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Updated September 15, 2018 | By Bob Fugett


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The Black Widow, Fort Desoto Park, FL

See also: [ Segment Calculator | Calculator Explained | Silver Sprint ]

(06/21/18 disclaimer: currently this page is a startup which has not yet reached the high quality of the rest of Cycling Performance Simplified)

Mary is currently training to complete an Strava Segment ITT at 30 mph on a 1.9 mile local rail trail course with a 27 ft rise.

She is 64 years old, but the raw necessity for that performance is only 3:48 @400 watts, which is an amount of power well proven that a human is capable of holding for 1-hr.

Holding it for less than 4 minutes is certainly within Mary's current potential.

Back in the day, during the Widder's 23+ Hump development, Mary had reached a very odd level of performance.

At 5 seconds Mary's power/weight ratio was less than an untrained woman (according to the Alan and Coggan Charts), but at 5 minutes she was performing equal to a Cat 3 MAN!

And she could hold that level of power for 8 minutes before browning out, though her true brownout was closer to 12 minutes of brutal spin.

She even achieved a full (actual) 1-hour ITT uphill at 19.2 mph with just 176 watts.

So now we are applying what we learned back in the day toward a local rail-trail Strava ITT.

After Mary's most recent rounds of cancer, double-mastectomy, dealing with her mother's death, dealing with SlingShot etc, she returned to cycling and realized that local Strava segment leader boards were full of performances well below her own (even now compromised) abilities.

She started chewing up segments one at a time, taking QOM's and nearly's in a very logical order.

In the process she ran at least one perennial problematic rider totally off Strava due to their inability to compete in a venue less conducive to their habitual cheating.

Things were going very well until Mary hit a sticking point with one segment which should have been very easy.

Three times she significantly beat the Strava time, but Strava didn't see it.

I (SlingShot) said, "That's unacceptable. Maybe your phone is reporting poorly."

So now with a new Garmin 520, new e-shifters, new power pedals (P1 for Bob, Favero Assiamo for Mary), improved analytic software (Saris' most recent PowerAgent), I have myself started nipping away at Strava segments and aligning my training to the hyper-specific suited-to-purpose program needed to help Mary hit her 30 mph ITT goal.

Therefore this page will hold my general Strava notes (specifics at Silver Sprint), so I don't have to restructure the whole affair later.

The 30 mph goal stems from the fact we know the women currently on the boards are being pulled by men or groups (just to beat her), so Mary will have to beat the men themselves mano-a-mano.

The men will not be able to pull women faster than Mary's times, if Mary goes faster than the men themselves can go.

That's enough set up.

In order to advise Mary, I will do the segments myself, so here are my random notes regarding Strava with my more detailed progress notes at Silver Sprint.


1) Strava is almost always wrong regarding specific location
the U.S. Govt is still not stupid enough to give you specific enough
real-time GPS to allow you to remotely put an IED missile through
the front door of the White House

2) Strava power numbers are also nonsense unless using an on bike
meter which uploads an actual measurement

3) Strava applies a smoothing algorithm to segment results
there is absolutely no way I hit exactly the same second as four
other people on three separate segment leader boards, whether
I was two seconds later, or one of them was a second faster
on any given finish is irrelevant to our current project, but it is
something to always be aware of

4) For serious Strava attempts, un-star segment so Garmin
pop-ups don't hide real-time info

5) Definitely ignore Strava power data unless it is fed
by on-bike strain gauge, and even then use your
own PC based analysis software to get at the truth

6) Strava provides no averaging of effort over time and distance
so get analysis software; still the best I have seen is PowerTap's
PowerAgent which is free to download; it is best because makes
it easier to get to the meat without distractions (and I would have
paid money for a better alternative)

7) It is especially important to have your own analytics software
in order to avoid having to pull Strava segments just to get
the bare minimum handle on your performance (without averages
at that)

8) 07/14/18: achieved a 7th all-time spot on a local Strava segment
                with a total of 5 riders in the same spot while Strava gave
                variable mph for the same 0:01:16 time by almost 2 mph
                (.4 mi Camp LaGuardia segment Heritage Trail, Chester NY)


 Local segment specs (elevations in feet, distance in miles)

Date Segment Dist Rise  Note
09/04/18 Widder's Iron .23 80.7 frm bridge end to tree before stop sign on Iron Forge Road
(need to redo distance/rise from seg start)
09/04/18 Widder's Bel .34 49.3 frm second culvert post to drive on right just over top
07/14/18 Camp LaGuardia .44 24.2 frm pole at bridge to overpass, trimmed from clicked PR
09/05/18 Camp LaGuardia .46 28.8 454.7 - 425.9 = 28.8 (click 2:34, Strava gave 2:31)
09/14/18 Camp LaGuardia .46 27.5 402.7 - 374.7 = 27.5 (pole to overpass matched STRV)
09/14/18 Silver Sprint in 1.92 26.9 526.2 - 499.3 = 26.9 (click 5:58, Strava gave 5:58)
(need to start/stop timer earlier for better Strava match)


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