Strava: What is it, and why you need it?
Strava. It’s all you hear about when you go for a ride with your mates.
But what is it? And why do I need it?
Although Strava is becoming as essential to cycling as a pair of round wheels and a pair of plush Pongo LONDON socks, not everyone is on board with it.
If you’re one of those people, let us enlighten you into the whole new world of opportunity, adventure and motivation it can provide you and your bike.
Find yourself riding the same old roads week-in-week out? Strava will put an end to that.
One of Strava’s best features is its mapping feature, which allows you to plot routes all around the world. And you’re not left just guessing where is good to ride, with the website full of details on the popularity of road sections (‘segments’), if its tarmac, gravel or trail, and the amount of elevation. So whether you want a flat and easy recovery road ride or a gnarly lumpy gravel adventure, Strava will help you build it.
Also, following your local ride buddies will let you see all the roads that they take to on a regular basis. This is a great source of inspiration for new loops, back roads and climbs to use in your own riding.
And if you ever get back from a spin in new territory that led to you stumbling across your new favourite climb or a beautiful back-road trail, you can also mark the segment and save it for future escapades.
Got big racing ambitions? Want to beat a benchmark Marmotte time? Or just want to drop your buddies in the weekend ride? Strava includes a wide array of training features that will help you squeeze every last watt of potential out of your legs.
At a basic level, Strava can be a great way to challenge yourself to beat a personal on your local climb or down your favourite trail. With all your times for a particular segment documented in front of you and ‘King of the Mounain’ awards available for record times, you can focus a ride about becoming the KoM of your favourite local climb or loop.
Strava also releases a range of ‘challenges’ every month based around hitting a certain total distance, amount of climbing, or consecutive ride streak. These are great ways to incentivise you to get out and ride when you may have otherwise stayed on the sofa.
But there’s more to it than that. Whether you’re riding with a power meter, heart rate monitor, or neither of these, the platform uses a variety of metrics and algorhythms to chart your fitness journey and progress over time. If you have power or heart rate data, you can analyse the training zones that you rode in on your latest ride, and nerd out over every beat per minute and every watt throughout thesession. But if you’d rather not splash the cash on a costly power meter, Strava is able to estimate your output and give you benchmarks to work from.
Strava is more than just a mapping and training tool, it’s a whole social network that will take over your life in the best way possible! With millions or cyclists (and runners) logging their activities on Strava every day, you can view other people’s rides and follow your friends, rivals or the pros you most admire.
The larger your Strava network becomes, the more you get out of it. The ability to comment on each other’s ride is a great way to share banter after a go-til-you-blow group ride, or to share your appreciation for you buddy’s epic solo spin.
If you’re a member of a local club or race team, you can set up a group for you and your organisation. Brands, events, and pro races also have their own groups to allow fans to interact and get involved in challenges.
And of course, PONGO London has a Strava page where you can share your rides, discuss racing and training, and of course, share pictures of your fresh new pair of PONGOs!
We have over 1,000 members already, so head over to our Strava page and get involved in our growing community. We have regular competitions too, so you never know, you may win socks just for riding your bike!
There’s a whole world to Strava that we’ve not even touched on here. Rather than trying to explain every little feature and function, we’d encourage you to just dive in and see what all the fuss is about!
The more you put in to Strava, the more you get out, so immerse yourself and enjoy…. And don’t forget to join the PONGO London strive club while you’re there.