04 July 2013

Dawn Patrol


Another pre-dawn departure for me. This time I did the Lake Natoma loop, north to south. That probably means nothing to you unless you are a Sacramento/Folsom local, so I'll just say that the north side has fewer trees, meaning the incipient dawn-glow would help me see, and the south side has more trees, giving me some tree-cover when the sun has come up.

I saw one bike in the 5 miles of the north shore, 3 bikes in a group charging up the Hazel bridge, and a handful of riders and joggers and walkers-of-dogs on the south side.

My overall average was 10 miles per hour, I guess I don't go as fast in the dim.

I didn't take any pictures this time, but I did go add a picture (quite pretty) of the sunrise on the previous post. So go look there.

The bathrooms at the Folsom parking garage were still not unlocked when I rode back to the car at 7:36am, so I loitered a bit until Karen's opened at 7am, where I feasted on fresh orange juice and a yummy peach/ginger scone.

It is supposed to start cooling off, so I hope Red Leader and I can get out for an afternoon/evening ride some time soon.

I ran the Strava app, and noticed another segment that has been user-flagged as hazardous. I'm not sure how I feel about this process. When a segment has been ridden and recorded by over 1000 riders over 5000 times (or some absurd numbers like those) I don't see how it suddenly becomes hazardous. Of course, I'm not sure how long Strava has been allowing users to flag segments that way.

The consequence of hazard flagging is no more leaderboard for that segment (you can't compare your times to others') but you can still see your own efforts on the segment.

Another kerfluffle with Strava is the "non-traditional bicycle" thing. There is some language in a user guide on their site that tries to discourage riders from logging rides (that would  appear on leaderboards) with non-trad bicycles.

Well, I'm not even a bicycle, but a tricycle. It seems to me they are attempting, rightly, to eliminate fairings, electric or other powered assists, and aerodynamic modifications from messing with the leaderboard rankings.

Here's part of the text from Strava's site:
"The Segment Leaderboards for cycling are a place for conventional bicycles only, so that the top Segment rankings are not taken by unattainable, motor-assisted times or from bicycles with modifications including wind fairings or other means of minimizing drag.

Uploading data from a car, motorcycle, e-bike, motor-assisted bike, motor-paced ride or any bicycle that includes any non-human propulsion or pedal-assisted force, and categorizing the activity as a "Ride" displaces data uploaded from a human-powered bike, thus conflicting with the fairness and integrity of the Segment Leaderboards."

And here's a link to the full article.

The firehouse lawyers among the recumbent community are quick to point out that recumbents are not specifically named in this article. Also, Strava customer support personnel are not consistent in interpreting this guideline. Some recumbent riders on  bentrideronline have reported Strava CS supporting their recumbent-ridden leaderboard standings, while other brol members have had CS state that their ride will retain the flagging since their leaderboard standing was attained with a recumbent.

They will also point out that this guideline could be read to disallow aero bars, time trial bikes, and wheel coverings - all non-uncommon additions to 'conventional' bicycles.

Strava needs to sort this out.

I would suggest that they do several things: specifically exclude non-faired recumbent bikes and trikes and quads from the unconventional bicycle label (sorry, velomobiles!) and support more bicycle types (like recumbent) and finally to allow filtering by bicycle type (for all I know bike type filters are in place now, but because recumbent is not a category it is useless to me).

Well, that was longwinded. I suppose I'll see if I can find their facebook page and post all this there.

Here's to cooler weather!

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