I Upgraded Strava: Membership Has Its Privileges

Recently the founders of the activity tracking software Strava (“strive” in Swedish) sent out a blog saying they had yet to make money after a decade of offering a free and a premium service. So they decided to make free members pay up to get some of the features that were previously gratis. Predictably, there was an uproar, including from frugal types like moi. But once I looked into it, I saw they’re point. And having hooked me on things like Training Log, Monthly Progress and some other stuff, I caved and bought in. At $8 a month it’s a decent deal; I got it for $5 a month plus two month’s free. So let’s see what you get.

Training Log

This feature is back — in colors. If my gym pool were open I’d have more colors, but the basics are orange for bike, green for walk, and there’s a tan for workout, in this case, mowing the yard. It’s easier to get a visual of how active I was with the more miles being represented by bigger circles (except the mowing; who knows why it’s so big?). By the way, 178.84 miles (166 biking) is a pretty strong week for me. Training log keeps me honest and on track, plus it’s just nice to see all those activities piling up in a visual format.

Copyright Strava


Copyright Strava

Once I realized I could go a lot farther than I realized or that anyone told me I could, I started setting goals. I just never had a place to put them for people to see. But mostly, it’s for me. As the first half of the year ends today, it’s very gratifying to be able to see that I’m halfway to my annual goal.

It and the weekly goal are both adjustable, and the latter I jacked up because I was having a good week. I also realized that if I do an extra 100 miles a month, I can take an entire month off. You know, in case I get ‘rona’ed at work or somewhere. By the way, I’m kicking every year’s ass out of the last four, not even including the walking.

Weekly Intensity

This one only shows up on my phone version, oddly. But it’s interesting since it shows my efforts over time. So last week (and obviously this week, since it just began and Monday is often a lower-mileage day for me) was pretty high. Apparently, I was on FIE-YAH! Because it’s red. You can see that I was above the curve, whereas last week I was below it. That’s useful information, so that I can be reminded that maybe dialing back and taking some more time resting is in order. Thanks, Strava!

Copyright Strava

There are other features that I don’t use because I don’t have a power meter. Or want to hire a cycling coach for a discount. I have no real need to create routes or segments, although it could be useful if I wanted to compete against myself. But someday I might, so it{s good to know I can if I want. The upgrades were worth it for the cost, although the main thing is not the data, but the bike riding that creates it. Still, it makes one wonder what would happen in a huge power or internet outage. Because as everyone who’s on Strava knows:

If it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen.

As I discover and use more features, I may come back to this topic. For now, I’m just jazzed I get that cool little orange arrow next to my name. I’m like Pinocchio to Gipettto: “I’m a real bike rider now!”

Should you upgrade your Strava? Well, if you like seeing more of your data and have 60 bucks, sure. But if you’re like Kieran in Arizona (he of Kieran’s Bullshit Blog who’s had The Daily Show and more comedian Lewis Black read some of his rants and letters live on stage) and just trying to get out the door onto the bike, it’s probably not worth it. But that’s ok, it’s not for everyone. And thus concludeth this blog post. Go forth and ride!

9 thoughts on “I Upgraded Strava: Membership Has Its Privileges

  1. Thanks for the shoutout … But I actually did buy the premium. Same reaction as you. Anger, frustration, then self-realization and wanted the training log and support a product I’ve been using for free for 9 years. I’m a premium member too, baby…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Been premium for about 6 years. LOVE the heatmaps because it is a one place visual reminder/memory tool for all the places you’ve been…also, the filtered leaderboards on the monthly challenges so etimes gives me that extra little kick to get out and do a little bit more…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, B! I wish I were a premium rider like you… Sometimes feel like they should have a Slow Strava for those of us who are speed challenged. LOL! We just do our best and forget the rest.


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