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…
…that’s an awful lot of revenue, because cyclists eat lots (they need the fuel for riding back home).
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.
Hope, Derbyshire S33 6RD
Kendal, Cumbria LA8 9LR
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
Blaydon NE21 4JH
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
Surrey KT20 7LB
EUREKA CYCLISTS’ CAFE
Chester, CH1 6EZ
Llanberis, Gwynedd LL55 4EU
Donaghadee, Northern Ireland BT21 0BL
Brecon, Powys LD3 8AH
Llantwit Major, CF61 1YP
THE HUB CAFE
Bruichladdich, Isle of Islay, PA49 7UN
Stirling, FK9 5LH
BRIDGE OF BALGIE POST OFFICE
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].