After much chiding, I finally relented and signed up with Strava. ‘Another online social network…really? Really…?’ Yes. And if you’re like me, and a bit frayed around the edges with already trying to keep up with Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter (maybe others), then adding yet another place to log into and catch up on probably isn’t what you’re looking for. I know I wasn’t… But, here’s the thing. I ride, and if you’re reading this I assume you do as well. If you ride like I do and you’re already tracking your ride data (me via Garmin) and uploading it to an online website, like Garmin offers for free, then maybe you’ll be swayed like I was to move over to Strava.

Now, I’m a total newbie, and I haven’t spent a bunch of time looking into everything Strava has to offer, outside of Ken’s article, which he posted awhile back on the Strava App, so if you want a detailed breakdown feel free to read it, or visit the Strava site. But, from a top level, the basic idea of a social network that helps motivate you by linking you within a network of other riders who track data is appealing to me. I can see who else rides where I ride, and I can compete with them based on my GPS data (I use a Garmin 500, but these days you can also use an Android or iPhone – could it be any easier?), which sounds like a lot of fun. I can track all my training data, and see the training data of others, peers/adversaries, and pros from around the world – in fact Tim Johnson is my first follow (appropriately enough it was a tweet Tim put out on the weekend about Strava that finally got me to take the plunge). Plus you get virtual awards, so ‘virtuawards’! I’ve already been awarded the 6th fastest time up Gallagher Hill. Of course, I was doing steady-state repeats on that hill when I logged that time, so as soon as the snow melts a bit, I’ll go back and rip up it and try and take first place. Knowing I’m in 6th, what other option do I have? So, you see, for a guy like me, who rides, trains, tracks data and loves to compete, Strava could be, where it’s at.

Hope to see you on there.