I love Strava. There, I’ve said it. Just over two years ago I did some overtime and with the money I bought myself a Garmin 500. I immediately loved how easy it was to swap between bikes and being able to upload rides to Google Earth or to the Geographical software that I use at work. A couple of weeks later I was on a Sunday ride with COLT when John asked me if I was on Strava. I’m not sure if it was John Bertram or John Sutton, but I replied, “What’s Strava?” Of course today everyone know what Strava is, but two years ago there was hardly anyone using it from Lancaster. There were fewer segments, but I could manage top ten placings on nearly every ride. I even managed a few KOM’s.
One particularly epic day where I rode to Scotland and back. A total of 255 km and hillier than I had originally thought.
Funnily enough it wasn’t segment hunting that got me hooked, it was the challenges. The first one that I completed was Rapha Rising during the Tour De France in 2012. That challenge involved climbing almost 7,000m in eight days. More than I would usually do, but I managed it with a day to spare. I began to then check every couple of days to see when the next challenge would start.
Some of the Strava challenges that I have completed in the last two years.
So apart from the challenges, what else do I love about Strava? I love being able to track my progress to see how many PR’s I have managed on each ride. Unfortunately with the amount of cycling that I do these are getting harder and harder to obtain. Generally it’s either when I do a route that I’ve only done once or twice, or there’s a big tailwind.
Strava playback is a recent addition, where you can upload a ride and then see everyone that you rode with, rode past, or who passed you in the other direction.
I have also made some great new friends from Strava, so for me if you have a Garmin there really is no excuse for not uploading every ride and run. My training doubled from about 5,000 miles a year to 12,500 miles last year. Quantity not quality, but without Strava I would never have managed to complete a double Ironman.