I got into road cycling at around the same time as I discovered Strava. Aside from my annual adventure with Oliver where we rode the 50km round-trip from Mississauga to Toronto (and thought we were the bee’s knees for doing such an epic ride), the first road rides I did purely for fitness and fun were recorded on Strava. As it was early days for Strava, it was also very early days for my foray into road cycling. I had an on/off – but mostly off – relationship with Strava for the next couple of years.
Enter summer of 2016. I have a fixie I’m using for commuting in downtown Toronto but I’m also interested in doing some other riding just for fun. Like too many activities, “there’s an app for that”. I look around at apps to track my rides and there’s another one I’m actually a fan of more than Strava. As I recall, it gave cool – but completely useless – 3D visualization of your ride and the surrounding buildings after you uploaded. I settled on Strava, again, as the couple people I knew that did ride were using it. There was no turning back.
Now, 46 000 km and 3.5 years later, I’ve hit Strava Ride #1000. I had passed activity #1000 in the late summer of 2019, but that is less of a milestone as it includes runs, hikes, walks, swims, and other random activities. So to celebrate Ride #1000 – and to justify spending more time than necessary poking through my back catalogue of activities – I’m going to spend this post covering some fun stats and highlights of the last 1000 rides.
The First Ride
Like I said, I first got on Strava sometime before regularly using it. The very first ride I ever recorded was back on April 27, 2014. I rode a massive 16km in 46min. I recall returning from this ride being strangely puzzled why people would go out and ride with no destination in mind purely for the sake of riding around.
After posting three more rides that year – two of which were covering the annual Toronto adventure – I went on to not touch Strava for nearly two years, until May 2016
The Real “First Ride”
The ride that actually showed a start to the cycling addiction was on May 22, 2016 when I decided on a whim to go out and try to ride most of the major east/west streets in the downtown Toronto core. The ride ended up covering 26.5km in 1hr and 13min. While the last time I went on my own I felt a little lost as to why people do this, after finishing this ride I felt strange mix of feelings that follows any ride where you go farther than thought you could – pleasantly tired legs combined with a sense of pride and satisfaction.
The rest is history from there. A mere two months later I completed my first century – still on the fixie – covering 136km in a little under 6hrs moving time.
And the rest…
From then the addiction was on. Though the 1000 total is flushed out by plenty of 15min race warm ups and dinky commutes, there have been some pretty cool rides in there:
- The longest ride in there by distance came from my ride across Canada. In one day we covered 267km from Drumheller to Medicine Hat, helped along massively by the wind
- The longest ride by time is the 12hrs moving time it took to vEverest the Innsbruck map on Zwift. The total ride time was 15hrs. (This took a solid week to recover from)
- The biggest climb I’ve completed is the 1152m epic leading from the town of Hope, BC up the Coquihalla Pass. Despite being fully loaded with bike-packing gear, we were even on pace to finish near the KOM time but the segment finish was just past the turn-off for the rest-stop/picture spot at the top
- I covered almost exactly 46 000km in around 1530hrs, giving me a lifetime average speed of 30.07kph – this average being heavily skewed upwards by Zwift riding
- Speaking of, about 16 000km and 465hrs of that total came on Zwift (an average speed of 34.4kph)
- Of these 1000 rides, about 70 of them have been Zwift races compared to around 5 road races
- My shortest recorded ride is a 4min and 33sec ride from a qualifying run at the World Human-Powered Speed Challenge in 2019. It wasn’t short by distance though as we covered around 5km in our speedy tandem
- And finally, about the trusted steeds that have brought me all this way.
- By far, my most used bike is my 2011 Giant TCR Compact, coming in with over 31 000km. I picked up this bad-boy second-hand in January 2017
- A year later, in January 2018, I picked up the bike that would carry me across Canada, a 2014 Kona Jake the Snake. That green monster has a little over 9000km on it
- The remaining distance is split between a smattering of bikes with notable mentions going to the late Amazon fixie (1800km) and the stationary bike in the gym of the condo I lived at for a year and a half (1780km)
While I could keep digging up inane stats, I think it’s best I leave this off here. Hopefully the next 1000 rides will be just as diverse and interesting!
Cheers and Ride On!