Bike Hub app is updated with new features

Thanks for all your feedback on the Bike Hub iPhone app. One of the key features requested was drop-pin navigation. This has now been added to the app. Version 1.1 is now in the App Store on iTunes. The app is now easier to use. It’s already getting new people on bikes and, by displaying clever short-cuts and bicycle-friendly routes, is cutting the journey times of existing cyclists.

The revised Bike Hub app is free on iTunes.

The app uses a satnav-style routing engine developed specifically for cyclists. Unlike standard satnavs, or Google Maps, the Bike Hub iPhone app can route cyclists along cycle paths, such as routes on the Sustrans’ National Cycle Network.

Drop pin

Users can still choose between three route modes: quietest, quickest or balanced.

‘Quickest route’ users are directed via roads (although not dual carriageways or motorways). Those cyclists who don’t care to mingle with motorised traffic would choose ‘quietest route’ and would then be guided along back-streets and, where available and sensible, cycle routes. The ‘balanced route’ provides a good mix between the two.

As well as working out bicycle-friendly routes the app has a ‘bike shop finder’ button, calling up bike shops within a six mile radius of an iPhone. Directions are then given to the shops discovered, of which there are 2500 across the UK. The database was supplied by the Association of Cycle Traders. App users have told us of shop address changes and these have been added to OpenStreetMap.

We’d really appreciate App Store feedback. iTunes reviewers have so far been overwhelmingly positive. iTunes reviewer ‘AndyGoodas’ wrote: 

“I thought the roads on my South London commute were too dangerous for me to consider riding as an amateur, but this showed me a brilliant alternative route on quiet back roads I’d never thought of without the app. Going to ride to work most days now, wish I’d started ages ago.”

Andrew Norton of the Aarght art gallery in Oxford emailed BikeHub.co.uk with his praise for the app:

“I thought the fastest way to work was 18:40 minutes but after 2 years doing various different routes, you showed me a path and a couple of shortcuts that have reduced it to 16:50! Gob smacked!”

The revised app does not yet feature a turn-by-turn voice for directions but this will be added in the next update. As well as a synthetic voice, the app will feature the famous voice of TV commentator Phil Liggett. The turn-by-turn directions feature is being worked on now, with the synthetic voice to be added as a freebie. The Phil Liggett voice will be added later and will likely be an in-app purchase.

On iTunes, the Bike Hub app stresses that cyclists should not navigate with one hand and steer with another. Instead the app recommends the use of one of a growing number of iPhone handlebar mounts, stocked by the Apple Store and other outlets. The Bike Hub Cycle Journey planner requires the iOS 3.1.3 Software Update or later. Here’s a key to the OpenCycleMap icons and lines.

Put your fave cycling caffs on the map

The Bike Hub ‘satnav for cyclists’ iPhone app can already locate nearest bike shops. The next geo-located goodness from the app will be cyclist-friendly cafes. 20 of the best caffs are listed below.

Miles from anywhere? Trashed your cassette? Don’t know the area? Where’s the nearest bike shop? There’s now an app for that. The Bike Hub iPhone app can locate the closest bike shops in a six mile radius of an iPhone. A future update will include the option to find the best cycling cafes.

The ‘cafe stop’ is a tradition in cycling. Club cyclists will often congregate at famous eateries such as Wilf’s in Cumbria or Café St Germain in Crystal Palace, London. But cyclists new to an area, or not part of a club, and in need of immediate caffeine-and-cake infusions will appreciate being able to locate cyclist-friendly cafes by firing up an iPhone app.

A bike caff locator app will be good for cyclists, and good for the cafes, too, especially the more rural ones. Check out the queue of hungry cyclists in this pic…

Queue

…that’s an awful lot of revenue, because cyclists eat lots (they need the fuel for riding back home).

Gosforth RC post hill climb lunch

The Bike Hub app uses OpenCycleMap mapping which is derived from the OpenStreetMap project, the ‘wikipedia of maps’. OpenStreetMap is a community of 300,000 map enthusiasts worldwide who collaborate to produce the most up-to-date maps available. Changes made by members of the OSM community can be available online within hours.

OpenStreetMap already has a ‘cafe’ layer and this functionality will soon be added to OpenCycleMap.

Cyclists who wish to check whether their favourite cafes are already on OpenStreetMap can use a postcode search on www.openstreetmap.org. If cafes are missing, they can be added in situ via a free OSM editing app such as Mapzen POI Collector which lets you add businesses, local amenities and other places of interest to OpenStreetMap, direct from your iPhone.

Or consider becoming part of the OSM community by either learning about Potlatch or – and this is easier for newbies – adding data via your desktop with websites such as on cloudmade.com.

TOP 20 CYCLING CAFES

The following cafes are among the best in the UK at catering to cyclists. However, as some are in rural locations, not all are open year round and it’s best to phone ahead before relying for refuelling.

WOODBINE CAFE
Hope, Derbyshire S33 6RD

WILF’S CAFE
Kendal, Cumbria LA8 9LR

CAVENDISH PAVILLION
Bolton Abbey, Nr Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 6AN

LOCK INN CAFE
Bradford upon Avon, BA15 1LE

DALES BIKE CENTRE CAFE
Richmond, North Yorkshire DL11 6AW

IMPROMPTU TEA ROOM
Elsdon, Northumberland NE19 1AA

PUMPHREY’S CAFE
Blaydon NE21 4JH

LOCK 7
Regent’s Canal, Hackney, London E2 9AP

LOOK MUM NO HANDS!
Old Street, London EC1V 9HX

CAFÉ ST. GERMAIN
Crystal Palace, London SE19 1UA

BOX HILL CAFE
National Trust
Surrey KT20 7LB

EUREKA CYCLISTS’ CAFE
Chester, CH1 6EZ

PETE’S EATS
Llanberis, Gwynedd LL55 4EU

CAFE MANOR
Donaghadee, Northern Ireland BT21 0BL

BRIDGE CAFE
Brecon, Powys LD3 8AH

ELAINE’S TEAROOMS
Llantwit Major, CF61 1YP

THE HUB CAFE
Glentress, Scotland

DEBBIE’S
Bruichladdich, Isle of Islay, PA49 7UN

CORRIERI’S
Stirling, FK9 5LH

BRIDGE OF BALGIE POST OFFICE
Glen Lyon

More Scottish cycling cafes can be found on the Skinny Tyres blog.

BIKE HUB APP
The Bike Hub app is a free iPhone satnav app which, depending on the options chosen, can direct cyclists on cyclepaths (Google Maps can’t do that) or can work out quicker commutes, often using short-cuts and routing stratagems that even die-hard cycle commuters don’t know about.

The Bike Hub app was launched on 18th September and trended quickly: at the weekend the Bike Hub app was never out of the top three free navigation apps on iTunes.

The app uses a satnav-style routing engine developed specifically for cyclists. Unlike standard satnavs, or Google Maps, thanks to the Cyclestreets routing engine the Bike Hub iPhone app can route cyclists along cycle paths, such as routes on the Sustrans’ National Cycle Network.

CycleStreets is a community-based group working on a not-for-profit basis. Cyclestreets uses mathematical graph theory algorithms to quickly work out bicycle-friendly routes.

The Bike Hub app was produced for trade associations the Bicycle Association of Great Britain and the Association of Cycle Traders. Bike Hub is the UK cycle industry’s levy scheme. Cash from the voluntary levy has allowed the iPhone app to be free on iTunes.

On iTunes, the Bike Hub app stresses that cyclists should not navigate with one hand and steer with another. Instead the app recommends the use of one of a growing number of iPhone handlebar mounts.

The Bike Hub Cycle Journey planner requires the iOS 3.1.3 Software Update or later.

[Note: Yes, the Bike Hub app will also soon be available as an Android app].

PRESS RELEASE: Cyclists' satnav app launched on the iPhone

Motorists have TomTom and Garmin. Cyclists now have the Bike Hub iPhone app. This free app, launched only four days ago, is already a top two navigation app on iTunes. The app is getting new people on bikes and, by displaying clever short-cuts and bicycle-friendly routes, is cutting the journey times of existing cyclists.

A new iPhone app has been launched which helps cyclists plan journeys away from busy roads. The Bike Hub app is free on iTunes.

The app uses a satnav-style routing engine developed specifically for cyclists. Unlike standard satnavs, or Google Maps, the Bike Hub iPhone app can route cyclists along cycle paths, such as routes on the Sustrans’ National Cycle Network.

Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans’ Chief Executive said:

“Over half the UK population lives within a mile of the National Cycle Network but how many people are aware that this fast, free and healthy transport option is on their doorstep? As the charity behind the Network we’re delighted to see it promoted as widely as possible as part of an iPhone app that will help people to get out more on foot and by bike for their everyday journeys.”

The app routes away from up-hill slogs for cyclists who wish to avoid them, but gives a high priority to downhill routes.

Users can choose between three route modes: quietest, quickest or balanced.

‘Quickest route’ users are directed via roads (although not dual carriageways or motorways). Those cyclists who don’t care to mingle with motorised traffic would choose ‘quietest route’ and would then be guided along back-streets and, where available and sensible, cycle routes. The ‘balanced route’ provides a good mix between the two.

The app was produced by Tinderhouse of Kent and commissioned by Carlton Reid, editor of BikeHub.co.uk, a newly-launched website owned by the two UK bicycle industry organisations.

Reid said: “Using the Bike Hub app is like being guided by a friend who knows all the clever short-cuts.”

The cycle routing is done via CycleStreets of Cambridge, a community-based group working on a not-for-profit basis. Cyclestreets uses mathematical graph theory algorithms to quickly work out bicycle-friendly routes. Mapping is provided by OpenCycleMap via OpenStreetMap, the ‘wikipedia of maps’. OpenStreetMap is a community of 300,000 map enthusiasts worldwide who collaborate to produce the most up-to-date maps available. Changes made by members of the OSM community can be available online within hours.

bikehubiTunes2nd

The Bike Hub app was produced for trade associations the Bicycle Association of Great Britain and the Association of Cycle Traders. Bike Hub is the UK cycle industry’s levy scheme. Cash from the voluntary levy has allowed the iPhone app to be free on iTunes.

As well as working out bicycle-friendly routes the app has a ‘bike shop finder’ button, calling up bike shops within a six mile radius of an iPhone. Directions are then given to the shops discovered, of which there are 2500 across the UK. The database was supplied by the Association of Cycle Traders.

The app went live on iTunes on Saturday night and has been downloaded by thousands of iPhone and iPad owners. Within two days of its launch, the app was third in the navigation category on iTunes.

iTunes reviewers have been overwhelmingly positive. iTunes reviewer ‘AndyGoodas’ wrote: 

“I thought the roads on my South London commute were too dangerous for me to consider riding as an amateur, but this showed me a brilliant alternative route on quiet back roads I’d never thought of without the app. Going to ride to work most days now, wish I’d started ages ago.”

Andrew Norton of the Aarght art gallery in Oxford emailed BikeHUb.co.uk with his praise for the app:

“I thought the fastest way to work was 18:40 minutes but after 2 years doing various different routes, you showed me a path and a couple of shortcuts that have reduced it to 16:50! Gob smacked!”

Reid added: “While the app was developed for newbies and hesitant cyclists, it’s proving useful for enthusiast cyclists, too. It can suggest routes up to 100 miles. I’ve used a beta version on family bike tours and it was a great way to feed accurate distance and time-of-arrival information to kids asking ‘are we there yet dad?'”


The Bike Hub app also features articles on cycling and the law, the Cycle to Work bike purchase scheme and is able to locate stands for the Barclays Cycle Hire bikes in London.

The app does not yet feature a turn-by-turn voice for directions but this will be added in an update. As well as a synthetic voice, the app will feature the famous voice of TV commentator Phil Liggett.

On iTunes, the Bike Hub app stresses that cyclists should not navigate with one hand and steer with another. Instead the app recommends the use of one of a growing number of iPhone handlebar mounts, stocked by the Apple Store and other outlets. The Bike Hub Cycle Journey planner requires the iOS 3.1.3 Software Update or later.

# # #

PRESS RELEASE: Cyclists’ satnav app launched on the iPhone

Motorists have TomTom and Garmin. Cyclists now have the Bike Hub iPhone app. This free app, launched only four days ago, is already a top two navigation app on iTunes. The app is getting new people on bikes and, by displaying clever short-cuts and bicycle-friendly routes, is cutting the journey times of existing cyclists.

A new iPhone app has been launched which helps cyclists plan journeys away from busy roads. The Bike Hub app is free on iTunes.

The app uses a satnav-style routing engine developed specifically for cyclists. Unlike standard satnavs, or Google Maps, the Bike Hub iPhone app can route cyclists along cycle paths, such as routes on the Sustrans’ National Cycle Network.

Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans’ Chief Executive said:

“Over half the UK population lives within a mile of the National Cycle Network but how many people are aware that this fast, free and healthy transport option is on their doorstep? As the charity behind the Network we’re delighted to see it promoted as widely as possible as part of an iPhone app that will help people to get out more on foot and by bike for their everyday journeys.”

The app routes away from up-hill slogs for cyclists who wish to avoid them, but gives a high priority to downhill routes.

Users can choose between three route modes: quietest, quickest or balanced.

‘Quickest route’ users are directed via roads (although not dual carriageways or motorways). Those cyclists who don’t care to mingle with motorised traffic would choose ‘quietest route’ and would then be guided along back-streets and, where available and sensible, cycle routes. The ‘balanced route’ provides a good mix between the two.

The app was produced by Tinderhouse of Kent and commissioned by Carlton Reid, editor of BikeHub.co.uk, a newly-launched website owned by the two UK bicycle industry organisations.

Reid said: “Using the Bike Hub app is like being guided by a friend who knows all the clever short-cuts.”

The cycle routing is done via CycleStreets of Cambridge, a community-based group working on a not-for-profit basis. Cyclestreets uses mathematical graph theory algorithms to quickly work out bicycle-friendly routes. Mapping is provided by OpenCycleMap via OpenStreetMap, the ‘wikipedia of maps’. OpenStreetMap is a community of 300,000 map enthusiasts worldwide who collaborate to produce the most up-to-date maps available. Changes made by members of the OSM community can be available online within hours.

bikehubiTunes2nd

The Bike Hub app was produced for trade associations the Bicycle Association of Great Britain and the Association of Cycle Traders. Bike Hub is the UK cycle industry’s levy scheme. Cash from the voluntary levy has allowed the iPhone app to be free on iTunes.

As well as working out bicycle-friendly routes the app has a ‘bike shop finder’ button, calling up bike shops within a six mile radius of an iPhone. Directions are then given to the shops discovered, of which there are 2500 across the UK. The database was supplied by the Association of Cycle Traders.

The app went live on iTunes on Saturday night and has been downloaded by thousands of iPhone and iPad owners. Within two days of its launch, the app was third in the navigation category on iTunes.

iTunes reviewers have been overwhelmingly positive. iTunes reviewer ‘AndyGoodas’ wrote: 

“I thought the roads on my South London commute were too dangerous for me to consider riding as an amateur, but this showed me a brilliant alternative route on quiet back roads I’d never thought of without the app. Going to ride to work most days now, wish I’d started ages ago.”

Andrew Norton of the Aarght art gallery in Oxford emailed BikeHUb.co.uk with his praise for the app:

“I thought the fastest way to work was 18:40 minutes but after 2 years doing various different routes, you showed me a path and a couple of shortcuts that have reduced it to 16:50! Gob smacked!”

Reid added: “While the app was developed for newbies and hesitant cyclists, it’s proving useful for enthusiast cyclists, too. It can suggest routes up to 100 miles. I’ve used a beta version on family bike tours and it was a great way to feed accurate distance and time-of-arrival information to kids asking ‘are we there yet dad?'”


The Bike Hub app also features articles on cycling and the law, the Cycle to Work bike purchase scheme and is able to locate stands for the Barclays Cycle Hire bikes in London.

The app does not yet feature a turn-by-turn voice for directions but this will be added in an update. As well as a synthetic voice, the app will feature the famous voice of TV commentator Phil Liggett.

On iTunes, the Bike Hub app stresses that cyclists should not navigate with one hand and steer with another. Instead the app recommends the use of one of a growing number of iPhone handlebar mounts, stocked by the Apple Store and other outlets. The Bike Hub Cycle Journey planner requires the iOS 3.1.3 Software Update or later.

# # #

Bike Hub iPhone app now available

Bike hub app

The Bike Hub cycle journey planning and bike shop finding iPhone app is now available in Apple’s app store. The app is free, paid for by the Bike Hub levy scheme. Download it here. Below is the iTunes description text.

Follow the Bike Hub twitter account to get the news of the app’s forthcoming updates.

Bike Hub Icon 1

The Bike Hub app finds the quickest or quietest cycle routes; and can locate your nearest bike shops. This is NOT a sports app. It won’t link to your HRM with ANT+; tell you how many donuts you’ve burnt; or Twitter your cycle ride stats.

BICYCLE NAVIGATION
The cycle routing is done via CycleStreets.net. This bicycle journey planning website uses mathematical graph theory algorithms to quickly work out great bike routes. But it’s not just nodes and networks, Bike Hub mapping benefits from local, expert knowledge.

1

ROUTE/SPEED OPTIONS
Want a fast route to a railway station? Choose ‘Quickest route’ and you’ll be directed via roads (although not dual carriageways or motorways). Don’t care to mingle with motorised traffic? Choose ‘Quietest route’ and the app will use OpenCycleMap to guide you along back-streets and, where available and sensible, cycle routes. The ‘Balanced route’ provides a good mix between the two extremes of ‘Fastest route’ and ‘Quietest route’. Don’t like hills? The Bike Hub app avoids them as much as possible.

BIKE SHOP FINDER
Fire up the Bike Hub app to locate the nearest independent bicycle dealers in a six mile radius.

CYCLE TOURING
The Bike Hub app was built for towns and cities but it is also excellent for out-in-the-sticks cycle touring. Currently, the Cyclestreets journey planner can construct journeys up to a maximum of 50kms, though that restriction will be extended as the coding matures. The app is NOT designed for Lands End to John o’Groats routing but can be a useful planning tool between towns, or when already out on tour.

BORIS BIKES
Users of this app in London will appreciate the location data for the Barclays Cycle Hire Bikes. Note: this app does not pull in live bike availability data from Transport for London (TfL). There are other apps that do this, such as London Cycle App and the Cycle Hire App.

6

EXTRA FEATURES
The Bike Hub app also has a news section, a cycling events calendar and longer features…

* Info on the Cycle to Work scheme
* Cycling and the law
* Off-road riding do’s and don’ts
* Best ever quotes about cycling.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
Route finding requires access to online mapping so, to use the journey planning and bike shop locator functions, the Bike Hub app requires Wifi or a mobile phone signal, preferably 3G. Ditto for the BikeHub.co.uk news feed. However, the feature articles are hard-wired into the app and can be accessed without Wifi or a phone signal. Cyclestreets.net uses postcode and name place finding tools: these will be improved over time.

2

CROWD SOURCED DATA
Users of this app will notice some city maps have more details than others. Cambridge and London, for instance, are extremely detailed. YOU can help update your area. The Bike Hub app relies on the network node coding of the Cyclestreets chaps and they, in turn, rely on the dedicated volunteers who upload fixes and new points of interest to OpenStreetMap. Please consider signing up to OpenStreetMap.org and using a free OSM editing app such as Mapzen POI Collector which lets you add businesses, local amenities and other places of interest to OpenStreetMap, direct from your iPhone. Or consider becoming part of the OSM community by adding data via your desktop with online services such as mapzen.cloudmade.com.

WHY FREE?
The Bike Hub app is dead useful, took a lot of time to commission and code, and cost a great deal of cash to build. So, how come it’s free? It’s free because it was funded by the Bike Hub levy. This is a voluntary levy on most of the bicycles and bits sold in UK bike shops. The Bike Hub levy is operated by the Bicycle Association of GB and the Association of Cycle Traders.

DOWNLOAD HERE…and please consider rating the app on iTunes. Thanks.