Technology

Komoot helps me get back on the bike after a long break

Starting cycling in my late thirties was a humbling experience for me.

I’m responsible for my own medical costs, which really makes me look at things differently than I did when I was a kid racing a 12-speed Huffy around the neighborhood park. I also discovered that you can spend endless amounts of money on bike stuff if you have the means, which I don’t.

Above all, I learned that it is enough to know how to get from A to B by car or bus not This means you know the best way to get there by bike. I found a great – and fortunately free – solution for this special part of bicycle logistics: Komoot.

Komoot helps adventurers plan and follow routes – by bike or on foot. There are iOS, Android and smartwatch apps, as well as a web portal where you can find popular routes or plan your own routes. You will receive a lot of helpful information about a route, e.g. B. where and how steep the hills are, what the surface is like and how strenuous the route is. Once you’ve set off, you can record your activity and get detailed navigation. Practical!

Every time I took a different path, I regretted it

Komoot uses information from OpenStreetMap, but when you plan a route, your own users’ preferred routes are taken into account. And I’ll tell you what, every time I took a different path than the one suggested by Komoot, I regretted it. So I struggled up Second Avenue in downtown Seattle thinking, “Yeah, this isn’t as flat as I thought,” or pedaled along a bus lane through West Seattle, breathing in exhaust fumes. Komoot is also aware that there is a dirt road in my neighborhood that connects two streets and keeps me on side streets; Google Maps directs me to a busier street instead.

The app is free and you get a download of a map region that you can use for planning and navigation without paying anything. My county in Washington state is huge, so I have plenty of room to explore before I have to pay Komoot to venture further out.

Getting on a bike in the city is intimidating if you haven’t done it in a long time – at least that’s what I experienced. But I also discovered a lot of support: the local bike shop I rode into with a flat tire, quiet neighborhood greenways I never knew existed, paths that take me from one side of Elliott Bay to the… lead others. These things have been there all along, but when you ride a bike you see your city differently. A helpful app is just one more thing that has enabled my cycling comeback as much as driving a… well, you know.

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