I have been meaning write a post about Strava.com for a while. For those of you not in the know, Strava is a combination social networking site and biking statistics database. Without having written my full analysis yet, Strava Part I, I feel the need to jump to the the advanced session, Strava Part II.
A few weeks ago, I was on the Ferry heading home. I was wearing a full bike kit and sitting up top in my normal spot by the hanging bicycles. I was busy on my phone finishing up a few emails, but I noticed that the guy sitting next to me was looking at Strava on his iPhone. When we were at the mid-point of the trip, the guy says to me, "Hey ... I heard you talking about Strava on the boat the other day. I ride a bit and am on Strava, too." With biking in common, we talked about bikes and other stuff. After a few minutes, I introduced myself as 'Matt' and he did the same, 'Mo'. I immediately looked at him and said, "Oh ... Mo Bernales?" The guy looked at me like I had crap smeared on my face. How the heck did I know his full name?!? I explained that every day when I uploaded my statistics to Strava, there was a box in the upper right hand corner of my screen that said 'People You Should Follow' ('following' on Strava is like 'friending' on Facebok), and his name was one of three that always pop up. Pretty funny stuff. We agreed to ride together one day soon. Within a few days, we had both 'followed' each other on Strava and we have since 'commented' on a few of eachother's rides on the site.
Fast forward to this afternoon. Mo sent me an email, cc:ing a few of his other buddies, inviting me to ride with them on Friday morning. Lo an behold, one of the other guys on this email chain, Paul Brannan, is the second name that I always see on Strava as a ' Person You Should Follow'.
I'm not sure that this is the prototypical manner in which social networking spreads. But it shows that the world is a pretty small place. Even smaller in the Bay Area. And smaller yet in the biking community.
Now, if I can only get introduced to Alwin Villanueva - my third 'People You Should Follow'. Anyone?? My guess is that this guy has no friends ... he rides an average of more than 26 hours and 325 miles each week.