Shut off your app! Strava Fail
I have previously posted about my initiation to Strava and how it has teased out the competitive streak in me. I like it essentially because it gets me out to ride, and I like pushing myself against other riders to learn how I really am doing.
I’ve been out collecting QOMs and other accolades, which I know the truth about, but still I’m out there doing it. I had a blogger/twitter friend point out to me the term “Strava–hole” which can be read more about here.
So tonight I’m relaxing with my laptop and sitcoms when my email chimed. Like Pavlov’s Dog, I automatically check it (because I am entirely too plugged in) and I discover 2 emails with this title:
Uh oh! Cutesy Fake Name just stole your QOM!
Well of course I immediately wanted to see how badly she beat me….to see if I had a chance to steal it back. That’s when I noticed the HUGE time discrepancy between my time and hers. I received two notifications. The gap in time on one segment was 3 minutes and 57 seconds, while the other segment was 5 minutes, 36 seconds.
Now, I have been riding the cross bike all summer which is about 3.5 lbs heavier than the road bike with thicker tires. I am slower on it–but I’ve still been snagging QOMs with it, and there usually isn’t much competition among the ladies (unfortunately) because so few of us even use Strava in this area. But unless this fellow athlete had just returned from London–something didn’t add up. I drilled down a bit more I knew right away what had happened. She left her app on. One segment tracked her speed at 33.6 mph and another at 45.2 mph. Uphill. Nope, that didn’t happen. It looks like she had been mountain biking in the nearby state park (on some excellent trails, by the way) and she must have packed up, got into her car and drove home before she shut off the app.
This is an innocent mistake for sure and a great example of something Strava might consider doing in the future to alert or flag a possible mishaps to prevent the very performance driven statistics from being unwittingly skewed. Maybe once you accelerate to over 30mph Strava might alert the rider once the info is uploaded to the site to allow for corrections to be made. This might save the rider some unwanted embarrassment and not freak out sensitive ultra competitive Strava users (Read: not me. Really.) So listen up Strava, I work with a bunch of great software developers if you need a hand with that
Anyway, back to the user side. This could happen to anyone, present company definitely included. So beware folks! Shut off your app after you dismount from the bike. And as always, take it for what it is–another form of entertainment, social media engagement, and fun “performance tracking.” It’s great that it uses competition to inspire use to get out on our bikes, but it’s not a panacea.