Has Strava taken the fun and exploration of cycling and replaced it with data-driven machines constantly craving a competitive fix? Not it you use it to open up a new world of unexplored roads, routes and climbs.
Follow other riders in your area and you can see where their rides take them. When I look at a leaderboard to see where I place on a segment, I sometimes click on other riders’ times to see how they got there and where they went next. Premium riders can also directly download a GPX file of that route and upload it to their Garmin.
Moved to a new area, taking the bike on holiday or want to check out new roads? The ‘explore’ function shows you popular segments in the area. I live on the edge of the Chiltern Hills and there are countless climbs and back lanes to ride and the explore feature gives a heads up on where to ride. You can also brace yourself for what to expect on a climb by looking at the segment page, which displays its length and gradient, as well as the leaderboard.
Once you’ve decided where your going, Strava’s route builder is among the best we’ve tried. Premium members can also use the popularity heatmap feature to see the local roads that other riders use most frequently.
So, where are you going this weekend?