Using Strava to Find New Bike Adventures


The cycling app Strava allows you to easily find new bike adventures.

Bike adventures mean pushing boundaries: Physical, mental, even geographical.

So when I found out I could use Strava to make up stupid fun routes, I was all in.

Strava Makes Finding New Bike Adventures Easier

Finding a bike adventure has never been easier with tools like Strava, MapMyRide, and Ride with GPS.

With a tool like Strava, you can use someone else’s routes, create your own, and/or use heat maps — or most commonly used routes — to ride new roads.

Or you can ask Strava to create something entirely new on its own!

You Need the Strava Phone App and a Subscription

First of all, Strava won’t let you do this on your computer. It’s only on the phone app.

Go to Maps at the bottom of the screen. Then Routes.

At the top of the app screen choose your preferences: cycling, hilly or flat, pavement or dirt, and distance.

I put my finger down on a random start point sort of near my home. That’s where “West Small Road” comes from.

You can easily also start just from your home.

Bike Adventures Are Sometimes Unexpectedly Local

The app then spits out three possible routes.

I was surprised that many of my new bike adventure routes included the city of Milwaukee area rather than the countryside since I chose dirt as a parameter.

I clicked and unclicked heat maps to see if there was a difference without much change.

I was a little bummed to see that most of the routes included the roads I always ride on.

But then again, I ride enough to try out most of the roads in the area!

Try This While Traveling

I can really see the value of this when I head up to Eau Claire or mom’s cabin in Stone Lake to see family.

It would also be great anytime you’re traveling to find new bike adventures.

I can imagine bike clubs using this app as well to try new routes.

Strava Offers Lots of Ways to Find New Bike Adventures

When you click Segments at the bottom of the screen, you also get a ton of new options, including Discover New Places, Visit Popular Spots, and other ways to chase segments.

Segments, by the way, are sections of road, track, and/or trail that have been chosen by a person and timed out.

You can chase the King or Queen of the Mountain titles by getting the fastest time in the segment.

There’s some good motivation in trying to beat a previous time or a training friend.

Be Careful of Chasing Segments

The only challenge in chasing segments, though, is with your training.

If you have a new bike adventure goal, chasing segments all the time isn’t going to help you, and may, in fact, hurt your progress.

You might, though, do your interval work on a certain segment.

You might also string together a route that includes segments that roughly match your interval work.

You might choose a bunch of hills, or sections of road that are about the same length.

Like a Magic Eight-Ball

I’m sure many of you already know about these features!

But in the context of finding adventures, this is a fun tool.

It’s kind of like using the magic eight-ball to make a decision.

Random, but will still lead to something that can help you learn and grow.

Still Curious About What You Can Achieve?

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Paul Warloski, Simple Endurance Coaching

I help everyday endurance athletes reach their adventure and challenge goals through personalized, holistic training, strength work, and yoga.