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 🙂