Let's face it: Phoenix and the surrounding cities aren't exactly the easiest to navigate in terms of cycling. Where one bike lane ends, swerving, speeding vehicular traffic begins. Even more bicycle-friendly places like Scottsdale and Tempe suffer from these infrastructural issues. However, figuring out the basics of biking in Phoenix just got a little easier, thanks to the Phoenix Bikes app.
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The Phoenix Bikes app combines bikeway maps, shop suggestions, group ride listings, and other city-specific information to guide you through the ins and outs of Phoenix cycling. The app also breaks down information for biking by purpose, be it a recreational cruiser ride, city commuting, or extreme mountain biking.
Conveniently, it also includes a "Heat Monitor" function that displays the current temperature along with a list of temperatures and their correlated suggested water intake.
The app is part of a nationwide health initiative by My City Bikes to present cycling as a healthy, viable alternative for people in different cities. My City Bikes partnered with such "local beginner-friendly bike shops " as Landis Cyclery, Trek Bicycles of West Phoenix, Bicycles of Phoenix, and Cactus Bike for the local component of the app. However, the app also has more general information, too, including instructional videos on a range of DIY repair topics like changing a tube and cleaning a chain.
Grid Bikes, the soon-to-launch Phoenix bike share, will link up to the app once the green bikes are ready to roll.
It would have been interesting to see what the app was like if they had partnered with local advocacy groups like Phoenix Spokes People or Tempe Bicycle Action Group, which already have a wealth of information like this available. It also would be nice to see more bike shops, especially low-to-no-cost collectives like Rusty Spoke and Bike Saviours, represented to give new riders more options.