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PHOENIX -- A nationwide effort to increase biking has come to Phoenix and getting involved is as easy as turning on a smartphone.

Sara Villalobos with My City Bikes said her organization has been creating mobile apps for cities across the country that are individually tailored to provide bike information and resources in each city.

"Every My City Bikes app is a guide to its city's beginner-friendly biking," Villalobos said. "It's a place where all that city's road biking, mountain biking, even commuter biking, within the city itself is located there."

Phoenix is one of 14 versions of the app.

Villalobos said "Phoenix Bikes" provides a lot of useful information for bicyclists in the Valley.

"It's a place where you can find trails throughout the city and in and around the area, as well as road routes that you can get commuter bikes lanes, where you can bike safely from here to there and get to school or get to work on your bike," she explained.

The app also has repair information to quickly locate a shop nearby, Villalobos added.

A unique feature of the Phoenix Bikes app is one that is especially important for biking in Arizona's hot and arid environment.

"We also have a heat stress monitor," Villalobos said. "You can see today's weather and based on how hot it is outside you can know a little bit more specifically how much you need to drink in order to avoid heat stress."

Villalobos said My City Bikes developed the apps to make biking easier and more accessible for people.

"Biking is a simple pleasure (and) it's something that almost everyone learns how to do in childhood," she said. "As we grow into adults, a lot of people get away from it and it's such a simple activity, but it can have such a profound, great effect on one's own health and also on the community overall."

Phoenix Bikes is available for free on Android and Apple products.

Mark Remillard,

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