To map out a safe route on new roads can be challenging — Google Maps are a good start, but sometimes additional tools are necessary. Enter Ride With GPS, with their advanced database and technical savvy to deliver one of the best ride-planning tools on the market. With the emergence of the Apple Watch as a viable bike computer, combined with 17 years of experience building web and mobile apps for cyclists of all disciplines, 2024 is a promising year for their toolset.
Ride With GPS Features:
- Ride tracking and analysis
- Extensive database of maps, terrain data (paved, gravel, dirt) and rider usage
- Extensive route planning tools for web and mobile
- Choose from various terrain maps to dig deeper into the route
- Import/export routes
- Integrations with Wahoo and Garmin head units
- iOS and Android apps with Apple Watch and Android wearables compatibility
- Price: $9.99/mo or $79.99/yr
Initial route planning success — more to come
While we all have great plans for glorious adventures. You know, the ones that involve sketchy crossing through private land or through raging streams that should have been a trickle. Even though those types of rides tell great stories, it’s great to know that you can leverage an exhaustive library of ride data that’s constantly scrubbed and ready for anything you can throw at it. With the latest buzz around Artificial Intelligence (AI), and what it will do to many industries, there’s no doubt that Ride With GPS is already employing machine learning and AI and will do even more in the future to ensure accuracy, safety and optimized suggestions based on your riding preferences and abilities.
While you can use the free version, the upgraded subscription unlocks all the goodies that set Ride With GPS apart from the pack. They generously offered a complimentary subscription just in time for an initial route test. After a summer of mechanical debacles from an auto repair shop in Sandy, Utah, they finally made things right with our vehicle. The shop is about 30 minutes from our home and on the day the everything was finally repaired, all our other vehicles were otherwise occupied. And, I saw it as the perfect opportunity for a route planning test.
I dove into the platform and quickly mapped out the route. Much of the route was familiar to me, still I wanted to see where Ride With GPS would choose route me. There had been extensive road construction through a few areas along the way and a few other diversions that were unknown which presented opportunities to trust the toolset. I headed out, trusting the process. Choosing a starting point, adding POI’s and an end point were all super quick and easy. I had it mapped out without any need for help or further documentation. It was all very intuitive.
One of the most recent platform features for iOS is the use of Lock Screen Widgets. Using them requires minimal battery draw and maintains important data right on the Lock Screen without having to fiddle with Face or TouchID while wearing gloves, sunglasses and helmets. Here’s an example of what to expect when you grab your iPhone.
While you may have a handlebar mount, I just tossed my phone into my right jersey pocket (as usual) and turned the volume all the way up. In my pocket, I could still hear the audible queues, but not as loud as I needed at times. On one particular occasion, I was impressed with the real-time route guidance as I veered off course for less than .25 miles. I was notified almost immediately upon leaving the main path for a connecting side road — something that can become even more important should that side road be a dead end or a wrong way.
In the end, I was successful in navigating the almost 30-mile route to pick up our vehicle. I would say that Ride With GPS did a wonderful job nailing the proper route. I did end up varying things slightly because I knew even less-trafficked intersections. But, had I followed the route exactly as prescribed, everything would have been just dandy.
I’ll continue exploring routes this year and hopefully get a few adventures in the books, thanks to the route planning tools from Ride With GPS. And, if you’re a commuter, the QuickNav feature offers a one-tap route back home or to the office.
The Bottom Line: Ride With GPS
If you regularly seek out new routes, Ride With GPS is a great way to do it. I find myself linking together potential gravel epic rides and exploring routes around places we plan to travel to. It’s definitely a great tool with tons of features that cater to commuters, seasoned cyclists and beginners alike. It is yet another app and yet another subscription, so choose what’s right for your situation.