Ride Tracker

A mobile application to record and share bike activities, plan routes, and replay your rides!


I'm a big cyclist hobbyist and I love to keep track of my activities and look back at what sections I can try to improve on. I also love exploring new places and routes around me. I wanted to create a community where you can easily share your bike activities, thoughts, images, and videos. From my experience using fitness apps, the focus on the hobby part is very low and everything is very private. I wanted the community to be connected to an mobile application where you can do all of the technical stuff, such as planning your route, and I wanted it to be as straight forward as possible.

My goal is to also provide the user with all of the data and statistics they may want, and I don't want to hide the very basic statistics and data behind a paywall (such as being able to export your recoreded rides in a GPX format, view your performance, etc).

What it does

The main functionality is recording your bike rides but it comes with a variety of functions that is designed to make planning your bike rides much easier, as well as reviewing your performance. You can for example, record a bike ride, review the ride in 3d (or 2d) with real time performance stats, plan your rides ahead, receive randomized routes to try out so that you don't have to spend time finding the routes yourself, attach your different bikes to your rides and overview specific bike data, export all your rides as GPX format, etc.

How we built it

The app is built using React Native and powered by Expo together with several native NodeJS HTTP servers ("web server, production API, and demo API" proxied behind another web server). The servers are hosted on a Google Cloud virtual machine. I used a https://linear.app/ board to stay focused on what stories and tasks I had to prioritize and wanted to implement. I think it helped keep me motivated throughout this project.

The application uses a total of 5 Google Maps Platform APIs:

Maps SDK for Android

Used in various ways in the mobile application, such as displaying an activity map thumbnail, full activity map, route planning (and drawing), route map thumbnail, etc.

Maps JavaScript API

Used to render the playback of activities. The JavaScript API was chosen over the Android API because technical limitations in the 3d playback implementation.

Roads API

Used to map match coordinates in an activity map to the closest roads within the accuracy radius.

Geocoding API

Used to reverse route planning coordinates to place identifiers to assist with the Directions API and to pinpoint origin and destination city.

Directions API

Used to generate routes through by drawings or waypoints and then offer directions during the recording with a route.

I'm not a fan of using thousands of depencies for a very small package so naturally, I only added packages with the core functions that I actually needed. I like to keep an eye on performance levels and to do so, I prefer to keep track of what's happening under the hood at all times.

This led to me implementing some components that I've extracted from the application and made into external packages for anyone to use; as a "competitor" to packages with hundreds or thousands of depencies. Some of these are:


React Native WebView Canvas is a component and function mapper between your React Native application and canvas' inside of a WebView component. It allows you to use the Canvas API without having to port the communication with a WebView yourself or use a second route to manage the WebView scripts.


This is a paused package (due to shortage of time) but it's designed to both parse and print XML documents. The implementation of this came from the need of being able to export ride recordings as GPX (a common GPS formatted XML document) and the XML packages I found had over 1,500 dependents... I will be continuing to develop on this package after the submission of my project!

Challenges we ran into

This was my first mobile application I ever made, and this was my first time using React (Native). I came across a lot of difficulties both getting started and maintaining the project, but I wanted to be in full control of my application and as such, I made (mostly) everything from the very scratch and used the least amount of packages as possible. Being new to the React environment, it took me a while to get used to these new (to me) principles that comes with the platform.

I also came across a lot of technical challenges in the making of specific functions, some of which were rendering a 3d playback of bike rides. I came across a lot of technical restrictions that I had to bypass with a few tips and tricks I'm not a big fan of and I'll definitely look forward to refactoring these bits of codes.

The biggest challenge that I had to solve was changing the heading in the Google Maps platform while building extrusions were enabled which in most cases would cause large delta delays and I spent quite some time thinking about the logistics and reality of this specific feature and I came down to an "algorithym" that works relatively well.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

I'm very proud of being close to releasing an app to the Google Play store and undergoing internal tests right now and I'm very proud of the app in it's entirety. I put a lot of effort into this project, resulting in over 250+ commits to the app, 75+ commits to the server, 50+ commits to the react-native-webview-canvas package.

What we learned

I learned what the Google Maps Platform has to offer, even though I've mildly touched it before. I also learnt how to use the Google Cloud console. I've previously managed a lot of servers but this is the first time I managed a proxy server between the servers, in a production environment, so that's also a very cool accomplishment I'm proud of!

I learnt more than I can list here, this was (and is!) a very interesting project and I'm glad I finally learnt mobile app development, it's something I've wanted to touch for a long time.

What's next for Ride Tracker

Ride Tracker is in the process of being published to the Google Play store, I've got a lot more of features and functions planned that unfortunately did not fit into the Linear sprints of this submission. I'm going to continue working on this project and launch it as a community platform.


Ride Tracker

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