The Greatest Road on Your iPhone

03/29/2011 @ 5:08 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

While we contemplate riding the 15 Top Motorcycling Roads according to the AMA membership, there’s an easier way to find great routes near where you live. For about a year now we’ve been following the progress on “The Greatest Road” iPhone application, the brainchild of Daniel Pifko, which recently got funding from SocialNav and will be taking on that name in the future.

The idea behind that app is a directory of the greatest motorcycle roads around the world, submitted by the riders themselves, complete with a social sharing element that lets motorcyclists comment on routes, post rides to social sites like Facebook, etc. Taking advantage of the iPhone’s built-in GPS locator, you can search for roads based on your location, or browse other locales to plan a trip. Basically it’s your Sunday Morning Ride in palm of your hand, and our happy merger of computer geekdom and motorcycling (woot!).

In its short lifetime, The Greatest Road application has evolved into a polished tool for motorcyclist (there’s a car app too if that’s your cup of tea), but always suffered from the chicken and the egg problem of having people buy an application that was dependent on user generated content. As everyone knows Asphalt & Rubber is run out of my mom’s basement (3pm everyday she comes in with cookies and milk, bless her heart), so our staff could easily afford the dollar or two that the Apple iTunes App Store took from us…motorcycle blogging after all pays the big bucks.

But how would our brothers in digital arms over in the automotive field fare? Would they be able to afford food and water? Would they be able to do laundry this month? The answer was sadly no…that is of course until we heard that The Greatest Road app is now free for a limited time on iTunes, which should help increase the number of people using it, and thus the number/quality of routes, comments, etc.

Now into version 2.0, the company has added push notifications to its application, which will help facilitate the social aspect of the platform. Creator Daniel Pifko hints to us that they’ve got some cool ideas banding about on how to use that feature of the iOS in coming versions (we can’t wait to see what they come up with). We have visions of road condition updates, alerts for speed traps, and the special of the day at Wolf’s Tavern on Hwy 33 (if it ever opens again). Slick stuff indeed, check it out on iTunes.

Source: The Greatest Roads/SocialNav

  • Sean in Oz

    Good roads, free from traffic and police presence are something to be kept secret, not broadcast to the lazy masses. The last thing you want is every twat and his mate turning up on your favourite road. Why would anybody contribute to such an app?

  • Pingback: Bikertwitts()

  • Pingback: Bikertwitts()

  • Hi Sean,

    Sure, there are “private” roads as you describe. But the vast majority are ones that I would share with my riding buddies over beer or a campfire.

    As my company was deciding what kind of app to build, a friend and I decided to head out one Sunday to test ride a bike. The friend took me to a small road about an hour away (Mines Road, if you’re interested – map: ) that was pretty well known to people in the area. I’d just never heard of it because I don’t ride there. It’s frickin’ fantastic – tight twisties, good views, sunshine and not a lot of traffic. I was (mock) annoyed at him for not having told me about it years ago. It wasn’t that he was hiding it, just that it hadn’t come up and he hadn’t thought of it.

    We trade routes all the time, usually with one of us kicking it off by throwing in a ride we’ve just done. The other one comes back with a different ride and, before you know it, we’ve each picked up several days worth of wicked places to go.

    That’s why people contribute.

    I hope you download the app and end up with a few more places to ride. It sucks riding through an area and missing the best road around.

    Good riding,