Tracking the trail

Proper holiday stuff today in the shape of a game of golf with son (to start with) then possibly a game with R and then possibly some post match beverages with a couple of the WTC lads. To be fair it will all be about time and energy levels but at least it's half a plan.

Yesterday involved much cycling for Mrs G and I. Well I say much. Considering I haven't owned a bike since I was 19 and ridden one maybe 3 times since then, to do 7 miles for me is no mean feat. I'm starting to feel the nibblings of a bug, but not the full bite just yet. Happy to report that my gluteus maximus muscles have toughened up though, and I'm able to sit down again now. Too much information?

It's good to know how far you've ridden on a journey and it would be nice to be able to share details of a newly discovered trail or a shortcut between to place with friends and family. I suppose you could use a pedometer to count the number of pedal pushes you do, but that doesn't really give you the best level of detail. Well, luckily enough 'There's an app for that' and better still, it's free!!
Trailhead ( ) by the outdoor clothing brand 'The North Face' is a GPS based application that tracks your location. It the overlays the captured data onto google maps and you can attach other multimedia elements to the journey as well. This package is known as a 'trip' to the application and by registering for a free account with you can then upload your trip onto their servers for sharing as you see fit.

Once you're setup it's a doodle to use. Launch, start tracking, lock and stick it in your pocket until you reach your destination. You're able to pause recording at any point (ideal when you're stopping off to grab a cup of coffee or wandering off somewhere that you don't want included) It records your speed and altitude as well so you end up with all sorts of useful (depending on your point of view) bits of information.

All in all if your interested in sharing or storing this sort of data and when consider most devices for doing this sort of thing usually cost at least a £100, this little app is a must have for you iPhone arsenal.

Briefly and while I'm on the subject of apps. Foursquare 2.0 has now landed in the AppStore and I've got to say I'm a little disappointed. There are some improvements and I'm sure the map view in particular will be popular, but they've missed an opportunity here I think.

With the launch of Facebook faces what Foursquare needs is an interface overhaul and high speed checkins. The Gowalla interface is gorgeous by comparison (although I understand it's functionality isn't quite as nice). Checkin is the same but really these apps should be centred on the checkin. You really want to launch, click, close most of the time. You can check your stats when you're not stood in someone's way of a shop door! Work to be done here still, but 7 out of 10 for effort.

So with that, I'm off to the golf course to see how long the walk is. Might even share it with you afterwards.

Take care.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous


  1. check out
    it is really good and usable for cycling


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