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Is Strava Negatively Impacting Your Cycling Club?

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Is Strava Negatively Impacting Your Cycling Club?

Old 06-08-17, 09:25 AM
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Jarrett2
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Is Strava Negatively Impacting Your Cycling Club?

I recently read or reread this article and it really resounded this time:

The Angry Singlespeeder: Why Strava Sucks - Mtbr.com

Here are the parts from it that struck a chord with me:

"On Strava, if you’re not first, then you might as well be last. And that’s the problem. The constantly futile quest to be first is ruining the pleasure that used to come with riding a bike."

"Strava is a true paradox, as it’s the most anti-social form of social media. Because everyone is so hell bent on personal best times or bagging the cherished KOM, people don’t talk to one another as much during rides. They’re either hammering, or getting ready to hammer. The social interaction doesn’t happen until everyone goes home and starts dicking with their smartphone or computer, giving ‘kudos’ and other cyber high-fives."

"Thanks to Strava, recovery rides are also a thing of the past. If you do a recovery ride and happen to have your phone or Garmin working, people will see you were 185 out of 200. Then the rumors start flying. 'Oh man, did you see Billy Bob’s time up Monkey Hump? He must have fallen off the wagon!' And what fragile cyclist ego can handle that kind of abuse."

"If you want to race, then either find the fastest group ride in your area, or open up your wallet and sign up for a race. Racing by yourself – or worse – racing on a ride that’s not supposed to be a race is just poor form. In the same way smartphones have forever altered the social code of human interaction, Strava has changed the way people ride — for the worse."

My local club is going through a change right now where a subsection has gotten obsessed with beating Strava times on their rides to the point that they are causing a divisive rift in the club. It causing "us" and "them" rides within the same club.

I've heard of the same thing happening in two other clubs nearby and it caused quite a bit of damage that ultimately made many feel they had no choice but to leave the club. Trying to avoid that locally.

Wondering if Strava is the cause or maybe just an enabler that encourages this type of behavior. Or is this just part of the natural evolution of cycling clubs? Have you seen it locally in your own clubs?
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Old 06-08-17, 09:30 AM
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Oh, boy. I can't WAIT to see how this one blossoms.

You know, you're a brave soul, what with all of these Stravaganzos loitering about this place, lurking and leering, with straws in their teeth, just waiting to pounce on people like you. Yep, you've wandered into the belly of the beast, alright.

Last edited by Scarbo; 06-08-17 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 06-08-17, 09:34 AM
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Sounds like a load of bobbins.
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Old 06-08-17, 09:39 AM
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Here's a thought:
Turn off the Strava.
There - problem solved.
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Old 06-08-17, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Stratocaster View Post
Here's a thought:
Turn off the Strava.
There - problem solved.

That is much too sensible a solution! This guy chose another route (do you know how hard it is to program randomization????) . . . .

Eager To Burst His Own Bubble, A Techie Made Apps To Randomize His Life : All Tech Considered : NPR
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Old 06-08-17, 09:45 AM
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What cycling club isn't already super hellbent on going faster and dropping the slow guys?
Srsly. This is the same anti tech anti social media spiel that one can apply to any real life social group that uses a social media app or tech as part of their activity.

That being said I found the way to be KOM really easy. Go ride somewhere nobody else does, make it a segment, ride that segment, enjoy the silence of being KOM.
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Old 06-08-17, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by lazyeye View Post
What cycling club isn't already super hellbent on going faster and dropping the slow guys?
Is that the default standard of all cycling clubs?

My introduction to Strava and cycling clubs happened at the same time.
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Old 06-08-17, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
Is that the default standard of all cycling clubs?

My introduction to Strava and cycling clubs happened at the same time.
My limited experience in clubs is that there's no middle ground between "we're going to drop you" 29mph/century riders and 8mph "family friendly kids on training wheels and moms with trailers".
As always your experience will vary with real life play.

I like Strava for tracking my personal progress then laughing that someone smoked my time at twice my speed.
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Old 06-08-17, 10:23 AM
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lol, funny. I've never rode with a group but when I ride it's for exercise, so I'm too busy breathing to carry a conversation.

Last edited by xodondum; 06-08-17 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 06-08-17, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by xodondum View Post
lol, funny. I've never rode with a group but when i ride it's for exercise, so i'm too busy breathing to carry a conversation.
+1
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Old 06-08-17, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Stratocaster View Post
Here's a thought:
Turn off the Strava.
There - problem solved.
Nah, I like my metrics. Not that I do much with them, but it is nice with multiple regularly ridden bikes seeing aggregated total data over weeks or months and comparing how they work in relation to one another in a objective manner.

The real solution is to stop hanging out with DBs who use Strava in the ways listed in the article, who value you the Strava accomplishments more than you the person.
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Old 06-08-17, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Scarbo View Post
That is much too sensible a solution! This guy chose another route (do you know how hard it is to program randomization????) . . . .
Heard that on the drive in to work today, quite an awesome idea! Although, I doubt the actual level of randomness programmed into such a device was that complex or hard, but I digress....

I think his solution to the problem would be to ride with random other cycling groups, not blame the technology. He would expand his cycling bubble outside of his small, close knit group.
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Old 06-08-17, 10:55 AM
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Some mt bikers use stravaturd to track their routes. What's this fast thing you speak of? Does it show climbs cleaned and no dabs? I don't race or usually keep track of stuff. On tour I do track miles though. YRMV.
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Old 06-08-17, 10:56 AM
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Excuse my ignorance, but what is Strava? I always thought it was an artificial sweetener.
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Old 06-08-17, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Heard that on the drive in to work today, quite an awesome idea! Although, I doubt the actual level of randomness programmed into such a device was that complex or hard, but I digress....
You're absolutely right (now, I digress!). I was speaking about programed "randomization," in general--a whole other can of worms to be sure!
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Old 06-08-17, 11:16 AM
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He apparently didn't receive enough "kudos" so now he's bitter.
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Old 06-08-17, 11:19 AM
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Well, for my part, had I, that fine day in May not so long ago, been selfishly blind to all outward experience except my Strava, I would have blown past the woman who would one day soon have become my wife! But, no . . .

Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free,
Oh, how that glittering taketh me!

I slowed down to chat! It is good to climb out of oneself sometimes.
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Old 06-08-17, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by lazyeye View Post
What cycling club isn't already super hellbent on going faster and dropping the slow guys?
The Bicycle Club of Philadelphia, for one. All types of ride paces and distances. In fact, overall the rides have become somewhat slower and shorter over the years as participation has become dominated my older members.
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Old 06-08-17, 11:36 AM
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Strava does not apply to me. I use MapMyRide.
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Old 06-08-17, 11:40 AM
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Strava isn't destroying your bike club; riders with sensitive egos are destroying your bike club.
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Old 06-08-17, 11:46 AM
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Not my club, certainly. We're more of a drinking/social group that rides bikes, and I don't think Strava tracks beer consumption.
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Old 06-08-17, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Not my club, certainly. We're more of a drinking/social group that rides bikes, and I don't think Strava tracks beer consumption.
That sounds like a great feature request!
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Old 06-08-17, 11:55 AM
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When ever the local bike shop does rides the local bike club members show up. They seem to be more interested in logging miles here. But not all are speed demons. Many ride bikes that are not meant for speed haha. One ride I was by myself but slowly a group formed behind me, two bike club members and a family. I was going at a slow pace since this was a ride and not a race. One of the guys says "Are we there yet" in a joking manor more than once. Irking my stupid ego at the time I said "Oh is this too slow for your taste?" So I shifted to by big ring and put down the power. Both the club members of course sped up to keep with me so it just turned to us three. But they turned out to be nice guys. One of the guys asked me about my bike, and the other at the rest area was talking to me about how I have my bike set for commute and how to be safer on the ice(mentioned I had a slip in the winter). Oh and wished me a happy birthday cause the ride happen to take place on my birthday. When talking to each other they seemed to talk about strava admiring other riders. "Did you see (insert random name)'s time up (blank) hill. That's the one over by Mercy Hospital. Man it's steep." A lot of the local bike guys seem to be into distance and touring setups though. But my former roommate started dating a cyclist(I told her I approve this decision) and I believe he's a roadie that rides in club a of speed demons on road bikes. We have multiple clubs around here. Find whatever one fits you.
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Old 06-08-17, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Not my club, certainly. We're more of a drinking/social group that rides bikes, and I don't think Strava tracks beer consumption.
Same here. My team is brewery affiliated. Our training rides all end with beer. We have a few fast people, and once or twice a few of them have sprinted off from the paceline to try to get a KOM. But most of us just enjoy going for a ride, drinking some beer and hanging out. When the weather is bad we skip the ride.
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Old 06-08-17, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Not my club, certainly. We're more of a drinking/social group that rides bikes, and I don't think Strava tracks beer consumption.
Untappd. I'll even be your friend on it, you can find me under the same name!

You're welcome
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