Strava I love you but your bringing me down.
At first you understood, you were new and you were exciting but the longer you’ve been there the more complicated it has become. You made rides exciting and were a reason to explore and to try and better myself on the bike. You made it easy to equate that feeling of speed into actual performance gains, you encouraged a joined up type of riding, of keeping momentum and of going full gas when ever possible. You made me faster.
But as time has past, things became routine and the excitement ebbed, and you made me ride differently than I would have ridden if you weren’t there. You changed how I rode for good and for bad, you changed how others (myself included) acted and behaved, you never said I couldn’t ride like before but it was always implied.
A trail becomes a race on the internet, against people you don’t know.
I know the foundation and the driving force of our sports progress going right back to Repack has and always will be racing, but racing is an event with real people. Fighting for a KOM with a stranger on the internet started to feel more and more like trolling.
You took away the exploration, the hard work of the trail builder became exposed by the “social” aspect, of segments and heatmaps. No trail is secret, no trail knowledge is local. If you have ridden it someone has named a segment on it and if the ride isn’t on strava for all to see, then it just didn’t happen.
You changed how I and others rode a trail, parts of a social ride that have been there since the beginning, that in fact made you a better rider were forgotten as the invisible clock in your head was always ticking. Forget the view, forget sublime moments of clarity, forget stopping to shoot the breeze with friends. Forget finding a great set of turns or drops and pushing back up mid trail to ride them again, the clock is always ticking.
Sessioning is not strava.
But you did help make me a faster, fitter rider, you helped me track rides and build on weaknesses, you let me see when I did better or when feeling fast was just cruising.
All of this said I, like Heath Ledger, wish I knew how to quit you, Happy valentines day strava, I’ll see you next time I go ride my bike.
My strava account is still active but a fairly serious affair with Veloviewer has been going on for a while. Strava doesn’t mind as it knows I will always come home to it.