Strava. There are problems with Strava. It used to be fun. Where did it all go so wrong?
There we were! Recording our rides, seeing how far we’d travelled, nodding at our statistical breakdown from a day on the roads/mountains. “Huh”, we’d say, or some similarly mundane noise signalling our mild intrigue, as we digested this information at the end of our ride before closing down Strava until we next hit the saddle. The wind was in our hair in those days. The sun was on our skin. It all started out so harmless.
Then the wars began. Strava decided to award people a KOM for getting the quickest time on any given segment. And segments are quite literally everywhere. This led people to start riding their bikes in order to try and get the fastest time on a segment instead of riding their bikes because they actually wanted to do so.
- The purpose of a bicycle was no longer entertainment, but to get a KOM.
- The purpose of a phone was no longer to make phone calls, but to get a KOM.
- The purpose of a trip to the shops was no longer to shop, but to get a KOM.
- The purpose of life was no longer to fall in love and start a family, but to get a KOM, and use that KOM as inspiration to make little KOM children.
Or so it seemed for a lot of riders, anyway. And while the craze went as far to spread comfortably to the mountain bike trails, the KOM-hunters prime habitat will always be on tarmac and on the seat of a road bike.
Thus, the roads are where the most passionate Strava users can be found, and as Jeremy Kyle once (maybe, maybe not) said: “where there is passion, there is fire, and where there is fire, there is conflict.”