Monday, June 20, 2011

Review of Strava Application for Android

Long gone are the days I used a cyclo computer to track my miles on the bike. Now I turn my phone on, tap start, throw it in the back of my cycling jersey and download the distance and map when I get home. Previously, I've tried the Google Tracks and MapMyRide.com Apps. Both work fine but I found both a little clumsy to download, access and view after the ride. Google Tracks requires you to go into a Google Docs spreadsheet and click a link. MapMyRide.com is O.K. but the website riddled with ads and sometimes hard to load and scroll around. 

Android Strava interface
So, I recently tried the new free Strava App for Android on suggestion from a friend. He'd being bugging me about the site for a while but until now it hadn't been available on my phone.  I went for a ride on a busy Lakefront Bike Path in Chicago and it seemed to work fine. As good as the other apps I'd tried. The interface was clean and it tracked my ride continuously. 

Social Racing - ranking for a Strava "segment"
The real surprise was when I examined the ride online when I got home. I had unwittingly been involved in a competitive social time trial. When I clicked on the “Climb” tab (a misnomer in Chicago) it showed that I'd got the 8th best time for an eight mile stretch I'd ridden between Grant Park and Jackson Park - what the app calls a segment. Very cool. Strava gives cyclists jsut opportunity to map out a popular section of road and anyone logging into Strava can ride over it and compete for the fastest time. You can bet I'll be out there on a quieter day to see if I can climb up the rankings. If you have an Android phone go to Marketplace, download Strava and try it out for yourself. More info at their website.






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