For the past several years I have had a couple of what I like to call “marker” bike rides. They are rides to let me know that I’m progressing adequately in my training. The Virginia MS Ride is one I’ve been doing for 12 years now. It is a ride that involves riding a long distance (75 miles each day), and it includes some hill climbing. No major elevations, but enough to challenge the legs. So my marker rides are a long day in the saddle, and a hill climb.
Today, I did the hill climb. Virginia has the great benefit of having some beautiful mountains in the western part of the state, and beaches in the east. The Blue Ridge Mountains happen to be just over an hour from my home, so I start from a base there and head almost immediately uphill.
This year I brought along some technology with me – my iPhone. Alright, I usually bring my iPhone, but a service called Strava allows me to use the iPhone’s built-in GPS to track my ride and plot my course, as well as my changes in elevation. The result is the page with the map you see above.
I am using the free version (5 rides a month) to get an idea of how the service works. It’s $6 per month to have unlimited rides. I like getting details on rides like the climb to Skyline Drive, but I don’t personally need details on every ride. For me it’s just fascinating to see the data on those special rides, and seeing how hard I did ( or didn’t ) work.