New ‘Bike Fun App’ is key to your best Bike Summer ever

    When Bike Summer (a.k.a. Pedalpalooza) officially begins this Saturday we’ll be showered with so many ride options it can feel overwhelming. There are 22 rides on opening day alone and by the time the calendar is set there could be nearly 900 rides from June through August!

    If FOMO dampens your fun, you need to download the new Bike Fun app. This app, which is currently only for iOS with an Android version due next year, puts the entire Bike Summer calendar in your hands. It pulls all ride details from the official Shift calendar and packs very useful features into an intuitive and easy-to-use interface.

    You can view rides in map or list form, navigate one date at a time, bookmark a ride and set a reminder, and save rides to a bookmark page. Just find a ride near you, tap it, and see all the details. Tap the “Info” tab and get helpful new rider tips, find community resources, and even view rides by meet-up location. The app is free and has no ads or tracking.

    How did we get so lucky? The person behind this splendid sorcery is Aaron Corsi, a new Portland resident who moved here in early 2023 from Cincinnati. I caught up with him recently to learn more about him and his wonderful app.

    Aaron, his dog and the “cargo bike of his dreams.” (Photo: Aaron’s Instagram)

    “We were looking for a more progressive city and one of our top priorities was to be able to sell one of the cars and use transit or bikes for the vast majority of transportation,” Aaron shared with BikePortland via email. “Portland ended up being the winner because of its reputation as a ‘cycling city,’ close proximity to nature, and the relatively low cost of living compared to other bike/transit friendly cities.”

    Aaron is a great example of someone who moves here for the culture, then adds to it. And he’s a BikePortland fan!

    “I found BikePortland when I was researching cities and it was actually a big selling point for me to see that there were enough people who care about good bike infrastructure and safe streets to keep a website like BikePortland going for so many years, including the comments section that so often has very thoughtful discussions. I wasn’t really sure what to expect when it came to the bike infrastructure but I knew it was going to be a big part of how I would get around, so one of the first things I did after moving here was look up articles about new installations on BP and ride there to see what it was like, slowly building up confidence and going further and further from my house.”

    Aaron said he knew Portland had a bike cycling community but he didn’t know exactly what that meant beyond a lot of people biking around. Fresh to town he says he rolled over to Splendid Cycles to buy the “cargo bike of my dreams” with the money from selling his car and that’s where he first learned about Pedalpalooza and the Shift website. His first ride was the weekly PSU Farmer’s Market Ride. “It was so warm and welcoming, the perfect way to dip my toes into the group ride culture,” he recalled. Once he did his first Thursday Night Ride and last year’s Bike Summer kickoff, he was hooked. “Something about huge groups roaming through the city with all of that positive energy is just magical,” he said.

    (Above: Aaron demos the app in a short video.)

    When it comes to the Bike Fun app, it was a natural extension of Aaron’s skillset as a veteran iOS app developer. “When I was looking to start a new project my partner suggested that I should make an app ‘for that website you check all the time,’ and here we are!” he shared. Aaron got most of the coding done this past winter when a major ice storm trapped him indoors.

    Now that Bike Summer season is upon us, Aaron hopes his app will get more people out in the streets. And he’s not done with it yet: Cool features in the works include integration with routing app RideWithGPS, GPS recording to save in your ride journal, and badges for achievements and ride milestones.

    Our community is so lucky to have Shift, Bike Summer, and amazing people like Aaron.

    Find the app at BikeFun.Bike or search “bike fun” in the App store.

    Aaron shared these notable features you might miss:

    – No matter which device it’s running on, the ride data is stored offline so users can still look up all the details about a ride even if they don’t have a data connection. Ride data for a given day is updated every time a user views that day’s rides in the app.

    – Under “Info” -> “Popular Meetup Locations” you can find rides for the next 100 days organized according to meetup locations.

    – On the “Saved” tab, once a saved ride has started you can log your attendance and write a ride journal if you’d like.

    – There is a full-featured version of the app for Apple Watch that does everything the other versions do including saving rides offline.

    – The app is designed to respect user’s privacy. Saved rides, attendance records, ride journals, etc. are all stored privately on the user’s device and are synced to their other devices using iCloud if they’re signed into that. There are no ads in the app and there’s no analytics, tracking, or data collection of any kind. 

    – The app works on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Macs with Apple chips. There’s no Android version yet but I have started on it, it probably won’t be done until next year’s Bike Summer.

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