"Improve urban infrastructure? There's an app for that"

Every weekday morning at approximately 6:30, Willem Heydendael, a 35-year-old medical consultant, hops on his bike and rides 15 miles along the Schuylkill River from his home in the Passyunk Square neighborhood of South Philadelphia to his office in Conshohocken, a suburb northwest of the city. Before he takes a pedal stroke, he performs an important ritual: he launches the Strava application on his iPhone and starts recording his ride. When he gets to work, he uploads the commute to Strava’s website, where he can see his route overlaid on a Google map, along with his average speed, distance, elevation gain, and a host of other metrics. “I like it because the rides add up and it’s nice to see the mileage I’ve done,” he says.