I used to cycle every day. When I was in school I often cycled to and from the train station and when I was at university in Limerick cycling was the easiest way for me to get in and out of campus. Back then I was clocking up 10 to 15km per day minimum – often more.
Unfortunately I stopped cycling on a regular basis once I moved away from Limerick and didn’t even own a usable bike until recently.
So a few weeks ago I decided to avail of the “cycle to work scheme” that’s being run by the Irish government. Essentially you can get a tax break if you buy a new bicycle via your employer. There’s a cap of EUR1000 for the bike and associated gear, but that’s more than enough unless you want to get some crazy over the top handmade custom bike. I got a bike for about EUR700 with all the bits and pieces I needed.
So now I try to cycle in and out of the office every day and when I need to run an errand I try to use the bike instead of driving.
Of course I’ve been tracking (somewhat erratically) my activity, consumption, weight etc., via a number of devices and apps for the last couple of years. So when I started cycling I needed to find some way of hooking that all in to my existing “system”.
After trying a few different apps I ended up settling on MapMyRide. There are both free and premium versions available, with the premium one giving you you more detailed stats and a breakdown of them. Unless you’re going to be cycling semi-professionally the premium features are probably overkill.
One of the main attractions for me was that the app can “talk” to other systems, so I don’t end up with data in silos and can keep using the other apps and services I’ve been using up until now.
I also like the goal concept ie. challenge yourself to cycle more, longer and faster.
So far it’s made me much more conscious or how much and how little I cycle and how much more I need to do in order to burn more calories.