Use Strava to find new riding partners

You’ve probably seen Strava’s Activity Playback tool, which allows you to quickly identify those missed connections as you ride.

Strava Activity Playback

What can you use this for?

First, an explanation. The green column labeled “C” is correlation. The higher the value, the more likely the rider rode with you on a group activity. 100 is perfect correlation. Strava considers anything above 30 a group activity. The lower activities are people who pass like ships in the night.

The blue / purple column marked “S” is spatial correlation. This is a time-independent similarity to the primary activity. In other words, if the person rode exactly the same route as you but at a much slower or faster pace and (perhaps) a different starting time, the activity is spatially correlated.

The final red column is the distance of the activity.

Marketing!

How can I use the Activity Playback tool from Strava? My first thought: marketing for San Jose Bike Train. I pulled up our latest Bike Train activity, and golly – I immediately found several people who I could spam!

Strava activity player San Jose Bike Train

Watching the animated playback, it’s obvious at least two of the riders are on training or recreational rides, and one of the others is going the wrong direction for bike train. All of the others are great candidates for spam. Woo hoo!

Missed Connections!

Can this Activity Playback tool be used to expand your social circle? Look at the top screenshot and look at the female names of cyclists I rode by. Mel, Amy, Melinda, Tram, and Gina are all women. What a great way to find new friends!

Seriously, I have used this tool to connect with people in a totally non-creepy way. I had a brief conversation with a guy the other day near the summit of the Santa Cruz mountains and we found each other on Strava using exactly this tool. It’s super handy finding new riding partners who ride the same routes as you. I really like it.

And finally, this happened yesterday. True story.

Strava matchmaking Activity Playback tool

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