Brewer's Bike Blog: Tracking rides in real-time

Springfield, Mo: Last week I introduced myself to everyone -- to rehash that, I'm Chris, a web editor here for KY3 and I'm trying to ride 3,000 miles in and around Springfield this year.

Saturday was the last time I got on my bike, and I'm not happy to say that because I really feel it when I have a long layoff. If I could have my way, I'd ride every other day -- but I'll have to wait for better weather and for a time that I am less busy.

As for my last workout, I rode 41 miles. Here's proof, courtesy of Google Maps:

That's the exact route I took, starting in southwest Springfield and using bike routes until I got on the South Creek Greenway, then rode to Battlefield Road and back, and essentially all over town as you can see.

I like to track every single ride I make so I know just how long I ride and how fast (or slow, in this instance) I go each time I hop on the saddle. I have a Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone, so I use Google's My Tracks app for Android.

It's relatively efficient and doesn't use much battery. For example, with GPS on and background data off, it only used 30 percent of my phone's battery over a 3-hour ride. That's exceptional for a large phone.

The app won't wow you with its looks, as it's rather barebones:


I then use an app called Tracks2Miles to upload that track to Dailymile (here's my account, and here's that map imported into it), and that's basically it.

Apps I've used in the past that I think are worth a mention:

1. Endomondo: I like the audible time and mile counts you can set up, as well as its ability to show people where you're at in real time.

2. Runbot: Very low battery usage and also has good voice prompts. However, I've been having trouble getting it to utilize GPS on my phone properly so I switched to My Tracks.

3. RunKeeper: Tried and true. This was the first app I would use when I ran a ton (before my knee problems cropped up, which I'll hit on in another blog post). Also integrates with heart-rate monitoring equipment.

4. MapMyRide: Very neat app that has voice prompts as well. Redeeming feature of MMR is that it has a Google Earth flyover feature that you can essentially "revisit" your route again with.

What do you use to track your workouts? Got any tips or advice for me on my rides? Don't forget to follow my journey on Facebook, Tweet at me if you get the chance and friend me on Dailymile.

That's it for now until my next Brewer's Bike Blog. Until then, stay active!