My iPhone App iDea Will Make Me a Kazillionaire

11.11.2010 | 2:46 pm

I’m a big fan of the iPhone. Why? Because it allows me to do very many important blog-related tasks while I am on the go — tasks which directly and materially affect and contribute to the content of my blog and therefore make the phone and the outrageous monthly phone and data fee I pay completely tax deductible.

For example, while in Austin for the LiveStrong Challenge, several of us from Team Fatty were walking to Mellow Johnny’s when we saw the Jose Cuervo Games going on in a parking lot. These games were free, and included the opportunity to ride a mechanical bucking lime.

Yes. A lime. That bucks. Mechanically.

Not ones to pass up an opportunity to do something ridiculous (and free), Jenni L, The Runner and I took turns riding the lime.

I recorded this all, using my iPhone. And then I edited the video, again on my iPhone — adding captions and the most boring soundtrack ever. And then I posted it directly to YouTube. But it looked horrible at the resolution it posts at over the 3G network, so later I uploaded it to Vimeo instead. Here, take a look:

See, that’s a very good, reasonable use of my phone, and easily justifies it as a blog-related business expense.

Even more importantly, however, since I always have my phone with me, and my phone has a camera, I can take pictures pretty much any time I want. Which means that I was able to get — after the lime ride — this photo of ClydeSteve with Levi Leipheimer, who was just hanging out Mellow Johnny’s, buying Christmas presents (yes, really):


Of course, there are several important things you can take away from this brief anecdote and photo, including:

  • Levi Leipheimer is a very relaxed and accommodating guy, as evidenced by the fact that he walked around the area without a posse or bodyguard. Just your average guy, you know.
  • Levi has a very good sense of people, as indicated by the way he looks terrified behind that smile, completely aware that ClydeSteve could — and might — crush him under the weight of his enormous hand.
  • Levi’s and ClydeSteve’s heads are equally luminescent.

[Special Note to ClydeSteve: You can click on the above photo to download it at its original resolution. You know, for your Christmas photo or whatever.]

Finally, I’m Getting to The Point of This Post

Yes, this phone is a miracle of technology, and not just because I can use it tax-deductibly. But as is, as a cyclist I’m under-utilizing this phone horribly.

And, if you are a cyclist and have a smartphone, you are underutilizing your phone, too.

But soon — thanks to my development efforts — your phone will do much, much more.

But wait. Before you roll your eyes and say, “I know about iMapMyRide,” rest assured that this is not an application that just gives you training and route information. No.

Allow me to explain the philosophy and some of the important features of my soon-to-be-released iPhone app, which I am calling “iReal iWorld iCyclist.”

iReal iWorld iCyclist Described

The idea behind “iReal iWorld iCyclist” (or “iRiWiC” for short) is to take the activities cyclists do, and then have the phone do those activities instead, freeing the cyclist to do things other than cycling.

Like tweet about cycling.

The secondary purpose of this application is for you to show the selfsame application to your cycling friends and make them jealous at the fact that you have a cycling-related object they do not have. (And, to make sure you continue to be the only of your cycling group to have this product, you can pay $19.95 [per person] to specify the names of people we will thereafter not sell iRiWiC to. Because, face it, it’s worth paying a little extra to retain exclusivity.)

Enhanced Ride Map + Statistics

When you encounter another rider — on the trail, at a stoplight — there’s a good chance you’ll need to describe your ride. But what if your ride is just a piddly little thing and the other rider has just described a monster epic?

Well, you could say you’re on a recovery ride today (nobody believes other people when they hear this), or you could say you’re just beginning your ride and are just going to ride for a while (nobody believes this, either). You could even tell the truth: that all you’re up for is 45 minutes of flat, easy spinning (people believe this, but aren’t very impressed).

Or you could take out your phone and show them the stats for the “ride” you’ve been “doing.”

When you go to iRiWiC’s “Ride Log” feature, it quickly uses the phone’s GPS to determine your current location, then — instantly — creates all the data you need to show that you are in the final 15 miles of a 140-mile interval training ride. Wow your friends with:

  • Your top speed (58mph)
  • Your ride’s elevation profile (includes multiple ascents of all mountain passes within a 50-mile radius)
  • Your ride track
  • Your maximum HR: 214
  • Your HR at the beginning of the ride: 8

Automatic Emergency Alert

Smartphones are equipped with a number of motion and location detecting devices to determine where you are and how fast you were traveling when you got there.

Smartphones are also equipped with phones. Which is smart.

And now, thanks to iRiWiC, your phone can quite literally phone home if you’re in trouble. If, for example, the accelerometer detects that you were going 48mph and then instantly decelerated to 0mph and came to rest on your back and stopped moving altogether, iRiWiC will text up to three people with the message “Just hit a bldg/tree/bottom of cliff. Am upside down. Plz call 4 hlp. Kthxbai!” It will also call 911 and — in a calm, computer-synthesized voice, relay your location information, as well as a colorful metaphor for how much pain you’re probably in.

Optionally, you can also set iRiWiC to tweet this same information and post it as a Facebook status update.

Product Update Alert

It’s crucial, as a proud upscale bike owner, that your bike is the lightest. The stiffest. The upgradiest. But staying ahead of the Joneses is tiring, demanding work. That’s why iRiWiC monitors all major and boutique frame and component manufacturer production statuses.

This way, when you’re riding your 2011 Canondale Flash Carbon Ultimate and Canondale suddenly comes out with its 2011.1 Canondale Flash Carbon SuperUltimate, you won’t be caught flat-footed. One click and iRiWiC will get your tragically obsolete bike onto eBay and place an order with your local dealer (iRiWiC supports local dealers) for the latest and greatest.

Strong Opinion Generator

Sick of tracking which pros are allegedly clean, which are allegedly doping, and which have always tested clean but some think are doping anyway? Still want to appear knowledgeable during the outrage-filled conversations that happen before and after group rides? Simply go to iRiWiC’s Strong Opinion Generator, select the pro / team in question, and then click the “like” or “hate” button. iRiWiC will scan through opinionated cycling sites, blogs, and Twitter accounts to find all the relevant “facts” supporting the point of view you have chosen to adopt.

Then, just to mess with your friends, after letting the conversation go for a couple minutes, you can easily switch to the other point of view and sound just as convincing.

Favorable Ride Analysis Generator

You’re not always going to set a personal best time every time you do a climb. You’re not always going to have a banner day when riding on the flats. It’s just a fact of life: some days, you’re not going to ride as well as others.

But when you suck, that doesn’t mean you have to take responsibility for it.

Simply open iRiWiC’s “Ride Analysis” generator and it will give you — along with an honest assessment of your actual speed and distance — the mitigating factors that explain why you didn’t go very fast. Including:

  • Scan weather services to discover probable unfavorable wind direction, as well as excessively high/low temperatures
  • Evaluate position of the sun with regards to your line of sight during the ride to evaluate likelihood (very high) of sun being in your eyes.
  • Search news services to find whether there is a high pollen count (trust me, there is).
  • Review records of doctors and hospitals in the area to see whether there’s something (a cold, the flu) that’s been going around. And there always is.

Funny Sound Analyzer

What’s that weird sound coming from your bike? It sounds kind of like crickets. Or maybe like a nail gun. Or maybe crickets being attacked with a nail gun.

Whatever it is, it for sure means something’s wrong with your bike. You just can’t tell what.

Well, simply fire up iRiWiC and press the “Listen” button, then put your phone near your bike (don’t worry about putting it exactly next to the place where the sounds coming from, since it’s almost impossible to tell). iRiWiC will match the sound your bike is making to its extensive database other bikes have made and their mechanic-certified ailments.

Then, when you call your mechanic, you can say, “I think my bottom bracket has a cracked bearing” instead of “When I pedal, my bike makes a ‘crunka-squirka-crunk’ sound.

Bonus Funny Sound Feature: iRiWiC records the sound as you make it so, if necessary, you can play it back to your mechanic. This is a very helpful feature since — guaranteed — when you get to the bike shop your bike will immediately (albeit temporarily) cease making that noise altogether.

Post-Ride Food Recommendation

You’re back from your ride. You’re hungry. What should you eat? It’s a true dilemma, and a serious one at that.

iRiWiC is here to help. Based on how far you have ridden, on what kind of terrain, and at what level of effort, iRiWiC will tell you what an optimal recovery food would be for you.

Invariably, that food is pizza.

This is not a bug, it’s just the truth.


  1. Comment by Stranded | 11.11.2010 | 2:51 pm

    Kickbacks from Apple?

    Tax-deductible kickbacks. – FC

  2. Comment by Clancy | 11.11.2010 | 3:25 pm

    I thought you promised Levi that you wouldn’t make fun of him anymore. Or maybe that was just that you wouldn’t photoshop hair on his head anymore. Whatever. The point is, when Levi sees this he’s gonna be pissed. And he may wind up beating you up again.


  3. Comment by Yahoo! Rob | 11.11.2010 | 3:39 pm

    Duuuuuude! Sign me up as the first (and soon-to-be only) iRiWiC owner! I will work towards submitting a donation of $1,000,000 to your LiveStrong account so that you won’t sell iRiWiC to anyone else (or at least not to the next 50,125.3 people who want the app – that should cover everyone else).

    Masterful post Fatty!

  4. Comment by Mary | 11.11.2010 | 3:55 pm

    Wow, I was impressed by the flip after the lime-ride.

  5. Comment by Shawn | 11.11.2010 | 4:12 pm


    I want iRiWiC for Android! :p

  6. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 11.11.2010 | 4:22 pm

    I totally need the funny sound analyzer with the bonus recording feature. I always feel like an idiot acting out the noises to my bike shop guys. Sign me up, Fatty. Pure genius.

  7. Comment by Geo | 11.11.2010 | 4:22 pm

    Enough about the iPhone app (BTW, the crash detector is genius), I want to know how to get on the Professional Lime Riders tour.

  8. Comment by Bisso | 11.11.2010 | 4:52 pm

    Nice work Fatty. One of your best.

    And a shout out to Neil whom i met on Sunday after the Brisbane to Gold Coast ride. It’sthe first time i’ve met another member of Team Fatty as we are a little thin on the ground (metaphorically speaking) in this neck of the woods.

  9. Comment by Philly Jen | 11.11.2010 | 4:56 pm

    Clydesteve, shouldn’t your shirt read:

    Coke + Mountain Dew
    It’s like jet fuel, only louder

  10. Comment by NYCCarlos | 11.11.2010 | 5:02 pm

    I want a real squeak analyzer…

  11. Comment by T Foster | 11.11.2010 | 5:09 pm

    Totally believable except for the succinct 911 auto-call. Change the app to rephrase the same emergency statement seven ways and you have a winner.

  12. Comment by Paul G | 11.11.2010 | 5:22 pm

    I’m with Shawn. Port to Android requested.

  13. Comment by RipkenFan | 11.11.2010 | 5:32 pm

    When you upgrade the software bundle make sure to include the excuse generator for why someone couldn’t ride. Excuses such as my LBS doesn’t have my tire in stock and such.

  14. Comment by chuckred | 11.11.2010 | 6:41 pm

    There’s something vaguely disturbing about the Ride the Lime…

    thinking back to the old Led Zep Lemon Song…

  15. Comment by Alison | 11.11.2010 | 7:49 pm

    It’s the very app I’ve been waiting for!

  16. Comment by Doug/Way Upstate NY | 11.11.2010 | 8:06 pm

    Yeah don’t forget Android. They are expected to have the largest market share before too long :)

  17. Comment by Laura | 11.11.2010 | 8:21 pm

    Where do I enter my credit card information? =)

  18. Comment by aussie kev | 11.11.2010 | 9:38 pm

    very funny – i would buy it tomorrow !!!!!


  19. Comment by AELinICT | 11.11.2010 | 10:10 pm

    Your vimeo video won’t play on my iPhone. Is that, like, irony?

  20. Comment by Penina | 11.12.2010 | 7:04 am

    4th Android official vote.

  21. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 11.12.2010 | 7:36 am

    Ha ha ha! I love it!

  22. Comment by Shane | 11.12.2010 | 7:38 am

    Could you make the app available for blackberry as well? Please? Thank you.

  23. Comment by rich | 11.12.2010 | 8:30 am

    Love this post! My daughter is always bagging on me for not having an ipone and the one thing hers won’t do is make a call from our kitchen….dead zone or something like that…

    Nice flip after the lime ride!

    Good stuff Fatty

  24. Comment by MattC | 11.12.2010 | 9:27 am

    Uhm, will the iRiWiC app run on my 6 year old Tracfone? I thought I was the bees-knees when I upgraded to that from my Motorola flip-phone (w/ the pull out antenna). Guess I’m just a bit behind the times. (I upgraded to the flip-phone from the motorola car-phone…the one w/ the box under the seat and a full-size corded handset). I guess I should start a mini Smithsonian wing w/ my used stuff. Maybe my Commodore Vic-20 w/ it’s whopping 2.2k of RAM can go in there too.

  25. Comment by HeidiR | 11.12.2010 | 11:25 am

    Awesome! Love my iPhone – would definitely buy iRiWiC! Especially love the enhanced ride & stats …

  26. Comment by Janneke | 11.12.2010 | 11:56 am

    Vote #5 for Android version. Oh, and congrats on you two new nephews.

  27. Comment by Hooples3 | 11.12.2010 | 12:06 pm

    Purely genius..
    Sign me up for the app

  28. Comment by CRSonic | 11.12.2010 | 12:20 pm

    OH MY GOSH!!! Clydesteve, I love your t-shirt!!!

  29. Comment by LiveSTRONG4Life | 11.12.2010 | 4:25 pm

    I would really like to see you “…Tweet about cycling…”

    To follow up on my in-person request submitted in Austin, puhleeze post a Tweet when there’s a new blog entry!!

  30. Comment by Mark | 11.12.2010 | 5:31 pm

    My daughter actually writes iPhone apps! And, she’s a cyclist to boot! I’ll email this blog to her and she’ll be all over it. No problem with copyrights, right?

  31. Comment by Jenni L | 11.12.2010 | 5:41 pm

    That lime was awesome. I think we could have an awesome fundraiser with it, though I don’t love promoting alcohol.

  32. Comment by Clydesteve | 11.13.2010 | 10:54 am

    Fatty – Great post! I totally want the ride analyzer module. I’ll start making up a longer list of mitigating excuses you can include.

    The first one that comes to mind is: “I was riding with The Runner and she kicked my butt on a hill, so I ran out of gas!”

    My wife thinks the “heads equally luminescent” remark is hilarious. I love it when she is happy, so, thanks!

  33. Comment by Phil | 11.13.2010 | 11:52 am

    Great idea. iRiWiC for Android! Please!

  34. Comment by Jesse | 11.13.2010 | 2:07 pm

    Sounds fantastic! I could definitely use the funny sound analyzer now – there’s this ereeent, ereeeent sound coming from somewhere?

  35. Comment by Matthew in Seattle | 11.13.2010 | 2:14 pm

    Needs better integration with BikeSnobNYC Power Technolgy ™:

    Current Power: You Suck
    Average Power: You Pretty Much Always Suck
    Max Power: You’ve Been Sucking Pretty Hard

  36. Comment by JeffD | 11.14.2010 | 6:03 am

    Hey, WOW! Nice app idea! Very funny, but the crash detector is a good idea. Too bad I don’t have accelerometers in my Blackberry…

  37. Comment by Clydesteve | 11.14.2010 | 7:59 pm

    @CRSonic – Thanks get it at Topatoco

  38. Comment by trailsnet | 11.14.2010 | 10:41 pm

    Good luck on the kazillion $ app. I’m sure you will exceed your goal.

    I too am a huge iphone fan. I would be lost on bike trips w/out it. It is my GPS, my trail guide, my link to civilization, my entertainment, my…
    Well you get the picture…
    Oh yeah, it’s my backup picture taker, too. (aka camera)

  39. Comment by FatPedro | 11.15.2010 | 9:18 am

    Sorry, I was all ready to purchase your app, but until you come out with the “Burrito Super Grande” version, I will wait. Pizza just isn’t going to work for me :-(

  40. Comment by Scott R | 11.15.2010 | 12:51 pm

    ClydeSteve, great shirt :-)

  41. Comment by nancy | 11.15.2010 | 7:13 pm



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