I’m as guilty as the next person for going out for a bit of strava bashing, but lately I’ve got sick of the whole idea of going for a ride just to beat some random guy I don’t even know! Back in the day me and the lads used to go up the trails and time each other, like a mini race series. The times were recorded and even compared times for different ground conditions. There was no doubt this was making us better riders and helping our race speed. Strava however isn’t always being used like that. People just want to be at the top no matter what. Corners are getting straight lined more and more and sometimes new lines are being cleared just for getting a better time.
But how accurate is it? I doubt it’s bang on the money so the times are more of an estimate than an accurate representation, especially over the shorter segments. It also removes some of the social aspect of a day on the trails. It used to be at every fire road crossing you’d stop for a chat about the last section, get your breath back and maybe even push back up ’cause you messed up a section. Now were just hurtling to the bottom with not much craic in between and very little sessioning to help our riding progress!
Ultimately it could result in a bad name for bikers. A lot of our access and trails is in areas that there are a lot of walkers and horse riders. Many of our trails cross fire roads frequented by these users. If you know you’re on for a good strava time, you aren’t going to take that split second glance to see who’s coming along the road, I’m guilty myself. With no end in sight to the whole strava debate maybe we need to start to alter our building habits and change how we meet fire roads, instead of the straight drop in line we should have a corner before it to slow users and open up riders field of vision to the road. It’s just a thought.
So what does the future hold? In my opinion, if used correctly strava can be a great training aid, but I think it’s going to end up causing issues between users. Bring back the stopwatch and walkie talkies!
So theres my short and probably pointless opininon on the matter.