Strava: Friend or Foe?

Strava has copped a bit of flack recently. Privacy issues such as the heatmap debacle revealing secret military bases and reports of thieves using Strava data to steal expensive bikes from people’s houses (unconfirmed) are becoming a concern.

Add to that the Facebook information scandal saga and privacy – or lack of – is high on the public’s radar. In fact it’s a good reminder to update your Strava privacy settings!

I love having all my ride history stored on Strava.

If you let it (or are obsessive by nature) Strava can even suck some of the fun out of riding a bike. Is that segment time always on your mind? Worried about dropping your average speed by including that hill? Always checking to see how much “kudos” you’ve received? Spend ages thinking of a catchy ride title? If you answered YES to any of those questions, then Strava could be detracting from your ride enjoyment.

Second place on the climb. Doesn’t bother me. Honest. Not at all. Nope.

But it’s not all bad. I love having my ride history stored all in the one place. I can check back on yearly totals and favourite rides. Strava is a great tool for reviewing ride performance, tracking improvements and keeping a tally on mileage. Challenges such as the Festive 500 and monthly distance goals can also provide added motivation.

When I moved to Tasmania I didn’t know anyone – let alone any cyclists – but through Strava I’ve managed to connect to a bunch of local guys and gals who share a passion for the road. Checking Strava “clubs” for organised group rides,  looking at local segments plus using Strava Fly By has enabled me to see riders around me, give them a bit of kudos and even organise rides with them. It’s been a fantastic networking tool in that respect. I don’t do Facebook, which is where many of the Hobart rides are organised so it’s been a little bit difficult to connect.

Segment leader boards I can take or leave, I like looking but I don’t let my place on the ladder consume me. So is Strava good or bad? Well, both I guess, but I rate it. I have my privacy settings locked down, only let people I know connect with me and try not to obsess too much over the statistics. It’s merely a ride logging and social tool for me.

As they say, if it’s not on Strava…

I no longer pay for Premium Strava membership as it wasn’t giving me anything more than the free version, but if they made Strava a paid-only platform, I’d definitely pay. Maybe I’m just a #stravaholic who hasn’t admitted it yet?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. heavyman927 says:

    I love Strava. I really don’t understand how people have the time to get obsessive over it. It stores your info and you can use it or ignore it. But I guess as cyclists, we will get obsessive about something. Like another bike. Yeah, I need another bike. I better start the research….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. stuwj_velo says:

    Before my accident I was learning to embrace Strava in ‘manual mode’ i.e. entering the stats myself instead of uploading files as I have no Garmin thingy. I think the aspect of it I enjoyed the most was giving my rides highly creative names with lots of references to Monuments and Belgium etc.

    I despair when I see pros uploading a massive race win to Strava and just calling it ‘Lunch Ride’.

    Liked by 1 person

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