The Strava Effect

Advertised as a training tool for friendly competition this App seems to have hit the spot with many cyclists. The programme is used to record your rides and individuals create and upload segments of their rides allowing you compete over their course with the leading time for any segment taking the title of King Of The Mountain.

The beauty of this App is that you can compete and measure your time against other cyclists both amateur and  professionals and while I am never going to trouble the leader board it does allow me to measure my own progress against previous times, giving me an indication if the training has paid off.

For the month of January Strava are running a Base Mile Blast which encourages participants to “Ride as many miles as you can during the month of January”. No prizes just personal satisfaction of a small measure of achievement and with over thirty five thousand cyclists accepting the challenge it becomes a little bit addictive to try and get out every day even if it is just for a few miles.

It was all going so well, this non competitive cyclist was on target to almost double his previous monthly best and then on Friday 18th the snow came down and that derailed my challenge. With sub zero temperatures the main roads were cleared but side roads and country lanes were left until they thaw naturally.

A Snowy Street Derails My Strava Challenge

A Snowy Street Derails My Strava Challenge

One week later and following more snow and sub zero temperatures on Friday 25th I finally judged the roads safe enough to resume the challenge but a weeks lay off certainly affects the legs and with grim determination I pushed on to complete a meagre 25 mile run but at least I was back on the bike.

For the final week of January the temperature rose, the rain came down and just to add to the misery we experienced gale force winds that were brutal at times and on occasions almost brought me to a standstill. The Strava challenge did however motivate me to ride in conditions when I might normally decide to stay indoors and my final ride on the 31st saw the mileage tick over to 502 miles, not world beating but personally a satisfying level of achievement.


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