Oh Strava – how we love to hate you in all your little orange glory. Where once a ride was just a ride, now it goes onto a social media sharing site where all of our friends can see and analyse it. Where once a week of cycling was just that; now our total miles, time and distance appear on a leaderboard somewhere to be stacked up against the rest.
As destructive to the joy of cycling as all this stat analysis sounds, we somehow find that Strava adds excitement and a little competition to day-to-day rides that might otherwise get just the tiniest bit boring.
The mile clocking up and average speed recording nature of the site does tend to lead to occasional odd behaviour – however. Here are just a couple of the strange things we’ve found ourselves doing…
Riding down the road to add 0.25 miles
You went out with the intention of riding 50 miles of a Saturday morning. Yet here you are, riding up to your door with exactly 49.75 miles on the clock. What sane person WOULDN’T ride an extra 0.125 miles to turn back round and make it end in a zero? Maybe... Every. Sane. Person.
Cropping a ride to delete that slow start
You were aiming to ride at a set average speed – and you’ve just missed it by the tiniest smidge of 0.1mph. But there was that first mile where you were stuck behind a queue of traffic… well, that doesn’t count, right? We’ll just crop that out. Success! Higher average speed.
Finishing recording a ride 5 minutes early
You’ve completed your mileage, you’re at a good average speed, and you want time to cool down without it messing with your ride stats? Well, if you just stop recording now… no one will ever know you crawled home from that segment at the speed of a limping snail.
Clicking the little blue ‘?’ under elevation – every ride
Because if it was hilly, the elevation almost always increases when you ask Strava to ‘correct it’ by clicking that little blue button. And if it decreases? Welllllll – you can always delete and re-upload…
Wear a heart rate monitor through gym sessions ... or yoga
Maybe you’re not so into speed, not so into miles – but really into recording your training hours per week. And it’s not just bike riding. What about your gym sessions, or yoga? They all count but you can’t upload them… unless you wear a heart rate monitor and carry your cycling computer (we’re reaching new depths of idiocy here, aren’t we?).
Set up your bike with power and use Zwift so indoor miles 'count'
If you're pedalling on a normal (non smart) turbo trainer, using heart rate or perceived exertion only to gauge your effort, then you'll only see your ride time displayed when you upload. But if you use a turbo trainer that records power, a power meter, cadence sensor or indeed Zwift, you'll get to see mileage as well. So you opt for all of the above.
It’s a club ride. Everyone’s happy, having a good time. Until you receive a virtual notification that a segment is COMING UP. There is a segment RIGHT NOW. So you sprint away from your bemused friends, meeting them at the top of the hill only to behave like an exhausted child for the rest of the ride. Extra points of you fail to get the segment and encourage others to let you draft off them for a second attempt.
Taking on bizarre challenges
You’re going to ride the elevation of Everest, in a day?
You’re going to ride 500km between Christmas Eve, and New Year – the time where the weather is at its worst and you’ve got more social obligations than the Queen on her birthday?
And you’re going to do those things for the chance to display a roundel on your Strava profile? Sure.
Oh, the things we do for cycling.... Of course, at the end of the day no one really cares about what's going down on your Strava feed except you. Everyone else is busy focusing on their own (probably for the same same reasons). But whatever keeps you pedalling!
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