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  1. #1
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    StravAaarggghhh!!!!

    I like Strava. For me it provides motivation, something to work towards. It helps me see how I stack up against the big boys on the block, those names that are always in the top ten. For various reasons I will probably always be a step or two behind these guys - age, weight, riding a single speed, lack of cojones, etc. - and I'm OK with that. Until today.

    Today the conditions were ideal: nobody in front of me, trails in perfect shape, my legs were fresh, my bike felt great, and my mind was in the right place (that is to say, I haven't hurt myself in a few weeks). So when I hit a certain slice of trail I railed it best I could.

    Now this segment is a good mile, mile and a half of tight, twisty singletrack full of logs and log rollers of all sizes. No real climbs, just turn after turn and log after log, with a stream crossing, a few g-outs, and a few off-camber swoops thrown in for good measure. A really, really fun trail.

    So I hit it hard, I give it my best. Breathing hard all the way, jumping and hopping and keeping the fingers off the brakes. Maintaining speed in the corners is always a challenge for me, but today I trust the traction, keeping my weight centered and leaning the bike and letting her go. I get to the end of the segment and I wait for my buddies to catch up. “This has got to be my best time” I think to myself, “I can’t wait to load this up”.

    So I get home, all excited, and I load up the track onto Strava. Am I top ten? Am I a first-pager? Am I at least within a minute of the KOM? No. I'm still two minutes behind the KOM, and most of my friends are ahead of me. What the heck? How can this be? I know I'm not the fastest guy on the block, but I'm not "slow". What am I doing wrong? How can I possibly shave two minutes off my time?

    I sat frustrated for a good 30 seconds. Then I got to thinking.... this trail, like most every other trail, is dynamic. It's ever-changing. Trees come down, new features appear, and the trail moves around when big fallen trees make the original line impassible. So the trail I rode tonight is not like the trail the KOM rode a year ago, there are definitely several more big logs and a few more tight, awkward turns.

    A-ha, Strava does have a way to compare times for “today”, “this week”, “this month”, “this year”, and “all time”. And there I am, sitting at number 10 for “this year”, 30 seconds behind the leader. Redemption, kinda. Is the trail really two minutes slower? Probably not. But for me, knowing that I’m in the top 10 for 2013 is enough. For now…..

  2. #2
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    Lay off the brakes ;-)



    Joking aside, the best way to get faster is to follow people that are faster than you.

  3. #3
    Now older but less slow!
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    StravAaarggghhh!!!!

    You can filter the Strava times to this month and this year. If you do this year then at least you'll get a sense of how you stack up against the current "flow" of the trail.

  4. #4
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    If you are a lone wolf, don't rely on Strava as a gauge of how good/fast you are riding. I always ride alone. One day, one of my friends came out of mtb retirement and he was only seconds behind me. After this, I decided to start joining people when they were about to start the XC loop. Most of the times I was left behind and out of breath. Some of these loops I was only second or third on Strava. Reminded me that some riders are pretty good riders, even of they are doing it just for fun and having a good time, without thinking about being competitive.
    Last edited by cerrogordo; 04-10-2013 at 06:27 PM.

  5. #5
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    I know around here people cheat so I only use it as a tool for my own tracking of miles and times.
    Giant XTC 2 29er
    KHS Flagstaff 29er FS
    Neon Bow Trials Bike
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    Norco BIGFOOT FATTY

  6. #6
    CP
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    different devices (phone/gps/monitor w/ gps) will record with differing degrees of accuracy, and there are other variables also(signal loss etc). Example, I've heard of a couple on a tandem recording completely different strava times, on the same ride! 1 iPhone & 1 Droid...same loop, different times recorded in Strava...go figure

  7. #7
    2006 Yeti AS-X
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    I don't judge a trail or mountain biking on how fast I railed a trail but more on how much did I enjoy being out on the trail and away from the stressors. I know I am slow...so really don't need to "officially" know it. LOL.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  8. #8
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    You didn't ruin any other trail user's experience in your vain attempt to justify your ego by comparing yourself to somebody's inflated time, did you? Personally, I hate Strava and everything that it stands for, but hey, whatever makes you happy, I guess. Glad you made the top ten this year.

  9. #9
    High Desert MTBer
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    From the very little I know about this thing, it sounds like a perfectly horrible invention. I am just not that bothered about how I stack up against everyone else, and like the poster above, my measure of a good ride is one where I can smell the roses, see the beauty around, not a set of numbers telling me to go faster...
    It's all Here. Now.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    You didn't ruin any other trail user's experience in your vain attempt to justify your ego by comparing yourself to somebody's inflated time, did you? Personally, I hate Strava and everything that it stands for, but hey, whatever makes you happy, I guess. Glad you made the top ten this year.
    Good point and No, I always yield to hikers, uphill riders, etc. There's been plenty of debate on other threads, forums, etc. about strav*******s going balls out for a KOM. I'm not one of those guys at all.

    I do not like XC racing because I had a number of incidents. Once, about a mile from the finish, a guy undercut me on a swooping turn leading to a nasty crash (there were hikers on the trail that I had slowed down for, and he saw it as his chance to move up from #44 to #43 in the sport class ).

    Strava for me provides motivation. I see that someone can climb some nasty climb in two minutes, and it pushes me to go harder.

  11. #11
    two wheel whore
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    I race myself with my previous times. It's a great tool to see where you improve. I know I'll never beat the guys in tights, but I don't see an issue with self timing.

  12. #12
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    One thing that I don't like about Strava is how inaccurate it is. For one example there is an XC fire road that you can just go straight down or you can take the MTB trail that starts at the fire road and winds around and ends back at the XC fire road. Either way you go, it is considered the same segment. I averaged like 11mph on it and couldn't figure out how some people were doing 16mph on the same segment. I looked it up and saw that the 16mph guys just rode down the fireroad.

    It seems that they need to update their segment algorithm from just point A to point B.

  13. #13
    Now older but less slow!
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    StravAaarggghhh!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shmoo View Post
    I race myself with my previous times. It's a great tool to see where you improve. I know I'll never beat the guys in tights, but I don't see an issue with self timing.
    ^^^ this.

  14. #14
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    I too just keep track of my own times. I also keep track of different tires, pressures, shock pressures, etc. to see if there are significant differences in gear. I'm 60, and probably not the fastest in my age group, but at least I can delude myself into thinking I'm better without Strava!

  15. #15
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    Re: StravAaarggghhh!!!!

    I only bother with full loop segments that can't be easily cheated. These make good benchmark rides to gauge ones own fitness and progression over time, or against others, if you so choose.

    Chasing individual segments is a fools game, and a great way to ruin a ride. Once a few guys sell out to KOM a single hill or section of a bigger ride, it only becomes achievable if you do the same. Strava has jumped the shark at that point, and outlived it's usefulness. What's the point of 'winning' a segment if you are slower on the overall ride?

    My biggest gripe with Strava is also a gripe with XC racing culture, as a whole. It's one more thing that glorifies speed over progression. Being a fitter rider does not make one a better rider.

  16. #16
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    I pretty much only look at the full loop. I use it mostly to track how much I've been riding. If I don't I get so busy with other things I'll miss riding for 2 weeks before I know it. This way I look at Strava and know that I haven't been riding much and I'll step it up so I don't lose too much fitness.

    Some of the rides I do will have multiple segments for the same stretch of trail. Wtf is Karen's Braille DH? Way to go Karen, you have a KOM out of 2 riders. This makes no sense to me.
    I like to ride bikes.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by otis24 View Post
    Some of the rides I do will have multiple segments for the same stretch of trail. Wtf is Karen's Braille DH? Way to go Karen, you have a KOM out of 2 riders. This makes no sense to me.
    Local to me sometimes folks do things like that just for the social aspect. There are a few segments that are 1-2 seconds long that are kind of a "hey, I was here and rode this trail today" kind of thing, with the KOM rotating from person to person and obviously not meaning much of anything.

  18. #18
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    I use Strava to track my own riding progress, and sometimes to see how I stack up on certain segments to friends. The number of segments around here has gotten out of hand though. I wish there was a way to pick and choose which segments you want to see and those you just don't care about.

    It also helps keep me motivated to ride sometimes.

  19. #19
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    StravAaarggghhh!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bvibert View Post
    I wish there was a way to pick and choose which segments you want to see and those you just don't care about.
    You can hide segments that you don't care about. Strava will then rank segments by how popular they are based on how many people hide them.

  20. #20
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    You can use this site to compares the segment, it will tell you where you where faster and where you lost some time

    Detailed Strava KOM Analysis

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNormsk View Post
    You can hide segments that you don't care about. Strava will then rank segments by how popular they are based on how many people hide them.
    I must be missing something, I don't see that option?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by fahza29er View Post
    I know around here people cheat so I only use it as a tool for my own tracking of miles and times.
    This.

  23. #23
    Now older but less slow!
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvibert View Post
    I must be missing something, I don't see that option?
    When you are looking at your ride and you see all the segments below the map you can move your mouse over the segment lines. When the mouse is over a segment a HIDE button appears to the far right of the segment. Click on that to hide the segment.

    Once you have hidden segments if you want to see them again then Strava will should something like this

    "There are 5 hidden segments on this ride — Show hidden segments"

    at the bottom of the ride page.

  24. #24
    MK_
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    "No man goes before his time -- unless the boss leaves early."
    -- Marx, Groucho

  25. #25
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    I only use Strava to track mileage, but I just got a computer so there goes that. Im slow as hell, but I enjoy my rides. I'm not really out there to win awards.
    Cheers

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