STRAVA: System That Records All Vain Activity

There’s been some heat lately between us here at DC and the dudes over at STRAVA. It’s all good fun at the end of the day, but part of what makes Drunkcyclist what it is, is that our goal is to help keep the market honest. I’ll admit, STRAVA has a nice product; it maps well, it tracks workouts well, and it has created a sort of social athletic competition, which also works well, I just question its purpose. That’s my opinion, you don’t have to agree, and I hope that if you don’t, you tell me how wrong I am in the comments.

Competition is good. I’m a free market guy, so yea, I like to butt heads and flex dick. However, context is crucial. That is to say, competition for a purpose is beneficial, whereas competition for ego, or power, is detrimental. Take craft brewing for example. They felt that us beer drinking, thumb-up-our-ass yuppies deserved better that what Miller and Coors and all the big dogs were pooping out. (I don’t really think we are yuppies, or like thumbs up our asses by the way) So they stopped mass-producing the piss water and created a voluminously hopped mutha that delivers a hoppy nose, assertive-but-balanced flavors of pale malts and hops from start to finish. Eventually, people started drinking the shit and now we have craft breweries spreading like STD’s at ASU. Shit son. Love me some of that.

So along those lines, before I get lost in this mindless cloud of beer infused banter, let’s get back to the point, STRAVA. We like to keep companies honest, and make sure that the consumer (you), is reminded of what the hell you’re doing when you slide your “fuck you finger” to unlock your iPhone and open the STRAVA app, becoming that Stravasshole that we so much despise. Why are you coming up hot on my wheel and screaming “STRAVA! STRAVA!” and expecting me to one, give a shit about your speed, and two, to get out of your way so you can become the King of the Mountain (KOM) on some egomanic program on your cell phone. Really? That’s not what riding a bike is about. It’s not about beating out some guy you don’t know on your phone app and creating stress in the lives of people enjoying their day on the bike. It’s about appreciating the fact you can even be out there on two wheels, feeling that wind in your face and riding in beautiful terrain that the majority of people can not, and will never experience. Take a breath, take a look around, think about how this won’t last forever, share a beer with some friends, tell a joke, and lighten up. Ditch STRAVA, or better yet, beat it. Learn how at Strava Terrorism.

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About Cupcake

Twisted mind with simple pleasures. A bike ride and a beer will suffice.

54 thoughts on “STRAVA: System That Records All Vain Activity

  1. Honestly, I had NEVER heard of STRAVA until I browsed Caveman’s bit yesterday…never. Nice indirect marketing for STRAVA, Caveman. I still have a “caveman” phone, 3 small children, and work/ride some of my ass off. No STRAVA for me. Work hard, ride hard, have fun, and stay thirsty my friends. Cheers.

  2. Strava doesn’t kill people, people kill people.

    Think of all the beer you could be drink’n. Instead you guys are all worked up and wasting precious beer drinking time over a service you have no obligation to use or participate in.

    As for the Stravassholes on the trail? Those are the same people who passed your slow, drunk ass before Strava – preceeded by an on “your left” or “on your right”.

    Jerks are jerks. Strava or not. They will always find a means.

    Time for a new obsession DC.

    Carry on.

  3. a couple points of view to discuss on this one.

    im a sketchy hard tail XC rider, and a hack roadie on a you-beaut carbon wonder bike too.

    hey, i’ll be the first to admit i’m one of those weight weenie, boy-racer, stravarseholes (arse in Australia, not ass) street duelling someone up a hill at 5:30am or belting through some rad single track to beat a mates segment time for bragging rights.

    But… i have not had anyone yell strava at me out on the trail.
    this is blatant disrespect for other trail users, and from this i can appreciate the segment sabotage to spite that person.

    if someone is chasing a segment, they need to consider when the trail will be least populated.
    if there is trail traffic, show some respect, suck it up and plan another time to attack the trail.

    but i think there should be no “unjustified” segment sabotage.
    best option – work out their user name and flag their ride!!
    if there are too many stravarseholes too often, hey flag the segment as dangerous and spoil all the fun for them!

    drink up, segment on stravarseholes

    cheers, Hack

  4. I like Strava. I use it, it’s a great way to keep track of my riding, and yes, I like pushing it on certain segments to better my times. I don’t take it that seriously though, and I’m definitely not an asshole about it. I still practice common courtesy and obey the laws of the road when I’m riding.

    And it absolutely, positively doesn’t diminish my appreciation for cycling, or distract me from enjoying a ride. Some people may overdo it, but I don’t know if it’s something worth making a big stink about.

  5. I don’t know if it was a waste of rant space, it seems like a nice wrap up of the amazing reaction Cave’s last post has gotten. The Strava nonsense will probably keep going on over at the Facebook page but we will keep going on with our ridiculous random business as usual here on the big yellow page.

    Anybody want to go ride bikes?

  6. Fuck computers just ride your bike, all of you w/ motos feel free to sabotage those KOMs, assholes do need to go get their egos put in check. There is no B in computer so it’s not necessary! Bikes, Bros, Beer, Bourbon, Boobs and Booty. I’m all for being the hard man (or woman) cyclist, but a big part of riding your bike should be enjoying it, not being an uber prick. Doesn’t matter if it’s not a sanctioned race anyway. Plus out of it could be finding a new epic ride one isn’t familiar with, one should never train nor race dangerously which is what usually follows ego (unsafe ridding), no one wants to ride next to that

  7. Strava will begin to suck for even the lovers because they cannot capitalize on the best part of their data collection. It’s not the leaderboard, it’s how users create rides and routes and how the popularity in that routing has relevance for suggesting better rides. And in suggesting rides for people that do not know an area. Based on the best of all users.

    The fact that you cannot type in a location in Strava and see a “heat map” for what’s been ridden most today, this week, this month, this year, but instead see a leaderboard of many dumb segments for these same time periods is, well, it is a shame.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Strava. Don’t love it. As a rider in a very popular area of this U.S. of A. for cycling, a simple MUP and street road ride of less than 25 miles yesterday had 42 segments. That’s dumb.

  8. …despite some of the innane bullshit that transpires on this site, there’s a validity in drunkcyclist bebunking strava for the simple reason that most dc folks aren’t the type to get too caught up in what strava has to offer…

    …obviously there are idiots out there that see themselves as wheeled wonderboys (& girls ???) & they do create problems on trails & roadways…

    …it seems like before strava, there was a greater awareness that we, as cyclists were creating a certain animosity amongst the general public & so, hey, let’s be smart & do something about it but then along comes strava & the whole “…get outta my way – i’m on a personal best…” mentality becomes predominant & i can’t think of anything more counter productive for cycling in general…

    …just a thought…

  9. I find it VERY difficult to believe that there are more than one or two douchebags out there yelling “Strava!” as they come by. I’m betting it’s one of those stories that gets told once and is so completely absurd that it gets passed around and becomes lore when in fact, there is little to no reality to it. Sure, it’s probably happened once or twice, but is this really an endemic problem worth ranting about? How many here have had this happen to them? I live and ride in Boulder, where I couldn’t get near a KOM if I tried and I’ve never heard any such nonsense. And if I’m completely wrong on this and it’s happening daily on your trails, why do you give a shit? Strava is a way to track your rides, an easy to update version of a training log, and a great way to compare yourself to yourself over the course of the year. I have often thought how cool (and probably depressing) it would be if i had 25 years of Strava data to look at and see how my times have changed over that period. I’ve got almost three years of data into it now and it’s great to be able to compare climbs and segments, races year to year, etc. If you’re out there stealing KOMs on a motor bike or whatever, holy shit, I can’t think of a more douche-like behavior. Do you now see that you are buying into all the things you hate about it by doing so? Going home and downloading your GPS and taking glee in getting the KOM, constantly watching to see if you lose it so you can go back out and get it again? How is that any different than the people doing it on bikes? It seems a not insignificant number of folks around here just want to hate. Isn’t that kind of exhausting after a while?

  10. D, with all of the data that Strava, MapMyRide, and Runkeeper (and others) have the potential to develop, that is the one feature I can’t believe that no one has added. Especially Strava, since you are already making segments public.

    Since the CEO is obviously following DC: Get on it. Make your app useful. Let the user highlight roads that are good, and flag roads to avoid. Help people be more adventurous with their riding, instead of always getting stuck on the same route. That’s a feature I would like.

  11. First,Thanks for pointing this out,great article period.

    #2 I keep my fucking phone in my backpack.

    You really have to just laugh at how one of Life’s most enjoyable gifts gets sent back into the Matrix.Last year while on the trail(on my rigid mtb)heard some guy yelling to his buddy,really yelling…” What’s your cadence???!!! “.You corporate droids needs to move over to the car industry or even make thinner hd t.v.’s.

  12. I have been racing since 1995, the older and more kids i have the harder it is to motivate to train. I hated on Strava until I used it once.

    Hate on it all you want, but if it training motivation you seek I think it helps that.

    Assholes are assholes, STRAVA or no STRAVA.

  13. Lot’s of good points. Maybe it’s different where you are, but I have never heard someone yell Strava while trying to pass. I like Strava. I find it fun to compare times with other riders, meet other riders and get ideas for rides from seeing where people go. I have uncovered some awesome single track that I might have, or might not have, found seeing where others ride. How can you get so worked up over a free product?

    I have pushed myself on a “segment” to try and move up the leader board only to come across some hikers, which prompted me to slow down and plan on hitting it another day. Sure some Ass head might not slow down, but like others have pointed out, that Ass head would be an Ass head regardless.

    I love this site, but crapping on others for their version of fun is kind of lame. You don’t like it? Fine, but don’t be a bunch of curmudgeons (unless you find it fun). I like turtles!

  14. I have never used Strava, I’m to fat to train right now. I have no interest in racing anymore. I have used mapmyride, runkeeper and google tracks in the past. I think what irritates some (myself included) is if you wanted to show up a friend, you hammered his ass into the ground on a hill, you gapped him out of the pack, you let him suck wheel while you pulled his ass faster and faster until he couldn’t hang, you gapped him, you recovered, you did it again. Or you showed up to the local race on Saturday or Sunday and you put your money where your mouth is. Not hey man I beat your time on the computer.
    I get it for a training log with tons of information so you can track your progress, see your weaknesses, improve your skills. I get that, but not everything has to be a competition, show up, race against each other and get to the pub afterwards.
    PS I have heard “On your left, on your fucking left, I’m trying to beat my time” on the Fullerton loop. I have also had a guy yell at me in a section of single track that I need to move so he could keep up his average on that section.

  15. I like Strava because it shows me where my buddies are riding and it gives me motivation to see how fast riders rail some segments. And I like to social aspect too.

    In time a competitor will creep up and take over. Hopefully something with a name that doesn’t sound like a VD.

  16. Stravassholes suck but dude, doesn’t this sound a little self-centered and self-righteous?

    Riding is “about” a lot of things to different people. Live and let live. Have fun at whatever pace you want to go. But to some extent you actually should care about the speed of someone coming up behind you. By that I mean, when you can do it safely, get the fuck out of the way if someone wants to pass. That’s just good trail etiquette, and it has nothing to do with Strava.

  17. If anyone was rude and yelled “On your left, on your fucking left, I’m trying to beat my time”, I would have to ruin it for him / her… good thing the weather is changing so I have an excuse to put the spikes back into my Sidis…

  18. I like Strava cause it shows me what an old slow fat fuck I am.

    If I didn’t have Strava I’d have to visit my nasty old lady neighbor more often to understand that.

    Nuff said.

  19. 1) I don’t own one of the “super phone” shiny baubles you youngsters so lovingly stroke all the live long day, but I do run time/distance and cadence on the road. I like it, and when I feel good, I’ll ride myself inside out for a good average speed. But you know what? My fastest, and funnest rides are when I’m racing a buddy, wheel-to-wheel. Fuck Strava.

    2) If some dickwad comes up behind me and hollers “Strava!” gosh, I think I’d be so startled that I’d suddenly slow down and wobble from side to side. “Sorry brah,” I’d say, and try real hard not to laugh. Agro begets passive/aggressive. I hope this isn’t surprising.

    3) A true story: A buddy of mine has an after-work loop that he hammers out all season long, year after year. He knows every single corner and bump. One time he was feeling strong and really going for it, trying to set a PR. He’s whaling along, pinned, head-down, and some dude floats off of a hidden side trail. SMASH! My buddy blew the guy about ten yards into the weeds and knocked him unconscious. Two seconds later, the dude’s wife and kids noodle out of the woods. “Hey mommy, why is daddy laying in the weeds asleep?” That’s an emotional scar for life, friends and neighbors. Rubber side down.

  20. Seriously, what is your deal? Your rants on Strava are getting old. Riding means different things to many. Some are trying to train and race, some are just enjoying themselves, some are trying to become better even w/out a reason, some are trying to lose weight, some maybe do a combo off two or more or all. Strava helps all of the above meet their goals in one way or another…motivation w/both seeing your hard work and friendly competition, tracking training elements, improvements, calendar break-downs, etc. Many can’t afford $500 a month on a coach and Strava helps tremendously track your HR, Power, times, distances, etc. You can still enjoy yourself on rides and be on Strava. So there are a few Stravassholes out there…whatever…there are a few assholes that ride that aren’t on Strava either. I’ve yet to hear one yell Strava at me. I’d move over no matter what as that’s just trail etiquette to let the faster ones by. Get over it already.

  21. …breakingnews: tour de france organizers have stated that due to financial constraints & the fallout from the armstrong debacle that starting next year, the tour will be raced on strava

    …there will be no organized starts or finishes, anyone can compete & there’ll be a 5 day window to complete any stage…

    …results will be tallied at the end of the month of july…

    “…outta my way, bitches…i’m tryin’ a win the tour here, dammit !!!”

  22. I think Strava’s so popular because it’s an easy app to use on your smartphone. You don’t need to buy a seperate GPS, you don’t need to upload your ride later. You turn on the app and start riding.

    I don’t have a smartphone, but I do have a GPS because I love to look at all my rides, times, etc. If I didn’t have a GPS and had a smartphone I sure as heck would be using Strava all the time.

    But as it is now I only upload rides where I’m actively competing. We had a local TT a few days ago. I couldn’t do it when they were, but anyone could send a link to a Strava segment within a week of the TT, so that’s what I did. Damn, that’s a pretty cool thing to be able to do.

    I don’t love Strava, but I don’t hate it either and it certainly serves a purpose for me.

  23. Sprocket I don’t know were you were taught etiquette, but I was taught if you come up on someone you let them know you are there, you don’t startle them, and you fucking go around them. I don’t have eyes in the back of my fucking head so I can’t tell what you are going to do so I stay fucking on my line so you can pass. Just like on the velodrome, just like in real life. It is not the person obligation to get out of your way it is your obligation to find a safe method of passing. The real etiquette!!!! So yeah some asshole screaming at me to get out of his way so he can go faster can go duck himself. I never did that shit when I was training, if I got stuck behind someone, I waited until I could pass then I hammered out what I could to get back on my target time.

  24. And I have two favorite Strava stories.

    1. My buddy did a ride outside of Vegas. One section is next to the highway. When he looks at his Strava data later he’s something like 200 out of 230 for a particular segment. When he checks it out closer the local sport bikers are using a short section of the road as their own personal speed trap and the top speed was 139mph. Hard to compete with that on a mountain bike, or even a pit bike.

    2. Did a long descent with a short climb/hike-a-bike in the middle. Me and 2 friends are nailing the descent. As soon as I get to the climb I hop off and this guy is pushing his bike quickly up the hill. We joked about it and said he must be on Strava. His buddy came by a bit later and confirmed he was trying for a top Strava time. We got his name and checked later. Yep, he got the top time for that long descent. And maybe a handful of people care, but it gave meaning to his ride for him and gave us something to laugh about.

  25. Pukey if you don’t like the rants, don’t read comments on anti-strava post then complain when people agree with the writer. That is like being an atheist and then getting pissed off when you go to a church and they are talking about God. Also there are tons of apps out there that do some of these same things, mapmyride, runkeeper, and googletracks. Notice no one is bitching about those. No one here has bitched about garmin training, heart rate monitors, cadence keepers, or computers. Why do you think that is? Is there something that is different between those and Strava?

  26. Oh and one last thing, a CEO of a company disregarding someone’s personal information by posting on a blog/forum that is not their own, is kind of Hinky in my eyes. I was going to give Strava a shot this winter just to see what it had that my other apps didn’t. The fact that they posted Caveman’s real name, first and last because he did something they didn’t like is bullshit and I’m pretty sure might go against one of their privacy policies, not sure, I might need Big Johnny to look into that.

  27. Strava hater = 1. Someone who has never tried the service and has no clue what it is about. 2. Someone who tried it and had their fragile ego hurt because they thought they were fast.

    Strava Terrorist = Loser who would rather spend their free time pissing off fellow cyclists than riding their bike.

  28. …3 – somebody who is out on the trails on a regular basis constantly having to deal with these spandex clad chodes all chasing their presious KOM. A race course is for racing. Public muti use trail systems are for polite co-existence.
    fuck you and your video game bike riding.

  29. Rufus: Sure, the person coming up from behind should be nice about it, let you know they are there, and ask to come around. But if we are talking about singletrack, that means, by definition, that there is not enough room to pass without the slower riding helping out. If you are one of those clowns with such a fragile ego that you are unwilling to move over when someone asks nicely, you are just a dick. Period.

    You talk about how riding should be fun. Is it more fun for you to piss off others and ride along with someone on your wheel than it is to let them by so you both can get on with your rides?

    Stop imposing your misguided morality on other trail users. I’ll say it again: Get the fuck out of the way.

    If you had a car you’d probably go 50mph in the passing lane too.

  30. JTFC, kids. Is this a paid ad for STRAVA? What’s that old saying???? Something to the effect of even bad press is good press?

    Move along. Nothing to see here. What else you got? Anything bike related?

  31. Strava conversation is total BS. Nobody yells STRAVA! The fact that fat boys w/ blogs pushing soft core non riding girlie posters have made this an issue is disgusting. Anybody really knowing segments realizes what really happens is hearing “segment” yelled & people getting some or not. You guys are getting to be a big western bore.

  32. One last thought on the subject for me…
    It’s true, i have never Strava’d my complaint is really a matter of how we integrate things of this nature into our constantly outdated lives. Loud cell phone conversations in public spaces, texting while walking, constantly checking face fuck on your phone when your hanging out with someone. It’s the same when some dickhole has a heart rate monitor on on a casual Sunday beer ride. Beep, fucking beep you bitch. When a regular ride suddenly has a Stravasshole,bolting for a KOM, thus upsetting the very nature of a ride, i see it as a fucked up. Now, it’s not really Strava’s fault, but the user. I guess it really comes down to manners, and peoples awareness of shit. Too bad people are the way they are. The social skills of yours, don’t align with mine. I guess i’m a bit of a curmudgeon. I think the idea of Strava terrorism is dang funny. I can’t see myself actually going through with it cause then i would have to spend more time with my nose in an electronic device, and that just ain’t my thang. Like i said in my first response, Strava is the the great divide in cycling! OUT!

  33. Don’t care about Strava. It matters as much as someone trying to hit their PR on driving to work. In terms of ambivalence, wouldn’t care if I fuck up your time or help it or ruin your KOM by using a different mode of loco. That said, it tends to encourage the worst parts of the cycling ethos.

  34. defending strava on dc is admitting you use a trainer with a bike thong while reading forums.
    G.T.F.O, stop and take a picture. that’s watts up.

  35. Hi Hank Stamper!

    I’m up early (it seems to happen a lot) and drinking coffee. Strava? I use it. It keeps track of my time and mileage. I used to pencil it all on a calender, or notebook, or the margins of my training schedule (yes, fat-boy has used a training schedule).

    This has all be pretty entertaining. I hope the fine folks at Strava aren’t too chapped. There is no such thing as bad publicity, right?

    The only question I have on this fine, crisp fall morning is not whether Strava is an asshole magnet or an asshole generator (an inquiry that remains unanswered), but where the fuck is my coffee?!?

  36. Oh no… Now I have to delete my drunkcyclist bookmark. What a pointless, miserable asshole move, guys. See ya.

  37. Sprocket, first off let me apologize I mis-read what you posted in response to my first thing. You are correct in your comment about single track. I should get out of the way of a faster rider. My only problem I had with the situation is the person waited until they were on my ass to say something. I usually yell out on your left or something along those lines as soon as I see the person, I also keep a bell on my bike. Like when I’m in a car hauling ass and I see a person in the “passing” or “fast” lane I flash my lights multiple times way before I ever get close to being on their ass. I don’t fly up on them, hug their bumper and then honk for them to get out of my way. Maybe their were in a delightful conversation with their children and didn’t see me, maybe they were soaking in their surroundings. In some cases, not mine, because I won’t ride trails with earbuds in they were rocking out to some Venom, or Clutch and just not paying attention to what was behind them. Lastly I once again took a harsh tone about it, so I apologize. I need to stop doing that shit. “Don’t do something wrong in the first place and you won’t need to apologize for it.”

  38. Holy fuck does Oskar Blues make some awesome beer and a badmotherfuckingbeltdrivensteelbeastfromhell (now in fatbike option)….I say this without hesitation “Ol’ Chub is some good shit son”

    keep the rubberside down

  39. @38— Hank Stamper is an awesome pseudonym; one of the greatest characters, and protagonist in one of the greatest novels ever written in the English language.

    Me, I’m still on an extended George Orwell jag, his essays. Anyone who thinks they can write, better think again. Turns out that literally beating Latin and Greek into young boys is effective.

  40. just picked up a growler of Berkshire Traditional pale ale. The local packie (what we call a liquor store here in Boston) used to cater to sterno bums and white trash riff-raff. now they have 6 aisles of craft beer. To show my gratitude I try to patronize this fine establishment whenever I can.

    That’s right, Mikey FUCK THOSE FUCKING FUCKS

    Take away my health care-so what-we all gotta die someday.

    Take away my beer or my bikes and I’ll fuckin cut your heart out.

  41. …even a lightweight drinker like me will man the barricades to say “…fuck those fucking fucks !!!”…i wanna know that the guy brewing my favorite quaff doesn’t buy into this crap…

    …this obsession by the mega-corps to own, control & squeeze every last fucking dime out of everyone so goes against the real spirit of our free enterprise system, that it boggles the mind…

    …but then again we all play into it with the ‘plastic’ we carry in our wallets & our social media devices…

    …order something on-line & then notice the advertising of ‘like’ products that follows you to 3/4 of the sites you visit…ain’t no easy way to escape so one must remain vigilant…