Well I have to admit I’ve come late to the Strava scene. And I’ve been bitten by that bug
For those unfamiliar with Strava – it’s a cunningly designed website that allows you to upload your Garmin and other suitably GPS enabled cycling computer data from your cycle rides and analyse the data against distance travelled – average speed – gradients – rise from start point etc etc.
What Strava have done however, that is a subtle, but vital, twist on the other websites, is to create a social competitive element by allowing you to compare and see how you have fared over certain road sections in comparison with other local riders who have logged their times for the same road element. This creates a virtual league table of ride times, into which your ride times get inserted.
Having read An article in the Cycling Weekly which referred to it – I thought I’d give it a go.
It now resides as an app on my iPhone.
Critically it accepts uploads from my Garmin to the website so a potted history of previous rides has been uploaded and I have already collected a few virtual medals for good ride times on some road sections.
I must admit it has slightly altered my usual pottering about style of riding into something slightly more focused – as I have now started to “up my game” on certain known road sections to see if I can’t get slightly further up the rankings.
C’mon – you know you all do it. It’s the equivalent of quickening your pace every so slightly when you see another road cyclist out on the country roads, so you’re not being seen as slacking off and dawdling along.
I do have to admit to cycling to a “certain hill in Edinburgh” (you”ll know what I’m taking about if you’re local) more often of late in order to battle my way up a little bit more quickly than previously to get a better time against my previous efforts. I’ll also concede that this has led to lung busting efforts and pained legs when perhaps I might not have bothered before…
So – the virtual gauntlet has been cast….does it bring out the competitive element in you? And is this healthy …or even safe on public roads ?
Some links to similar sentiments:-
- Addicted to Strava (moireosullivan.com)
- Strava app tackles reckless racing (bbc.co.uk)
- Top cycling apps for your phone (shedforce.com)