Strava have updated their mobile app and the changes could well make it easier for you to find local riders with similar interests.
For most men, it’s pretty easy to find a cycling club with riders who were born in the same decade and have similar objectives on the bike. For women, it’s often not so easy. But Strava’s app alterations mean you can search local clubs, and in most cases peer at their Strava membership, activities and club discussion boards to get a good idea of the active members.
Yes – social media stalking of riders in your area just got easier - though of course privacy settings remain unchanged and you'll see no more information than you would on desktop.
The app improvements also mean it’s easier for existing members to post comments and start discussions, whilst push notifications keep the conversation flowing. Connectivity with Facebook and Twitter can be used to entice new members – either from within the club’s existing membership or outside of it.
At first, I wasn’t sure how useful the additions to Strava’s app would be. Group rides in my area are often organised via WhatsApp and that seems to be working perfectly well at uniting members.
The club search capability, however, opens up a whole new method when it comes to looking for a local club or riding group. Currently, alternatives are British Cycling's club finder or googling 'Cycling Club in XXX'. Neither option gives 'real time' insight and both can provide out of date information.
For those already a member of one of Strava’s 134,391 active clubs, the app allows them to compare their own riding stats with that of other club members, thanks to a handy scatter graph which ranks riders ion terms of distance cycled and elevation.
William Lee, Product Manager at Strava explained: “We’re always looking for new ways to help our community of athletes engage with each other. A lot of our athletes rely on their mobile devices for running and riding, so it made sense to bring clubs to mobile and make them as easily accessible as other Strava features. Now you can see the top ten athletes of the week on the leaderboard, interact with club members on discussion boards, share news and updates and post announcements all via your phone, to keep the club active, motivating and growing."