Wednesday, January 04, 2012

One very fast day on a local loop with an example of Strava

I wrote about mountain biking and personal records last week. Since then, I had a cold and was forced to lay low and not bike for a few days. However, today was a glorious day; it was sunny and in the mid-sixties. My cold was gone. I was short on time, so I decided to just ride a loop near my house. I rode out on Kennedy and back on Shannon. It's just a bit over seven miles and just over 700 feet of climbing. And today I decided to hammer the ride. I knew that I was fast when I rode this, but was quite pleasantly surprised when I downloaded this to Strava and discovered that I had acheived personal bests on both climbs (one counts two ways... for the steep part and the full climb) and I was close to my fastest on the descents. I had actually shaved 50 seconds off the steep climb.

It's worth bragging a bit here so that my mom, sister, and niece can all see this. It also is the best numerical indication of how I'm feeling these days, which is just plain terrific. And, since I extolled the virtues of Strava before, I wanted you to be able to see what this wonderful technology can do.

Here is the GPS-based map of my exact route.

This shows the elevation profile for the ride, followed by a report for each segment. You can see the three personal bests.

Of course, my times are still in the bottom 30% of the 500+ people on Strava who ride these same climbs. I have significant room for improvement and weight loss. But those will only come with hard work and incremental improvements to my personal best over time. I'm up to the challenge.

One addendum to this post. Strava is a social community for atheletes, not just a personal service. It allows you to follow other people and have other people follow you, much like Twitter. The only difference is that your messages are activities and not tweets. You can track me on my Strava page, although the information available on the public profile page is somewhat limited. We can follow each other if you join.


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