Strava technology blows my mind. Strava has united what I’ve always done, bicycling, with my current project in long range transportation planning, design and education. I’ve always thought the best way to advocate for bicycling is to do it. I’m good at that. With Strava, a free application that tracks your movement with GPS from a device as simple as your current cell phone, our riding becomes visible to planners and elected officials. It literally makes your riding count and show up as evidence on how much and where people are bicycling.
If you’re riding and you’re not on Strava, please sign up for Strava for free.
This makes a huge difference. Metro Planning Organizations have been counting cars since the 1970’s, but systematic counts for pedestrians and bicyclists have not been programmed as well. So the lack of statistical “evidence” that people are walking and bicycling has been detrimental to justifying the allocation of funds for making improvements. Strava says “nearly one-half of all rides on Strava in denser metro areas are commutes so Strava Metro data gives great insight into the needs of those riding for transportation.” Strava is doing us all kinds of favors, including breaking down false divides between people that bike for health (“sport”) and for those that bike for transportation (“utility”). People bike for all reasons, just like we use cars.
Aside from the social networking you can do with Strava, such as tracking your friends’ rides, and taking pictures and uploading them to rides (the photos on this blog post are from my rides on Strava), you are serving a greater purpose too by making your riding more visible and making it part of a big data set. Strava is my bike org. of the month for December 2015.
from Strava Metro
Strava Metro is a data service providing “ground truth” on where people ride and run. Millions of GPS-tracked activities are uploaded to Strava every week from around the globe. In denser metro areas, nearly one-half of these are commutes. These activities create billions of data points that, when aggregated, enable deep analysis and understanding of real-world cycling and pedestrian route preferences.”
Here’s a little heat map screen print from our bicycle rides in Albuquerque: