Weather can be the most unpredictable factor during your bike ride. This is particularly true during the spring and fall, when sunny skies can take an unpredictable turn for the worse without much warning.
Fortunately, a new weather app for cyclists called Epic Ride Weather aims to solve this problem by providing detailed weather data for any planned cycling route. After installing the app and taking it for a spin, here’s what we’ve learned:
WHAT IS IT?
Epic Ride Weather is an app created specifically for cyclists looking for accurate weather reports before and during a ride. The app works by using an advanced technology called Dark Sky API, which has the ability to forecast the weather for the route you choose.
The app can be useful when attempting to predict unexpected route conditions such as rain, temperature fluctuations, wind speed and direction and incoming storms.
The app takes information from your pre-selected MapMyRide route. Once a route is chosen, the app predicts weather conditions along the way coinciding with your start time and average speed so you know what to expect every mile. This data can be useful to avoid areas when wind or rain will be most severe and help you dress appropriately for what you’ll face out on the road.
While the app itself is free, you only get 100 forecasts. Updated forecasts are provided to the user every 10 minutes while you’re out on the bike, so depending on how long your rides are, the 100 free forecasts will probably run out after a few weeks of riding. However, this free introductory period lets you try the app before you decide whether or not it’s worth purchasing more forecasts.
You can purchase a bundle of 10,000 forecasts for $3.99.
READ MORE > 8 TRICKS TO STAY SAFE ON YOUR BIKE IN THE RAIN
TIPS FOR USING THE APP
While the idea of this app is extremely useful for spring and fall rides when conditions often change suddenly, there are a few things you should know to get the most out of your experience.
The initial setup and forecast is extremely easy, and it only takes a few seconds to get your data. Epic Ride Weather works best with routes already on your iOS or Android device. If you’re out exploring or decide to ride a route you’ve never ridden before, you won’t be able to get forecasts unless you stay on the pre-selected route from MapMyRide.
This means you’ll need to create a new route before you leave the house if you want to use the Epic Ride Weather app. While this takes a little extra time, it’s worth the effort if accurate weather data is important to your overall ride experience.
The app is more accurate the closer you are to your departure time. If you check the app the night before your ride, it’ll work — it just might not be as accurate. Your best bet is to check the app right before your ride if you’re on the fence about rain gear or dressing for temperature changes.
READ MORE > WHAT TO WEAR TO RIDE IN THE RAIN
On the bike, I found the app to be much handier than expected. Things like wind direction and speed are factors that can definitely affect a ride and you normally have very little control over. While you still won’t be able to control the weather, pushing through a tough section as you approach an upcoming tailwind can be strangely motivating. If you’ve got multiple routes on MapMyRide, searching for alternate route to avoid a crazy headwind is something you might find yourself doing more often than not.
The app can also be extremely useful when riding in groups. Since drafting directly behind another cyclist isn’t particularly helpful in crosswinds, knowing when the wind direction changes can make setting up an echelon or planning a drafting strategy much easier to manage. Weather data can also be shared among other members of the group, which can help keep everyone on the same page.
There’s a lot to like about Epic Ride Weather. Whether you’re a commuter or an experienced racer, the nominal fee and high accuracy of the weather data makes this an intriguing option for any cyclist looking to be as prepared as possible for the elements you’ll face on the road.
GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT WORKOUT