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Strava explained....

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    Phil C.'s picture
    Phil C.
    Joined: 03/22/2010 - 6:42pm
    Strava explained....

    SBRA is a big club and I'm guessing there are many members who are completely unaware of Strava. The heated debate brewing on a separate thread aside, I would like to try and simply explain in this posting what Strava is all about. It seems to be getting a lot of negative feedback and that's very unfortunate.

    The Strava Revolution…

    Strava is a free web site that makes your Garmin data more interactive. When you upload your Garmin data to the Strava web site, it builds a personal ride history. It's an easy way to keep records of all your rides.

    It also has a competitive element. At the heart of Strava are what they call "segments". A segment is a stretch of road that begins at a specific location and ends at a specific location. Any Strava member can create whatever segment they would find useful.

    For example, every SBRA member has probably ridden back to Sunshine Mall on Bellport Avenue. I created a segment that begins just past the railroad tracks and ends just before the traffic light at Horseblock Rd. Every time I cross those tracks, the time it takes for me to reach the traffic light is recorded within my Garmin ride data file.

    Once I get home, I upload my Garmin file directly to my Strava account. The Strava web site processes my Garmin file and locates every segment I rode (whether it was a segment I created or not). It calculates my time for each segment and enters my time into the Leaderboard for that specific segment. I can see how fast I rode on that day and compare my performance to every other time I rode that same segment. Since there is a Leaderboard, I can also see how my speed compares to my riding buddies and to every other Strava rider who has ever ridden that segment.

    Why do people love Strava?

    Speaking strictly for myself, initially it had added a whole new dimension to my solo riding. Now when I'm riding by myself, I purposely lay out a route that includes segments where I can give my maximum effort. It makes me work harder. Solo rides are no longer for sightseeing and lollygagging. They are now interval training rides and I’m motivated to ride as fast as my old legs will take me.

    Strava is also a social media destination. Part of the experience is "following" other riders and having other riders "follow" you. Your "Activity Feed" page will display all the rides taken by your “followers”. Very quickly you can see where your friends have been riding lately. Every ride summary page shows distance, elevation, average speed, maximum speed, and every segment contained within the route. The Leaderboards for each segment is just one click away.

    To enhance the social aspect of Strava, every ride you post is available for "Kudos" (a virtual pat on the back) and "Comments" where fellow Strava members can express their praise for a job well done or maybe kick up some trash-talk.

    What else does Strava offer?

    There is also a Premium membership ($59.00/year) where you can filter the data on any segment by age, weight, or club affiliation. And if you don't own a Garmin….. no problem. There are free Running and Cyclng apps for both Droid and IPhones. Using one of these apps only requires you to click "End Ride" and the app will automatically (and conveniently for the techno-challenged) upload your ride data to their web site. Go home, sign in to the Strava site, and look at your ride results. Strava also easily links to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

    What’s not to love?

    I think that's about all the basic info you need to know. (Did I forget anything?) It's a great web site with something for every cyclist and runner. Go to and set up a free account. Then search for SBRA, find a familiar name, and look at one of their rides. In addition to advanced record keeping, Strava is here to provide that spark of inspiration your everyday riding has been missing.


    PS. If you sign up for the premium account, use promo code “Philly” so I get my sales commission.

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