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Strava - is it naughty?

slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
edited June 2012 in Road beginners
I blame you lot anyway - I didn't even know about Strava until I read on here ... then the other day I uploaded a commute to the site and found there were 3 existing segments in my ride - 2 reasonable ones and a strange little one that I hadn't even thought about ... I found I'm bottom quartile of the 2 reasonable ones and upper 1/2 of the strange one ...

Anyway - having decided to have an "easy ride" in today (it's hard to ease off on the pedals!) I realised I was going quite quick into this little strange segment - certainly above my recorded average - so I thought what the hell and went for it - stood up and sprinted up the little incline and out of the segment before settling back down to my "easy ride" ...

Is it naughty to attack a segment like that? ;)
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Posts

  • klepklep Posts: 158
    Not at all. Segments are there to be compeated. If youre aware of the segment nobody expects you to go 50km/h ur whole commute just because you did so jn the segment!
  • NITR8sNITR8s Posts: 688
    I find segments, make you train like Fartlek. Which apparently is a really good training method.
  • ShutUpLegsShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    Its actually quite funny to watch people cycling 'known' segments and collapsing in a heap at the end of it :lol:
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    It climbs 60' over 0.3 miles ... oh - and it starts at the bottom of a descent ... blink and you miss it! :D I'm only 11 seconds off fastest time ...
    Still - if I can get "KOM" ... 8)
  • springtide9springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    slowbike wrote:
    It climbs 60' over 0.3 miles ... oh - and it starts at the bottom of a descent ... blink and you miss it! :D I'm only 11 seconds off fastest time ...
    Still - if I can get "KOM" ... 8)

    I have one like that... and have made it to KOM, although I don't think others are that bothered about the segment TBH. (Distance: 0.3mi, Avg Grade: 5.9% & Elev Difference: 84ft)

    These short segments are actually not a bad way to find out what your rough 1 min power is. And for my segment at least, Strava does a pretty good at estimating the power (comparing to a few times I've ridden the segment with a "Powertap")

    But yes, you do get some funny looks when you are sprinting up the hill (only to be half dead at the top)
    Simon
  • ShutUpLegsShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    Should I be worried that all my KOM's are descents :!: :?:
  • springtide9springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    ShutUpLegs wrote:
    Should I be worried that all my KOM's are descents :!: :?:
    Not unless someone marks the decent as 'dangerous' :o (as you'll loose your KOMs)
    As if flagged - no leader board is shown! [ It does show your previous times ]
    Simon
  • charliew87charliew87 Posts: 371
    I absolutely buried myself on a 3 mile segment near me the other day. Stayed on the bike at the end and pedalled off at 5mph whilst i got my breath back. Was then overtaken by about 20 cyclists on a flat bit whilst i was panting like I was having an asthma attack at 5mph. Need some kind of 'It's ok, I've just done a Strava segment 0.3mph quicker than before so it's ok to be like this' universal sign language, or something.
    Canyon AL Ultimate 9.0
  • y33stuy33stu Posts: 376
    charliew87 wrote:
    I absolutely buried myself on a 3 mile segment near me the other day. Stayed on the bike at the end and pedalled off at 5mph whilst i got my breath back. Was then overtaken by about 20 cyclists on a flat bit whilst i was panting like I was having an asthma attack at 5mph. Need some kind of 'It's ok, I've just done a Strava segment 0.3mph quicker than before so it's ok to be like this' universal sign language, or something.

    I've done that a couple of times, got to the end of a segment and just crawled for 500 yards while my heart stops trying to escape my chest, only to be overtaken shortly after. As they say, slow and steady wins the race.

    On my daily commute there are 3 segments, when I try to beat my best times on each one, my total ride time is usually longer than if I took each segment at normal pace. I slow down to recover from the effort and that takes time.
    Cycling prints
    Band of Climbers
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Ok - it's just part of the game then :) I don't feel quite so bad now ...
  • EPTR1EPTR1 Posts: 21
    Strava is actually killing my hill climbing. I keep telling myself to pace the climb, but then the thought comes into my mind, "but I could get a better place on the leader board", and I can not resist going too fast at the start and dying towards the middle and top of say a 1-2 mile climb. I think I need help!
  • mikeabanksmikeabanks Posts: 116
    I got pulled out on by a White Van yesterday near the end of a Strava segment. It would have been OK if he had accelerated but he slowed down and I had to brake. He then turned into the driveway where I collapse - sorry stop for a drink ;-)
  • ilm_zero7ilm_zero7 Posts: 2,213
    ShutUpLegs wrote:
    Its actually quite funny to watch people cycling 'known' segments and collapsing in a heap at the end of it :lol:
    I did exactly that this morning, I am now 4th, Taylor Phinney is 3 rd.... sadly the gap is significant :(
    http://veloviewer.com/SigImage.php?a=3370a&r=3&c=5&u=M&g=p&f=abcdefghij&z=a.png
    Wiliers: Cento Uno/Superleggera R and Zero 7. Bianchi Infinito CV and Oltre XR2
  • DmakDmak Posts: 445
    Hhhmmm new to me, how does Strava compare to Endomondo?
  • springtide9springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    Dmak wrote:
    Hhhmmm new to me, how does Strava compare to Endomondo?

    It's free for the standard account... so best advice is to try it for yourself.

    You have the choice of an Android or iPhone app or you can use a GPS device (e.g. Garmin). And obviously if you have a GPS device, you can upload previous ride data into Strava.
    Simon
  • madtammadtam Posts: 141
    Strava is doing me ni favours at all since downloading it shortly after getting the new bike a few weeks ago. I find myself trying far too hard on mu commute just to beat my own time let alone anyone elses segments. I arrive at work a dishevelled wreck and you don't want to know what state I am in on the uphill leg returning home.

    On another point I am worried that I come in 2nd quarter on some local hill climbs and yet am top 10 on the descents. Is this a result of far too many pies and the effects of gravity ?
  • SicarioSicario Posts: 25
    I have 2 questions...

    Does anyone else find Strava to be inaccurate at times?!
    If you look at this segment here then you'll see that according to Strava I went off road, but I didn't. I've also been on identical road rides with a friend using Strava and his elevation is different. Which leads me on to question number 2...

    What does "Average Grade" mean? As you can see on the above link this ride has an average grade of 6.1%. What am I comparing this to exactly? What does it even mean?![/noob]
  • simona75simona75 Posts: 336
    I'm not sure how accurate those gradients are. There's a section near me where part of the slope is graded at 141% - surely that would be an overhang? :D
  • springtide9springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    Sicario wrote:
    I have 2 questions...

    Does anyone else find Strava to be inaccurate at times?!
    If you look at this segment here then you'll see that according to Strava I went off road, but I didn't. I've also been on identical road rides with a friend using Strava and his elevation is different. Which leads me on to question number 2...

    What does "Average Grade" mean? As you can see on the above link this ride has an average grade of 6.1%. What am I comparing this to exactly? What does it even mean?![/noob]

    Unfortunately if you give Strava poor GPS data it's not they can do about it. The newer Garmin's (or other newer dedicated GPS units) will give the best data.
    Someone complained about Strava previously, so I put together a couple of images to show how the quality of GPS data varies between devices....

    This is from the older Garmin Forerunner 301:
    7236173822_a54912c36a.jpg

    This is from a Garmin Forerunner 310XT
    7236039062_3dea54ba78.jpg

    The path is a bit of singletrack no more than 1 metre across, and the multiple lines are showing loops of the track. Also note that the scale on the FR301 is actually zoomed out to half size.

    Before I had the FR301 I used to use my mobile phone for GPS, and the FR301 was actually an improvement over the phone. As can be seen, generally the FR310XT is pretty good and generally within about 5 metres. The older FR301 is wildly different, showing it can be sometimes 20 metres or more out.

    Also note that GPS height data as well as barometer sensors are not very accurate (barometer's are arguably more accurate, but are based on air pressure - and air pressure changes with the weather).
    Site's like Strava also use "mapping data" for height, but these are generally very course and not highly reliable.

    So basically you have to understand that the technology being used here is far from perfect for their intended use, and the quality of the data can very between devices, as well as other random occurrences that cause the devices to read odd GPS location and/or height data.
    Simon
  • springtide9springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    Back on track for chasing the Strava segment addiction....

    I went out at lunchtime today to have a go at improving one of my longer hill segments. I now have a couple of loops that take a rough amount of time such that I can get out and know when I'll be back to run to my next meeting!

    So I did a loop that I have completed a few times before, but took it easy and didn't really push until I'd completed my target segment. So yes, as expected I knocked probably 25 secs of my previous best up the 2.5mile 728ft climb, with an average speed of +0.7 mph on my previous best.

    Yes yes, good for me... but that's not what's that interesting. Even though I'd 'taken it easy' up until that point, my overall average speed was up by +0.5 mph. I guess why this is interesting is that without noticing I must be usually putting in more yo-yo efforts rather than constant efforts. Not that it's a bad thing, but something I wasn't really fully aware of (OK I know I push for the segments, but wasn't aware between segments I must be riding considerably slower)
    Simon
  • sancho1983sancho1983 Posts: 76
    Wait, there are downhill segments?

    Need to find me a couple of those
  • southdownswolfsouthdownswolf Posts: 1,514
    I wish I hadn't seen this, have now just uploaded my Garmin Connect info to Strava.

    I will now have "segmentitus".
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Hmmm ... that was interesting !!

    I uploaded my "easy ride" from yesterday morning and got a PR for the little segment that isn't really one ...

    However, the surprise was the ride home - that I was going to take easy again (!!) - Met another cyclist (club rider) who happened to be going the same way - through a more significant climb ... At the bottom of the hill he dropped onto my back wheel and left me to lead all the way up .....

    I nearly died!! With a club rider just behind I felt that I had to give it everything - My heart fell onto the tarmac (just as well I didn't have the heart rate monitor on - it would've blown up!) ...
    Still - I got a PR on the segment - taking over 30 seconds off my previous best and adding 1.6mph to the best average ...
    Don't think I'm gonna be repeating that for a bit!
  • SicarioSicario Posts: 25
    slowbike wrote:
    At the bottom of the hill he dropped onto my back wheel and left me to lead all the way up .....

    I nearly died!! With a club rider just behind I felt that I had to give it everything - My heart fell onto the tarmac (just as well I didn't have the heart rate monitor on - it would've blown up!) ...

    +1

    I hate it when you guys do this, so don't! :mrgreen:

    I do however pace myself behind a club rider if I ever do fall behind one. It is interesting to see their techniques. I learnt a lot from doing this.

    Once I was going up a hill and a club rider sped past me saying "Good Morning". It was almost a fist shaking moment but I just laughed as I was in a good mood 8)
  • ProssPross Posts: 25,328
    I've got a very similar segment to the OP on my commute. It's a 0.3 mile flat sprint between the Cardiff sign and Newport sign and I use it to practice my sprinting (although it's a bit too long). I did get the KoM at close to 30mph from memory but lost it the same day as it is very much affected by wind conditions! It's the only segment I actually attack on my rides though.
  • andy46andy46 Posts: 1,666
    Although I am new to Strava, only discovered it just over a week ago :roll:

    This is a segment on my commute to work, first time I was joint 4th now I'm a solid 3rd! I am going to try it on a weekend without my bag on my back and all the stuff I carry to work with me.

    I'm a long way off KOM but I may get 2nd, here's the segment.

    http://app.strava.com/segments/1432097
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    2015 Specialized Roubaix Sport sl4

    2014 Specialized Allez Sport
  • madtammadtam Posts: 141
    You do need to take Strava results with a pinch of salt. My second place on a local segment came from a commute back home a few days ago after a long day and whilst carrying full kit including laptop, 2 phones, lunchbox, change of clothes etc. I was rolling nicely when I hit the segment and often I am accelerating away from a halt, but my previous best time was from a run out unladen and knowing I was going to press on a bit. The KOM for the segment must have been going some as although it's only just over a mile and pretty level, to sustain over 36mph as he has done must really take some doing.

    I have also seen tracks after rides where there are a couple of interesting excursions from the normal road where I think the gps has picked up rogue locations briefly.
  • MartinB2444MartinB2444 Posts: 266
    The last time I looked I was 3rd for the Padley Gorge descent down to Grindleford in the Peak District, the trouble is my average HR gives the game away, mine was around 162 vs everyone elses 120/130. Guess who was working on the segment.

    Check the wind and pick your segments. Alternatively put the GPS in the back of the car and drive up Winnat's at an average 15mph for a bit of KOM kudos
  • ShutUpLegsShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    Alternatively put the GPS in the back of the car and drive up Winnat's at an average 15mph for a bit of KOM kudos

    As soon as it's flagged Strava will remove it.
  • ShutUpLegsShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    madtam wrote:
    You do need to take Strava results with a pinch of salt.

    We'll have none of that sort of talk on here.

    viewtopic.php?f=40012&t=12800996
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