Did Cyclist Chris Bucchere Discuss Prizes for “Winning” Strava Segments Just Four Days Before His Castro Collision?

Well, you make the call:

Of course you can conclude, at this early date, exactly this:

“Strava is not responsible for Chris’ actions…”

(That one comes from one of Chris Bucchere’s cycling buddies, BTW.)

Or, of course, you can conclude that Strava is totally responsible for the recent collision in the Castro.

Or you can be like me and remain unsure of the connection between the death of pedestrian Sutchi Hui and Strava.

Your choice.

Hey, let’s see what cyclists are saying about Strava and the recent pedestrian death in the Castro:

“as a STRAVA user, my first thought when I saw that he was using STRAVA was that he was trying to post the best time on a segment (STRAVA’s social aspect includes public leaderboards, which is actually kind of fun). looks like that stretch of Castro is, indeed, a marked segment, which is absolutely fucking stupid and likely encouraged in some small way his reckless behavior.”

And there’s this:

“I actually think the social media angle — especially the Strava stuff — the the most interesting part of this story. I’m not sure I’m ready to fully demonize Chris Bucchere quite yet — presumably he’s a human being and, thus, a crooked timber like the rest of us. But as someone interested in social media including the effects of the “gamification” movement on our culture, I find Strava’s role fascinating. And a great example of “gamification” being applied to something haphazardly and without thinking through the negative consequences… (Yes, I fucking hate the word “gamification,” but that’s all I can think of.) STRAVA’s probably going to have some liability here.”

And then there’s this:

“Strava removes segments flagged as dangerous for exactly this reason. But a lot of riders (myself included) complained that it wasn’t effective, because people with axes to grind were flagging all segments in certain places, rendering the site effectively useless. I don’t know what their policy is on dangerous segments now.”

And here’s some more, from Alan of Scarlet Fire,  on gamification and Strava in general:

Strava ‘s biggest strength lies within the ingenious “segments” feature.
Upload a gpx track of your completed ride, and Strava analyses the data with all the usual stats you’d expect, plus a breakdown of specific segments of the ride, eg hill climbs.

Here’s the clever bit -
It knows who else has completed those segments, and ranks everybody according to time. The fastest gets a KOM, King of the mountain achievement. (Yes, girls, you get QOM’s).
Most people wouldn’t bother to go to the trouble of timing themselves on individual climbs within their ride. Way too much hassle! Strava does it automatically, and awards you an achievement when you beat your personal best (PB).

Strava app screenshot (Samsung Galaxy S2)

If a section of your route doesn’t already appear as a segment, no problem – simply define it as a new segment and see how you rank. The premium version of the service also allows you to break the table down by age range and weight ranges.

Recently, whilst out on a ride, I was aware that a friend had been the first to log a new segment for a particular climb (there aren’t that many Strava users in North Wales yet!) and had the KOM award. Instead of going at my usual pace, the gaming instinct kicked in, and I found myself visiting a very high heart rate zone, and putting in a lot of effort. Later, when I uploaded my GPS data to Strava it was hugely satisfying to realise that I had beaten his time by almost 2 minutes and claimed the KOM. He also got an email from Strava saying I’d beaten his time. Nice.

Silly and childish? Very, I know.
Did it feel good? Hell, yes..
Did I get a better workout? Definitely.
Will I work harder on future climbs because this technology will let me know automatically whenever I set a new PB on specific climbs? Very likely.”

 

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15 Responses to “Did Cyclist Chris Bucchere Discuss Prizes for “Winning” Strava Segments Just Four Days Before His Castro Collision?”

  1. Rowdyman says:

    It is sad that living breathing human beings are now just game pieces (obstacles to overcome) to self-obsessed, delusional adults with arrested mental development. “Who cares if you want to live another day, I gotta’ get that star on my chart!” Welcome, folks, to the virtual world gone out of control. Already two homicides by cyclist in this city.

  2. Ernest says:

    Chris Bucchere was so totally concerned about Mr. Hui, and according to his bicycle buddies suffering from trauma, that he posted this right after the BLAMMO.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/shitter-prints-your-twitter-feeds-on-toilet-paper-2012-3
    Chris Bucchere on Mar 29, 8:25 AM said:
    Finally putting twitter in its place!

    Did he win that free coffee?

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:2xPhDJERSnkJ:groups.google.com/group/missioncycling/browse_thread/thread/19b67333e6fc4f19/5d947511a4266386%3Fshow_docid%3D5d947511a4266386+http://groups.google.com/group/missioncycling/browse_thread/thread/19b67333e6fc4f19/5d947511a4266386

  3. Alan says:

    Hi, thanks – I’m flattered you’ve included a section of my recent blog post about the gamification of cycling. Would it be possible for you to acknowledge my site as the source and include a link please?
    http://www.scarletfire.co.uk/2012/04/strava-the-gamification-of-cycling
    many thanks
    Alan

  4. whatup says:

    Bucchere is one seriously self delusional human being. He was completely responsible for the death of Mr. Hui. Chris COULD have avoided the accident. Chris could have been a responsible cyclist.

    But he wasn’t.

    And all of his buddies over at Streetsblog are neither.

  5. [...] Within hours of posting my Strava article, a section of it had been copied into a post on a San Francisco community blog, in this article. [...]

  6. Strava_kills says:

    Strava has now killed 1, and perhaps 4 more. They added Yacht racing and there was a crash on the “Farralones Bomb”

  7. sfcitizen says:

    You’re forgetting about the East Bay in 2009, aren’t you Strava?

    In any evernt, I don’t think you’ll have any liability for boat races.

    But ped deaths, on the other hand…

  8. Robert says:

    A guy killed himself racing a downhill segment in Berkeley a year ago or so. That whole discussion about Strava remains ridiculous. He killed the pedestrian, not Strava.

    The fact remains that it’s extremely rare that cyclists kill anybody, not that it makes any less of a tragic accident for the parties involved obviously. We got two fatal accidents in the span of a year, but nothing in the prior 10-20 plus years. On the other hand, pedestrians and cyclists are killed by cars almost every day. This whole cyclist/strava is nothing more than a witch hunt that detracts from the real dangers out there. Per an article from the Chronicle in 2008, “in the past decade, 195 cyclists have been killed and 1,812 severely injured while riding the region’s roadways”. I don’t have number for pedestrian fatalities, but it has to be even greater. I don’t think that focusing on Strava will solve the real dangers out there to pedestrians and cyclists.

  9. Strava_kills says:

    want to wager some of your 3 figs on strava being sued?

  10. sfcitizen says:

    Well, I don’t how much money the widow could get in a wrongful death lawsuit.

    Strava might get sued. We’ll see.

    Do you think this blog would make more or less than three figures per month? What’s the big deal about that?

    XXX OOO

  11. sfcitizen says:

    Berkeley was 2009. That one was Strava-related.

    All ped deaths in SF this year so far were the fault of the peds, for sure, right? The only exception is the Bucchere case.

    You think Strava is getting too much attention on this issue. Check.

  12. Robert says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Strava got sued, but whether they get sued or not has little to do with who is responsible for the accident. We’re in CA, where people sue each other for no good reason except that they hope to grab money from one another.

  13. Biff Tannen says:

    Holy shit dude would you get off it already. We get it, you hate Strava. Probably because you’re some internet addicted loaf who cringes at the thought of physical activity. Let’s sue Nascar and Indy Car too, they encourage people to go fast and die. You’re a moron.

  14. Brandon says:

    BTW, speaking of Strava and the cyclist who died in Berkeley in 2010 trying to reclaim his recently eclipsed “KOM” on the South Park Drive descent in Berkeley’s Tilden Park, the same segment has now reappeared on Strava again:
    http://app.strava.com/segments/1243472

    The full descent segment was flagged after Kim Flynt’s death, but a Strava user has redrawn the segment now starting it a little below the top and ending it enough before the bottom to get around the software blocking the segment.

    Note that Kim Flynt’s once “record” descent is now all the way down in 7 way tie for 16th place:

    16 Kim Flint
    Jun 06, 2010
    66.4km/h 152bpm 300W - 1:56

    And the fastest time was set just a few days ago now:

    Tim Medina
    May 20, 2012
    72.6km/h 168bpm 155W - 1:46

    That’s over 45 mph avg (with a max. of 54 mph)!

  15. [...] cyclist who killed a 71-year-old pedestrian earlier this year after allegedly running a red light is also a Strava user, says the Flints’ lawyer, though it’s unclear if he was racing on the app at the time of the [...]