I am a magpie for technology, old or new I just seem to hoard it. I am routinely reminded by my parents of the old computers that I just can’t seem to part with that are in their loft. And my flat in London is no different. Every so often I dig through a box of this stuff that has accumulated to see what I’ve forgotten, at the beginning of this year I rediscovered my Beeline.
This small little puck on my handlebars has completely transformed how I cycle around London.
Beeline isn’t new. It is a product that I kickstarted in October 2015. And like so many projects on Kickstarter it promised a lot, and when I got my hands on it, it just didn’t live up to the hope. The concept was pretty simple; it provides ‘fuzzy direction’ for your ride; think of it like a compass for you bike, but rather than pointing north, it points towards the destination you’re cycling too. The idea was great, however my experience was that it just wasn’t that helpful in built up London. So I wrote it off, forgot about it in my box of tech.
Three and a bit years on and everything has changed. Just before Christmas Beeline pushed an update with added Route Mode. It pulls directions from Google Maps, specifically the cycling routes (so you get all the shortcuts, the quieter roads, cyclepaths and backstreets) which I was using already and then gives you turn-by-turn directions on your handlebars. It is great.
In the last couple of months I’ve cycled over 300km to a whole load of places that previously I would have been stopping regularly on the ride to double check the map. Beeline has made cycling to new places fun and easy.
It has a handy backlight which makes the screen readable and night. The battery life is solid. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy so it’s easy on my phone battery too. And the icing on the cake? It uploads your rides to Strava (because unless a ride is uploaded to Strava, did it really happen?).
Anyway… that’s my love-letter to Beeline. If you’re a regular cyclist who wants a turn-by-turn tool for your bike, it’s a worthy investment.