Monday, 25 June 2012

Oh dear ... this could be addictive

A couple of months a guy at work mentioned a website to me called Strava where you can compete against other cyclists using your GPS.  It sounded cool, but I pretty much forgot about it until last week when I saw a post about strava on FatCyclist's blog, and then this small article in the latest edition of The British CTC's Cycleclips newsletter:

Strava strife
We don’t know if the Saas Fee glacier is registered on Strava, the website that lets riders log their rides over a section of road or track, thus allowing them to compare their performance with other cyclists. But the popular site is now being sued by the family of a man from California who died when he crashed into a car, apparently whilst trying to beat his own Strava record. The family blame the competition for encouraging him to break the speed limit on the road in question.

This peaked my curiosity (I can sue someone for getting myself killed doing something stupid - how wonderful!) and after last weekends wake up call on my fitness, I dusted off the road bike at lunch time today, ignored the snow on the mountain and the ice-cold headwinds and set off for a ride to the top of Bonnet Hill and back.

Then I got home tonight and uploaded my GPS into Strava to see what it told me.

First the good news:
  1. I hold the King of the Mountain award for Saturday's Lake Dobson Ride; and
  2. I hold down 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the Jogger's Domain Loop Circuit from the 100 little miles to nowhere the other week.
Yee ha!
    OK, so there's not much good news, especially when you consider that Kim kicked my butt going up Lake Dobson (and my average speed was just 5.5km /hr) and in reality cmc often completed the circuits around the Jogger's Domain Loop circuit before me, so I probably hold 101st, 102nd and 103rd place, but until they get GPS's - I'm winning.  God I love Strava.

    Now for the crash back to reality from my extremely selective interpretation of the results.

    So how did I go in my ride today?  Firstly excuses - it was cold, no that's not much of an excuse, I know: I had a headwind, a horrible headwind all the way up and all the way back.  In fact there were gale warnings today, honest, I swear.  That's the only way I can explain my current rankings, here's a selection of key results:
    • Sandy Bay - Bonnet Hill (10.2km) - I'm 163rd out of 187 in 27mins 57 seconds
    • Lower Sandy Bay - Bonnet Hill TT (7.2km) - I'm 218th / 237 in 21:47
    • Bonnet Hill Ride (2.6km) - I'm 224th / 242 in 10:42mins
    In short I'm slow.  Very, very slow.

    But that's not the point - I only need to knock a few seconds off my time to move up a few places, and that's exciting, very exciting.  I want to start moving up the leader board - even if I might get myself killed in the process.  In fact, I think I might go out and ride that route again tomorrow.

    I think I might be in love with Strava.

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