Forget Strava

If you don’t know what Strava is then head over to the archives and check out another post.  If however, you use Strava or another performance tracking tool, then read on my friend.  If you subscribe to the motto: “If it’s not on Strava then it doesn’t count” then commit this post to heart.

Firstly, let’s be clear, I’m not bagging Strava here.  I love Strava, it’s an awesomely useful app for training and sport.  I use and recommend it ….. but not for when you are out with your kids.  Why?  It’s all about focus and mindset.  Let me break that down:

Riding with Kids Riding with grown-ups (or on your own)
Focus: Fun, participation, parenting.

It’s about the journey not the destination.  It’s about how we ride together, not how fast we get there.  It’s about the memories we are making and the moments we are sharing.

Focus: Performance, achievement, results.

It’s about improving our own riding, winning the race, getting fitter and faster.  It can be about riding better than others or beating our own records.  It’s all about us really.

Do whatever you need to do to ensure you have shifted gears and have the right focus and mindset when you are riding with your kids.  For me, the following help me remember that riding with kids is a different game:

  • Not tracking the ride, e.g. Strava, SportsTracker
  • Not wearing lycra
  • Not using cleats
  • Riding a fun bike rather than a racing/sporty one (for those of us lucky enough to have a choice!)
  • Letting them set the pace.

So for you diehard Strava users out there perhaps the motto when cycling with kids is that “If it IS in Strava then it doesn’t count”?  What do you think?

3 thoughts on “Forget Strava

  1. I am not sure that it is quite so black and white, to my mind it is about horses for courses.
    You do not have to have a child with you to go on a leisurely ride, nor do all rides you have with a child need to be leisure.
    I have currently started using strava with my daughter on our rides to/from holiday club as it is a bit further than the normal school run (2.5 miles vs. 0.5 miles each way). We are not doing this to make a race out of it, more to be able to show, how at the end of the summer holidays, that she will have become faster without trying, just by doing a regular, longer cycle.
    I would argue that commuting cycle rides like this are more about the destination and a manageable time than they are about the journey. Again though, it is not binary and can be a little bit of both.


    1. Very good points indeed. Thankfully lots of parents are like you and see the shades of grey. I guess this post was for the more black and white thinkers! Thanks for contributing a moderating perspective.


  2. I have just started using Strava. The second time I used it, I did have my son (age 8) along with me on the ride. I did not find that it distracted me in any way from the main purpose of our ride (which was for his own fitness and fun), though I did not have my phone mounted on my handlebars, I just kept it in my pocket. While he is very fast for his age, I don’t ride at anywhere near my usual speed when he’s along, except for very short segments where I feel he’ll be safe if I speed on ahead (e.g., bike lane with no cross-streets). In the title of your ride on Strava you can just add “with my son” or “with my daughter” to make it clear that this is not your maximum effort. I just wanted to record my mileage and I thought my son would enjoy looking at the graphs (he is very math/science-oriented).


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