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  • Thothathri Raman

Reinventing your city with Cycle apps



Strava arguably one of the largest athelete apps and extremely popular witht he cyclists in particular floated a data gathering and distributing service called Metro to understand the extent of human power on the streets of the metros that use the Strava app. There is a huge amount of data from the four billion plus activities the Strava subscribers have notched up which may be useful for city planners, cycle companies, sports goods and sporting firms and such other.


Now, Strava Metro is more accessible than ever for urban planners and advocacy groups, so they can keep improving infrastructure in cities around the world and usher in a new chapter in active transportation.


Currently besides Strava For Tracking: Strava. Mapmyride, Whaoo Fitness, Tailfolks, MTB Project, Komoot, GCN, TrainingPeaks, trainerroad, are serving the cyclists and also keeping track of their activities, a vital data source for the city planners.

The bicyling.com website that listed some of the cycling apps (see the image courtesy the bicycling.com website) chose 16 apps for the readers after 35 hours of dedicated research and testing, The details of what these 16 apps are is in the article at the website.



For urban planners the key lies in not just accessing the data but intelligently analysising and creatively using it to find the right solutions for their planning needs. Apps like Data.world gives information tracking events like Tour de France for the participant data, their performance, the routes .etc. in a detailed manner for the planners to use. Websites like www.cycleanalytics.com are instant sources for getting data and also for customising the specific data need by using the website. Cycling Analytics is a powerful and flexible analysis tool for both coaches and athletes. This in turn becomes a rich source of data for planners.


Apart institutions, governments and civic authorities, the cycle data is also being used by independent data consultants for their freelance work in places like www.upwork.com . As to cities data collection policies being honed to perfection for using the massively available cycle data for better planning of the cycle lanes, parking and general improvement of retail and business blocks access.




Innovative ways are being found to enhance the quality of data relating to cycles use in big cities. European Cycling Federation for instance launched the European Cycling Challenge, a competition to motivate citizens to cycle more combined with an app to collect cycling data and the necessary Heatmaps to analyse the collected data in 2012 to help cities that don’t have a big budget to develop their own app,. As many as 30 EU cities are taking up this challenge annually.


The Federation observes that it seems like every city has or is developing an application for bicycle use. To name a few: See.Sense (UK, Ireland and others), Bike your City (Athens/Greece), Ring Ride (Vienna/Austria), Cykelstaden (Gothenburg), Bike citizen, GéoVélo (French cities), Strava Metro, Bikes vs. Cars (Malmö/Skåne and Cykelfrämjandet), BikePrint (Netherlands), etc. The EU Commission is working on an Urban Mobility Scoreboard with a harmonized set of indicators for car use, public transport, walking and cycling to which ECF has contributed feedback.


With Billions of dollars being sunk in future cities with larger cycle lanes and ban on automobiles in main streets, the future looks bright for cities that are using Cycle data currently being gleaned from public service apps.

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