A few months ago I blogged about a Stava linked website called City Strides, which keeps track of how many roads and streets you have run in a particular city (read about it here). I thought it was now about time to revisit my blog and give you an update on my progress.
The above photo is the same one from when I first started using the site. I had a look at my most recent Lancaster map, but it is very difficult to see any changes due to the scale. The size of the Lancaster ‘City’ according to the site was one of the issues that I flagged up first time round, along with how long it can sometimes take for new runs to be visible. Back in September I was in 2nd place for Lancaster with 15% of the streets run; I’m now up to 19% and in first place. However, the guy that was in first place with over 20% disappeared after a substantial software update. It turned out he had been temporarily relocated to a city in America. This also happened to a friend who I recommended the site to.
Each street is made up of ‘nodes’, which have to be large enough to register your GPS route from either side of the road. This however means that occasionally you register as completing a node when you haven’t. What can also happen is when there is a very short terraced road, of which there are many in the area, it can register as having been run when you’ve actually just run past either end of the road. One road that I thought I had completed but hadn’t was because there were two roads with the same name within Lancaster. That was just unlucky.
On my birthday near to the end of September I completed a sprint triathlon in Kendal. However the run section never appeared on the City Strides map for that area. Another issue is cities that aren’t included. My mother lives in Salisbury and I generally go for a run or two every time I visit, but Salisbury isn’t a city on City Strides. This isn’t the only missing city. On a recent holiday in the north east, nothing appeared for Alnmouth or Alnwick. The same happened in Belfast.
Overall then, what is my opinion of City Strides. I really like the concept, and it is a bit of fun running down roads that I’ve never run down before, even if you do look a bit odd running down deadends. There are a number of issues, and if I flagged up missing cities on the forum I’m sure they might be added in the future. I will keep on logging new roads, but it doesn’t really excite me as much as the maximum cluster feature on Veloviewer.