Sunday rides and Strava v. MapMyRide


Phoenix chainring
Phoenix chainring (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Started so well.  I rode to Coffee Guru at Bonner, which is likely to become a favourite start/finish line for such rides.  I got down to the bottom of the concrete path near Mulligan’s Flat Rd and Rob Riley Circuit (known as “Bonner Training Climb” on Strava) and had a bit of a stretch.  The climb on the middle ring felt OK, a fact confirmed by my time of 5:21 and King of the Mountain status on Strava (first place out of 2 riders).

Scrambled over to the bottom of the grassy climb.  The inner chainring (the granny gear) was not letting go of the chain.  I flipped the bike upside down to find the sticky link.  A few wiggles and the problem should have been solved, but then I saw some burrs of alloy on the chainring, which I cleaned off with a screwdriver.  Until I found one almost the size of a grain of rice.  This was not so much a burr as a tooth that had been folded backwards and no amount of scraping would remove it.  It will need to be ground or filed off.  Even liberal lashings of lube that worked when the chain was not loaded could not overcome the jam when the chain was loaded and was therefore seated deeply into the chainring and hard against the burr.  The old chain would catch a little, but must have been just wide enough to not get stuck.  There would be no attempt on the climb today and walking it would have been pointless and misleading.

The rear shock pressure was just about right at 250 psi and about 15mm less sag.  The pogoing has reduced but not disappeared, I can stand and pedal with reasonable success and I was a good 10mm from bottoming out, even after some big bumps on my return ride.  However, I had to let out some air from the front fork; 180psi was way too much and 150psi was more like it.

But I really need to get the brakes bled.  The front brake lever almost touches the handlebar before it starts to work, so I had to avoid picking up speed where it would be tricky to reduce it.

Joined the border track near the Mulligans Flat Rd/Gundaroo Rd roundabout and continued on my normal run.  But this time I ended in O’Conner in the hope of seeing some bikes at Bike Culture.  Well… at least the 39 Steps cafe was open and I had a free coffee on my card!

Return was around the Southern side of Mount Ainslie.  On Telecoms Rd I was stopped by a personal trainer who sought advice on the tracks heading to Mount Ainslie.  His mission was to take “sloths” from the Department of Defence building to the East and give them an hour of pain they wouldn’t forget easily. I’m not sure if there are tracks heading from the fire trails to the peak, but there must be.  We chatted about options for a little while and then he set off to try some out.

Oasis of green in parched bushland.  Three small gulleys empty into this spot.  Sadly, I scared off the parrots that had been feeding there moments before.
Oasis of green in parched bushland. Three small gulleys empty into this spot. Sadly, I scared off the parrots that had been feeding there moments before.  132kVA poles in the background.

I took the Blue Metal Rd and turned left to follow the 132 kVA lines until I ran out of track.  I climbed the walking track until it met the fire trail.  A few moments later I was climbing a steep and rocky hill when saw a man and an 8-year-old girl jogging down the hill towards me.  They had just cleared the steepest and rockiest section when the girl tumbled forward onto her face.  Her father went all drill instructor on her arse telling her to stop crying and that the fall was nothing to worry about.  He said this even as he wiped dirt from her teeth and removed stones from a cut in her hand.  I stopped to see if everything was OK (apart from the drill instructor dad bullshit) just long to wonder.  Oh, and to put things into perspective, they were at least 1.5km distant and 50m above the nearest house or hope of first aid.  Nice one drill instructor dad.

Return was back along Goorooyarroo and Mulligan’s Flat.  Bum started to hurt, more from chafing than from pressure.

Strava was a bit of a change from MapMyRide.  For a start its display is dark (which probably helps battery life a little) with a single start/stop button.  The only stats are time (nice big numbers), distance and average speed.  I’ve since discovered that you have to swipe to see the map, though it only takes up 1/3 of the screen.  First attempt at uploading did not go well.  After 5 goes it seemed to work.  I uploaded the return journey successfully over WiFi when I got home.

A very big difference is the amount of analysis you can do in the app.  For MapMyRide you can get some information on the app but you need to use the website (and click through several levels) for analysis.  By contrast, Strava has every segment (course) you’ve ridden with leaderboard, filters, accurate grade, distance and altitude measurements.  And the units are consistent.

It’s obvious that the Strava community is much larger than the MapMyRide community. Or perhaps Strava encourages competition.  On my out ride I rode 13 segments, compared to a no courses on MapMyRide and 8 on return compared to 1 on MapMyRide.  I’ve already had a comment from the person upon whose segment I achieved KOM..  He has vowed to beat my record on Tuesday.  I’m treating that as friendly and neighbourly competition.

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2 thoughts on “Sunday rides and Strava v. MapMyRide

  1. An update on the KOM: The other rider did beat my time with a 4:37 for the climb.
    I had a go on Sunday night and matched the 4:37. Not bad for a cold, windy and dark night ride.

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