Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's All Relative

I have been obsessed with this Strava app. It tracks my rides, and if I were running, it would track those, too, haha. Actually, I did do the Cupcake Classic 5K on Sunday, remember? It tracked that.

One thing the Strava app does is pit you in cutthroat competition against everyone else compare your time to other riders. They have these pieces called "segments," little chunks of roadway that everyone's time is measured and reported on leaderboards. The more I ride, the more segments I've been stumbling across, and it is fun to try to beat my time, or anyone else's. Usually just my time, haha.

But I'm in excellent company and I can't feel too badly about my performance, even though my first inclination is always, "LAST?? What do you mean, last?? I'm friggin' flying out there!!" For instance, I delved deeper into the stats on a recent segment. I am ranked 11/11 women riders. Sigh. When I had lamented some similar stat to my MTB friend, he looked at the rankings and said, "Well, she's a professional racer, and she is, and she is..." He told me not to sweat the rankings.

I totally sweat the rankings.

Here's my 11 out of 11 placement:

9 AG 12/18/11 16.3mi/h 4:32
10 HB 2/12/12 15.6mi/h 4:43
11 FreeJulie 10/17/12 14.4mi/h 5:07

Okay, my time is 5:07, compared to their 4:43 and 4:32. That in itself is not too bad, I suppose. But let's look a little closer at AG and HB, shall we? I love that Strava does a side-by-side comparison. This is me and HB, aka my cycling nemesis:

Time234hr 49m11hr 58m
Elev Gain117,838ft6,453ft
Biggest Ride202.0mi31.6mi
Biggest Climb4,165ft1,899ft
Max Effort234 W196 W

Guess which one I am? Hahaha.

And here's me and AG:

Time280hr 48m11hr 58m
Elev Gain148,468ft6,453ft
Biggest Ride201.6mi31.6mi
Biggest Climb665ft1,899ft
Max Effort298 W196 W

Plus, I've decided they are both about 24. I have absolutely nothing to base this on, but it makes me feel better. Actually, a quick bit of research tells me that AG is actually 32 and places very highly in lots of bike races. And HB is 26 and she is no slouch in the saddle, either.

So, we'll just not think about how maybe these two ladies rode my particular segment with llamas strapped to their backs, no hands and two flat tires. When I look at it like that, I think, "hey, 11 out of 11 ain't so bad!" I'm in good company. Athletes.


  1. Is there a way to hide the other people's times? You should just compete with yourself. I don't want the app's results to discourage you, which might happen if you start to obsess about it.

    You are definitely in the company of athletes, but I didn't need an app to tell me that. You make me tired some days reading about all you are doing. :)

    1. Ah, Linda, I wouldn't want to hide the other people's times (and it is very easy to not go in and look if you don't want's such a cool app!). I'm competitive enough that even seeing my name at the bottom of a list makes me want to do better! And really, it's hard to feel too badly about not being as fast as women like these, haha.

      Me, obsess?? ME?? HAHAHAHAHAHA. No, never, not ME. ;)