We all hit the trail for different reasons.
Some folks like the peace and simplicity; a babbling brook, a soaring osprey and a riverside chat are all great rewards for a day on the trail. Others love spending time with friends and family. And some just love to get and be fit.
And then … enter the gadget lovers. For these folks, the trail experience is enhanced by technology. Not only are they motivated to get out and play, they want to track their trip, record their workout and listen to tunes.
But you don’t have to be a gadget lover to benefit from techie tools on the trail. There are some great apps and gizmos that can complement your trip without being overwhelming. Here are few suggestions:
The most useful tool for any trail lover is the TrailLink app, available for iPhone in the App Store and Android in the Google Play Store. TrailLink is the ultimate trail-finder app for outdoor enthusiasts. Powered by RTC’s trails database, the app offers unique trail-finder functionality for more than 30,000 miles of multi-use trails! You’d be silly not to have it in your back pocket.
While you’re walking or biking on the trail, being alert and aware is an absolute necessity. Ear buds and bikes, in particular, are a potentially dangerous mix. A great alternative is a portable speaker that allows you to jam, let others know you are coming and be aware of your surroundings.
Whether you’re tracking your cadence, monitoring your calories burned or competing with others, you can satisfy your data needs with innumerable apps. If you want to be within viewing distance of your devices during your rides, check out mount kits that allow you to attach your phone (or GPS) directly onto your bike frame.
Heart rate monitors and bicycle computers (which allow you to calculate trip information such as speed, distance, trip time, altitude, incline, etc.) have been used by athletes for years, and for many people, they are important tools that help them reach their fitness goals. A few versions have GPS capabilities built in, too, so you can see where you explored in addition to how hard you worked!
By the way …
Crowd-funded projects are popping up left and right, and while some, like this clever backpack that includes brake and turn lights, aren’t for sale to the public quite yet, their popularity indicates the market is ripe for innovative products that tie technology into a simple bike ride.
Indulge in the best techie tools or leave the devices at home; whatever your style, a trip on the trail is well worth the effort!