August 16, 2011 – Sure, cycling can be a solitary pursuit. But doesn’t it feel good to let your friends know when you’ve kicked their butts on a favourite ride? A new web site called Mookers (www.mookers.com) lets you do just that, as well as analyze and compare your rides from start to finish.
And just like the way cycling makes you feel, Mookers is absolutely free. Like other ride analysis sites, Mookers crunches the data from your Garmin GPS device and gives you a comprehensive report on your speed, cadence, distance, heart rate and any other metrics your device records. But that’s where the similarities end.
Mookers, launched on August 1, offers three never-before-seen features that make it a much more useful tool than existing sites: automatic route recognition, specific-point analysis and social sharing.
Let’s say you’ve got a favourite circuit you like to ride. Even if you diverge slightly to dodge a parked car or pedal around a fallen tree, Mookers will automatically recognize the route each time you ride it, allowing you to easily compare each run. You can even watch an animated “race” of all the rides you and your friends have logged on that route.
With Mookers’ specific-point analysis, you can also mouse over any part of a route to see the data for that exact moment of your ride – not just laps or splits. So if your ride contains a particularly gruelling hill, for example, you can see what your heart rate was at the exact moment you were powering up it.
All of these features are very cool. But Mookers gets even better. Mookers’ Facebook-style social component lets you connect and share your ride data with other cyclists, and automatically tells your friends when you’ve logged a new ride, route or personal achievement.
With the ability to search for friends by name, location or even route, friendly competition is always just a click away, even if you don’t have a local riding partner. Don’t want to share your rides?
Adjustable privacy settings make it easy to keep your data to yourself.
It’s this social component that’s key to the Mookers experience, says Mookers developer Mike Read, a British ex-pat and former Ironman competitor now living in Prince George, B.C.
“Say there are 10 people in a cycling club,” explains Read. “They become friends on Mookers, and any time they ride a route all their friends know about it. If they record a personal best, or the fastest time on that route, their friends will know. The whole premise is friendly competition.”
Race organizers, he adds, can promote their race and challenge participants to compare their ride with friends simply by adding their route to the Mookers system.
When you’re not in the saddle, Mookers works equally well with your Garmin watch to analyze data from your runs and even hikes, organizing each one neatly under its own activity-specific heading.
Mookers currently only works with Garmin GPS devices. To sign up and start using Mookers for free, visit www.mookers.com.
What the heck is a “mooker”?
In the Royal Navy, in which Mike Read spent five years as an Electronic Warfare Operator, a “mooker” is synonymous with a “mate” or “buddy.”