How Strava Is Changing the Way We Ride

A new social-media app for cycling has more than a million riders racing, cheating, and even dying for virtual supremacy over the world’s roads and trails. A recent convert to the cult explains how Strava is changing the way we ride.
  1. A few winters ago 35-year-old Massachusetts cyclist Tim Johnson, one of the country’s top cyclocross pros, was holed up in the Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu, training on the area’s labyrinthine network of canyon roads. He was staying at the house of Ben Bostrom, 38, a champion motorcycle racer and accomplished road cyclist. The training ground was Latigo Canyon Road, a twisting and relentlessly ascending route out Bostrom’s front door. For all Southern California’s winter promise, the day was New England grim.

    “It was pissing rain and cold,” he says. “I was doing 10-minute intervals, going as hard as I could.” After the ride, Johnson uploaded the data from his Garmin GPS cycling computer to Strava, the “performance analytics” website and mobile app that allows riders to compete virtually by comparing times and biometric data. He marked the ride private and forgot about it as race season commenced. A year later, Johnson was back in Malibu, in Bostrom’s kitchen, where he and a gr...

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Originally published in Outside, January 2013

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