Strava's effect on the saturday and Sunday morning club run

Sam Dansie
Sam Dansie Posts: 2
edited October 2013 in Road general
Hello forum members,
A quick question from the BikeRadar editorial team.

I'm looking for a UK club rider (one with plenty of experience, or a group ride leader) to chat to me about Strava and the impact it's having the Saturday/Sunday morning club runs.

I've spoken to an academic (also a keen cyclist) who put forward a strong case in favour of Strava, saying its banter value and the extra pace it injects contribute to everybody's enjoyment. I’d love to balance it with someone who isn’t a fan of Strava. And by someone who isn't a fan, I mean dead set against it! Perhaps Strava disrupts their ride? maybe it's eroding group ride numbers because people would rather be out bagging KOMs.

Broadly, this is the ground I’d like to cover:

- what impact are ride mapping sites having on group rides?
- does it improve / reduce club members’ enjoyment of group rides
- has there been any effect on group ride numbers (are people sloping off to chase segments on a Saturday morning)

Absolute gold dust would be a ride leader who wants to/has banned Strava from group rides because it’s so disruptive.

I'd like a chat over the phone tonight or tomorrow (Wednesday), so anybody who is happy for me to give them a ring can email me at sam.dansie@futurenet.com.

Comments

  • Brakeless
    Brakeless Posts: 865
    I'm not sure how you could ban Strava from club rides. If people want to upload thier rides they will. Strava has no bearing on our club, some people have always been quicker up hills and they then slow down to let everyone else get back on. There may be some competition between peers but if anyone shot off the front saying they're going for a strava segment they'd never ever hear the end of it!
  • izza
    izza Posts: 1,561
    Although I am in the pro Strava camp, if there was a situation where someone leading a group had banned Strava, what would they do about people using gadgets such as Garmin's and 4iiii's?

    The latter especially looks like a very effective way to monitor your heart rate and yet also gives a much greater accuracy in knowing the start/finish of Strava segments.

    Furthermore, where would such a ban end? If someone heads to the front of a group for a Strava segment then not just as a result of peer pressure but as efficient cycling most groups will follow as a echelon as others look to physically push themselves for the sake of performance and fitness.

    If people agree to ride on public highways there is an implied agreement that 1) they accept a slightly higher risk of an accident by and 2) when with other cyclists there is a trust element of other riders around them are following the same guidelines. If one or some persons seek out personal goals and in so doing become unacceptably dangerous, then we all have the right to raise objections to restore that trust element. We also have the right to follow them and join in. Ultimately, in terms of safety, each rider's guidelines are laid out in the Highway code.
  • GGBiker
    GGBiker Posts: 450
    With a fast group you will be beating your personal best on strava due to the drafting, some people call it cheating!
  • kajjal
    kajjal Posts: 3,380
    Strava is fine as long as people know when to ease down or stop. On my first few road rides trying to beat Strava segment times I was over competitive and took a few too many risks. Now I just ride safely and if a segment goes by due to having to slow down or stop for a variety of reasons then fair enough. It is not life or death just cycling

    Today for example a large lorry was behind me and after sprinting down a hill it did not turn into the farm as I expected so I signalled left and got off the road to let it past along with about 20 cars that it has accumulated on its slow journey down a country road with no safe over taking spots. The Lorry driver and some of the car drivers waved to thank me.

    This is how it should be and not the arrogant , over competitive ego I initially showed but rapidly corrected. Unfortunately some riders never lose this and continue to ride as if they own the road with arrogance and excessive risk taking.
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    Our club had this discussion recently. Quite possibly the silliest conversation I've ever been a part of.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Kajjal wrote:
    ...the arrogant, over competitive ego...Unfortunately some riders never lose this and continue to ride as if they own the road with arrogance and excessive risk taking.

    Yepp, they're dentists, ride Pinarellos and pay £65 for a ride on normal roads :wink:
  • izza
    izza Posts: 1,561
    Bobbinogs wrote:
    Kajjal wrote:
    ...the arrogant, over competitive ego...Unfortunately some riders never lose this and continue to ride as if they own the road with arrogance and excessive risk taking.

    Yepp, they're dentists, ride Pinarellos and pay £65 for a ride on normal roads :wink:

    But if you didn't have Strava segments then these so called Dentists would be manicly sprinting for every large sign or lampost? Given many segments are longer than 0.5 mile these competitive so and so's are actually pacing there efforts rather than having oscillating madly in their levels of effort/speed?
  • iPete
    iPete Posts: 6,076
    What the hell.

    I've never seen anyone gallops off from a group because they are on a segment and before there was strava I'm fairly certain people raced to the top of that hill or that unofficially designated sign post toward the end of the club run.

    The fact it's now recorded is an aside. If people are really that disruptive they'll soon be made aware.

    My commute on the other hand, that's where Strava makes things interesting.
  • davep1
    davep1 Posts: 836
    OP, there are posts and whole threads on here about Strava, for and against. You could try contacting some of the people on those?

    I'm a big fan of Strava, although I ride solo or with mates and am not (yet) a member of a club. As others have said, I can't see how a ride leader could ban its use, short of forbidding someone to join a ride.

    I target some segments some of the time, but am not aware of where a lot of them are. I like checking my performance after a ride, and also like to see how overall I am getting stronger as the rides pile on.

    I commute to work too, and as the nights are drawing in, it is handy to have a log of rides so I know if I finish bang on 5 pm, I have about 90 mins before it is getting dark right now, I can pick and choose routes to get me home in time.
  • GiantMike
    GiantMike Posts: 3,139
    Sam Dansie wrote:
    Broadly, this is the ground I’d like to cover:

    - what impact are ride mapping sites having on group rides? NIL
    - does it improve / reduce club members’ enjoyment of group rides? HAS NO EFFECT
    - has there been any effect on group ride numbers (are people sloping off to chase segments on a Saturday morning)? NO
    Sam Dansie wrote:
    Absolute gold dust would be a ride leader who wants to/has banned Strava from group rides because it’s so disruptive.
    Sounds like you've written the story already. Touting for some evidence to prove your hunch is not journalism. Well, it is, it's just very sloppy journalism. A bit like The Daily Mail would do.

    Also sounds like you don't understand what Strava is or does. BTW, you've missed the Strava train, it left the station about 2 years ago.
  • Agreed, looking for quotes to support a story which has already been written, and this from a site admin -- shameful.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Club runs have always had sprints for certain signs.

    We've always raced up certain hard climbs.

    Cant see that strava has had any effect on club runs.
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    If you want to see competition on club rides then wait at the sign for any village in Majorca around April...
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • I'm a self-confessed Strava junkie. I love playing KOM tennis because it pushes me to work harder to get them back when they're taken from me, but when I'm on a group ride I just forget about it.

    My Garmin still logs the ride along with my HR, but I don't even try to go for segments or a high average speed. It's pretty much impossible to get a good average if your club has newcomers joining the group unless they have split groups.

    I'm riding in a group purely to enjoy the ride. Not cheating on some segment while I draft and then sprint to take a KOM which I couldn't do solo.
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    I'm desperate to tackle a country lane one near me... Whenever I get into the mode there's a car coming the other way and I have to slow, smile and wave... One day though
  • Did anyone see that heat map of Strava users in the world?

    Zzzzzzzzzzz
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • binsted
    binsted Posts: 182
    I enjoy Strava, on a personal basis it records my improvement over time but I am never going to be KOM. On a Sunday club run I will upload the data and often get the statistics that I have ridden with 1 or 2 others so that is out of 15 cyclists, that does not translate to a high percentage using it. Similarly on a Saturday club run I am the only one using it.
    It is a good tool but lets get in perspective, weekend club runs have absolutely no relevance or effect to or from Strava
  • GiantMike wrote:
    Sounds like you've written the story already. Touting for some evidence to prove your hunch is not journalism. Well, it is, it's just very sloppy journalism. A bit like The Daily Mail would do.

    Completely agree, i read the op and thought he is not interested in a balanced article just a headline....more worthy of the Sun or Star...and i hate the Mail....actually its the same level
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Have still got one KOM someone set up on a phone and seems to have wandered off the route. I'm the only one who has picked it up so there I am ... Yippee