New Mobile Application Allows Riders To Publish Routes In Real Time

Want to show off that “epic” training ride to your friends? A new GPS-based mobile phone application, called MapMyTracks, allows users to track their progress and location and publish it to the web, but it’s the first of its kind to allow users to upload data in real time.

The program, which is offered as an app compatible with over 100 mobile phones, (including an iPhone specific app called OutFront,) tracks users’ GPS locations from their mobile phones and then uploads the tracked data to the MapMyTracks server as soon as the phone has 3G wireless coverage.

Your training buddies or even a coach can then watch the ride via MapMyTracks.com in real time online, tracking speed (average and max), elevation gain, activity time, and location, including latitude and longitude coordinates. If users leave a 3G zone, the application tracks all the same info and immediately updates it upon getting 3G coverage, so none of the ride is lost.

Multiple devices can be viewed simultaneously by viewers at home, so the application can also be used at races or other events to tracks teams or competitors., as long as they are carrying a GPS and 3G enabled device with the application downloaded and running.

The application can be downloaded by connecting your mobile phone to www.mapmytracks.com/install or visiting here on your computer to download the application and manually install it to your mobile phone via Bluetooth or a data cable. The iPhone specific application, called OutFront, can be dowloaded for $2.99 from the iTunes app store. Basic tracking services require no monthly subscription, but MapMyTracks does offer premium monthly paid services for users looking for a little extra.

This page has a drop down menu of supported phones if you are wondering if your phone can run the application. The image above shows what the mobile content looks like. See a screenshot of the “at home” viewer after the break (click on the screenshot for a larger view.)

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IMBA Renews Partnership with U.S. National Parks Service

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Five years after its original agreement with the National Park Service, IMBA has renewed their partnership for another five years, giving all of us hope for improved access and trail riding opportunities in our U.S. landmarks.

PRESS RELEASE: IMBA has renewed its partnership agreement with the National Park Service (NPS), as announced during the National Bike Summit (March 9-11) in Washington, DC. The previous IMBA/NPS agreement, in place from 2005 to 2010, yielded countless hours of volunteerism, enhanced opportunities for youth involvement and new shared-use trails that seamlessly blend with the character of our nation’s parks. The renewed IMBA/NPS partnership will be in place until 2015 and establishes a formal framework for building on existing projects and seeking new opportunities to enhance mountain biking in some of America’s treasured national parks.

“Bicycling helps draw new visitors, especially younger people, and gives them fun, memorable experiences in the national parks,” said Jon Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service. “IMBA has shown through hard work and cooperative attitudes that they share our passion for protecting and enjoying our nation’s parks, and that they share our desire to cultivate that passion in a new generation.”

“The partnership we formally established with the NPS in 2005 has exceeded our expectations,” said IMBA Executive Director Mike Van Abel. “At first there was some uncertainty about mountain biking in national parks, but each success we have created through this partnership has improved the next. Today, IMBA staff meet regularly with NPS officials in Washington and at park units around the nation to consider opportunities for the next round of shared-use trails.”

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Kona Launching Three Electric Bicycles in May

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Kona will be launching three new electric bicycles in May, the Ticket, Token (both $1,799) and the Electric Ute ($2,299).  Based on their Commuter and Asphalt models, the new e-bikes will offer power-assisted pedaling in both 700c road wheel and 26″ mountain bike wheel varieties.

The Ticket and Token will be aimed at the commuter and casual riding segment, while the new Electric Ute should boost the opportunities for doing some serious grocery getting and errand running by bike.

More from the press release after the jump…

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Blockhead Stem with Integrated Brake Lever

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Despite what BikeSnob has to say about this, the Blockhead Stem is pretty slick, I think.  It has an integrated brake lever for keeping your hipster bike super clean but just a smidgen safer.

The 40mm stem is made of 6061 aluminum and comes with six stainless steel screws.  It has a 0º rise and fits 1-1/8″ steerer tubes and 26mm (non oversized) handlebars.

They’re designed and offered under a Creative Commons license, so if you have access to the proper tooling and machinery, you’re welcome to make your own.  Otherwise, they’re taking orders now ($169) for shipment on April 16, just about the time we’re at Sea Otter showing you new stems from…

Deity’s New Cryptkeeper Prototype Dirt Jump Mountain Bike

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Spotted over on VitalMTB, Deity’s unleashed a dirt jump frame that’s currently being put through the paces by Zach.

It’s a prototype frame at present, featuring wicked short 15.25″ chainstays, micro dropouts, an integrated headset, Spanish bottom bracket, double- and triple butted tubes throughout and an internal treatment to prevent corrosion. Check out Vital’s site for more photos and specs, including some early glances at future Deity Components products.

2010 Tour of California Teams Announced

2010-amgen-tour-of-california-stage-mapPRESS RELEASE: One of the strongest and most talented fields ever assembled for a U.S. cycling race has been invited to the upcoming 2010 Amgen Tour of California, AEG, owner and operator of the eight-day event, which is considered to be the most popular and important professional race held on U.S. soil, announced today. With the race’s move on the calendar to May, a compelling set of teams has been invited to the fifth-annual race.

The 16-team field will be comprised of a collection of the world’s best international professional cycling teams, along with a selection of top North American-based teams. The teams will be led by prominent UCI ProTour and Pro Continental teams, such as the three-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer and seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong’s team RadioShack; 2009’s No. 1-ranked Team HTC-Columbia, featuring sprint sensation Mark Cavendish; powerhouse Team Saxo Bank, featuring Tour of Flanders winner Fabian Cancellara and Tour de France runner-up Andy Schleck; Liquigas-Doimo, an exceptionally promising young Italian team; Colorado-based Garmin-Transitions; and BMC Racing Team, featuring current U.S. Pro champion George Hincapie. The more than 800-mile, eight-day stage race, modeled after the Tour de France, will take the world’s top professional cycling teams from Nevada City to Thousand Oaks/Westlake Village/Agoura Hills from May 16-23.

Full list and more after the break…

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Bike Snob Revealed… But You Already Knew That

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The BikeSnob is Eben Weiss. Photo by Bryan Derballa for the Wall Street Journal.

This is what I get for going on “vacation” and not checking a million different sites every day.  Bike Snob, or as his mama calls him Eben Weiss, has unveiled his true identity in preparation for his forthcoming book and promotional tour.

Bike Snob started anonymously in June 2007, and for a while not even his wife knew.  Over the past almost-three-years, his site has become the massively popular site that pretty much tells you why you don’t need all the shiny, awesome bike parts that we like to post here.  And he does it with panache.

Weiss’s book, “Bike Snob: Systematically and Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling,” will be published by Chronicle Books in May, followed by a book signing tour with a stop at Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop in Austin, TX, among other places.  Judging by the number of comments on his last few posts, dropping his anonymity apparently hasn’t hurt his popularity.

Review: Specialized Romin Road Saddle

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BIKERUMOR REVIEW: Over the last 12 years, I’ve put in some time on a number of different road saddles.  Some I liked, some I didn’t, but most had at least some good points.

Prior to the Romin, I was rotating through saddles and riding different review bikes with an alarming frequency, all the while talking to friends to see what they’re sitting on.  It seems virtually every cyclist that rides a Specialized saddle loves it…but no one had ridden the new Romin saddles yet.  One quick call to Specialized later and my butt’s on the Romin SL, a new saddle for 2010 that’s also supporting the butts of Team Saxobank (check out the interview from their training camp and first thoughts on this saddle).

First thoughts?  Best road saddle I’ve ever ridden.  Why?  Read on…

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Found: Custom Carbon Fiber Saddles

bikerumor pic of the day selle logica custom carbon fiber bike saddles at the san diego custom bicycle show

Say what? Yep, custom made to fit your body’s anatomy. (Sorry, Homer, can’t loan you my bike–it’s custom fit to my butt only!) Selle Logica makes these custom carbon fiber saddles by first getting an impression of your rear while on your bike. They are available with or without padding and will run you $575 to $595. Non-custom saddles are available for $385 to $395. Click on the link above for more information or check them out in person at this weekend’s San Diego Custom Bicycle Show.