Saturday, March 16, 2013

Afternoon Recess and Stravacide

March riding is usually a hit and miss situation, but everything lined up in my favor yesterday with the day off, sunshine and a wonderful sister in town to watch the boys. None of my go-to riding crew had the morning free, so I set out alone on one of my normal routes. As I rolled into Elkhorn, students at the elementary school were out on the playground for recess. I guess I was out for recess too - it's been way too long.

About Stravacide

I first read the term Stravacide in Outside Magazine's piece How Strava is Changing the Way We Ride. For those that don't use Strava, read the article and then check it out for yourself. For those that do, you know what can happen when you come up on a known segment and give it just a little too much gas. That was the case yesterday 4 miles into the ride when I blew myself up on a climb chasing my best time. After a nearly 5 minute recovery that almost forced an all-out stop, I concluded unequivocally that Stravacide is a real thing. Plus, I didn't even come close on the segment.

strava data
Stravacide evidence. Ignore the HRM data, I'm testing out a new HRM strap and things when awry.

Full disclosure, I am not really chasing KOM's (that's a lie), only PR's (another lie), but moving up the main list is still fun when it happens (not a lie). I was surprised/happy to see that I moved into 6th on a section of cobbles. It gave me a real appreciation for what the big boys do in the Classics.

Overall, I do enjoy Strava and am quick to tell any non-user who will listen that they should check it out too. For me, it's not as much about the competition (that is a lie I tell myself) as it is the personal data tracking and ride-to-ride performance gauge.

Up Next This Spring

I really think that the next step to getting faster is riding with faster people. I have been pretty consistent with my solo riding status (I have to take the time I can get in between the kids' naps on the weekend) for the past few seasons, and I believe my speed and overall effort have been a product of that. I can't carve out much more time than I have been getting, but plan to work in some Saturday shop rides when things line up. More to come on that. Also, less Stravacide.
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