This year marks Strava’s 10th anniversary, and what better way to celebrate than to comb through a staggering amount of data to track the trends in cycling from this year past.
Each year Strava puts out its Year in Sport report that highlights what’s on the rise and what’s plummeting into obscurity .
This year’s report yielded some surprising results, and the landscape of cycling appears to be changing. Here’s everything you need to know.
People keep people active
According to its stats, Strava shows a clear pattern that riders who belong to clubs or regularly ride in groups tend to be a lot more active.
Club riders upload, on average, 10 per cent more activities during their first month as members, while group rides have been shown to cover twice the distance as solo ones.
This confirms what most of us believe already – that riding with others is a great way to motivate yourself to get up and out in the morning.
Speaking of which, it seems that while most weekday riders head out between 6am and 8am, with those riding with others tending to start earlier.
The secret to motivation
Riders with long-term goals seem to stay motivated all year round. Strava
Before you turn your nose up at the thought of making New Year’s resolutions, you might want to keep reading. Data collected from Strava Summit users suggests that long-term goal planning is the most likely thing to keep you motivated throughout the year.
95 per cent of riders who set a goal in January were still going in September, as opposed to the 87 per cent who weren’t working towards a goal (that we know of).
Indoor season is 12 months long
Indoor training is on the rise and there ain’t nothing you can do about it. Simon Bromley / Immediate Media
Love it or loathe it, indoor training is on the increase, and it’s not just limited to the winter months.
In January 2019, 15.2 per cent of cyclists uploaded indoor rides, whether it was in a spin class or using a virtual platform. That’s a significant increase from the 5.5 per cent in January 2016.
Data also shows that virtual training can save you time in the long run. Cyclists who attempted a notable climb virtually more than twice, saved up to two minutes on their real-life climb when the moment came.
More and more cyclists are logging virtual rides. Strava
The world’s hottest gear
Thanks to the sheer amount of data, it’s easy to see which bikes and tech are becoming more popular with Strava users.
In 2019 the fastest growing bikes were:
The most popular technology used by Strava cyclists included the Garmin Edge 530 and 830, and the Wahoo Elemnt Roam.
The commuter gender gap is closing
Compared to previous years, the gap between the number of men and women likely to commute by bike has started to decrease. In the UK and Ireland, 29.3 per cent of women are likely to cycle to work, compared to 32.8 per cent of men.
The UK cities with the highest number of female commuters were London (45.9 per cent), Manchester (31.8 per cent) and Birmingham (28.9 per cent).
The gender gap between male and female commuters seems to be closing. Strava
Cyclists are expanding their repertoire
Gone are the days when cyclists were devoted solely to their bikes. In 2019, it’s become clear that we’re starting to broaden our horizons and to take part in other activities to complement our cycling regime.
Single-sport athletes have shown a definite decline, with cycling-only users decreasing from 67.9 per cent in 2015 to 47.2 per cent in 2019.
On the other hand, there’s been a marked increase in other sports.
Walking has increased by 67 per cent, yoga by 74 per cent, and weight training by a staggering 289 per cent.
Cyclists have also been shown to spend 80 per cent of the winter cycling, opting for running, hiking and walking, training indoors and other (our money’s on climbing) activities the rest of the time.
What it takes to stop an athlete
No matter how determined we think we are, sometimes the world pushes back and we’re forced to admit defeat. So what does it take to actually stop a dedicated cyclist from venturing outside?
New Year’s Eve jollies certainly seem to have that effect, with the number of people cycling on 1 January 2019 49 per cent less than usual.
It will come as no surprise to some, while others may be flabbergasted, to discover that the weather is the next biggest disrupter of cycling.
On days where we had heavy rain in 2019, cycling rates fell by a whopping 59 per cent, while the summer heatwave deterred 15 per cent of riders.
Going the distance
In the UK, cyclists clocked a total of 937.2 million kilometres and climbed a total of 8.8 billion metres. Globally, the total kilometres cycled in 2019 was 9 billion, with 90.4 billion metres climbed.
The bikes taken on the longest average rides were:
Meanwhile, commuters in the UK covered a total distance of 112.6 million kilometres. This led to a carbon offset of 28,270 metric tons of CO2.
It should come as no surprise that the fastest bikes recorded were purpose-built aero machines.
As a final stat, the fastest average rides were ridden on:
What do you think? How do the overall statistics compare to your own? Do you think indoor training will keep rising or are you determined to be out in all weathers? Let us know in the comments.