Wired has a nice article today on Strava, a really good online training tracking site. I like Strava, and have used it for about a year (in addition to Training Peaks). It has a clean design, good features, and a set of members that includes some pro cyclists who are fun to follow and see what rides they are doing. If you are a cyclist and/or runner, I recommend that you check it out. You can be as social with it or private with it as you like.
Strava follows a “freemium” revenue model, with a free membership and paid membership that unlocks more features (as does Training Peaks), which enables them to monetize the site and aligns well with the interests of a lot of Type-A athletes in having more ways to analyze their data. So far it seems to be working well for them financially compared to other tech start-ups.
Strava’s other distinctive feature is the ability to identify specific route segments and compare your performance over time and across others, again a good feature to appeal to Type-A endurance athletes. I’m obviously not sufficiently Type-A about it, though, because I used it for 6 months before even noticing that the person with the best time on that segment is designated KOM or QOM (king of the mountain/queen of the mountain). It is motivating to get an email saying that someone just took my QOM.
One feature I wish it had was the ability to “favorite” or bookmark particular routes or rides. For example, pro cyclist Ted King rode a bunch of great routes in Aspen last year, and when I was there in May I wanted to look at his routes. Either it’s not possible, or it was too non-obvious for even a techie like me to figure out how to look at his rides from a year ago.