Strava.

I'm a disciple of the Wanky Blogging Book (King James Edition), including the commandments, scribbled on the back of a bike shop receipt for Chamois Butt'r, I carried down from the top of Upper Potter Valley to the masses below.
 
Chief among these was:
"Repurpose random emails."

In accordance with my faith (in regards to blogging, at least), I present the following:
_______________________________________________________________________
 
After Monday's entry, Joey Bacala added the comment "Why are you opposed to Strava?".
 
To answer this question, I figured I'd bring the response out into the light instead of burying it in a response to a days-old post.
 
The short answer is:
Because, people
 
The long answer is more complex.
 
I have no problem with the basic theory of Strava. It's a method of storing ride data. I use Training Peaks, and used Garmin Connect in the past. With Garmin Connect, people could see how far or hard I rode, and even make comments about how they did it so much better which I could ignore. Basically it was a data-driven equivalent of this blog. Here's what I did (wrote). Pay attention to it if you want, but it isn't about you. What Strava did was add a social media component to the data with KOM segments.
 
I'm a firm believer that little can be improved via social media.
 
As the Stravasshole post over at 303Cycling News said, "Assholes are Assholes, Strava just gave them a platform to amplify it."
 
Just like with the virtual dopers on Zwift, the assholes find a way to cheat or otherwise manipulate the system to achieve their moment in the sun. People motopace up KOM climbs or throw their bike computers. They even record KOMs with their bikes on car roofracks. People have died or killed others going for certain segments. Lawsuits have resulted. People train specifically so everyone else can see how awesome they are on Strava. Instead of lining up against others in an actual race, people taper for attempts at an otherwise unspectacular piece of road that someone else found significant. People start segments in their garages so that nobody else can steal their KOM.
 
"Assholes are Assholes."
 
I have a Strava account. I've never downloaded anything to it. I use the account to look for new routes in cities I'm riding in. I don't care who is the fastest on a given segment. I recognize that there are more easily-accessed routes on Strava now than on any other platform, but it doesn't mean I have to actively take part in it. If someone wants to know if they can beat me on a particular stretch of road, they can pin on a number and line up. Chances are, I'm completely beatable. Whee. You win. Even better, the entry fee supports an organization I like a whole lot more than Strava.
 
Thanks to this blog, my own asshole/"look at me" tendencies are fulfilled. I don't need to post my latest Strava track on Facebook so everyone can comment about how hardcore and awesome I am. I already know how awesome I am. I have a blog. The bonus with the medium is that I don't have someone stealing my word-count KOMs, resulting in a never-ending verbal arms race. I suck at blogging almost as much as I suck at riding a bike. I don't need the reminders.
 
Use Strava however you want. Or don't. Try not to kill anyone. Try not to be a Stravasshole. Don't use it as a replacement for actual racing- because it isn't. Try not to let it become the reason you ride far. Or fast. Or at all. It's just a bunch of temporary 1s and 0s. Try not to place too much emphasis on it. One day we'll all look back on it as a quaint relic of a bygone era.
 
I'll still hate it, though. I deal with the virtual dopers on Zwift because the advantages of the platform outweigh the negatives. I don't get the same value out of Strava.
 
Your mileage may vary. That just means your odometer is off.
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That answer your question, Joey? By the way, thanks for the blog fodder.



Comments

  1. Than how do you justify Strava KOM on Zwift? That's like a riddle wrapped in an enigma... all on social media, which is the bain of your existanc . Except you like Zwift?!?

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  2. My Zwift and Strava acounts aren't linked, so the data is never uploaded and the streams aren't crossed. Bad things happen when the streams are crossed. For the guys who spent the '80s playing D&D (I liked girls, so...), it's the difference between Chaotic Good (Zwift) and Chaotic Evil (Strava). I just dated myself with two 1980s references in one comment.

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