Citi Bike Ride Reports

The Best Bike Speedometer on the iPhone: Day 30

If you noticed from the last post, I switched my bike route tracking/mapping app from Kinetic to a new one. It’s called GPSSpeed HD. According to the publisher, it’s a GPS tool with speedometer, altimeter, compass and GPS-tracker.

It costs $1.99, but it’s well worth it. I love mounting my iPhone on my bike at home and using this as sort of my “dashboard”. You can configure it to look like a traditional car speedometer:

traditional speedometer on ios

Or a digital speedometer:

speedometer on iphone

Or even a high-tech display that shows your forces in G’s.

force in g's

I had a little fun with this app on the Amtrak Acela on my recent trip to Washington DC, where to my surprise the train actually achieved speeds of up to 142 MPH.


Not quite the same speed for my ride today, with a maximum speed of 16 MPH

average speed

On thing cool about app is that it displays your speed overlaid on top of your altitude. You can see here that the ride from Penn across down is relatively flat, but there’s an uphill climb as you head uptown on Madison. At first I thought the app was broken because it was reporting me at 312 feet when the maximum elevation of the entire City is only 265 feet above sea level (Bennett Park in Washington Heights). But I soon realized that I’d kept the app running and so the point where my MPH falls and my altitude rises is when I took the elevator up at work!

graph of speed and altitide

As for the ride itself, it wasn’t bad, until I got to the bike dock at 51st and Lexington. This one is always empty, but for the first time in a long time it was completely full, probably because more people are using the bikes due to the cooler weather.

I forgot that they had a “list” view in the Citi Bike app, so I kept pulling up the map, which never refreshed and was painfully slow, so I gave up on using it. Luckily I found ONE remaining slot at 53rd and Madison (which is usually completely full early), or I would have had to bike halfway back to Penn to find a bike to dock. The bike dock situation is getting worse and worse.

Today’s Route: East on 32nd to Madison, Up on Madison, East on 51st, then a detour to 53rd and Madison.
Best Thing About It: Perfect 66 degree weather again in September with a cool breeze. Pretty light traffic on 32nd. Pretty smooth sailing on the left-hand lane of Madison, away from the bus lane. 
Worst Thing About It: 
Not having a bike lane on 32nd nor Madison meant a couple tight squeezes when traffic starts converging.
Route Rating: 7 of 10


route on 9-9-14


  • Cost per ride: $95/43=$2.21 per ride
  • Stress: 4 of 10
  • Aggravation: 6 of 10


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