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Old 11-14-12, 10:43 AM   #1
Bat Guano
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Cycling app - makes commute more fun

I got the Strava cycling app for my phone recently and started using it on my commute, and found out that my daily route has several popular 'segments' that have been recorded and ridden by many cyclists in my city. They are pretty much the most challenging parts of my route - major hills, and pieces including smaller hills, stuff like that. The app automatically added me to the 'leaderboard' for these segments - of course, since I didn't know they were segments and I was riding with full panniers, I started out pretty close to the bottom of each leaderboard. But once I realized where they were, I started trying to improve my time. They are short - a mile or less - so I can put some effort into them without killing myself for the rest of the ride, and I started setting PRs pretty much every commute, and moving up the boards pretty quickly. It's changed my attitude toward the 'hardest' parts of the commute - where I used to just trudge up the hill in a low gear, now I attack them in as high a gear as I can manage, sometimes standing up to add speed. Made them a lot more fun, it's increased my speed overall and shortened my commute time, and I'm already feeling a difference in my fitness level, even though it's only been a couple of weeks. I don't know if anyone else has tried this, but it's really freshened up my commute, which frankly was getting a bit stale. I recommend it.
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Old 11-14-12, 10:55 AM   #2
ChrisM2097
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I've been doing the same, except that I use my Garmin Edge 500 to record my rides. There aren't very many Strava segments on my 10 mile commute - and there really shouldn't be because of all the traffic lights, stop signs, and such. But on my commute home, I sometimes take the 'scenic route' into the foothills, where there are more segments.

It definitely motivates me to commute by bike more often, and push a little harder than I normally would have.
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Old 11-14-12, 11:01 AM   #3
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Funny; I went exactly the opposite direction. I stopped using my cycling app, stopped comparing myself to other riders on the same route, and stopped trying to power up hills in the biggest gear possible and just take them as they come. Where the competitive "gotta go faster harder stronger" was starting, for me, at least, to get a bit stale, taking the more relaxed approach made my commute much more fun.

My 8-mile commute time went from 27 minutes to 39 min. Since I'm biking in in street clothes and not working up a sweat, however, I park, skip the shower and change, and take the elevator straight to my floor and shave 10 minutes off the total commute time.

You can ask 100 different people to visualize a dog and get 100 different dogs.
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Old 11-14-12, 02:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by G1nko View Post
Funny; I went exactly the opposite direction. I stopped using my cycling app, stopped comparing myself to other riders on the same route, and stopped trying to power up hills in the biggest gear possible and just take them as they come. Where the competitive "gotta go faster harder stronger" was starting, for me, at least, to get a bit stale, taking the more relaxed approach made my commute much more fun.

My 8-mile commute time went from 27 minutes to 39 min. Since I'm biking in in street clothes and not working up a sweat, however, I park, skip the shower and change, and take the elevator straight to my floor and shave 10 minutes off the total commute time.

You can ask 100 different people to visualize a dog and get 100 different dogs.
Yeah, I'll probably go back and forth; maybe get tired of killing myself every day (not really, but not taking it easy either) and start enjoying a slower ride; and then maybe change my route and find some new segments and start all over again. Change is good; for now I'm enjoying challenging myself, and the cooler weather is nice for pushing a bit.
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