap the screen to advance to the next waypoint.

I also like taking photos of my rides; switching from Cycle Tracks GPS to Nokia Camera and back again is quick and gives me a visual reminder of the route (and the weather!).


Another great feature is being able to pin the app to your Start Screen to get live ride details such as time, speed and text-based directions. You can also choose to get Lock Screen ‘next turn’ notifications.


You can download pre-made routes from RideWithGPS, straight from your Lumia. Alternatively, friends can send you RideWithGPS route links in emails or SMSs, which can then be imported. Individual routes can then be posted to the Start Screen for easy access.

After a ride, you’ll be presented with detailed statistics; everything from distance and time elapsed to average speed and moving speed. These can then be uploaded to RideWithGPS and Strava. Both required a one-off payment of £0.79 and £1.29, respectively. What’s more, you can upload your rides to OneDrive.

Battery life is a huge part of any velocipedist’s life and my Lumia was more than happy spending a day on the road with me. However, with the Nokia SensorCore SDK recently launched, I can’t wait to see what next-gen apps are made in the health and fitness realm.

Now, if only there was an app to avoid punctures…