Being Queen of the Mountain and Other Falsehoods

Praise.  Encouragement.  Lies.  Well, they are happy lies anyway. I wrote last about Discovering Strava, a way to track rides, stats, and accomplishments with a social media spin.  One of the aspects I’ve discovered is that there are certain sections of any given road that are deemed “segments.”  Participants on Strava who ride the same segment are rated for their speed.  This is where the competition element I enjoy so much comes in.  If you summit a segmented hill quicker than anyone, you earn the designation of KOM (King of the Mountain) or in my case QOM (Queen of the Mountain). Relatively harmless and meant to bolster my self-esteem–thank you.  It worked.  I’m QOM on 4 different segments.  I was feeling pretty spiffy until I drilled down a little deeper.

I’m a Queen among men–because I am the only female rider.  That’s right–very few of the routes I ride seem to have female  Strava members that also ride these routes, therefore–I dominate.  I have found this to be a common thread within my many years cycling.  I have placed in many races simply because no one else shows up.  Had there been, say, more than 3 participants I may not have been able to podium with a respectable 3rd place.

Not that I even race much.  Anymore.  I’m just too old for anything that isn’t just for fun.  I’m not very good, you see.  I’m not a racer. I’m a 41-year-old woman who is a passionate enthusiast for cycling.  Yeah, I rode my bike 51 miles today and yeah, I think that’s not too shabby.  But I suck–royally suck–at climbing.  It’s well documented. So being QOM is kind of hilarious, because I win by simply showing up.

Maybe if more women start using Strava my ranking will fall.  It’s still relatively new as an inspirational tool for cyclists.  But for now, I have a red polka dot jersey to wear.



PS–I still like Strava by the way 🙂


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About Karen

Mid-life female amateur athlete focused on cyclocross, mountain biking, and road cycling.

6 responses to “Being Queen of the Mountain and Other Falsehoods”

  1. Heather says :

    Give yourself some credit woman, you’re out there doing it.

  2. Donna Lynn says :

    I also won by showing up when I got a big garish trophy for a bench press competition for women over forty…many years ago. I was the only entrant for that event in a weight lifting competition. I think I pressed 130 pounds. Oh…and I am Karen’s mother.

  3. BlueRoses says :

    Showing up is better than all the people who are sitting on the couch, and that definitely deserves some reward!

    I’ve avoided Strava on principle, because there are a lot of people in Colorado who have been abusing it. I don’t know what it is about our state, but there seems to be a lot of competition, and people willing to cheat to win PRs or KOMs either by data manipulation, or alternative travel means, or the worst, just being poorly behaved on the trail and bombing by people, ignoring etiquette and laws. A local cycling blog has christened the badly behaved Strava users with a rather colorful name.

    • Karen says :

      ROFL!!!! Love the nickname! While I don’t think I’ll ever take it THAT far–I do like to see how I rate against others. I know what kind of rider I really am–I’m never, ever, ever going to get there first. But I last and last. Still, I have a competitive streak and I think it’s fun to try and perform better. But seriously, if you have to cheat on Strava that’s as bad as, say, doping for a Masters win in a Grand Fondo Race:

      • BlueRoses says :

        Right? I saw that today. How ridiculous can you get? I just don’t understand – the guy probably spent more $$ on the drugs than he would have spent by just buying the prizewinning bike.

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  1. Shut off your app! Strava Fail | Sip, clip, and go! - August 14, 2012

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