Smartphone app updates due soon

We’ve been working hard to bring you a more robust Bike Hub smartphone app, and one packed with even more features. We can now announce there will be two updates in quick succession. The first will arrive sometime next week. We can’t be more specific as uploading a new version to iTunes doesn’t result in instant availability.

A tweaked version of the Android app was released a couple of weeks back. This was a fix for a map problem: the app wasn’t sucking down maps properly. We switched to a new, faster server from OpenCycleMap. iPhone users will get the same speed and reliability upgrade next week.

Version 2.1 of the app will include:

Modify the distance that audio notifications are made before junctions
This was a common gripe with the app from otherwise satisfied users. The distance has now been amended. Sorry, we can’t make the voice louder.

Change speed options to 16kph, 25kph and 30kph (and the equivalent in MPH)
The speed merchants among you said you went faster than we thought you did. So, we’ve boosted the top speeds: the ETAs will now be more accurate.

New map server
Maps will download faster.

Point of Interest (POI) search
Bike shops are the standard POIs on the app; more POIs will be added.

GPX export by email
When we created the app we envisaged it would be used, mainly, by people wanting traffic-free routes via back-streets and short-cuts and so on. This is still the core user of the app but there are plenty of users who want to use the app as a training aid and want to see where they’ve ridden. By adding a GPX upload function you will be able to email yourself a file that can be loaded to training software, other GPS devices, or online route sharing services. Or, if the fancy takes you, fly along your recent route via the magic that is Google Earth.

‘How to’ screen
New users of the app will get a quick run-through of the app’s functions and there will also be a satnav-style tick-box requesting that the user acknowledges that using the app while moving is potentially dangerous and should only be done so with a smartphone handlebar device.

The navigation screen will include your current speed.

Version 3 will add even more features.

Map tile caching
You’ll be able to download maps to your device so you will always have maps whether or not you have a data connection. Drawing down maps via a low phone signal can take quite a few seconds. The live routing functionality will always require a phone signal. The new map file suck-down feature will be useful for loading local maps to devices, but can also be used for downloading maps of a new, unknown area. Download when you’re in a wifi hotspot.

A to A routing
Right now the app offers A to B routing, which is standard for satnavs. A to A routing will offer suggested on-the-fly circular routes, perfect for circular cycle tours. This will be an exclusive feature on the Bike Hub app. You will also be able to choose to follow sticky POIs, ie points of interest, such as National Trust properties. More and more POIs will be added over time. How about a bike tour sticky to CAMRA-recommended pubs?

Car satnav-style re-routing
When you stray from the Bike Hub app’s route suggestion, you get a ‘too far from destination’ message. The current app doesn’t re-route on-the-fly. Version 3 will offer dynamic route recalculation.

Routing by numbers
You will be able to retrieve a route from and the Bike Hub online route planner by entering its route ID. So, you can plan your routes in advance, take a note of the route plan numbers and then use them to retrieve the route on your device.



The Bike Hub smartphone app is still the world’s only 3D cycle-specific voice-and-vibrate satnav. The app’s maps work all over the world but routing is available for Britain and Ireland only.

Paid for by the Bike Hub levy on all UK bicycle sales, the free Bike Hub app routes users away from busy roads and even avoids hills where possible. Unlike car satnavs, the Bike Hub app knows all about bike paths and quiet roads that cars can’t use as rat runs.

If you like the app, please consider leaving a review on iTunes and on the Android Marketplace.

Bike the Yorkshire Dales with new app

The Yorkshire Dales National Park has created a free iPhone app to help visitors to the region. It includes OS mapping for cyclists.

The new Yorkshire Dales National Park app is the first iPhone app produced by a UK National Park Authority.

The app has all the usual touristy info but also has walking, cycling and mountain biking routes, overlaid on mapping from Ordnance Survey.

The app has been paid for by Go Dales!, a project run by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) with funding from Sport England.

Just as the Bike Hub app is designed to get more people cycling, the YDNPA app was created to “inspire people to get active in our protected landscapes,” said Go Dales!

Available on iPhone, it will also be available on Android and other devices at a later date.

The app is based on two locations – Malham and Hawes – although more will follow as app updates.

The app includes points of interest to hunt for around each village, 360 degree panoramic views, and fifteen suggested walks and bike routes.

Kath Needham, the Go Dales! project officer, said: “We have created a resource to offer inspiration on the types of activities on offer in the National Park.

“Go Dales! research suggests that even though participants may have been introduced to the wonders of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, some may hesitate to return through lack of ideas about things they can do and places they can go. The app will provide a lot of answers so they can plan their visit in advance.”

Karen Griffiths, the YDNPA’s Interpretation Officer, said: “The app contains a pool of pop-up info about the National Park, concentrated around Malham and Hawes, but with some general stuff too.

“It means you can use GPS on your iPhone to explore the National Park and it will alert you to points of interest – archaeology, history, scenery, landscape.

“It’s your own personal, digital guide in your pocket.”

Bike Hub app to plot leisure routes

The A to B cycle satnav app is to get an exclusive A to A leisure routing option, sticky to points of interest.

Currently, the app works like a car satnav, although it routes cyclists on less busy roads and on bike paths. The routing is done from point A to point B, perhaps a journey from ‘current position’ to a postcode in an unfamiliar city. The new function will plot a circular route from A to A and will have a menu of ‘points of interest’ options.

The PoIs will include National Trust properties and features such as churches, stately homes and similar. This will make the app into a tool for cycle tourists, for day tours and for longer duration trips. The app can currently plot a route of 200 miles.

The Bike Hub app was released last year and is available on the iPhone and Android phones. As well as a journey planner (also available online) and satnav functions it has a bike shop locator, with shop information supplied by the Association of Cycle Traders.

Bike Hub is a joint initiative of the Bicycle Association and the Association of Cycle Traders via the Bike Hub levy scheme. The objective of Bike Hub is to generate funds from within the cycle industry to support the future of cycling in the UK.

The routing engine for the Bike Hub app is supplied by Cyclestreets. Bike Hub has commissioned Cyclestreets to produce the A to A leisure routing as an exclusive for the Bike Hub app. The plan is for the new function to be ready within 2-3 months.

Leisure routing will be available on the main CycleStreets website and will be transferrable to the app.

Phillip Darnton, vice president of the Bicycle Association, said:

“The idea for the original app was to get more people cycling in cities. This it has done. The new function will get more people cycling in the countryside.”

He added: “More people cycling, more often, is of direct benefit to the bicycle trade.”