Strava is an excellent tool for sportspeople to log their achievements. Cyclists in particular have welcomed Strava with open arms. But not only that. This tool has actually changed the way that people are riding. It’s becoming easy to spot Strava users if they pass you on the road. Here are the five most recognisable habits of the Strava addict.
1. Everything for the average
The magic average speed of 30km/h for normal training sessions is a goal for a lot of riders. But since the arrival of Strava, it’s taken on a whole new meaning. In the past you could only see this number yourself. Thanks to Strava, now all your cycling buddies and your rivals can see how fast (or slow) you’re riding. It’s therefore imperative that your average speed doesn’t dip below the magic 30km/h. It’s preferable if it’s a little bit higher, in fact. In other words, every obstruction puts your average speed in jeopardy. This results in even the most relaxed rides mutating into obstacle courses. Traffic lights are ignored, and every type of hard surface is a potential cycle path.
2. To the finish, and beyond
Catching your breath after hitting the top of every hill or mountain isn’t for everyone. Strava uses segments. A segment is a pre-determined part of a route, where the performance of everyone who cycles along it is measured against all the other Strava users who ride along it. Anyone can create a segment. In practice, this often means you don’t know exactly where segments end. A good reason to keep on blasting ahead for an extra few hundred meters, even if you’ve already reached the summit. Because, if you’ve pushed yourself way beyond your personal limit, you certainly don’t want to get home and find out you stopped for a break before the segment had ended.
3. Sunset? Photo!
Strava is the Twitter of the cycling world. You can find out all about the training rides the professional riders and their friends are doing. What more could you want? Adding a photo can help your post stand out in a timeline full of tedious training stats. Also, everyone has to see how much fun you are having on your bike. It’s not unusual to see riders jam on the brakes at that one spot where the sunset looks good. Prop up your bike, frame the shot, click and you’re off!
4. Extra km
Not only average speed, but distance is also an important factor for the Strava addict. You won’t come across many rides which are between 95 and 99km long. Strava addicts make sure they log at least 100km. Accurate to the meter, if possible. This can be useful for you if you want to invite Strava addicts out on a ride. Sitting down for a jolly good chat after a 95.4km ride won’t happen: Strava riders would add a 4.6km loop to the ride at this point. Only then will they sit down.
5. Strava King of the ‘Mountain’
The fastest rider on a segment is the KOM, or King of the Mountain. This is an excellent concept which often motivates riders to go as hard as they possibly can. However, this can create tricky situations for those of us riding in the Low Countries. You can also be KOM of a segment between the shopping centre and the crèche around the corner. Considering the fact that some Strava users see everything as one big challenge, they can be found trying to win the KOM at the most inappropriate times day. Generally riding far too fast. Often without a bell. Not good for our image really.