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.
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.”