3 things I learned from Strava

It’s hilly here

I live in the Pacific Northwest.  It is hilly here.  Mountainous really.  Everywhere you ride there is a grade.  I didn’t realize how hilly or steep until I began using Strava on every ride.  It is not San Francisco but it is hilly.

The grades vary from 3-21% on my daily commute and regular training rides.  This is both good and bad.  It is good if you enjoy training and cycling around the city.  It’s not so good if you are a recreational rider just wanting to get out to shop and explore.

I’m slow

Strava compares my rides to others in the area.  Despite numerous PRs, I am near the bottom of all the Strava cyclists in the area on many of the segments, particularly the long climbs.  I attribute this to 2 things.  I am one of the oldest cyclists on Strava.  As much as I don’t like to admit it, I am not as strong as I once was.  And, secondly, judging from some of the speeds recorded, many of the cyclists frequenting the routes I do, are racers.

Weight matters

I regularly do repeat climbs up one of the local hills and have done the workout on both the Garneau (a full carbon bike) and the Roberts (a c 1980 steel frame).  There is a substantial weight difference between these 2 bikes.  I haven’t weighed them but believe me, it is substantial.  I can complete 6 repeated climbs in 60 minutes on the Garneau.  The same workout takes me 75 minutes on the Roberts.



4 thoughts on “3 things I learned from Strava

  1. It’s all relative man. Coming from mountain country you could probably crush a lot of cyclists who aren’t lucky enough to have hills like that to climb. As long as you’re smiling when you dismount, Strava means nothing.

  2. I feel your pain. Here in the Northeast it’s nothing but hills, hills and more hills. Plus this year we have to deal with torn up roads from the brutal winter we had. I think I’m a strong rider but climbing is not my strong suit. On short climbs I can big ring it up no problem but those long steep grades are what gets me – even with a triple. Although I do take some solace in that I’m on a CX bike and I’m still hanging with the group. Remember a hard day of climbing is still better than a good day at work. 😉 🙂

    • I enjoy climbing. I am just not fast. It doesn’t really matter. I am just happy I can still climb and enjoy it. I have one bike with a compact chainring and that helps on the steeper, longer climbs. When I get on the flats it seems easy. And, when there is a tailwind as well, it’s heaven.

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