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Monday, October 29, 2012

Applications for my smart phone...

Recently I finally upgraded to a smart phone.  I did this for several reasons and frankly they were all bike related.  A simple GPS device on my phone could get me home if I got lost on back country roads, and could tuck easily into my jacket pocket with some attached ear buds.  Recently I downloaded Waze which seems like an interesting idea, "crowd sourcing" traffic information.  In other words, getting real time information on accidents, slow downs, police and other things that are along my programmed route.  Even providing different options on how to avoid something.  All the information is gathered by reports supplied by different Waze users.
(credit:  Waze)
The problem of course is how crowed the screen can get, and how you might be distracted by the information coming at you.   Nor is things like a slow down in traffic and accidents mentioned while you drive, although it did warn me of a car on the side of the road...when I was on top of it.  So if your not looking at the screen, your going to miss it.  Looking at the screen while riding the bike has some disadvantages of course.

I have already sung the praises of such programs as CRADAR and Guardian Angel and have downloaded applications that let me keep track of my maintenance.  What to do if I am in an accident (complete with a separate folder for photographs of said accident).  It even includes my doctor's name and emergency contacts. I'm not in a hurry to test these applications.

There is a large part of me that likes the idea of having all that info at my fingertips when needed.  There is even a program that will let me track my route on the bike for future downloads, sadly however that program seems unstable...being designed more for hiking and biking.  I could see using a similar program to map out my rides just in case I find something interesting.  I may try it again.   I recently learned of an application for my android phone called Trip Journal which I will have to try soon.  BreadCrumbz looks interesting as well.

An application available through Best Biking Roads which gives me access to available known routes, and living more or less in the center of the state of Florida I seem to have access to various routes, is pretty cool. However at a $9.00 cost to download it I'm not sure if it's worth it to me.

Then again the big question for will I actually use this stuff?  I have owned my Burgie for a little over a year and I can count the numbers of recreational rides I've had on it using my fingers.  Well I enjoy commuting on the bike daily, it was the reason I primary bought the bike for, I also know that the Burgie is built for riding.  That I enjoy exploring back roads and mysterious places.  That getting lost is not a bad thing.

First things first however, clutch replacement and a new front tire.


David Masse said...

Robert, I always ride with both GPS and my iPhone mounted in RAM mounts on my mirror stalks.

Like you, I'm a commuter, for the most part always going from the same point A, to the same point B.

I mostly like to be able to see how fast I'm really going, since the speedometers on scooters and MCs are notoriously unreliable. But there have been a few occasions where the GPS has opened my eyes to routes I really didn't know were options.

I enjoy your blog, please keep writing, and stay safe.


The City Mouse in the Country said...

I am giving some thought to getting a RAM mount for the same reason, but I worry the sun here in Florida will fade the screen rather quickly. Although I do think I will start tucking some ear plugs in under my helmet...I need a different way or two to go just for a change of pace.

As far as writing goes...I don't think I'm ever going to stop blogging or writing. In my life I've covered a local soccer team - and had a monthly article for a brief time on a soccer site (got paid and everything LOL). Covered politics, relationships and other subjects. The motorcycle is all new to me, riding is all new to me. So my writing should only improve as I become more familiar with the inner workings of my Burgie.