Is there a happy medium within the Strava community or are all who use it doomed to abuse it?
Obsessive, addictive, overzealous, annoying. These are just a few words the cycling purists generally use to describe Strava and it's users. With constant reference to its addictive nature it seems like many people refer to the social training network as a schedule 1 drug. They preach the idea that it takes the focus of riding off of the ride itself and replaces it with a feeling of vacancy every time they aren’t able to capture an elusive KOM or even just a PR. The struggling Strava addict, according to these cycling purists, is any rider who uses this social platform and can’t seem to ride without it. The phrase “Strava, or it didn’t happen” has been uttered by many Strava users but is it said with serious intent or only jest? (/the user who dreads the Uh-oh email like a bad omen.)
On the polar end of the spectrum, the user who has a public account but doesn’t publicly upload may be seen as the responsible user of Strava. “Responsible” in the sense that are not seeking the kudos with cleverly titled rides or they may be keeping KOM hunting to a minimum. Reasons that someone might keep their rides private may be for location privacy preferences, training privacy for top level athletes, or simply just because they want to contribute to the kudos community but are too hipster too upload their ride and want to secret training ;) However to other users it seems to defeat the social purpose of the site as a whole.
So, where is the balance? Ideally, the user who uses it as a training tool and a measure of progress over the long term while keeping things like: KOM hunting, frequent use of the phrase “Strava or it didn’t happen, KOM Poaching, and/or sweating over the numbers on the ride Analyze page to a minimum may be the best balance of Strava use. Even then, some of the things that make Strava annoying to some can bring out the fun and competitive nature in others.