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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
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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.
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  6. #6
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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
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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
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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 <smh>).

    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
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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
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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
    Old, Slow and now FAT! :)
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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
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  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

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philbobagginz View Post
    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.
    I second that! I primarily use Strava to track my elevation gain for the year. I have a buddy and he rides a road bike and it is hilarious on what he focuses on. He does the same ride until he gets faster, and faster, and faster. Boring! Variety is the way to go and sometimes the best part of the ride is when you go slow. Didn't mean to rhyme but you get my point!

  27. #27
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    Interesting thing about thinking you’re riding fast versus thinking you’re torn up in pain and riding slow-ass— I’ve gotten more PRs and surprising top ten times when I felt I was dying, whereas the times I thought I was really fast, well, I sort of wasn’t. Some of the fastest times up a local technical 0.7 mile / 10.5% grade rocky technical trail I’ve scored up in the high PR range while riding with my family—left the HR strap at home—surprised I’d placed decently. Of course, I broke off from my family to do the sprint up the hill though.
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  28. #28
    Really I am that slow
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    just remember to ride and smile
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  29. #29
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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.
    I use strava to keep track of my rides, mileage and feet climbed, mostly because I can feel good about my accomplishments, given that a year ago, I was in a cardiac ward. That said, anyone that yells "strava" as they're overtaking me will get checked. Ain't nobody got time for that sh¡t!

  30. #30
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    Like others have said, I compare against my times so as to make sure I am not slacking off unintentionally.
    Last edited by Brodino; 04-16-2013 at 01:45 PM.

  31. #31
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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.
    People who cheat on Strava have got to be really insecure d-bags. Makes me laugh just to think about it.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllMountin' View Post
    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?

    .
    "Winning" a segment has a training benefit.

    One of the things I do is ride the same loops two weekends in a row. One weekend I will do it as a "race" with no stops, recovery or other things you would not do in a race. This gives the overall speed.

    Other days I will work DH times and skills. I will make the climbs and rest at the top. Then, hammer the DH working speed and skills. So, my overall ride time is longer, but faster DH segments.

    So, over time, I get faster. The endurace built in "race" mode, helps on those long DH runs.

    I know what you mean about getting home and thinking you got some PR or top 10 on some DH section. A couple of weeks back I got top 10 on a DH segment where I know I made 3 mistakes that cost time. 3 weeks earlier than that I felt I was so "on fire" and didn't think I made any mistakes. I get home and didn't even have a PR
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  33. #33
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    I gotta admit, I've also heard the chatter about strava and all the pros and cons about it. I personally wasn't too keen on trying it, but I downloaded it just to check it out. I haven't recorded any rides on it and I don't think I ever will just because I already have a tracking program on my phone that does everything pretty well without having to upload results.

    The one great thing about strava that I really, really, really liked was that it showed me 5 more trails that I haven't riden around my home. I had spent all summer last year driving 30km each way to good trails, where as now because of strava, I have learned a few much closer trails. I'm looking forward to exploring (probably my favourite thing about riding).

    Any new techonolgy that I can learn from, I tend to appreciate.

  34. #34
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    StravAaarggghhh!!!!

    I love Strava. It shows me new places to ride, let's me see all of my rides and easily let's me compare them. Sure it is nice when I get in the top ten. Doesn't happen very often but every now and then. Most importantly it is getting my 10 yo jazzed about riding. He has never really pushed himself until he could see his progression. He likes the idea of moving up in the rankings and it is a blast to watching come out of a corner and sprint for a quarter mile or so. Like it or not Strava is getting people riding

  35. #35
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    I know nothing about Strava and based on this thread I want to keep it that way.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BmoreKen View Post
    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 <smh>).

    Strava for me provides motivation. I see that someone can climb some nasty climb in two minutes, and it pushes me to go harder.
    As long as you're having fun and not preventing others from having fun, then enjoy! I came across a bit brash, but thanks for picking up on the main point.

  37. #37
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    Re: StravAaarggghhh!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg View Post
    "Winning" a segment has a training benefit.

    One of the things I do is ride the same loops two weekends in a row. One weekend I will do it as a "race" with no stops, recovery or other things you would not do in a race. This gives the overall speed.

    Other days I will work DH times and skills. I will make the climbs and rest at the top. Then, hammer the DH working speed and skills. So, my overall ride time is longer, but faster DH segments.

    So, over time, I get faster. The endurace built in "race" mode, helps on those long DH runs.

    I know what you mean about getting home and thinking you got some PR or top 10 on some DH section. A couple of weeks back I got top 10 on a DH segment where I know I made 3 mistakes that cost time. 3 weeks earlier than that I felt I was so "on fire" and didn't think I made any mistakes. I get home and didn't even have a PR
    I do the same thing. Strava helps make this fun.
    I am immune to your disdain.

  38. #38
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    I enjoy Strava for the mapping and the tracking of my data.

    I do not share anything and have no interest in times other than my own.

    The app is not the problem, like most things, people are the problem.

  39. #39
    ENDO!!!
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    I enjoy Strava as a way to track my climbs, and it's a fun way to compete with friends when we can't get together and ride. And currently being deployed, I see all my friends rides and it just makes me anxious to get home!
    Just circles turning circles....

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowerThenSnot View Post
    just remember to ride and smile
    Totally! And for me, Strava adds to this. What an awesome tool it is to use as a point of reference for personal gains/losses. Like anything, people can take it too far but the technology of it blows me away. For me it is just a running diary of my rides and a cool way to look back at what I did.

  41. #41
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    StravAaarggghhh!!!!-image.png

  42. #42
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    When I bike with my friends I usually leave them at the start of a Strava segment with just a "Strava! Strava!". They're still loyal to their SportsTrackers and Endomondos and have no clue as to what I said or what I just did even if I explained it to them.

  43. #43
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    I absolutely buried myself Monday on a certain segment, thinking the whole way i crushed my old time and should really move up in the rankings, only to realize that when i passed the end of the segment that i had forgot my phone.................................

  44. #44
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    I just signed up to see if I could find new trails, nope. Nothing new here. Oh well. They missed a bunch. I already use another program for myself and don't care about comparisons so it offers nothing new to me.

  45. #45
    ENDO!!!
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    Had kind of a deep thought about Strava today. I'm in the Army, and my GT Peace goes where I go. I road it on a few bases in Iraq and I now ride it here in Qatar. Before I went t bed last night I was reading the Bike Snob book and init he talks about tracks. How if you are a life long cyclist and were able to look at your life only as bike tracks, what would you see? Most of us had a simple little kid bike, so you start out with that. Then you moved on to a BMX, and there are those tracks. If you are a little older (like me) there are probably some 10 speed tracks. Then onto MTB tracks. Of course there are times when there are no tracks at all, for those time that life gets in the way, but thats off topic. I like that Strava gives me tracks. I can go online and see my rides I have done in CO, NM, and now Qatar. The riding blows here, but it will be cool to look back and see. Makes me wish I had Strava when I was in Iraq and other places. I know I enjoy looking back at some of my other rides back in Colorado while I sit here in the desert.
    Just circles turning circles....

  46. #46
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    I know what you are talking about. Sometimes I feel like if I am not logging a ride then it doesn't count. I know it doesn't matter, but sometimes I like to look back on a certain ride and remember it again.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Yetti View Post
    Had kind of a deep thought about Strava today. I'm in the Army, and my GT Peace goes where I go. I road it on a few bases in Iraq and I now ride it here in Qatar. Before I went t bed last night I was reading the Bike Snob book and init he talks about tracks. How if you are a life long cyclist and were able to look at your life only as bike tracks, what would you see? Most of us had a simple little kid bike, so you start out with that. Then you moved on to a BMX, and there are those tracks. If you are a little older (like me) there are probably some 10 speed tracks. Then onto MTB tracks. Of course there are times when there are no tracks at all, for those time that life gets in the way, but thats off topic. I like that Strava gives me tracks. I can go online and see my rides I have done in CO, NM, and now Qatar. The riding blows here, but it will be cool to look back and see. Makes me wish I had Strava when I was in Iraq and other places. I know I enjoy looking back at some of my other rides back in Colorado while I sit here in the desert.
    That's GPS tracking in general. You'd appreciate it more if you used Everytrail for those special rides of discovery and not just stats and standings. Here are the GPS trackers I used (Android) and why I liked them:

    GPSed - you can see your ride moving along the track in real time or sped up faster.
    Endomondo - I like the calendar view of your activities for the month. Logged 300+ rides there. Not using it anymore though. Replaced by Strava.
    MapMyRide- I like the explore function better. I look for trails and tracks made by other users.
    EveryTrail - I like the camera function. Essentially, you take a picture of the trail or environment and it gets placed in the track automatically. SportsTracker has a similar function but it's very buggy. Still use this alternately with Strava for those special rides.
    Runkeeper - I like that the track shows you where you stopped/paused/rested along the track. Would be great if the other apps had this function.

  48. #48
    ENDO!!!
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    thanks for the info on the other programs. I found out about Strava first, have gotten used to it, and unless they change it and it ticks me off, I probably won't change to another. I fear change.
    Just circles turning circles....

  49. #49
    mtbr member
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    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    65

    StravAaarggghhh!!!!

    My last ride with Strava had me riding 24 miles. I know it is a 7 mile ride and the trail it showed, I was all over the place which also wasn't the case. Any tips or does this occasionally just happen?

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    584
    ^
    Could be a couple of things...

    a. Your phone's on the fritz
    b. The trail has a dense tree canopy
    c. You took off before getting a satellite fix
    d. You kept your GPS device inside a pocket with a foil candy wrapper

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