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  1. #1
    tire to rim ratio tester
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    Maybe Strava Isn't So Bad After All

    I tried it about a year ago from a recommendation of someone on here. For some reason I couldn't login, plus I somehow went over to a non-biking section of the app, and between those two things, I gave up. Well, after getting an invite locally I decided to try it again, and it's pretty useful, not just to time stuff, but to see what trails are actually named what, even the segments of the trails, and how I stack up.

    Now...if someone told you they finished 433 out of 658, you'd probably tell them they need to ride more. But for someone that's in their 3rd year of mountain biking, with a $500 hardtail, this number is actually good news! Just to be in the top 2/3 is fine with me, because this particular loop is grueling and there are not many beginners at all that do it. Most people are doing clipless and full suspension. In fact I don't even know what I am right now really, I'm a beginner in many aspects but if I can do segments 50% as fast as the KOM I must be doing something right. It was hot today and I had no energy, wasn't feeling it for some reason. On a different app I normally average 4.5-5.0 mph on the combined 1550 foot climb, 6.0 mile loop; today I averaged only 4.0 mph. On a cooler evening with more motivation I think could rank in the top 50% one day. And that's good enough for me and this bike.

    The main particular downhill segment I averaged 6.9 mph downhill, and I normally do 10-12 mph on other trails so it tells you how hard the switchbacks were (I crashed once, pretty mild fall). KOM averaged 12.6 mph, so I was about 55% as fast. Trust me, this is not bad news, it's good news. Just to get to 65% as fast as the KOM one day on a cheap XC hardtail would be an accomplishment. BTW if anyone cares, the loop is called Fanita Loop, and the downhill part is Slaught Car LMF.

    So yeah, I'm stoked to be in the top 2/3 with a $500 bike lol.
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  2. #2
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    Good for you!
    Sometimes folks forget that we all have our own goals...some of us are just happy to be out riding bikes!

  3. #3
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    I like Strava. It allows me to keep track of mileage, elevation and the benefits of better gear. I'm 66....I'm ecstatic when I'm #3479..... without a toe tag!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    I'm ecstatic when I'm #3479..... without a toe tag!
    I like to set the bar nice and low too, that way your always pleasantly surprised when the outcome isn't terrible. Avoiding the toe tag, that's a new one. I dig it.

    Stick with it OP. Build your skills, build your fitness, you'll get faster regardless of the bike. Most of us started on a cheap bike like that. Nothing wrong with it.

    Remember, it's 80% the rider...
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  5. #5
    Bikesexual
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    Strava is a great motivator! Glad you are having fun!

    I always lol at the 465/800 leader boards. For me is just distance, and elevation. I'm only a few miles away from my yearly goal.

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  6. #6
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    I like it to look at my own data, I rarely look to see where I am in the all time list and the only way I would get a mom is if I made my own secret trail

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    For me is just distance, and elevation. I'm only a few miles away from my yearly goal.
    That's cool, sweet.

    I'm 35,000ft from my elevation goal. Should make it in the next few weeks. The rest is gravy!
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  8. #8
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    Between June and the end of August, I climbed 28,376ft...mostly on my road bike
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battery View Post
    Between June and the end of August, I climbed 28,376ft...mostly on my road bike
    I like that monthly stat box you get, watching it go up..when I can ride.

    Other than the coast ride I did, I've had very little time to ride this month.

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  10. #10
    jcd's best friend
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    I like that monthly stat box you get, watching it go up..when I can ride.

    Other than the coast ride I did, I've had very little time to ride this month.

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    Yeah same here. I need to force myself to get out on the road and get some cycling done. It's fender season though. I ordered a set of Crud Road Racer MK3 fenders from the UK and they should be here any day. Right now, my order is tied up at LAX for customs and I think you have something to do with that lol!
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  11. #11
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    Maybe Strava Isn't So Bad After All

    People bag on Strava, and sometimes itís for good reason. People cutting corners or modifying trails, riding out of control or generally acting in a disrespectful manner.

    But, it also has positive aspects. Self-improvement, or people who find joy in numbers. Nothing wrong with that.

    Personally, seeing my name at the top of a list doesnít do much for me. Itís the pursuit of a goal that I like. Figuring out how to be fast, then faster still. Up or down; figuring out to eke more speed out of something. Going from 10th to 7th to 4th to 2nd isnít the goal. Doing a j-hop to a tire tap over a rock instead of soaking it up with the suspension or going around it. And then applying it to other trails. Thatís the ticket.


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  12. #12
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    I just started using it 3 days ago, and am really enjoying it so far. I love to be able to see all my ride data and see how I stack up.

    On today's ride, I actually got an all-time 6th place on a brutal climb (1100 feet in a mile). I was pleasantly shocked to see that, and kind of want to go back and try for KOM since I wasn't even really trying that hard today, haha.

    One thing that I WILL NOT do is cut corners and/or compromise my trail etiquette.

    As a side note: OP, I approve of your signature. \m/

  13. #13
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    Strava junky here: I log everything and get mad when I forget a commute! HA!

    Glad youíre on it!


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  14. #14
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    Right on!


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  15. #15
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    I just use it to track distance and elevation, but knowing I have lots of friends who follow me keeps me motivated to try and get more miles and elevation, so there is an accountability aspect to using the site. I also enjoy checking my progress throughout the week against the distance and elevation leader boards in different clubs.

  16. #16
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    Maybe Strava Isn't So Bad After All

    I use strava as a way to keep track of miles on my bikes and to track progress. For instance when I first started I was slloooowww. As I learned who the guys were I would see on regular basis I would follow them on strava to kind of get a gauge for where I was at.

    I kind of hit a plateau of riding by myself. Pretty much hitting the same times on all the trails no matter how hard I thought I was pushing. Then I started riding with these other guys. This gives me an extra push as these guys donít really wait around on me. They will let me catch up every couple miles but I donít get time to rest. Iím still slower than they are but Ive been getting faster all the time since starting ride with them.

    Even my solo rides are faster because now I have a taste for what a harder pace should feel like and what that feel should yield me time wise. Not to mention the parts that I can keep up I learn a lot about bike control and line choice just watching what they do. Itís really turned into a MTB riding buddy finder for me as well.


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  17. #17
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    I need to try it out sometime. I have it on my phone but I tend to use Map My Ride all the time.

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  18. #18
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    I'm trying to get top 10 around town. It's fun on the road bike! Off road, im just tracking feet and miles, its often too crowded or unsafe to worry about time.

    I'm always shocked how fast some of the truly fast guys are though. I'm dying trying to pretend I can hold over 20mph for too long while KOM is setting closer to 30mph.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I'm always shocked how fast some of the truly fast guys are though. I'm dying trying to pretend I can hold over 20mph for too long while KOM is setting closer to 30mph.

    Yeah, if you start thinking you're getting pretty good on the trails just switch to road and that will bring you down a notch or 2. That's my experience anyway. I'm lucky to get in the top 50% on road segments because the leaderboard is jammed with stupid fast pros.
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  20. #20
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    The only thing Strava is good for this year is showing me how pathetic my riding has been this year. Work and weather got in the way bigly.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I'm trying to get top 10 around town. It's fun on the road bike! Off road, im just tracking feet and miles, its often too crowded or unsafe to worry about time.

    I'm always shocked how fast some of the truly fast guys are though. I'm dying trying to pretend I can hold over 20mph for too long while KOM is setting closer to 30mph.
    I couldn't care less about road riding, but I find myself wondering if some of the KOMs I'm seeing were done on cyclocross bikes, haha.

    For example, I did a 5 mile fireroad segment yesterday that's fairly low-angle; about 600 feet of gain over that distance. KOM going up is around 16:30; going down it's around 12:30. It is not technical at all, and when there aren't people hiking you can go pretty fast in both directions. I pedaled for all I was worth yesterday on the way down (XC 29er), and didn't TOUCH the brakes from top to bottom except for a couple times slowing down for hikers. I hit over 30mph in several sections and my average speed was 18mph. I finished in 16:40 -- 10 seconds slower than the KOM record going UP. I mean, I can't imagine going that fast UP with normal mtb tires, even 1.9s. I suspect he used a cyclocross bike with tires that just BARELY were up to the task.

    I care more about technical descents though. I am fortunate enough to be close friends with a guy who holds a lot of the KOMs on the real DH-style descents locally. He corners like an absolute freak, and that's why he's the fastest. On straight, technical sections, I can keep him in sight, but once it gets tight with lots of back and forth turns, he's gone.
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  22. #22
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    Just went on one of my favorite trails, but for some reason the 5 interconnecting trails only have two segments. Maybe I'll try to create the other 3 later. Yeah this is a great application. I can see how many others went on the same segment that day. 4 total including me, I finished 2nd both times out of the four today, 33-36% behind the all-time KOM's (most of the top 10 guys run the same trails I do all over the county it appears). 231 out of 521 and 348 out of 657. If it's any interest to anyone, about 1/3 of the top 10 guys have @chainlinebikes in their name; local bike shop. I'm wondering if they work there and make really light XC racing bikes after hours to get these KOM's. Maybe I'll stop by there one day lol.

    Really good data to track your progress as a rider compared to others. Downhill I'm just where I want to be, in the top 40-60%, and probably a bit further than I thought I would be in my 3rd year doing this with a cheap XC hardtail. It's the climbing that I finish in the bottom 20-30%, probably because my bike weighs 33 lbs. We'll have to fix that later. In other words, I'm not going to go long-travel on my next bike, 4.75 inches currently is fine, I don't need to go any faster downhill. It's the weight...26-27 lbs, 120mm front-only travel, + tire compatible, 1x11, that will be my next bike for sure, should climb better with the less weight.
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  23. #23
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    I enjoy it too for tracking on a few segments I like. Gives me motivation to improve my fitness, and I enjoy the competition.
    I also use it as a ride journal which it is great for. Every ride recorded in my Strava. I also like looking at what other local riders are doing and I see cool new routes, and I even follow people in other countries who I met through Zwift, and it's cool to see their pictures and what sorts of rides they do.

  24. #24
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    Riddle me this strava experts.

    I sit around the top 5% for am descents for most tracks. But every now an then there's a track the has some impossibly fast times on there that there is no way i can get close too. Like 30 seconds faster in a minute descent than a pro rider like Wyn Masters. Whats up with that? is it a glitch or has someone cheated?


    As far as strava in general goes. I get into the forest to get away from technology. So in general terms i say no to strava. But i guess its usefill for nigel no mates rides to entertain yourself in the abscence of buddies to ride with.

  25. #25
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    They might be on motorcycles or ebikes or who knows what. If you see a time that is impossible users can flag it, and it will be reviewed and deleted if it is impossible. On the road people will do segments in their car sometimes and this happens.

  26. #26
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    Reading this at 5:30am. Or am I? Surely, I am still asleep. I almost believed that there was a thread where you guys were saying positive things about Strava.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    Whats up with that? is it a glitch or has someone cheated?

    Could be either or it could be legit, If I see a time that looks suspicious I look at the riders profile, if it's a pro doing 20 hours a week it's legit but if it's Joe Schmo who's done 300 miles for the year you might want to flag it. Glitches can happen too.

    I've seen some ridiculous times on climbs that seem impossible but it's usually a pro rider, and those guys are ridiculous!
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  28. #28
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    I like it to track my rides and mileage and see who else is out riding locally.
    Also always interesting to know where you sit in the pecking order.
    I can push my way into some decent rankings for a segment here and there, but a cool thing I've noticed about really fast riders around here is that they don't just cherry pick a section here and there to crush, they go out for a 30+ mile ride and crush every section along the way.

    Damn I wish I was still somewhat fit.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I like it to track my rides and mileage and see who else is out riding locally.
    Also always interesting to know where you sit in the pecking order.
    I can push my way into some decent rankings for a segment here and there, but a cool thing I've noticed about really fast riders around here is that they don't just cherry pick a section here and there to crush, they go out for a 30+ mile ride and crush every section along the way.

    Damn I wish I was still somewhat fit.
    Agree on the cherry pick. I strive for average moving speed rather than just smash one segment.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by trmn8er View Post
    Agree on the cherry pick. I strive for average moving speed rather than just smash one segment.
    I just try to keep it over "0".
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  31. #31
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    I use it to track my distances, elevation and times on local trails, mostly when I'm riding by myself. I have found that it's a good tool to hold myself accountable and to track my own progress. I've been on a bit of a push to improve my fitness in the past year and my consistently improving Strava times are evidence that it's working. I definitely do not cut or follow braids or breach trail etiquette for it, though. I do think there has been an uptick in cheater lines on local trails since it has become popular.

    I've been told that in Vallee Du Bras Nord, they were having such an issue with KOM chasers that the patrollers, who ride ebikes did all of the trails on them and made it impossible for anyone to get a KOM on a non-ebike. If true, that's funny as hell.

  32. #32
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    How much trail riding (if possible, just trail riding, no lift served) distance/elevation gain?

    So far I'm at 880 miles and 132,000 feet. I expect I'll go over 1000 miles this season, before the snow flies and I break out the skis. I'm guessing some of you will go way over that!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    People bag on Strava, and sometimes itís for good reason. People cutting corners or modifying trails, riding out of control or generally acting in a disrespectful manner.

    But, it also has positive aspects. Self-improvement, or people who find joy in numbers. Nothing wrong with that.

    Personally, seeing my name at the top of a list doesnít do much for me. Itís the pursuit of a goal that I like. Figuring out how to be fast, then faster still. Up or down; figuring out to eke more speed out of something. Going from 10th to 7th to 4th to 2nd isnít the goal. Doing a j-hop to a tire tap over a rock instead of soaking it up with the suspension or going around it. And then applying it to other trails. Thatís the ticket.
    You nailed it for me. Strava vs. myself with a focus on the individual little things that make me faster over a segment. My stuff is all private, so I don't even see where I rank overall. Used this way, it becomes a tool for improvement rather than a goal for me.

  34. #34
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    Sounds like good info to have and a cool way to track things. I loaded the ap and poked around but never actually used it. I occasionally use an ap (cyclemeter) that I 'arm' and throw in my pack when exploring new terrain but I never stop and gawk at it during ride. At end of ride I may save the loop to help me connect the dot's some of the 'undocumented' trails around here.
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  35. #35
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    It also plays well with Relive.
    My lovely bride's 65th birthday ride:
    https://www.relive.cc/view/1804091369
    Last edited by MSU Alum; 4 Weeks Ago at 11:25 AM.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    It also plays well with Rlive.
    My lovely bride's 65th birthday ride:
    https://www.relive.cc/view/1804091369
    Relieve is awesome.

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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    It also plays well with Rlive.
    My lovely bride's 65th birthday ride:
    https://www.relive.cc/view/1804091369
    That's actually pretty awesome!

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Glitches can happen too.
    A friend I was riding with this weekend hit 107mph on a descent and he was BEHIND me! I mean, I knew I was fast, but damn...

    Relive is the only thing I'll ever use Strava for, it's super neat and a great way to show non riders where the hell you went today.

  39. #39
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    I dig Strava. It motivates me to ride more and ride further. I've also found new routes and places to ride from it. I'm was less concerned about how fast I am. If I get top 10 on a segment, great, but I'm not going to start riding like an d!ck to set a faster time.

    I've been on Strava for three years and every year I ride and climb more. I'm shooting for 2000 miles of mountain biking and 250,000 vert ft. of riding for the year and Strava is essential for staying on pace.
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  40. #40
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    Strava needs to do something to filter out unrealistic speeds and times for grades. For example, on steep uphill grade, nobody is doing 45 mph. That's a motorcycle. That entire ride should automatically be switched to "motorcycle" activity (if there was one).

    Personally, I think Strava needs a motorcycle activity type and the ability to set segments as a certain type of activity, more specifically, an MTB Activity type. So, when someone comes along on a MTB Segment that's a fairly flat section and does 35mph twisting through trees, Strava should know that's not realistic and switch them to Motorcycle.

    The problem with this is that I'm hesitant to waste time making Strava segments for mixed use trails because I know that some moto guy will come along with all his buddies and then aside from timing myself, there is no point. They all flood the leaderboard with moto times.

    In this regard, Strava is just valuable to see who's riding your local trails. In the area around my home, there are a lot of less popular trails, and I like to see who's riding them on a bike (because I often feel like the only one out there) vs who's on a moto.
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  41. #41
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    I also feel STRAVA is diminished by the inauthentic.

    Sincerely,

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  42. #42
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    In the future, you'll see ghosts riding their PRs and crashes with you while you wear your AR sunglasses, and it will be just like playing a car racing video game.

  43. #43
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    There's a lot more you can do with it than try to get a KOM. That's the only thing diminished with cheating. It definitely would be nice if it didn't happen but just find another one to go for. I cherry picked a couple segments that most perfectly suit me. Short, and downhill lol since I am overweight and out of shape. Others I use as a fitness guage, like a 15 minute climb segment. On those I shoot for the QOM :P as a goal ... in all seriousness I try to beat my old best time most importantly.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Baird View Post
    There's a lot more you can do with it than try to get a KOM. That's the only thing diminished with cheating. It definitely would be nice if it didn't happen but just find another one to go for. I cherry picked a couple segments that most perfectly suit me. Short, and downhill lol since I am overweight and out of shape. Others I use as a fitness guage, like a 15 minute climb segment. On those I shoot for the QOM :P as a goal ... in all seriousness I try to beat my old best time most importantly.
    I'm no where near QOM! Maybe in the over 60 category.....

  45. #45
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    If it's all for your motivation then start hunting over 60 QOM's I say

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Baird View Post
    If it's all for your motivation then start hunting over 60 QOM's I say
    I'm 66. If I hunt over 60 QOM's, my wife will kill me!

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    I'm 66. If I hunt over 60 QOM's, my wife will kill me!
    So you're saying it's OK to hunt under 60 QOM's?
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    So you're saying it's OK to hunt under 60 QOM's?
    Yeah, but only because the probability of catching them goes down to almost zero.

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    Believe it or not, I have very few "friends" or whatever on Strava (like 6). I admit, I am on the leaderboards; I don't have time to race and am competitive so this is my way satisfying my inner "Anything you can do, I can do better" attitude.
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  50. #50
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    like many of you, all i want out of strava is distance traveled, elevation, top speed and average speed. (my average speeds are slowly creeping up and i'm three miles from my milage goal for '18)

    it's also useful for keeping track of mileage on components.

    the rest is just static IMHO--my racing/i-gotta-go-real-fast-the-whole-ride days ended 18 years ago.

  51. #51
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    I always use Strava, but I don't think about it during my rides. I like to revisit it after I'm done to see if I beat any of my segments, without actually trying to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    Riddle me this strava experts.

    I sit around the top 5% for am descents for most tracks. But every now an then there's a track the has some impossibly fast times on there that there is no way i can get close too. Like 30 seconds faster in a minute descent than a pro rider like Wyn Masters. Whats up with that? is it a glitch or has someone cheated?
    It depends. What I usually do in this scenario is go to the leaderboards and use the "compare efforts" feature to see how my fastest run compares to the KOM run. What I've found is sometimes Strava starts tracking the segment in weird spots, leading to faster than usual/possible times. Sometimes the KOM's stats will even show a higher average speed than max speed, which is obviously impossible.

    Of course, if you should be on the other end and post times that are way faster than reality, then it's totally legit.

  53. #53
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    Strava helps me stay motivated to put in the work when I'm not mountain biking. I've been really slow lately. Some of that is due to adjusting to new, heavier tires. Some of that is me putting on about 5 pounds (pure muscle, I assure you ). Some of that is due to me going on vacation and not riding as much. When I'm on the trail, I still feel great, but the data brings me back to reality. Yes, I'm slower than I was last year, and it bugs me.

  54. #54
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    For those who say they only use strava to track distance, elevation, ave. speed, etc. and ignore the leaderboads entirely why not use one of the many apps that does everything but that? Seems like there's plenty of good ones out there.

    I think most people at least secretly want to see how they stack up, and even occasionally push themselves a little to move up the leaderboard a few notches, and I think that's why strava's the most popular app.

    For sure I know exactly where the start/finish lines are on a bunch of segments and lots of times I do go for a pr, or maybe even a kom. I don't care what anyone else thinks about it because it's just for me, and I'm not fooling myself by thinking that I'm hot stuff if I do crack into the the first page because I know that a lot of the best times were done during a race and the rider didn't even know it was a segment, and they were on their 3rd lap.... kind of humbling.
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  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Could be either or it could be legit, If I see a time that looks suspicious I look at the riders profile, if it's a pro doing 20 hours a week it's legit but if it's Joe Schmo who's done 300 miles for the year you might want to flag it. Glitches can happen too.

    I've seen some ridiculous times on climbs that seem impossible but it's usually a pro rider, and those guys are ridiculous!

    The climb times are what blow me away, some of those guys are doing 8-10 MPH up a steep hill. They must really be in shape, because I can only stand up on the bike about 20-30 seconds before I start getting tired. No way I could stand up all the way on a 400 foot hill. Also, I think some of these guys wait until there is a light rain and then go out on the trails the next morning. That way they don't tend to slip going up as much compared with dry loose dirt. So in a way they are gaming it because of 'overly good' damp dirt conditions for climbing.
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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    For those who say they only use strava to track distance, elevation, ave. speed, etc. and ignore the leaderboads entirely why not use one of the many apps that does everything but that? Seems like there's plenty of good ones out there.

    I think most people at least secretly want to see how they stack up, and even occasionally push themselves a little to move up the leaderboard a few notches, and I think that's why strava's the most popular app.

    For sure I know exactly where the start/finish lines are on a bunch of segments and lots of times I do go for a pr, or maybe even a kom. I don't care what anyone else thinks about it because it's just for me, and I'm not fooling myself by thinking that I'm hot stuff if I do crack into the the first page because I know that a lot of the best times were done during a race and the rider didn't even know it was a segment, and they were on their 3rd lap.... kind of humbling.

    The segments seem to be really useful for doing tweaks on the bike and seeing if it results in faster times on that particular segment. For example, let's say you have 5-7 segments in a 7-12 mile loop, if you tune your bike for one of the segments, other segments may suffer a bit so you learn what the advantages and disadvantages are of changing things on your bike (or a different bike) for each particular segment, like changing tires, wheel sizes, fork psi (or rigid lockout), etc.
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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    The segments seem to be really useful for doing tweaks on the bike and seeing if it results in faster times on that particular segment. For example, let's say you have 5-7 segments in a 7-12 mile loop, if you tune your bike for one of the segments, other segments may suffer a bit so you learn what the advantages and disadvantages are of changing things on your bike (or a different bike) for each particular segment, like changing tires, wheel sizes, fork psi (or rigid lockout), etc.

    There are a lot of variables so an accurate test might involve several runs with different setups on the same day. A power meter would be good to to make sure the efforts were consistent.

    Wind and trail conditions are huge, strava junkies (like myself) never go after pr's if there's a headwind, and conversely find themselves itching to get out on the trail and smash some segments when they're at home and a 30mph NW wind is blowing. Trail conditions are big too, "hero dirt" is super fun but can sometimes roll pretty slow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    I couldn't care less about road riding, but I find myself wondering if some of the KOMs I'm seeing were done on cyclocross bikes, haha.

    For example, I did a 5 mile fireroad segment yesterday that's fairly low-angle; about 600 feet of gain over that distance. KOM going up is around 16:30; going down it's around 12:30. It is not technical at all, and when there aren't people hiking you can go pretty fast in both directions. I pedaled for all I was worth yesterday on the way down (XC 29er), and didn't TOUCH the brakes from top to bottom except for a couple times slowing down for hikers. I hit over 30mph in several sections and my average speed was 18mph. I finished in 16:40 -- 10 seconds slower than the KOM record going UP. I mean, I can't imagine going that fast UP with normal mtb tires, even 1.9s. I suspect he used a cyclocross bike with tires that just BARELY were up to the task.

    I care more about technical descents though. I am fortunate enough to be close friends with a guy who holds a lot of the KOMs on the real DH-style descents locally. He corners like an absolute freak, and that's why he's the fastest. On straight, technical sections, I can keep him in sight, but once it gets tight with lots of back and forth turns, he's gone.
    I've generally noticed the same thing, some of the descent KOM's are the most impressive.

    There is a great loop in Whistler, Mystic Squirrel (Into the Mystic climb and Lord of the Squirrel descent)....hour(ish) climb and a pretty gnarly 20-30 minute descent, relatively remote back-country. The KOM climb is impressive, the KOM descent is impressiver.

    The unbelievable KOM is the time for the whole loop....presumable done on the same bike. The guy that has the KOM for the loop, got the KOM for the climb and bagged a top 10 on the way down, the same ride the same day...out of thousands of riders.

    Folks can legitimately game Strava though. I wouldn't call it "cheating" per-se, but optimizing.....have your buddy carry water and gear up the climb, or do a loop and drop off all your crap before the section then go back and get it.

    In the case I mentioned above, one could easily have your buddy ride an enduro bike up 20 minutes ahead, while your on your XC bike, no helmet, one water bottle, no tools, etc. At the top, quick bike swap. Is that cheating? I dunno.....def not like riding a electric bike or e-doping.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    For those who say they only use strava to track distance, elevation, ave. speed, etc. and ignore the leaderboads entirely why not use one of the many apps that does everything but that? Seems like there's plenty of good ones out there.

    I think most people at least secretly want to see how they stack up, and even occasionally push themselves a little to move up the leaderboard a few notches, and I think that's why strava's the most popular app.

    For sure I know exactly where the start/finish lines are on a bunch of segments and lots of times I do go for a pr, or maybe even a kom. I don't care what anyone else thinks about it because it's just for me, and I'm not fooling myself by thinking that I'm hot stuff if I do crack into the the first page because I know that a lot of the best times were done during a race and the rider didn't even know it was a segment, and they were on their 3rd lap.... kind of humbling.
    All joking aside, I definitely track how I do compared to the rest of the riders. But, I never just ride one segment to optimize it. I love being #1 in the 65-69 age bracket, but then again, I might be the only one in that bracket that uses Strava!

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    All joking aside, I definitely track how I do compared to the rest of the riders. But, I never just ride one segment to optimize it. I love being #1 in the 65-69 age bracket, but then again, I might be the only one in that bracket that uses Strava!
    Yeah, I specifically set my age to 68 and my weight to 310 lbs just so I can dominate those two categories...

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArizRider View Post
    The unbelievable KOM is the time for the whole loop....presumable done on the same bike. The guy that has the KOM for the loop, got the KOM for the climb and bagged a top 10 on the way down, the same ride the same day...out of thousands of riders.

    Then you check their profile and see that they're a pro with about 10,000 miles under their belt this year and suddenly it makes sense.
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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    The climb times are what blow me away, some of those guys are doing 8-10 MPH up a steep hill. They must really be in shape, because I can only stand up on the bike about 20-30 seconds before I start getting tired. No way I could stand up all the way on a 400 foot hill. Also, I think some of these guys wait until there is a light rain and then go out on the trails the next morning. That way they don't tend to slip going up as much compared with dry loose dirt. So in a way they are gaming it because of 'overly good' damp dirt conditions for climbing.
    Standing up on the climbs is not going to get you there faster. The guys who are killing it on the climbs are often the roadies. Dudes who've got the legs to just grind it out. Personally, I struggle on the climbs, I've even resorted to a 30t front ring and a 49t granny gear in the back. I rode with a guy the other day who has a 32t on the front and a 46t on the back; he was constantly stopping and waiting for me. Of course on the descents it was the other way around. When it comes to climbing times on Strava segments though neither of us even register.
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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    For those who say they only use strava to track distance, elevation, ave. speed, etc. and ignore the leaderboads entirely why not use one of the many apps that does everything but that? Seems like there's plenty of good ones out there.

    I think most people at least secretly want to see how they stack up, and even occasionally push themselves a little to move up the leaderboard a few notches, and I think that's why strava's the most popular app.

    For sure I know exactly where the start/finish lines are on a bunch of segments and lots of times I do go for a pr, or maybe even a kom. I don't care what anyone else thinks about it because it's just for me, and I'm not fooling myself by thinking that I'm hot stuff if I do crack into the the first page because I know that a lot of the best times were done during a race and the rider didn't even know it was a segment, and they were on their 3rd lap.... kind of humbling.
    give me some examples. maybe i'll switch.

    i forgot to add that strava lets you add photos to rides as well, which i think is neat.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Then you check their profile and see that they're a pro with about 10,000 miles under their belt this year and suddenly it makes sense.
    Whoever it is a) doesn't use their real name and b) doesn't post that often to Strava....

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    give me some examples. maybe i'll switch.

    i forgot to add that strava lets you add photos to rides as well, which i think is neat.


    There are dozens that are free:

    AllTrails (tried it, it's OK, more for hiking)

    MTB Project

    Trailforks (sponsored by Pinkbike)

    Singletracks Lite: MTB trails (I'm not sure but I think this was the one app that never shut off and drained my phone battery, so I deleted it)

    Runtastic Mountain Bike GPS Tracker

    Komoot Cycling Hiking & Mountain Biking

    MTB Trails

    Viewranger (I like this one because it shows all military base borders in red, but only on the desktop, not on the phone, so you have to go home and see later if you accidentally strayed on the base or not)
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  66. #66
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    Learned how to add segments today (pretty easy), there were other segments that overlapped so I basically just named them 'connector for x to y segment', or 'extended a segment to c segment', etc.

    Now I don't have to stopwatch time certain runs anymore, I just add up the segments.

    BTW if it's of any interest, adding a dropper post only helped reduce the run by 10 seconds for a 7-minute trail system. But hey it's 10 seconds.
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    For those who say they only use strava to track distance, elevation, ave. speed, etc. and ignore the leaderboads entirely why not use one of the many apps that does everything but that? Seems like there's plenty of good ones out there.
    Strava is the only social app some of my friends are on. The photo uploading and commenting are features that I use more than expected. Do any of the other apps have those? Also, are they quick and brainless to use, like Strava? I like to be able to hit start and throw my phone in my pocket and then hit finish and let it upload at the end of the ride, requiring very little effort on my part.

  68. #68
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  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    There are dozens that are free:

    AllTrails (tried it, it's OK, more for hiking)

    MTB Project

    Trailforks (sponsored by Pinkbike)

    Singletracks Lite: MTB trails (I'm not sure but I think this was the one app that never shut off and drained my phone battery, so I deleted it)

    Runtastic Mountain Bike GPS Tracker

    Komoot Cycling Hiking & Mountain Biking

    MTB Trails

    Viewranger (I like this one because it shows all military base borders in red, but only on the desktop, not on the phone, so you have to go home and see later if you accidentally strayed on the base or not)
    I like Runtastic quite a bit and have used it longer than Strava. I can see elevation gain on Strava, but can't seem to get elevation loss. You can get both on Runtastic. MTB project is hard to beat for finding your way on new trails, if they're in the system.

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    I still mainly use MapMyRide quite a bit but I stick to the free parts of it.

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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leafkiller View Post
    I still mainly use MapMyRide quite a bit but I stick to the free parts of it.

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  72. #72
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    Agreed. I'd rather rely on vanilla garmin connect.

    I also like ridewithgps. Strava is more social, though, and I connect to riding buddies there that either use no other social media, or that just happens to be how I prefer to keep up with them.
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    I have been playing with Strava. It still wonít let me make a segment. I come in between 6th-8th for woman in the trails in my area. I donít think that is too bad with how long I have been riding.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by abaughman View Post
    I have been playing with Strava. It still wonít let me make a segment.


    As far as I know anyone should be able to create a segment, maybe you're missing something?
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  75. #75
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    Maybe she is not premium? ^^

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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Maybe she is not premium? ^^

    Me neither and I've made several segments.
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  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by abaughman View Post
    I have been playing with Strava. It still wonít let me make a segment. I come in between 6th-8th for woman in the trails in my area. I donít think that is too bad with how long I have been riding.

    What did the error message say?

    I tried to make one to connect the 5th trail from the other 4 on one downhill system and it would not let me because the 5th segment was too short, so I created a new one by extending the 4th segment. Try playing around with it that way.

    Let us know step by step what you tried to do and the segment rejection message.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Maybe she is not premium? ^^

    Sent from my LGMS210 using Tapatalk

    No you don't have to be premium to create segments, although I think she is already premium because you do have to pay a monthly fee to find out how you stack up in your age group (the total results are free, the age- and weight-based results are pay).

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    I like Strava. It allows me to keep track of mileage, elevation and the benefits of better gear.
    This is how I use it. And to compare my times to my close riding buddies.
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  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by abaughman View Post
    I have been playing with Strava. It still wonít let me make a segment. I come in between 6th-8th for woman in the trails in my area. I donít think that is too bad with how long I have been riding.
    you trying to create a segment on the app or on the webpage. From what I know only the webpage lets you do that. I have basic free sub and have created a ton.
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  81. #81
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    I have been using for 4 + years now, mostly for tracking distance and trying for top 10 in my local area. Reading through this thread, you can flag rides that are possibly in a car, say 50+ mph on a segment. I think you have to do it from the desktop though, not the app. Also I've timed myself with the phone, then with my bike computer, a lot of times the phones times can be way off, I mean I've been top 10 before on the phone and like top 20s using the bike computer. It's a fun app, great for also learning new routes.

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    Tried it the other day and one segment was listed as being done by others. It's a 2.1 mile stretch of curves, hills, and a creek bed. Top place did it in about six minutes. I'm finding that hard to believe unless it was done in a car.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leafkiller View Post
    Tried it the other day and one segment was listed as being done by others. It's a 2.1 mile stretch of curves, hills, and a creek bed. Top place did it in about six minutes. I'm finding that hard to believe unless it was done in a car.

    It depends on the trail conditions, elevation gain, etc. That is fast (~20mph) but certainly possible.
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  84. #84
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    Maybe Strava Isn't So Bad After All

    Itís quite humorous when someone flags you on a legal, human powered bicycle ride.

    Some people just canít accept the fact that there are others who are (a lot) faster than them.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Itís quite humorous when someone flags you on a legal, human powered bicycle ride.

    Some people just canít accept the fact that there are others who are (a lot) faster than them.
    It's always amusing when I hear people call things 'impossible' when it comes to mtb when what it really comes down to is people having never actually ridden with truly fast and talented riders and they end up projecting their own limitations onto everyone else. I've been lucky enough to ride with some real rippers and I know that no matter how good or fast I've ever been or ever will be, it's just a whole different world for some.
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  86. #86
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    Maybe Strava Isn't So Bad After All

    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    It's always amusing when I hear people call things 'impossible' when it comes to mtb when what it really comes down to is people having never actually ridden with truly fast and talented riders and they end up projecting their own limitations onto everyone else. I've been lucky enough to ride with some real rippers and I know that no matter how good or fast I've ever been or ever will be, it's just a whole different world for some.
    Yeah. Iím tied for third all time on an ~8min segment with 10,000+ riders.

    The KOM is more than half a minute faster than me. Think about that. Iím in the top 0.03%, and still 6%+ behind the KOM.

    I can lose some weight, get a lighter bike, get stronger. But I donít think Iíd ever be able to make up that difference. Talent is talent.




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  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    I like to set the bar nice and low too, that way your always pleasantly surprised when the outcome isn't terrible. Avoiding the toe tag, that's a new one. I dig it.
    lol. I have a similar oneÖ Avoid invoking the "Do Not Resuscitate" clause.
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  88. #88
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    I haven't been in the mtb for all that long. Started 5 years ago as a recovery to a severe neck injury. I had heard about the app so I strava'd my first ride and aside from maybe a couple that I missed, have logged every single ride to date. The early days were a wreck! I remember nearly dying on my first ride, stopping about a half mile from the trailhead shaking and trembling and taking in a GU shot! I just kept at it and those GU stops got farther and farther apart and Strava was a great help in tracking and watching the improvement.

    Probably the best part of it, IMO, is going out and really struggling, having what seems like just a shitty ride fitness-wise and getting wiped out thinking "WTF?, why am I doing this? Then, a look at Strava afterwards and finding you have actually PR'd most of all the segments on your entire ride! That, to me, is a real motivator and puts me back on the trail the next day, and the day after, and so on.

    I was a pretty competitive with very fast friends on Strava that I rode with a whole bunch as I got my fitness and really became able to have a blast on the bike without gassing myself, but then I noticed some of those guys were exclusively only interested in smashing their downhill times and doing it on multi-use trails. I want no part of that. For me, that's not what it's about and instead, I choose to ride a lot more than that group now and have been more involved in advocacy and actual trail building. I'm now a Director and wear several hats for our local trail organization. We're incredibly lucky to have what we have here where I ride and it's stupid to jeopardize.

    I'm behind this year on my mileage. Only 880 and about 98,000 feet. I was over 2000 miles last year but almost 1000 of that was my road riding I started up on. I'm doing less of that now but have had a bit of a motivation crisis from continuing pain issues from my back surgery last November. I' gonna try and get some of those mile back between now and the end of the year. Our best riding season is coming if we actually see some winter here on the coast this year. Hero dirt is a great motivator!

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    I haven't been in the mtb for all that long. Started 5 years ago as a recovery to a severe neck injury.
    OT, but why would you join an MTB forum 7 years before you actually started riding?

    Not trying to be a dink, actually curious as I see this once in awhile here and can't quite figure it out.
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  90. #90
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    Good question!

    In 2006, at a friends prompting that seemed like a great idea, I bought a new Enduro Comp and found this site to learn. I was 5'11 @ 215-220 lbs (now 5'10.5 @ 180) and busy running a business, flying, and passionately hunting waterfowl a ton, etc, etc. I rode the bike twice on trails and some on the road for fitness and absolutely HATED the effort it required so I ghost rode that POS into my garage one day where it hung for 2 years before I sold it and everything I had ever bought that was bike related to a friend that wanted to start riding.

    Superbowl Sunday 2013, I woke up and couldn't get out of bed. I finally managed with the help of my wife and my legs would not function. I had no control of where I could walk yet I was able to stand. 4 days later I was in surgery because my spinal chord was almost totally compressed all the way around at C5-C6. Fortunately, my phenomenal Neurosurgeon was able to fix me up with a C5-C7 fusion & discectomy due to severe stenosis. I had to do something because my legs were toothpicks from the gradual wasting of all my muscle mass below the waist that none of my doctors nor myself had caught. The bike was my way out and I haven't stopped since!

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Good question!

    In 2006, at a friends prompting that seemed like a great idea, I bought a new Enduro Comp and found this site to learn. I was 5'11 @ 215-220 lbs (now 5'10.5 @ 180) and busy running a business, flying, and passionately hunting waterfowl a ton, etc, etc. I rode the bike twice on trails and some on the road for fitness and absolutely HATED the effort it required so I ghost rode that POS into my garage one day where it hung for 2 years before I sold it and everything I had ever bought that was bike related to a friend that wanted to start riding.

    Superbowl Sunday 2013, I woke up and couldn't get out of bed. I finally managed with the help of my wife and my legs would not function. I had no control of where I could walk yet I was able to stand. 4 days later I was in surgery because my spinal chord was almost totally compressed all the way around at C5-C6. Fortunately, my phenomenal Neurosurgeon was able to fix me up with a C5-C7 fusion & discectomy due to severe stenosis. I had to do something because my legs were toothpicks from the gradual wasting of all my muscle mass below the waste that none of my doctors nor myself had caught. The bike was my way out and I haven't stopped since!
    Cool - thanks!

    I have a buddy who's been going through a lot with stenosis also, and the bike has been the one thing that has been working really, really well for him also. Ride on!
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  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Cool - thanks!

    I have a buddy who's been going through a lot with stenosis also, and the bike has been the one thing that has been working really, really well for him also. Ride on!
    Ditto. My surgery last November was L4/L5 laminectomy to remove stenosis. It was a problem even before I had my neck issue but my surgeon said "deal with it" 5 years ago. I really suffered these last 4 years and the bike was literally the ONLY thing that gave me relief while riding.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    It's always amusing when I hear people call things 'impossible' when it comes to mtb when what it really comes down to is people having never actually ridden with truly fast and talented riders and they end up projecting their own limitations onto everyone else. I've been lucky enough to ride with some real rippers and I know that no matter how good or fast I've ever been or ever will be, it's just a whole different world for some.


    That's true for sure, road kom's by pro's are especially mind boggling to me.

    On the other hand kom's are sometimes achieved with motors and glitches do happen. I once snagged a kom due to one.
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  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Yeah. Iím tied for third all time on an ~8min segment with 10,000+ riders.

    The KOM is more than half a minute faster than me. Think about that. Iím in the top 0.03%, and still 6%+ behind the KOM.

    I can lose some weight, get a lighter bike, get stronger. But I donít think Iíd ever be able to make up that difference. Talent is talent.




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    Man, I know the feeling. I landed 9th overall, 1st for the year on my favorite local trail. Average speed, 10.9mph. The KOM is almost a minute faster than me (54s) with an average speed of 12.3mph. The entire segment is only a mile and a half. It's a real eye opener to be almost a full minute behind someone on a section of singletrack that is only a mile and a half long.
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  95. #95
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    It occurred to me that I did something which some of you might find useful with Strava.
    After I did a few rides, I went and looked at the various segments. Especially ones that looked up my alley, I looked at the KOM lists and saw who did some of the rides recently. After I looked at a few lists for different segments I saw some usual suspects and added several to my follow list who were currently actively riding.
    Now I see all sorts of local rides in my main feed. A lot of it is stuff I know but they ride little roads I never knew about or MTB in areas I never knew had trails worth riding etc.
    After you do that, you'll see they "rode with someone else" and add them too ! I find out about local events and rides this way too.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Baird View Post
    It occurred to me that I did something which some of you might find useful with Strava.
    After I did a few rides, I went and looked at the various segments. Especially ones that looked up my alley, I looked at the KOM lists and saw who did some of the rides recently. After I looked at a few lists for different segments I saw some usual suspects and added several to my follow list who were currently actively riding.
    Now I see all sorts of local rides in my main feed. A lot of it is stuff I know but they ride little roads I never knew about or MTB in areas I never knew had trails worth riding etc.
    After you do that, you'll see they "rode with someone else" and add them too ! I find out about local events and rides this way too.
    I've used other peoples rides to find trails and segments that aren't on Trailforks, and that I wouldn't have ever thought to look for. Around here there are often "neighborhood" trails that run along ridges through the middle of developments.
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  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Baird View Post
    It occurred to me that I did something which some of you might find useful with Strava.
    After I did a few rides, I went and looked at the various segments. Especially ones that looked up my alley, I looked at the KOM lists and saw who did some of the rides recently. After I looked at a few lists for different segments I saw some usual suspects and added several to my follow list who were currently actively riding.
    Now I see all sorts of local rides in my main feed. A lot of it is stuff I know but they ride little roads I never knew about or MTB in areas I never knew had trails worth riding etc.
    After you do that, you'll see they "rode with someone else" and add them too ! I find out about local events and rides this way too.

    Good idea. For the top 10 on a popular downhill trail I'd also like to know what kind of bikes they are on, how expensive they are, and how long they have been riding, maybe I should PM them...
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  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    ...maybe I should PM them...

    That would seem awkward, why not just check their profile?
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  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    That would seem awkward, why not just check their profile?
    Not everyone lists what sort of bike they ride on strava. Some purposely hide that info so as to not be a target for theft.
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  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    Not everyone lists what sort of bike they ride on strava.
    No, but IME the majority do. Anyway if it were me I'd do that instead of personally contacting a stranger. Actually I wouldn't do either because the bike doesn't really matter.
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