I'm doing some research on Strava for a Washington Post column and would like to hear from, and talk to, folks who use the app. Is it popular around here? What are some of the segments that a lot of people compete on? Have there been any problems like the ones in the Bay Area, where people have caused accidents (two of them fatal) pursuing the KOM title for a particular segment? Lots of other questions.
If anyone wants to comment, or leave me an email address or phone number, I'll follow up.
The Washington Post
It's quite popular. Many members of this forum are on the "BikeArlington" club: http://app.strava.com/dashboard?club...feed_type=club
Many people here use Strava as a tracking tool to log all of their commuting and recreational miles. It's also a great social media tool to connect with fellow riders in the area. The Forum here is actually running a Winter Riding Challenge called "Freezing Saddles." More details here.
There are plenty of healthy Strava rivalries, someone steals a KOM so then the other rider has to go out and get it back! We haven't heard of any issues of people getting into trouble like in San Francisco. The thing to remember is safety first! Be a PAL when you are riding (Predictable, Alert, and Lawful), and be mindful of other users, whether they are on bikes, on foot, or in a car.
A couple segments worth checking out that have close to 10,000 rides on them:
A few segments from local races/rides:
A lot of my bike advocacy involves helping people leave their cars at home a little more often. I've generally found that my best work as a bike advocate is done using my legs, rather than my mouth. Living by example (at least on a bike) is a better way for me to help people ride. STRAVA is a great tool for that because you can take a look at a the level of activity in groups like the Bike Arlington club that Tim linked above. There are 67 members of that group and already this year they've logged quite a few really good rides and commutes. Even when the temps are in the 20s and 30s, people are out riding rather than driving.
One of the other things that helps with advocacy is showing people that riding is fun and beautiful.... even in the dead of winter. To that end, I've started posting a link to at least one photo taken during each ride. Some are completely silly, but many are great ride stoke and help show that there's a lot to see on a bike that you won't really stop and appreciate if you're sitting in a car.
I'm not someone that really goes after KOM segments. I do like to be able to look at particular areas and compare my own personal results for that part of the ride. For me it is looking at things after the ride rather than trying to get a particular result during the ride.
This is me on Strava: http://app.strava.com/athletes/75834
I'll share my email/phone number via private message.
Lenny - This forum is probably the best (most cohesive, best cross-section of rider demographics, etc.) place to get info on the DC area biking community. As Tim and Dirt point out, a lot of people on the forum are also on Strava. The Freezing Saddles competition (a no-stakes, friendly, unofficial competition between forum members) has also spurred several forum members to join Strava. There are a few other mileage tracking sites/services out there (mapmyride, Endomondo, etc.) but Strava has a few things going for it:
- Strava has (many) more users than its competitors
- Data entry is easy, with few barriers: either upload files from your GPS unit or use the smartphone app to log miles automatically (Android/iPhone)
- The APIs (for being able to extract and manipulate rider data) are well-regarded in the developer community. This is important for the Freezing Saddles competition as one of our users (ronwalf) has set up scripts to download and aggregate ride data for the competitors so we can have a realtime scoreboard page showing team and rider rankings.
- Tim and Dirt point out that there is some level of KOM competition among the larger Strava crowd, but we haven't seen anything like SF.
I'm on Strava - also happy discuss further if you have additional questions
I'm one of those riders who travels with a dumb phone and without a GPS gizmo. I joined Strava for the first time a couple of weeks ago in order to participate in the Freezing Saddles competition (just a little "oomph" to help me on my fitness and weightloss goals). Without a GPS device, I can only enter data manually and minimal data at that (date, duration, miles). As a result of poking around the site and following friends on Strava, I've found potential routes to try out this year for fun and exploration (because the website shows where others have ridden via maps). Riding the same routes all the time gets a little boring, so having a resource to discover new safe cyling routes is very useful, esp since I can send the respective cyclist an email asking questions about the route they have just taken (e.g., traffic and road conditions) if it looks like something I would seriously consider trying out on my own.
Case in point: http://app.strava.com/activities/35542703 ( look at the comment thread, starting with Pete's suggestion of the Chain Bridge route)
Originally Posted by KLizotte
I learned - from a fellow Strava & forum member - about a new option (safe, avoiding a congested arterial road) for lengthening my commute home!
Considering moving over to Strava from MapMyRide, where I have years of data. Any way to import that data into Strava without a lot of manual work?
As a neophyte cyclist who cycles for recreational and the positive health aspects I come from a slightly different angle than many in this forum who have been cycling and commuting for many miles. For me Strava is as KLizotte points out, a handy way to see where others are riding. To plan a ride with reasonable accuracy as to time away from home as well as the effort that will be spent. You can't do this as well by simply looking at a map. 10 miles with 100 feet of elevation gained is not the same as 10 miles and 4000 feet elevation gain. A road that is just another road in a car might be a near death experence on a bycycle. Strava (or better said others on Strava) let me see all this and more before I head out. I look at the rides taken by others and have found many good roads and rides that I have taken or plant to in the future.
KOMs and segments. At times I do look to see where I fall in the segments but is not at all about the KOMs / QOMs aspect. I look to see where I would fall in with regards to others so I can get a better idea of when and who I could go on group rides with. (I don't mind when I am at least on the first page as others in my age group as it lets me maintain hope that I am somewhat fit)
Like this forum there is a lot that is positive and valuable to be gleaned from Strava. Some people can figure out how misuseuse anything and produce unintended results. I hope your goal is for a positive look at Strava and those that use it in this area.
I am also in the Strava Bike Arlington club as Vicegrip.
Last edited by Vicegrip; 01-03-2013 at 04:20 PM.
I had seen that already. Is there an export function of any sort for MapMyRide? How else can one pull the data?
Originally Posted by Bilsko