London you say? That’s right. A number of our very own Strava athletes are currently competing on the world’s biggest stage. You may recognize one of them from No One Everyone. Lea Davison will be competing in the Women’s MTN Bike race this coming Saturday, August 11. We caught up with her before she headed across the pond.
Strava: Best part about being in the Strava commercial?
LD: Having the opportunity to show a female ripping around on a mountain bike to a lot of people. Women riding bikes isn’t portrayed in the media that often and it’s great that an empowering, excellent commercial was seen everyday by people who watched the Tour. It’s amazing and a really exciting thing to be a part of.
Strava: What’s the biggest thing on your mind as you head off to London?
LD: The biggest thing on my mind is doing the best I can every day in the preparation time I have left to the Olympic race. This means sleeping well, training hard, and eating well. I am also soaking up and enjoying this entire experience. It’s absolutely incredible and a dream come true. I still have to pinch myself and say, ‘Is this really happening? I’m going to the Olympics.’
Strava: Riding at the highest level of the sport, do you have advice for Strava users and aspiring cyclists looking to improve?
LD: Get out there and train hard! It takes a lot of hard work to get to this level of cycling. Strava gives me the perfect tools to compare my times, see my improvement, and motivate me by competing with other Strava users. Strava is also a great way to track my training and progress.
Strava: What’s the hardest ride you’ve ridden in the past season? The most rewarding?
LD: Two rides come to my mind: I did a killer ride in Santa Cruz prepping for the spring world cup. It was a 3.5 hour ride with three 20-minute climbs at threshold. I was absolutely toasted, and I was able to do it solo (it’s the ride that you guys highlighted for my commercial that I titled Climb, Climb, Peanut Noodles, Climb). The second most rewarding and hardest training day was two days ago. I had a double workout. I did a 2-hour HARD motorpace with my coach in the morning, and our local Wednesday night mountain bike race series at Catamount Outdoor Family Center in the evening. The evening race is about an hour and I was unsure of how I was going to feel because the morning session was very taxing. I ended up feeling fantastic in both workouts and nearly winning the race against all the local boys. It was extremely rewarding because it gives me confidence that I’m right on track for the Olympics and all of my work is paying off.
Strava: What are some of the ways you’ve learned to keep yourself fresh, motivated, and having fun on the bike?
LD: For my approach, it’s really important that I spend time off the bike in the off season to keep it fresh. I spend the fall on Kauai surfing and hiking. I spend the winter in Vermont cross country skiing, which is an extremely important part of my training progression. Nordic skiing whips me into shape. During the race season, I keep it fresh by adding fun mountain bike rides into the mix. Mountain biking is so much fun. I also love to do workouts with my sister, Sabra. We are really competitive and she’s my carrot during hard intervals. I also have blocks of strength training during the season to mix it up and keep my power going.
Favorite race food?
LD: During the race, I take half caffeinated Clif Shots to keep me going. After the race, the food is way more exciting. I love to hit up the local specialties. My favorite so far were the Belgium waffles after the world cup in Houffalize, Belgium. I honestly ate eight waffles over the weekend. The boerwost rolls in South Africa were amazing, and the gelato and panna cotta in Italy was to die for.
LD: The first bike that I can remember was a plastic three wheeler that my sister and I used to rip around the driveway on. My first real bike with gears was a Schwinn.
LD: Riding all of the classic climbs in Europe; Italian Dolomites, Alps, Spain.
Best recovery method?
LD: Soaking the legs in a cold Vermont swimming hole.
Favorite Pro perk?
LD: Getting to ride my bike every day and traveling all over the world.
Best of luck in the race Lea! We’ll be cheering you on the whole way!
- Log in to Strava.com and click the orange “Upload Activity” button.
- Choose the second option on the upload page, “Upload a file from your computer.”
- Browse to the local folder (or press the Shift key down and select multiple folders at a time) that you wish to upload.
After all your files have uploaded, you can view them all by visiting Training and selecting the My New Activities tab. Enjoy!
Better Thumbnail Maps
We’ve been reading all of the feedback in the New Maps discussion board and agree with many of the criticisms of the new thumbnails on the dashboard and profile pages. As heavy users of the product, we look at these pages all day long and have been noticing the same things you have. We’ve been working closely with MapBox and have some progress to report:
- We’re now using terrain maps, a new feature from MapBox. Check out the screenshot below and see what a difference terrain makes.
- We’ve been playing with color saturation to try to increase the contrast of the shadowing which we felt was too subtle. We’ll keep making adjustments here.
- Labels – this is a gap that we’re continuing to work on with MapBox. There simply aren’t enough labels in the thumbnails right now. MapBox is working hard to make improvements to labels and we’ll keep you posted on this one.
Full Screen/Full Browser Google Maps
Thanks to an Innovation Days project (think Strava hackathon), you can now launch REALLY BIG GOOGLE MAPS on run/ride pages by using the fullscreen icon at the top right of the map. In Chrome and Firefox, fullscreen mode takes up your entire monitor display. In Safari and Internet Explorer it will take up your entire browser display.
In addition to being able to explore activities in great detail with the fullscreen map, you can easily interact with the route using the elevation profile. For more tips on using fullscreen mode, check out this support article.
Take a look and let us know what you think.
Alex Mather & the Design Team
By Liquigas-Cannondale’s Ted King
What’s more American than the 4th of July? Frosty cold beers, grilling burgers, watching a baseball game, and then playing some ball with your buddies in a backyard field.
Ooooor more specifically, how does the 4th of July stand in my memory? Waking up early to steaming hot coffee, microwaving oatmeal, watching the Tour de France, and following that all up by racing the Fitchburg Longsjo stage race. As a cyclist the red, white, and blue is more fittingly yellow, polka dot, and green (ahem, the various leader’s jerseys in cycling).
The 4th of July is nearly here and that latter scenario is how I recall the most patriotic of American holidays. In both 2003 and 2004, as teammates on an elite amateur team at the time, my brother and I stayed with our good friend Matt, and all three of us tackled our stalwart New England NRC bike race, known simply as Fitchburg.
Now nearly a decade later, early July signals almost the same thing: coffee, oatmeal, and the Tour de France. The biggest difference this time around is that there is no Fitchburg for me… aaaand I found myself in the heat of things for a starting spot on my Liquigas-Cannondale Tour de France team roster. Clearly a long time dream of mine. My spring racing campaign couldn’t have gone much better, loyally doing my job to help chalk up wins in every month but one from January through June. (Speaking of which, I’m proud to have been part of more wins than anyone on the entire team so far in 2012 (and I believe every one of these races can be found on my Strava profile. “Aaaand go!”)).
Training and racing were all going extremely well, and towards the final days there were still twelve riders in the hunt for the final nine starting spots. We are a team of 29 riders and with an emphasis on team. So sure, it is competitive to make the final group of nine, but there is no infighting, nor anything malicious to make the cut. The decision is ultimately up to the sports directors to curate a team ideal for the full three-weeks of racing.
At the eleventh hour I received the news that I wouldn’t be joining the team in Fran… err, Belgium rather, to begin this year’s Tour. Sure it’s heartbreaking, but professional cycling is a sport of ups and downs and therefore stewing on this is not going to do me any good.
I did, however, need to clear my head, and going on a small cycling vacation was in store. It’s something of a convenience that cycling is both my job as well as a personal favorite way to unwind. First I went up to the Dolomites and hung out with my great friend and teammate, Timmy Duggan amid sky-scraping mountains. From those brisk mountain passes above 2400 meters I traveled to the scorching summer heat of the central Italian region of Chianti. And yes, in both places I begin the day with the coffee and oatmeal, but with the time difference I can score a proper day of riding before it’s time to turn the Tour on the television.
Strava is a handy and entertaining addition to my training in Europe, even when I’m now on this week of, umm shall we say “more relaxed” bike riding, in order to clear my head. For me, engaging in Strava is a throwback to the simple days of training with my buddies where I can search out the fast times on hard sections or tough local climbs and just hammer because suffering is fun. Strava is just now making a big splash throughout Europe; where I am this week in Chianti is home to inGamba Tours, which is a sweet cycling (and eating) tour group that plays host to “pros in residence”. I can compare my times with my colleagues Laurens Ten Dam or Roger Hammond as well as some speedy, well-fed amateurs who have found these phenomenal stomping grounds. Just late last week while up in the Dolomites, massive grand fondos with a mind-boggling 10,000 or more registrants zoom across the roads with times up the seemingly endless climbs that make fast professionals roll their eyes. Yup, speedy.
July 4th is now right around the corner. I’m once again in a very good place, physically, mentally, and physiologically. I might celebrate our nation’s independence with a nice bowl of oatmeal, put in another smashing ride… and hopefully a burger and frosty beer with some buddies while watching the Tour that afternoon.
Laurens ten Dam, along with his mates from Team Rabobank, commence arguably the most famous and grueling cycling race in the world tomorrow, June 30. We were fortunate enough to catch up with the Tour de France competitor and avid Strava member and get the inside scoop.
Strava: What’s the biggest thing on your mind as you enter the Tour de France?
LTD: That I am entering the biggest race in the world. The race where history is made. Really looking forward to rip this thing.
Strava: Cycling can provide the best of days and the most difficult of days; how do you find the motivation on those days when getting on your bike feels like a “job”?
LTD: I don’t have those days very often, but if I have them I’ll phone some friends and buddies and we’ll go train together. We’ll hit a few KOMs in the neighborhood and stop for a coffee and a piece of pie during the ride. That day will be good and I’ll know why it is good to be a pro rider again!
Strava: What are some simple tricks that you’ve learned to keep yourself fresh, motivated, and having fun over the course of a Grand Tour?
LTD: Lots of laughing at the dinner table. A good steak and glass of wine will do the trick if you’re really depressed.
Strava: You and Ted King had a friendly Strava rivalry going on during the Tour de Suisse. How’d it start? Will you miss vying with him for KOMs in the coming weeks?
LTD: Yes of course! He is a nice guy, and better for me, when the mountains start his work is already done. I love the fact that when I upload my file a little later he’ll get those annoying emails from me!
Strava: If there’s one KOM you claim during this year’s Tour, which one would it be?
LTD: An uphill finish! To win the stage. I love the Tourmalet climb, too.
Strava: Your Twitter profile says you own a Chevy 89’er and love to BBQ – where do the American favorites come from?
LTD: I love to go camping in my Chevy. Along with the camping comes BBQ. I prepare my meat on the grill at home almost every summer night. I do like the USA a lot. My wife and I go there for holidays. Last year we did a train trip from New York to San Francisco. That was awesome and we got to see the Rockies. We also did a 3-week tour in California with a rented mobile home.
Strava: Riding at the highest level of the sport, do you have advice for Strava users and aspiring cyclists looking to improve?
LTD: Like Fausto Coppi said on how to become a good bike rider: ‘Train, eat, sleep. Repeat.’ It is like that; just ride your bike a lot and when you start to feel good, go faster on the hills.
Strava: How did you learn about Strava? What keeps you uploading your rides?
LTD: My manager told me about it originally. It is really nice to show the amount of efforts we do as pro riders. I like to show that to the public. Also, it is nice to show my buddies who’s the boss on course. A lot of riders I train with in Maastricht are on it since I started.
Strava: What’s a typical day look like in the life of Laurens ten Dam?
LTD: Get up early; feed my kid; breakfast; leave between 8:30 and 9am for a 6-hour Ardennes ride; home at 3pm; lunch; chillin’. Then, at 5:30pm we’ll go into town for an aperitif. At 7:30pm, I’ll light the grill and have some meat, potatoes, and wine. Our preferred dinner place is outside in the garden. At 10pm, I’ll feed my 10 week-old kid again and go to sleep.
Strava: How do you aspire to be the best athlete you can be? Does it extend beyond the sport?
LTD: Train hard. Show some grinta in the race.
Steel Giovanni (local bike shop brand)
Giant with Shimano
My fixed bike: An old English steel EllorBriggs frame
Gels or Bars?
Booties or no booties?
Climbing or descending?
Embrocation or leg warmers?
Fenders in the rain?
CO2 or frame pump?
Tubes or Tubulars?
For racing, tubulars
A bike holiday with my wife and kids from Maastricht to Santiago da Compastella
The day I win on Alpe d’huez
What do you want to ask Laurens ten Dam? Ask your question in the comment field below and we’ll ask him when we catch up with him during the Tour.
This month we’re going to start experimenting with Open Street Map (OSM) data and MapBox maps on a few pages on Strava.com. Here’s the background:
1. We’ll admit that Google’s new pricing structure triggered the exploration of different map providers. You may have seen some stories recently about companies like foursquare and Wikipedia making the switch to OSM. In order to keep Strava free (and free of advertisements), we can’t afford to pay those prices for maps. The revised pricing that Google announced last week doesn’t apply to a large portion of our map views given we’re a subscription site.
2. As we started to explore over the past couple of months, we realized that the OSM/MapBox combination gives us a lot of flexibility to customize the maps to meet the unique needs of runners, cyclists, and triathletes.
3. OSM’s open source map data simply gets better and better every day because of the thousands of people contributing to the project.
We’re going to start small with this release by swapping out the map thumbnails (the small maps) on the dashboard, profile, and group pages on Strava.com. Interactive Google Maps continue to power our Ride, Run, and Segment pages and our mobile apps.
Take a look at the maps and tell us what you think in our New Maps discussion board.
Alex Mather & the Design Team
What’s changed? We’ve grown a lot and have expanded our products and services since our terms were last updated. The updated terms clarify things related to our mobile apps, as well as real-world races and events that you might participate in that use Strava’s site.
That short description isn’t meant to be a substitute for the real deal, so please take the time to read the revised terms and conditions found at strava.com/terms. If you use one of our mobile apps, please download the latest version to access the updated terms from inside the app. Then, get back out there and go for a ride or a run.
The team at Strava
Each and every day we strive to improve Strava for you the athlete. We are athletes too, just like you. As the Strava community grows, we all need to follow a few simple guideposts to ensure that Strava’s impact is positive.
This is what we, the Strava community, stand for:
We know the rules. Laws and rules are created for our protection. Cycling, running and swimming are inherently dangerous and following the law, and common sense, when it comes to traffic, weather, or conditions, reduces our odds of getting hurt or hurting others. It’s as simple as that.
We rest. We listen to our bodies to avoid injury and we inspire in ways other than by being #1. We don’t burn ourselves out. We enjoy our recovery days because they too tell our story on Strava.
We kudo sportsmanship. We all want to get kudos by being great at our sport. We are courteous and treat others with respect. We earn our spots on the leaderboards through clean competition.
We think ahead. We showcase a lot of awesome data about where we go, who we work out with and how hard we push ourselves. If we don’t want everyone to know what we’re up to, we take the necessary privacy precautions before we upload, like setting privacy zones and choosing who can follow us and what they can see.
We’ve got each other’s backs. We watch out for one another. The community does what it can to keep things safe for everyone by looking out for potentially dangerous situations and flagging segments as hazardous.
If you want to be part of the Strava community, we’d like you to stand with us and take these guideposts to heart.
We’re over the moon to report that we’ve made organizing your Strava settings easier to find and manage.
First, the drop-down menu below your name has been consolidated and simplified. Just select Settings from the menu and navigate to the left side of the page to edit your profile, privacy, notification options, gear and more.
Account details are available on the right side of the page to access your email and password settings, and view subscription status. Below this, you’ll find links for your Social Connections. We now list the username of your linked Facebook and Twitter accounts, so you know exactly which account you’ve connected with Strava.
Editing your data in the new Settings pages is as simple as clicking the item you want to edit! Click and the field will become editable. Once you’ve finished updating a field, click Save and you’re done!
For your convenience, we’ve moved all privacy-related settings to one page. You can determine who can see your full name and activities, decide who can follow you, and set your hidden locations – all in one place. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our current privacy settings and see how you can create privacy zones.
In addition to managing your email preferences around kudos and comments, you can now turn on/off segment emails whenever someone takes a CR / KOM / QOM on the Email Notifications page.
The Gear page has also received a refresh. In addition to making it easier to set your default shoes and bikes, you can also delete gear. Just hover over the bike or shoe and chose either Retire or Delete. Retired shoes and bikes will be hidden from view, but can be redisplayed if you so choose.
These new improvements are all in an effort to help you easily control your Settings to keep you safe, connected and accommodate your ever-changing, active lifestyles. We hope you like it! As always, we love feedback.
From May 1-31, runners from around the world were challenged to reach 10,000 feet of vertical gain in the Strive for the Summit Challenge. While we know Strava runners are hardcore, we were all amazed that some participants ran five times the challenge goal, and a remarkable few ran ten times the goal!
We had 3,105 runners who collectively climbed almost 13 million feet in just one month. That distance is equivalent to climbing Mt. Everest from sea level 444 times. That is some serious gain!
Of the participants, 460 completed the challenge, while many more came very close. It is fair to say that everyone put forth some serious effort to get to these results. Because of the impressive showcase of effort and dedication put forth during this challenge, Strava would like to acknowledge some of our participants for taking this challenge to the next level:
Most Elevation Gained
- Brian Lucido – Atascadero, CA, USA – 155,575 feet gained
- Mary Lucido – San Luis Obispo, CA, USA – 95,316 feet gained
Exceeded 100,000 Feet of Gain
- Brian Lucido – Atascadero, CA, USA – 155,575 feet gained
- Gary Wang - Corte Madera, CA, USA- 130,732 feet gained
- Glenn Tachiyama – Seattle, WA, USA – 118,031 feet gained
Congrats! Brian, Gary and Glen have been awarded with Strava T-shirts!
Most Vertical in ONE Run
- Marcel Batlle – Barcelona, Spain – 16,373 feet
Congrats! Marcel has won a Strava T-shirt!
Highest Average Feet Per Run
- Glen Tachiyama – Seattle, WA, USA – over 6,200 feet/run, or over 450 feet/mile
- Emily Millington – Shropshire, UK – over 2,800 feet/run or close to 325 feet/mile
Congrats! Glen and Emily have been awarded with Strava beanies!
Most Distance Covered
- Gary Wang – Corte Madera, CA, USA -over 540 miles at an average 3,440 feet/run
Congrats! Gary has won a Strava beanie!
Congratulations to all of the Strive for the Summit Challenge participants. Stay tuned for the next one!