Note: I updated my Pebble review to mention that I got a replacement for my defective Pebble. The support process took longer than I would have liked, but the new Pebble works perfectly.

My roommate just moved into a new apartment about 10 miles away, and I plan to continue hanging out with him on weekends, but 10 miles is beyond the distance I usually bike, but close enough that I would feel bad about driving, so I've decided to get in good enough shape to bike there in the morning and bike back either that night or the next day. As step one of my plan, I biked to the local library and back (5 miles), and tried to maintain a speed of about 10 mph (the speed Google suggested for biking to his apartment).

I'll do another bike ride tonight to see how far I can go when I'm already tired. Assuming I can do that, and that I can add two miles a week (one mile each way?), my goal is to be biking to his place and back within 5 weeks. I may be able to do it faster, since apparently it's generally possible to do double your normal distance once a week or so.

The reason for this post though, is that during my bike ride I found another thing the Pebble is good for: Using it with RunKeeper. RunKeeper is a free application (for Android and iOS) that tracks distance and speed for various activities, like running, walking or biking. If you have a Pebble, it displays the average pace, time and distance on your watch.

Being able to look down and immediately see the pace was surprisingly motivational, and the distance display should be useful as I try to bump it up. This way I can just bike around until I hit my target, and then bike home. It's also nice that the middle button on the Pebble pauses and unpauses the activity without needing to take your phone out and unlock it (pausing is useful if you take a break, or stop somewhere like the library).

Of course, a bike computer only costs $20, so this alone isn't a great reason to buy a Pebble, but if you already have one, it's pretty convenient. I'm excited to see what other applications come out to make the Pebble even more useful.