How to keep track of the rising number of mobility apps? Leave it to us. We cherry-pick one top app every week. This time it’s Social Cyclist, an app that networks data to improve bike lanes, report potholes, and help you meet fellow bikers.
Everything is ‘social’ these days. Whether it’s getting funding for ambitious projects or petitioning those in power, technology enables people to get together to achieve something they would be unable to attain on their own.
Cyclists, already a clannish bunch, have been using smartphone apps for years to record journeys, find hire bikes, and occasionally even to race each other across crowded city streets.
But it has taken an especially collaborative app to show how social networking can be of use to every bike rider. Step forward, Social Cyclist.
While the app’s name sounds like a dating site, Social Cyclist offers a lot more than that. At its most basic level, it encourages users to record details of the area they cycle in, which in turn helps to guide others riding in the same place. Wouldn’t it be nice to know where those potholes are before you are flung off your bike?
But there is more to it than that.
Social Cyclist also encourages riders to group together on an issue, whether that’s improving cycling facilities in their area or lobbying the local authority to improve a particularly dangerous junction.
And if you want to get properly social and actually meet up with – gasp! – real people, you can organize a group ride that will, no doubt, end up in a fashionable coffee store or bar selling craft ale. Well, it is for cyclists, after all.
Finally, as a side effect, Social Cyclist collates huge amounts of data from its users. Those figures are then made available to local councils to identify where bike infrastructure is most needed. It certainly beats standing on a street corner recording traffic with only a clipboard and pencil for company.
Social Cyclist: everyone’s a winner.
For more information go to socialcyclist.com
All the images, incl. the header image: Social Bicycles