Strava riders log 3.6 billion miles in 2016

The most popular segment in the US? A virtual segment on Zwift

How many miles did you log on Strava this year? Collectively, we the digitally obsessed riders notched a whopping 3.6 billion miles on the social fitness site in 2016.

Those miles came via 161 million uploaded rides, with a cumulative elevation gain of 55 billion metres, according to a recent data package released by Strava. Riders in the US accounted for 32 million rides and UK cyclists uploaded 27.4 million files.

While there were plenty of commuting miles and ordinary rides uploaded, there were also files like Greg Van Avermaet's Olympic road race win uploaded. That last one garnered the most kudos (of the 1.3 billion given this year).

Some 51 million photos were posted on Strava in 2016.

US state by state breakdowns

In the US, riders logged a collective 640 million miles and 29 billion vertical feet of climbing. Men is the US averaged 22.3mi per ride at 15.1mph and women in the US averaged 20.1mi at 12.8mph. Total average miles for US men was 430mi and 255mi for women.

Which state do you think is the fastest or packs the most hilly miles? This year rides uploaded from Louisiana topped the leaderboard with a 15.2mph average, ahead of Mississippi (14.7mph) and Florida (14.7mph). California filed the most activities (7.8 million), followed by Colorado (1.8 million).

US 2016 stats
US 2016 stats

While the flattest ride average was perhaps no surprise (Florida, 66ft), the hilliest ride average might be (Vermont, 421ft).

Somewhat in keeping with 'flattest', Florida also notched the longest average rides (38.4mi), and the District of Columbia the shortest (21.3mi).

Zwift tips the scales to indoor riding

And this year's most popular segment in the United States award goes to... your indoor trainer. The virtual training software Zwift made a major impact on Strava riders this year, with the Richmond sprint segment of Zwift's virtual world championship course beating out all actual segments this year for most completions (1.1 million). Second place? Finish line Prospect in Brooklyn, New York (952,355). And yes, that one is outside. For context, anyone on Zwift — anywhere in the world — can ride that Richmond virtual segment.

It's worth noting that the mileage and vertical gain totals on Strava include virtual riding, too.  

UK regional breakdowns

Riders in the UK logged 800 million kilometres in 2016, with the most rides being uploaded from Sunday 8 May, when the weather was a balmy 25 degrees Celsius.

Riders in the UK notched 6.9 billion metres of elevation gain and speed-wise, men in the UK averaged 25kph, while women averaged 19kph. 

UK 2016 stats
UK 2016 stats

Ards, Northern Ireland was the fastest region (25.4kph for men and women combined). Northern Ireland also took the title of longest average ride (44.9km). Merthyr Tydfil in Wales proved the hilliest (645m average climbing per ride). 

London counted the most rides (4.4 million), well ahead of second-place West Yorkshire (915,489). The UK's most popular segment was Richmond Gate Roundabout to Queen's Rd. Car Park (985,569 attempts).

 And the fastest place on earth?

Judging just by average speed, the title for world's fastest country goes to Holland, where the pancake country and the cycling-mad population combined for average speeds of 26.92kph (men) and 21.36kph (women). The UK, France and the US rounded out the podiums with British men averaging 25.61kph, French men doing 24.36kph and American men averaging 24.35kph. For women, France averaged 20.74kph and the US notched 20.51kph. 

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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