‘Cross diary 26: I crunch my numbers

April 30, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Posted in cycling | 5 Comments
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I’m on Strava. I KNOW. Get me! It’s all highly scientific. I’m uploading all my rides, and checking myself out. I got my heart rate up to 162 on the turbo, the other day! And I beat my PB on one segment (though, admittedly, I did have that modern equivalent of a hen’s tooth, a tailwind up Cragg Vale). Garmin overestimates my calorie expenditure; Strava underestimates it, I reckon. I split the difference, and work out how many eclairs it equates to.

People are following me, mad fools. Not sure what they are expecting. Mostly I suppose it makes them feel a bit better about themselves, as I struggle through the week, running slowly, and cycling weakly. I ride 10 miles in 35 minutes; somebody gives me kudos. Bless them.

My friends in other parts of the country are busy amassing QoMs. There’s not much chance of that round here, what with all the demonically fast women Yorkshire seems to nurture. This got me thinking: how am I, a bit rubbish and Not Trying Very Hard, supposed to compete with these Amazons? How can Strava include us, the Crap Ones, and give us a bit of a chance? A level playing field, if you like? Of course, I’m not suggesting we dope (I’m already up to my eyeballs in that, as you may recall). No! Instead, I propose some modifications to the Strava interface.

A new Handicap feature will allow you to modify the details of your ride to take into account the particular conditions that we all know affect performance:

strava excuses cut down

For individual segments, you will also be able to filter results to include only riders who are similar to yourself:

strava exclude speedy

So, fear not! No more will you have to attach comments to your ride, saying how the sun was in your eyes, and you weren’t ready. Strava will work out your handicap for you, and move you up the appropriate leaderboard. Bon courage!

herbie green's cartoon resized

Cartoon by @HerbieGreen. Reproduced with kind permission.


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  1. Just think – you going faster, and are much fitter than the 96% of people sat on the couch!

  2. Ha! I was just debating whether to enter the Strava world now that I own a Garmin. LOVE the handicap system – very applicable categories.

    • 🙂 I love Strava really. It encourages me to Try A Bit Harder, which is something I often forget to do.

  3. […] 1. Trying A Bit Harder. I know you all hate Strava, but it’s made an enormous difference to my riding. Who knew trying hard could be fun? Clawing my way slowly up a couple of local leaderboards has done wonders for my self-esteem. And when I go badly, there are always excuses. […]

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