Since its introduction in 2012, cyclists of all types have embraced Strava. As a result, there’s lots of different Strava personalities. The leaderboards also have heated up competition over random bits of roads that never used to matter. We’ve all got used to seeing what our friends do on our Strava timelines.
I’ve been on Strava since 2013 so I’ve seen a fair amount of different approaches to it. There’s a tonne of stats and people do get fixated on different ones. As a result, people start falling into some of these Strava personality cliches.
Six Strava Personalities
The Kudos Addict
This rider will be there giving you kudos on every, single, ride. It’s less noticeable when it’s someone you actually know but you’ll often get randoms doing it too. Now obviously this isn’t the end of the world for you, it’s nice to get more kudos. The unspoken request though is to start giving them kudos back.
It’s the cycling equivalent of the search for Instagram likes. Often their ride titles will be some interesting creative pun and there will always be a picture to grab some attention.
Don’t be afraid to give these riders kudos though, they just want some love from their fellow riders.
Coached riders on Strava
Now, these riders aren’t too fussed about the leaderboards, they’re sticking to the coaches plan. They’re out to spend hours in certain time zones rather than worry about cresting a climb quicker than a friend. They will be following Winter base miles training religiously.
The giveaway to seeing a coached rider on Strava is in the ride titles and descriptions. Each ride will be labelled with exactly what the aim was. Zone 1 Recovery is used as an excuse for being slow. Zone 2 – endurance often is a code for the same but at least the length is usually decent.
There will be plenty of turbo rides too. Bad weather simply won’t get in the way of following the plan. Again each one will be labelled with the workout. At least on Zwift some of them have interesting names like The Gorby.
In no cases, asking how much their coach costs will be well received.
The average speed is everything rider
To some riders, speed is everything. They’re the sort of rider who never uploads a ride close to 15mph. There’s a couple of these I know who will split their ride into a couple of sections in order to clear out time going slowly as a warm-up or warm-down.
Out on the road, they’ll be slumped over the bars trying to stay aero and keep the speed up. It’s almost as if each ride is a time trial, with one eye permanently looking at the Garmin. They’ll be looking for the tailwinds and probably avoiding hills just to make that average speed look more impressive at the end of the ride.
The KOM/QOM hunter
These riders want that crown from being leaders of all the segments they can find. Less concerned with overall average speed, they want those crowns and trophies!
It’s fairly easy to spot someone with these Strava personalities. The extra ride bling will show up naturally. Also, they’ll slowly ride out to a segment before suddenly smashing it out. Then they will back off again, needing time to recover from maxing that heart rate.
The newer Garmins with the Live Segments function may suddenly beep on an innocuous part of a group ride. It’s a little giveaway that normally they’d be hunting for the lead down that stretch of road. They’re also found hanging near the back before big climbs, resting before the big effort they’ve got planned ahead.
Now obviously the best way to wind these riders up is to sit on their wheel as they attack and then come past near to where the segment finishes.
The end of year high mileage riders
This is someone that will post absolutely everything to make sure their end of year miles reflect everything that they’ve done. The speed doesn’t matter, just getting every single one of those miles logged is the big deal.
They’re often found doing extra miles before club rides or mad distances during their commute. Often heading off on audaxes of 200km+ long, their weekly mile totals can make the rest of us feel inadequate. The everyday club ride gets called a ‘leg-loosener’ before they go off and do even more.
Everything is logged, the mile to the shops and back, Zwift miles go on and that half-mile back from the station every single day. I’m definitely guilty of this one.
The relentless commuter rider
You can spot the commuter from the constant stream of ‘Morning ride’. ‘Evening ride’. ‘Morning ride’. ‘Evening ride’ on your Strava timeline. Because the rides are so functional, there never needs to be any creativity in what to actually call the ride.
These Strava personalities will be riding every morning and every afternoon during the week. The same routes at the same times each day. The absence of this ride or the occasional battle with a car is the highlight here. You can also find out what the weather’s like most of the time too.
The benefits of these rides are the data that Strava publishes (or sells, if we’re being either honest or cynical). It gets used by street planners to hopefully make better decisions about future changes. Ultimately cyclists hopefully see improvements to routes as a result.