Lycra freaks and beginner cyclists, rejoice! Sustainable transport company EcoCaddy has released a free app featuring 20 tried-and-tested bicycle routes.
There’s nothing quite like breezing through the city on your bike.
In an earlier chat between CityMag and EcoCaddy founder Daniels Langeberg, the cycling advocate mentioned his pedicab business launched a free app in May touting self-guided cycling rides to capture that feeling.
“It will take the unbeaten path, visit places that you wouldn’t have gone to,” Dans tells CityMag.
“The idea is that if someone would pick up the app, they could ride a different route every single week and start as a beginner, then go for longer.”
The app has 20 mapped rides so far but aims to release 52 – one for every week of the year.
It includes information on warm-up and cool-down stretches, South Australia’s cycling road rules, tips on where to hire a bike, and, most importantly, cycling routes for beginners to novices, stretching from the Barossa to Salisbury to Port Adelaide, varying in length and topography.
Dans says these rides are about getting out and breaking a sweat, but also enjoying metropolitan Adelaide and what it’s got to offer.
“What’s nice is we’ve curated these rides so that there are places to stop along the way, like at cafés and bike shops,” he says.
“You don’t notice these things when you’re in a car because you’re concentrating too much on the road and you’re encased in glass and metal.
“But when you’re on a bike you’re going at a low speed, and you can take things in, notice when things change, and stop really easily to enjoy them.”
For three years, every Tuesday night Dans has lead a gaggle of cyclists through Adelaide’s twisting suburbs, as part of the EcoCaddy night ride program.
The idea behind night rides was for cyclists to break out of their mental maps – the subconscious plans people use to get around and orient themselves.
“The thing with cyclists is you know your routes. You know how to get from your home to get to work, from work to your favourite place to drink, your restaurant, whatever,” Dans says.
“The whole thing about EcoCaddy night rides was to discover the laneways, the roads, the tunnels, which you wouldn’t ordinarily go down by yourself.”
COVID-19 forced night rides into indefinite postponement, but Dans wanted to keep the concept’s 570 Facebook members moving – hence the new app.
The technology couldn’t have been released at a better time, as most countries around the world, including Australia, have reported huge spikes in bicycle sales following the advent of COVID-19.
Cycling adheres to social distancing requirements and is a hygienic alternative to public transport. Also, when gyms are shut, it’s a great way to burn off quarantini calories.
Dans fears that once South Australians are immunised they might ditch the racer or road bike and head back into cars, but he hopes this app encourages people to see a slice of metropolitan Adelaide they haven’t before.
Although he’s not sure when EcoCaddy night ride group will start riding again, Dans says he misses watching new relationships blossom and sinking a beer at the pub at the end of the group’s weekly journey.
“It’s a good place for meeting people,” Dans says.
“And we go out north quite a lot, and we go to pubs I would never go to, because you judge these things like the cover of a book and you’re like ‘I’ll never go in there.’
“And what’s crazy is that every single time that has happened, we’ve been really pleasantly surprised by the hospitality.
“The characters that we’ve met at the bar, the experiences that we’ve had along the way, and on the way back, it’s like how can we continue to do that? I’m hoping this app will do that.”