Did STRAVA.Com Help Kill Pedestrian Sutchi Hui? Timing Yourself on the “Castro Street Descent” (AKA Castro Street Bomb)

I don’t know, did Chris Bucchere’s speed going down Castro Street last week have anything to do with STRAVA?

You know, the way it had something to do with a death in Berkeley back in 2009?

You Make The Call:

Do you see the “Castro Street Descent” there? Up until March 29, 2012, that said Castro Street Bomb. Like when you go “bombing” down the street.

Check it:

I don’t know, Strava.

Care to say anything about this?

Michael Horvath 
Co-Founder & CEO
Jordan Kobert 
VP Business Development
Mark Shaw 
VP Engineering
Rachael Parsons 
VP Marketing
Greg Gretsch 
Board Member
Jamie McJunkin 
Board Member
Mark Gainey 
Board Member
Ariel Poler 
Board Member


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26 Responses to “Did STRAVA.Com Help Kill Pedestrian Sutchi Hui? Timing Yourself on the “Castro Street Descent” (AKA Castro Street Bomb)”

  1. mk92 says:

    Just so we’re clear…Strava doesn’t create the “segments” and it doesn’t name the segments…users of Strava do that. Strava also includes a mechanism by which users can flag a segment as being dangerous.

    (I don’t work for Strava…just an avid user).

  2. sfcitizen says:

    Point cheerfully conceded. The “community” or whatever puts up rides / segments – I figured as much.

    Uh, but somebody at Strava renamed this segment on March 29th, it looks like.

    I’m suggesting that there are dangerous segments which haven’t been flagged. I’m suggesting that Strava encourages bad behavior.

    And “beat your freinds’ times?” I think Strava is responsible for that…

  3. NewsReader says:

    This is super interesting – and probably worth fwd’ing to the DA’s office, as well; I wouldn’t assume that they necessarily have these details or have found this in their research.

  4. John Murphy says:

    Show the rest of your screencap.

    Does it look like this?


    With a leaderboard?

  5. John Murphy says:

    Or like this.


    A flagged segment with no leaderboard. No KOM.

  6. John Murphy says:

    You list three times for Bucchere on this segment. Average speed 14 MPH.

  7. This is by far the most absurd, asinine piece of garbage that has been written about this incident to date. It is partially what is wrong with America today if you don’t mind me hyperbolizing a little bit. Yeah, let’s blame a website for a decision someone made about what to do with his life at that very moment. Forbid the thought that the responsibility for the actions taken, by someone of age, of sound mind and body, be impugned to the actor! No, in this country, that must not be. Surely, there must have been another force, so strong, so adamant about forcing Chris Bucchere to do the wrong thing that it must share in his culpability. Great job on finding the scape goat in Strava.

    That “thing” you say Stava is responsible for, it’s called competition. It was there long before Stava and it will be there long after. Kids were dying and killing in drag races long before Strava came along and people will continue to be idiots on bikes (and on foot) long after Strava is no longer in the form it is today. Competition, adrenaline, skirting the law where we think the chances of getting caught are slim are not new with Strava, so please, do us all a favor and take your ridiculous accusations elsewhere. This shit is complicated enough without your moronic finger-pointing.

    Full disclosure: I do not work for Strava, but Strava does sponsor the team I race on. Neither of those factors in any way influenced my statement.

  8. Jason Thorpe says:

    Strava is no more responsible for this than city traffic engineers are for illegal drag racing or side-shows.

    Also, the Strava community can also rename segments, so it’s not at all clear that “somebody at Strava” renamed it.

    I am an avid Strava user myself, and I think you’ll find that the vast majority of Strava users are responsible and don’t take stupid risks just to get a good time on a segment.

    Interestingly enough, even in your “damning” image above, it’s not like the speed that the “perp” is traveling is all that high… do the math.

  9. Chris Evans says:

    Before we all forget, Chris B hasn’t been convicted or (afaik) even charged with anything.

    The death of anyone resulting from an accident is a tragedy. But let’s not lose perspective. Over 5000 pedestrians are killed by cars in this country every year. That’s what, 15/day on average?

    Let’s at least have a second of indignant rage for the 165-ish pedestrians killed by motor vehicles since this bike/pedestrian collision.

  10. SFC says:

    Well, the Strava Community should consider renaming all its Bomb segments, should it not, you know, for the benefit of the continued existence of Strava and the Strava community?

    Vast majority? Stipulated, fine.

    So, why couldn’t Chris Becchere stop? Did he not have brakes? I don’t know. (I’ll bet the cops know, tho.)

    I think Strava will survive a post or two from a smallish six-figure pageview per mo bone-stock WordPress. I really do.

  11. SFC says:

    “I” list Becherre times three times? I am ignorant of his numbers…

  12. sfcitizen says:

    No leaderboard, just an elevation line.

    No KoM listed.

  13. You’re missing the point by about a length of a football field. The Strava community doesn’t have to do anything with any renaming. What someone calls a segment is absolutely irrelevant to how some other person rides it. Strava is not responsible for Chris’ actions, just like a bank is not responsible for being robbed because it has money in it, or an owner of a tall building isn’t liable to someone who jumps off it because it is tall, or like gun manufacturers aren’t liable (unless guns malfunction) to victims of gun violence.

    Had you simply written a post suggesting that Strava could have been in the back of Chris’ mind, while reserving comment about its culpability and things of that nature, perhaps it wouldn’t have been a big deal. But the picture you paint puts Strava in the middle of it and makes it the actor who set the events in motion.

    If your pageviews are in the 6 digits, you have a certain responsibility as to what you say. You of course are free to say whatever you want, but when I go to other websites and read about stories like this, I often come across comments approving of running cyclists off the road or hitting them. One example that stands out was from someone with the nickname of “wrath.” He wrote: “it’s open season on cyclists. they killed 1, we kill 10.” That made the hair on the back of my head stand up because now there’a psycho out there and I have no idea if he’s on my route to/from work or not.

    So while you think it might not be a big deal that you report inaccurate, sensationalized, unverified in any diligent way information, in circumstances like this, it actually puts people’s lives in danger because it only fuels the inexplicable hatred of motorists toward cyclists in general. You got any friends or relatives who like to ride their bike around?

    Then things like this happen: http://bikinginla.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/breaking-news-l-a-cyclist-seriously-injured-in-dtla-road-rage-attack/

  14. San Frustration says:

    Ah, the entitled and selfish militant cyclists have come out in force. Compare apples to oranges by highlighting auto fatalities, while conveniently failing to address this very real threat.

    There is a reason the Guinness Book of World Records does not allow any drinking records to exist… because it is irresponsible to provide the platform to allow others to do dangerous things.

    By having a leaderboard and encouraging recklessness to obtain high speed records, you are not only endangering those cyclists that “compete” on public routes, but also the pedestrians and drivers that use those routes as well. That is irresponsible.

  15. SFC says:

    Does the Strava Community include the people who work at and/or own Strava? This isn’t clear. Also, what difference does it make?

    In your opinion, the name of a segment doesn’t matter. OK fine. But what of a jury? Do you think the name might matter to a jury?

    You have an argument about what Strava causes or doesn’t cause. IMO, Strava could have something to so with this death, but you’ve already concluded that it’s impossible that Strava could have anything to do with this matter. That’s your opinion. OK fine.

    Don’t gun manufacturers get sued all the time? I think they do.

    Oh no, I forgot to check in with you before expressing myself. Sorry for the big deal.

    My question is whether Strava had something to do with this. Why did Chris lie about laying his bike down? (Did he do research on the web about traffic laws in the few hours after the accident? That would be interesting to know as well.)

    I just told you that the pageviews are six figs per month. You might be surprised about how many people have read my bit. Generally, people come to that post through searching on the website of an “evil” company. The video I posted has like 230 views. I think the jury pool can handle the loss of people.

    So I shouldn’t post because some people might make a comment about homiciding cyclists?

    Wrath is probably on the Internet from jail. I think you’re safe from him/her.

    What did I post that was inaccurate? Sensationalized? That’s your opinion, you’re entitled to it. Unverified? Are we going to have to wait until after the trial/settlement?

    Do motorists hate cyclists? News to me.

    All right, be prepared to hector all the self-hating cyclists out there who also think there could be a connection betwixt Strava and this accident. Many commenters on the boards have raised this issue as well…

  16. BYU says:

    I’m certain some will say blaming Strava for this tragedy is absurd. But think about it, what if this involved a car instead of a bicycle? It would have become an illegal street racing, wouldn’t it? The problem with Strava is that it does help promote racing among peers. This tragedy is the unintended consequence.

  17. Jym says:

    • Good work cooking up another baseless supposition to toss into the stew here. A link to this entry was reposted into the frothing SFGate idiotfest (several times — they have no attention span there) and is now presumed as fact. You should be ever so proud.

  18. sfcitizen says:

    I think you overestimate the effect this website has on the world.

    It could be that Chris was “racing somebody” in his mind. You don’t want to explore that. That’s your choice…

  19. stu sklinar says:

    Lets be clear… People are responsible for their own actions/stupidity..

  20. sfcitizen says:

    Really? Will the people behind Strava be held responsible for their actions/stupidity?

  21. Robert says:

    It sells more page views to demonize a small company like Strava for promoting legal/healthy online competitions (mostly climbing times) than to talk about personal responsibility. Hence, the garbage we read here.

  22. sfcitizen says:

    Uh, Strava was capitalized with about 10,000 times as much money as this blog. So which is the small company?

    So Bucchere is personally responsible for the pedestrian’s death?

    Do you want to have Stravat get rid of downhill segments? That’d be fine.

  23. lvcitizen says:

    sfcitizen. you are what’s wrong with the world

  24. sfcitizen says:

    Yeah, you’re probably right. Like, one time I ran over this Asian dude and then wrote an ode to my life-saving helmet five hours later

  25. Ihate hipster says:

    I hope Chris Bucchere gets raped in prison.

    What a fucking smug hipster with a goatee.

    He should be punished for his smug hipster self.

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