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Not a Question of Whether, but a Question of Weather

The Story of 12 Weeks of Weather, as Told by Activity Titles

There’s nothing better after a wet ride or snowy run than defrosting our fingers with a steaming mug of soup or taking a long, hot shower to wash away the mud. When it’s cold, wet and dark it’s not hard to come up with a million and one excuses for why we should skip our workout. But more often than not we make it out eventually, Rocky-esque as we splash through the rain or battle fiercely against the wind. We return home flushed and triumphant, true weather warriors. Every day our community fit in their workouts, whatever the weather, which got us thinking, can we tell the story of the weather, using activity titles, without even having to look outside?

2018 got off to a cold start as a blockbuster storm, known as a ‘Bomb Cyclone’, caused temperatures to plummet around the US. There were 667 activity title mentions of the storm in the first two weeks of the year, 391 of those coming on January 4th. We estimate 80% of affected athletes took a snowy selfie, and then had to defrost afterwards in a hot bath!

It hasn’t all been snow and ice on Strava though. While our US athletes were freezing, 2018 got off to a hot start in Australia as temperatures soared to an almost 80 year high.

On January 6th the mercury in Penrith, Sydney exceeded 47°C (116°F), and activity title mentions of ‘heat, too hot, so hot, boiling and sweat’ peaked too. As if we needed an excuse to stop for an iced coffee…

In California our athletes are pretty spoilt when it comes to the weather, so when the heavens do open people sure like to talk about it!

No prizes for spotting San Francisco’s ‘rainy’ days… Although January got off to a wet start February was bone dry as a 30 day drought hit the city. When the rain came back, during a seven day shower in March, ‘wet, damp, soaked, puddles, drenched, and damp’ activities hit their peak.

Over in Europe January got off to a wet and windy start. Our British community were battling ‘Storm Eleanor’, which swept the UK with 100mph (160km/h) winds!

In three days there were 1,166 mentions of the storm. And a further 318, in the first week of January from our athletes in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, where the storm was named 'Burglind'.

France’s heaviest rains in 50 years meant the River Seine flooded the French capital. Over a four week period during January and February there were 2,508 activity titles talking about the ‘floods’ in Paris.

Kudos to all our athletes who kept active. We hope nobody took an unexpected swim.

However when it comes to talking about the weather we all know the Brits lead the race! The United Kingdom isn’t known for its snow - it barely ever freezes long enough to make a snowman - however this year the UK got not one, but two, record breaking snowstorms. In January plunging temperatures turned the UK into a winter wonderland, but it was the snowstorm nicknamed the ‘Beast from the East’, which hit in March, that provided the UK’s snowiest day.

On March 3rd there were 5,757 mentions of ‘snow’ and more snowmen than we could count. Kudos to our athletes for proving that even when the rest of the country grinds to a halt they’ll keep moving!

Here’s to another 9 months of proving there’s no such thing as too hot to run days, too cold to ride days, and too wet to leave the house days! We’d love to hear about your sporting weather stories in the comments below.

This data is compiled from public activities recorded between January 1st and March 12th of 2018.

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