Thursday, February 21, 2013

Strava's KOM awards blamed for reckless bicycling

The slow guys are whining!  First of all it's not Strava pedaling the bike.  Second, the authoritarians aren't satisfied unless they are KOM.

Here's a fun idea. Let's see who can drive fastest through the streets of San Francisco.
Say I zoom from the Ferry Building to Ocean Beach. Using my car's GPS, my time, speed and route will be posted on a website and then you can try to beat it.
Of course, as the times get quicker, we may have to run some red lights and stop signs, but that's part of the edgy excitement, right?
OK, so that's ludicrous. It will never happen. People would be outraged.
But that's the bicycling model of the website Strava, based in the city. Strava members run routes, their times are posted, and other riders are encouraged to beat the time.
It is a perfectly fine idea as a concept. Biking is a social community; it is fun to see where your friends are riding, how often and how fast they are going on routes you ride yourself. Most members ride safely and use the site for feedback.
But Strava has also created its KOM (King of the Mountain) awards. Set the fastest time, and you are awarded a KOM Crown. But face it; no one is setting a best time in the city without running stop signs and red lights. There may be only a few reckless KOM types on Strava, but they are exactly the kind of dangerous riders we're trying to slow down.
It leaves Strava essentially giving awards for reckless riding. And, says attorney Susan Kang, who is part of a lawsuit against Strava, if your KOM time is beaten, you are notified immediately.
"You get a message that says (essentially), 'Go out there and show them who's boss,' " she says.
That makes it look like Strava is egging on the riders to go even faster.

Strava's KOM awards blamed for reckless bicycling - SFGate

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