Of Bikes and Batteries... And Cell Phones / by Erin Wade

 The Mophie Powerstation fits nicely in my frame bag.  

The Mophie Powerstation fits nicely in my frame bag.  

In an unusual twist the weather today - November 1 - turned out to be perfect for riding.

When I go out for rides I use my iPhone to track my distance, speed, etc, using an app called Cyclemeter. I also use it, paired with my Jumbl Bluetooth Audio Receiver, to listen to audiobooks and podcasts while I'm riding[^1].

The difficulty is that, on longer rides, the battery on the iPhone may have trouble keeping up. It's not really the phone's fault - it's being asked to do a lot: run the the GPS radio continuously, keep the screen lit, and transmit audio over Bluetooth. For rides that run longer than an hour it's hit or miss as to whether the phone will last the entire ride. I can lengthen this by turning off the screen, which can help quite a bit, but I enjoy the feedback the app gives.

It occurred to me a while back that I could take a battery pack and attach that to the phone while I was riding. They do make products to do this - for example, this gizmo that uses the power from your pedaling to provide a charge. But that type of thing seemed fiddly and expensive, and a simple battery pack like the ones made by Mophie would also have uses in settings besides riding.

So that's what I did. I purchased a Mophie Powerstation and set it up to sit in my frame bag, with a lightening cable connecting it to the iPhone, secured to the frame using a Velcro cable strap. I've been using it for the past two or three months, and it works like a charm. I have enough power to get through the ride without worrying about my charge, with a minimum of fuss.


[^1]: The entertainment for today's ride was the 10/29/15 episode of NPR's Ask Me Another featuring Bruce Campbell and Lucy Lawless. I always enjoy this show, but it was exceptionally good this time - both Bruce (from the Evil Dead movie franchise and Burn Notice, as well as the short lived, and truly awful Brisco Country Junior) and Lucy (Xena: Warrior Princess and Battlestar Galactica) were some of the funniest guests I've ever heard on the show.