Privacy v's transparency and the Big Brother factor.

One of my intentions for this project and this blog is to release as much information as possible, but in a safe manner.  I want to declare as much training and performance related data as I can over the next 7 months, but there is one statement I'd wish to make:

Don't take offence if I decline your Strava requests.

In the past few months, I have had a number of follower requests through Strava which I have declined.  This appears counter to my project goal of declaring as much information as possible,  My reason is partly privacy, partly Big Brother.


In a pretty private kind of guy.  Even with what I want to do, it's not something I actively shout out in public and draw attention to unless people already now about.  The joke about "what does the cross fit vegan talk about first?" doesn't apply.  I'll discuss it in conversations or answer questions about it if the subjects raised or if I'm within my work group or social groups who are familiar with my past times, but I don't introduce myself as "hey, I'm Dr Stav, do you know I riding Edinburgh to London in 24hrs???"  Whilst at the kids swimming lessons last week another group of parents were talking about doing local rides.  As I'm not part of that group or particularly kno them, I'm not that guy how chips in "is that all you're doing??  That's nothing, you should hear what I'm doing......."

This brings me onto the area I live in.  I'm not a particularly affluent guy, but I live in a well to do area and I'm sure the other parents from the swimming pool have far more expensive bikes and the thieves now that.  As race and sportive bikes these days are often £2 - 6k per bike, breaking into a garage is a quick pick for cash.  Declaring to all online "hey, I've just done my 20 mile coffee shop run on my signature Pinarello Dogma F8, here's my Strava track!" pretty much advertises what you have and where you live.  For this reason I like to at least try to protect some of my locations and Strava details.  I may not have the most expensive kit in the neighbourhood, but the inconvenience of replacements, re-spec'ing, purchasing, insurance etc is hassle that if I can avoid, I will.

Big Brother

This isn't in terms Orwellian state observation of my movements, more in terms of that crappy Big Brother TV program.  For the TV program, every night 24 hours of footage would be edited into 20 minutes, polished with TV credits, adverts added and broadcast.  The remaining 23 hours and 40 minutes would be mundane stuff left on the cutting room floor.  My Strava is somewhat similar.  For every epic ride, there will be a dozens of more mundane tracks such as commutes, turbo training sessions and taking the kids to the swimming pool.  For those that follow me, I apologies for clogging up your feeds.

We are not 12 year old girls.

My final reason is how and why people are on Strava.  I like seeing my wife do the school run, my brother doing a run with his girlfriend, various friends, workmates, contacts and associates doing stuff.  I like the metronomic and epic rides Steve Abraham's does every day and seeing the pro's do their thing.  I am part of the Zwift group and people can see my tracks in the group, but I think kudos is something that should be earned, not used to promote your brand or try and get followers.  I get kudos daily for mundane rides by certain Strava uses in the same way people do "I follow back" on Twitter for other One Direction fans.  They can give me kudos, but I'm still not going to follow you back, buy your package tours, diet plans or use you as a personal trainer.

So if you find me on Strava, please don't be offended if I don't accept your request or follow you back.  


One function I have liked is the FlyBy option.  Often I look at the Fly Bys to see who I've shared the road with and often I find riders who have also been doing epic rides or braved the worst conditions.  These are people I may have shared a glance with and later found they they were out for 8 hours like me who I'd otherwise know nothing of.  These are they guys and girls I'll give kudos to.  Chapeau.

So where does this leave data transparency?

To try and keep transparency with everything I'll be doing, I will keep posting data either in screen shot or summary form which will have certain geographical data removed.  There are various data analysis packages which are extremely good at providing these services.  My aim and intentions is to release as much of this as possible - I'm not on a pro team or notable rider who has to protect this from rivals so I have no confidential data to withhold.  I'll do my best to post summary data (weekly, monthly aggregated distances, times, calories, performances and number) along with specific training data and all relevant data from static testing.


Popular Posts