5 Handy Biking Apps to Amp Up Your Ride

Ready to get going on a bike ride? These apps can help you find new routes and navigate well-worn ones.

Whether you’re tackling mountains, going off-road or cycling as a way to commute around your city, these apps can help you map out your route and provide important information for your ride.

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Google Maps

Seriously, nothing beats good ol’ Google Maps, particularly for urban cyclists — you can use it to explore your city’s bike lanes, monitor traffic and look out for any road closures. Bonus: The street view function is nifty for anxious riders who want to preview exactly what their ride will look like (guilty as charged). maps.google.com 

Toronto Cycling Map

If you’re in Toronto, this is a great resource for building a customized route. The interactive map lets you select the type of biking infrastructure you prefer (such as lanes, on-street routes, multi-use trails), and you can plan your ride around the city’s bike network. Toronto also maintains a system of winter cycling routes in the downtown core that are regularly snowplowed and salted. toronto.ca

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Strava is a popular mobile app that features detailed route maps, complete with distances and elevation information. You can build your own routes or engage its “popularity” function to browse and follow other users’ routes. If you’re new to a city or looking to explore your own, Strava also has a “heatmap” that shows you the most popular routes, as well as city guides for some major centres, like Calgary and Vancouver. strava.com


RideWithGPS’s free planner lets users search for routes by a number of metrics (like distance and elevation). The app is great for finding courses in unfamiliar locations, and all routes can be downloaded to most GPS devices and phones.  ridewithgps.com

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This offline mapping program (users can download maps) is ideal for remote routes because it will track your location in real time even without cell service. It’s also great for when you’re travelling and don’t want to pay for an overseas phone or carrier fees. maps.me

Now that you know about which apps to use on your ride, here are 4 post-ride rituals to help you relax after you go cycling. 

Originally Published in Best Health Canada