2021 will be another summer of staycations – but that doesn’t mean staying still. Of course, cyclists up and down the country will be altogether aware of that much, eagerly planning their inter-county adventures through most of lockdown; now, the time has come to hit the road and explore Ireland from the saddle.
And while you’ve laid out the lycra, packed the blister pads, and jammed enough energy gels in your bag to fuel a space mission, there might be a few final additions to your trip worth thinking about – none of which will add to your luggage weight. While your everyday activity likely involves an app or two, you’d best believe that a national tour brings a few more into the equation – and so, without further ado, here are the phone-based friends that might come in handy during your travels…
OK, so you might have heard of this one. Still; if you complete a route and don’t log it on Strava, were you really there at all? It’s unparalleled when it comes to plotting rides, calculating climbs, and just about anything else you’ll want to know once you’ve dismounted for the evening. Sharing pictures from your journey and connecting with friends means motivation and comparison to other riders is easy too!
Get it on: https://www.strava.com/mobile
If you’re really pushing the boundaries of exploration, you might find yourself leaving 4G in your wake; that’s where this awesome tool comes in. While serving much like any other mapping app while connected, this one separates itself by allowing you to download maps for the entire nation (and, indeed, other nations when you eventually find yourself travelling again) for offline use. The only downside to this amazing feature is that if you do end up getting lost, you’ll only have yourself to blame…
Get it on: https://maps.me/
Make your tour through nature a guided one with this extraordinary tool, which crowdsources expertise from all over the world to identify the flora and fauna in your eyeline. From rivers deep to mountains high, you’re likely to see life in all sorts of shapes and sizes as you venture across the country, so you’ll have plenty of chances to give it a whirl; just don’t be surprised if your average speed drops because you’re spending more time snapping shots of what’s beside the road instead of pedalling along it!
Get it on: https://www.inaturalist.org/
BIKE REPAIR GUIDE
Unlike the others on this list there’s no free version of this one, but if you find yourself needing it then it’ll be the best few euro you’ve ever invested. Loaded with step-by-step instructions to resolve every common issue with your bike (and some uncommon ones too!), and complete with visual aids to guide you, it’s like having a mechanic right in your pocket. On top of that, it subscribes to the adage that ‘prevention is the best cure’, and so provides plenty of maintenance tips to ensure your mishaps are kept to the bare minimum.
Get it on: https://www.bikerepairapp.com/
We hate to break it to you, but any prolonged period in Ireland’s great outdoors will inevitably mean exposure to a range of conditions, from thundering downpours and challenging cross-winds to dazzling sunshine and fluctuating temperatures. Being prepared is a pretty important – and that’s where this world-renowned forecast app comes in. A quick consult in the morning, and you should be ready for whatever’s coming your way in the day ahead; if you can’t control the skies, then this is the next best thing!
Now you know what essential apps to download to set you up for your journey, check out our trails to tackle for inspiration on where to go!