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Good ride yesterday; Some thoughts on Strava, and why I like it.

Thursday, July 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


I didn’t have much time to ride yesterday, so I decided to do a fast 27 mile ride at the West Orange trail. I figured I’d take a stab at getting the KOM back on the 13.2 mile segment Apopka Vineland to Killarny.

Last week I finally grabbed the KOM on that segment (it took me a couple tries), but that very same day my friend Harv Carpenter–a Cat 2 road racer–went out and nicked the crown from me. Harv, having seen my KOM on Strava, specifically went after me on that segment! Punk! 🙂

Harv and I, if you don’t already know, met through Strava because we were (are) constantly trading KOMs: I’ll get a few KOMs, Harv will ride and take them from me, I’ll go get them back… lather, rinse, repeat. Harv and I are both very competitive people, and that friendly competition is just fantastic for training. I know that I’ve pushed myself harder and become a stronger rider because of it.

Strava logo

Strava competition is good, but it’s no substitute for riding with others and real racing. Harv and I finally met up last month and did a fun 100 KM ride together, and I’m planning to join him on some rides with his group, which includes some other ridiculously strong riders.

On the mountain biking side of things, Strava is also how I met Mike Simmons… wow, I guess that was about a year ago now?! Man, time flies. Mike and I have become very good friends over the past year, and we ride together several times per week.

Strava gets a lot of flak from some people, but I think it’s a great service when it’s used in the spirit for which it was intended: friendly competition. When Strava is used unsafely, or when people take it so seriously that they show poor sportsmanship and/or arrogance, I agree that is extremely distasteful. But you can’t blame the service for that: jerks are always going to be jerks.

Anyway, I had a great ride yesterday, and I set five new personal records on various segments (here’s the entire ride on Strava). I set a new PR on the Apopka Vineland to Killarny segment with a time of 36:20 (21.8 MPH), but that was not quite quick enough to beat Harv’s time of 35:20 (22.4 MPH). I’m presently 2nd of 230 riders on that segment. I gave it everything I had, Harv simply out rode me. I’ll be back. 🙂

I also improved to 2nd of 548 riders on the Sector 1 segment (Harv’s KOM on that one, too), and 5th of of 539 riders on the Aunt Cindy’s Hill segment. Tic Bowen, who is a beast of a rider (and–judging from way he climbs–at least half billy goat), has the KOM on the “Aunt Cindy” segment.

Actually the “Aunt Cindy” segment feels more like a false flat than a real climb. Wanna check out Tic doing some real climbs? Take a look at this ride. I’m in awe of that whole ride, but look at Tic’s average speed on the Brasstown Bald (West) to Guard Shack segment: 11.3 MPH. That’s an 11.3 MPH average up an 8.8 mile Cat 1 climb! So freaking inspiring. And people say Florida cyclists can’t climb!

Well, looks like today is going to be a trainer ride, and this is going to be the toughest one yet. More on that tomorrow, if I survive…

John Stone Fitness Comments

One Response to “Good ride yesterday; Some thoughts on Strava, and why I like it.”
  1. Even if you aren’t in shape or have the gear to compete with KOMs for speed, I find it good motivation to join some of the monthly mileage challenges with your friends. Not more than a couple of days go by where someone has knocked out a large run/ride to top someone else.

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