For those familiar with Strava please accept my apologies as I quickly overview it for the benefit of those that aren’t.
Strava is an app. Yes an application – something you download on to your smartphone so that your life will improve. You get this app. and you create a profile – Gender, Age, Weight (optional), Bike Make and Model, you can even add a befitting image of yourself riding your bike if you like.
The app. has an in built GPS and maps your journey. Certain sections of your trip will have been earmarked out by other users and given a name. For example The Seven Sisters Sprint – this is a 200m stretch of road with a defined beginning and end – when you ride along this 200m stretch it records your time and adds you to a table. The Table of Truth. Every user who has done that same stretch of road has had their time recorded and added to the Table of Truth. You can see the fastest ever time and the slowest ever time this has been ridden. The facts are laid bare.
You may believe you are something special, but let me tell you once you see the Table of Truth you will realise at best you are a mediocre excuse of a cyclist. There are people out there that ride so fast it will blow your mind. Take Claire Wright (I have changed her name for privacy purposes), she rides the Reserevoir Revver at 39.1km/h. Yes. This is flat road. How does this Claire ride so bloody fast? Do you know? I do – she is on a scooter. Yep you heard right, she is a cheat, she must be.
And then there is this Nicola girl. According the Table of Truth she rides the 250m Home Run 17 seconds faster than me. Now I drank a double espresso and attacked that road the other morning I and can’t see how it’s possible. I mean there are cars to consider and pedestrians. I was close to branding her a cheat as well, but when I clicked on her time I saw that it gives you the hour at which she rode her ‘superior’ time. And you know what she did? She rode it at 06.30 on a Sunday. The cunning cat got up specially when there is the least amount of traffic around and made herself the Queen of the Mountains (this is the title you get for being number 1 on a stretch). Well Nicola, if you are reading this, just remember what goes up must come down.
So this Strave app. all joking aside is a really good tool for anyone with fitness goals and for mapping routes – perfect for those weekend spins. It is also lots of fun as you win cups and medals for beating both others and your personal bests. You can of course also use this app. to start a hate campaign against complete strangers like I have, it’s up to you.
(It maybe worth noting that you do have the option to make all of your information private, oh and that this app. is highly addictive).