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How Strava Wrecks My Enjoyment of Cycling

July 2021
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I have a blog friend, Sheree, who likes to post photos she takes of flowers on her blog. She is, without question, a fair rider and has an inside look at pro racing. A cycling enthusiast, she is.

So I’ve been inspired to snap photos of flowers while out on rides when I have the chance. Too often, though, I can’t get the good shots because I can’t get to my phone in time.

Typically, you’d have me turn around and run through that stretch of road again to get that shot, right? But I can’t. To turn around would knock a half-mile-an-hour off my average on Strava… what if I had to do that twice in one ride?! What would my friends think if they saw a 16-1/2 mph average for an easy ride rather than a 17-1/2 average?!

This is a sickness of mine.

Now, I conveniently blamed this on Strava as click-bait, but other than to get people to the post, I won’t sink to blaming a flaw in me on an app. I would say to do so would show a greater flaw in me. Say, allowing what other people thought of me dictate how I choose to ride a bicycle in the first place?

But I do. I’d rather show a better average on Strava than circle back, to borrow and properly use a phrase, for a good photo for a post.

Now, to be fair, most often I find these photo ops while riding with a bunch of friends in a pace-line. It’s not like I can throw up an arm and have everyone turn back around so I can get a photo of a flower, but that rare solo ride…

Or when those flowers show up enough I actually have time to get my phone out whilst riding with friends…

Either way, this is an interesting line of thought. I’m thinking now that I’m 51 I oughta loosen up a little bit. Stop and smell the 🌹. Then take a picture or two just for the heck of it.

If you’re not working on something, you can sink to anything.

Just a thought.


10 Comments

  1. joliesattic says:

    lol. – I actually get that.

  2. Sheree says:

    Absolutely Jim!

  3. Lisa M. Boyd says:

    I so feel this one, was just talking on the topic of balance in a meeting. I have to be balanced in all areas of my life. In the past I did everything in excess, and I do still fall into this. When I ride I have this mindset that the next day I must do more than the day before. I too run my Strava. I look at my time, and each time must increase from the time before. It is an obsession of the mind. It is so bad I had to break the cycle because I have the tools to do so. One day I simply cut ride down by quite a bit. Guess what I was okay too, lol 😂 Everyone is already impressed with how much I ride. Why can’t less miles, but still riding be enough for me? Balance! I need to spend equal parts of my day on each task God gives me. I am really working on this personally in my life. I am competitive by nature. It is time I slower down a little bit, and then I too get to take it all in. I certainly don’t want to miss something God puts in my path because my mind tells my feet to keep going. Great share! Show us some flowers 🌸😀

  4. kirkmtb says:

    What you could try, Jim, when it’s peak flower season is a fartlek ride. Ride Strava segments at the speed you feel like, some slowly and even stopping for pictures. Other segments you’ll ride at an impressive pace and be able to boast about your 10 PBs and 2 KOMs after the ride. I promise, it works.

  5. Dave Talsma says:

    I like to go on lollygag rides more and more, just to look around and not care what my average turns out. Many times I don’t record them either.

  6. The Omil says:

    So true. My ultra on Sunday was a treat – partly because I did not care about how long it took and did not look at the time once through the entire run. Not bothering about time or speed is very liberating – but I agree, the distance still has to be recorded!

  7. capejohn says:

    I have been recording my miles and all the other stuff since 2005. I can’t recall ever going back to look at the stats.

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