There are times when a slow, social, stop-and-smell-the-wildflowers ride is just the ticket. But there are other times when we prefer to push ourselves a bit, to try for a “personal best”.
The emergence of GPS cyclocomputers and GPS-equipped smartphones has enabled bicyclists to record their rides in amazing detail — just start the device at the beginning of your ride, stop it at the end, and you’ll have an assortment of statistics to reflect on, as well as a map of where you’ve ridden.
Many web services have sprung up to help you preserve a record of your rides, to evaluate your performance, and to compare your rides against other people.
The best of these services (in our opinion) is Strava. This app not only allows you to record your rides on a smartphone (or upload your rides form a GPS device), but it provides a social environment, where you can keep up with the rides that your friends are doing. It also has a really great feature called “segments”.
A “segment” is a portion of a route in which riders can compete for the best times. Traditionally, segments were set up for climbs or time trials, but they can also be established for any arbitrary piece or road or trail. A segment can, for example,. be established on a portion of the Prairie Spirit Trail, and many have.
The following is a list of segments along the Prairie Spirit Trail. Click through to view a rider leaderboard:
Prairie Spirit Trail Strava Segments
- Ottawa to Garnett (Southbound)
- Garnett to Iola (Southbound)
- Iola to Garnett (Northbound)
- Garnett to Ottawa (Northbound)
Join In On The Fun!
If you’re like to play along, all you need to do is set up an account at Strava.com and begin recording (or uploading) your rides.
In addition, we’ve set up a Bike Prairie Spirit Club on Strava, to make it easier to keep up-to-date on the rides of other users of this web site.
Please note that just because you’re attempting to set a personal best, that doesn’t relieve you of responsibility for your actions. In particular:
- You are responsible for obeying all traffic controls (e.g. stop signs).
- Please share the trail with other users courteously. Pass others (bicyclists, pedestrians, children, seniors, pets) with care.
- Be careful of trail conditions or obstacles that can be hazardous when taken at speed.
In other words, don’t be a Stravasshole! 😉