Strava: Tool or Toy? – George Bennett, Jay Vine & Mark O’Brien
Rapha presents Life in the Peloton!
Strava, the social networking app that tracks physical activity, has become a phenomenon in the cycling world, with ‘taking Segments‘ and ‘giving Kudos‘ becoming part of everyday cycling chat.
Strava was something that I completely ignored as a professional. It didn’t exist when I was a young rider, and as I already uploaded my training for my coach and my team, and I raced people for a living, I just wasn’t interested in another way to be competitive or to measure my work.
This all changed when I retired, and I’ve found myself not only pretty active on Strava but also really interested in how people use it.
For this episode, I thought I’d try to break right down what Strava is, how it works, how people use it and why. I wanted to understand it better and I also find out what the guys in the pro peloton currently think about it.
I started with my old mate Mark O’Brien who, post-cycling career, has become a self-confessed ‘KOM hunter’ in Melbourne. Mark is also a coach and was great at breaking down the nuts and bolts of how it all works and why so many people enjoy using it.
I also spoke to two current professionals, who I thought would have interesting point of views on Strava.
The first was Australian Jay Vine of Team Alpecin–Deceuninck. To me, Jay seems like a poster boy for the Strava generation. Even before he was a pro Jay had a reputation built on taking some pretty famous KOMs around Girona, and as he admits himself he has never known cycling without Strava being a part of it. Jay spoke about how he used Strava to help his career, how he now thinks about some of his famous KOMs and his current use of Strava in training.
For a different take, I also spoke to Kiwi George Bennett of UAE Team Emirates. George has been a pro for twelve years, and he really comes from the old school of bike racing. He also, like myself, always considered race results to be the ‘real’ measure of ability and not just a time on an online leaderboard. But even George, it turns out, is a fan of Strava. I picked his brains about what he likes about it and what benefits he sees from using it alongside his training and life as a pro.
I enjoy using Strava these days and I know a lot of cyclists of all abilities do too. I found it fascinating to open my eyes up a bit more about it, and I hope you guys all get something from it too!
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This episode is brought to you by Rapha, makers of the world’s finest cycling clothing & accessories and the worlds largest cycling club, RCC. Find out more about Rapha: their kit, their club, their events and awesome clubhouses at rapha.cc.
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