We all can watch the Pros smashing up the classic climbs on TV and wouldn’t it be great to have a go yourself! But unfortunately not many of us have the luxury of having any of those climbs on our own doorstep. However, what you can easily do using VeloViewer is to find which of your local climbs is the most like one of the classic climbs and then compare or attempt to match your time with that of the Pros. Here’s how to do it.
Back in July I had my first experience with bookmarklets when playing with Marc Durdin’s excellent bit of code that provides his funky elevation profiles for Activities and Segments right there, in amongst Strava’s own page contents. I might have been a bit naive but I just didn’t realise that this thing was so easy to do, so time for a quick play and see what I could come up with. First off I wanted to get an interactive 3D view of the new Strava Routes, the other thing that sprung to mind was to see if I could swap out the Google Maps view for the more detailed (at least here in the UK) Open Street/Cycle Maps which I’ll go into in my next blog post.
Update: unfortunately this approach to getting data for the 3D viewer is remarkably unstable due to the ever changing code at each of the sites mentioned above. Currently I think all of the sites listed have changed their code sufficiently for my code to no longer work and I’m not going to attempt to maintain it. Instead I’ve added a GPX import option on the 3D routes page but it does rely on the GPX file including elevation data. The GPX export from Strava doesn’t so that won’t work so the best site I’ve found so far to create your GPX files is Ride With GPS. The elevation data isn’t the best though so don’t expect very good profiles (Garmin Connect appears to have the best elevation data right now but there is no GPX export!). Of course if you’ve ridden the route then just view your activity on VeloViewer and you’ll see a 3D view there.
This is something I’d been wanting to do for ages and I’ve even surprised myself with how well they’ve turned out! The majority of elevation profiles you see around the cycling world look like they were drawn in the late 1990’s so it was time to bring them up to date and make the most of the latest technologies to allow you to interact with them.
In a previous post I covered the climbs of the first half of stage 2 of the 2014 Tour de France on its way from York to Sheffield (also available is the climbs of stage 1). This post will cover the remaining climbs of the stage that could well be providing a safe pairs of shoulders for both the Yellow and Polka Dot Jerseys for a good number of days. Holme Moss is certainly the biggest climb of the day but the many small and steep climbs (and slippery, twisty descents) on the run-in to Sheffield are more likely to cause the upsets and there is a real sting in the tail with up to a 33% gradient on Jenkin Road just a few km from the line. Tom Boonen and Matt Goss both crashed fairly badly in this area during the 2006 Tour of Britain but hopefully those won’t be the kind of headlines of the day.
Stage 1 may well have been one for the sprinters but stage 2 is being heralded as a proper, Yorkshire, Northern Classic of a stage and that means plenty of climbs. The route takes in almost 4000m of climbing along its 208km starting in North Yorkshire, passing through West Yorkshire, dipping its toe ever so slightly into Derbyshire before the grand finale in South Yorkshire. There are so many climbs that I’m splitting them up over 2 blog posts! In this post we’ll cover the route from the start at York Racecourse up to the climb of Cragg Vale and here you will find Part 2 with all the remaining climbs all the way to Sheffield.
Stage 1 of the 2014 Tour de France will travel from Leeds Town Hall to the spa town (and home of Yorkshire Tea) of Harrogate in just over 200 km (around 2800 m of climbing) and a sprint finish (and a British Yellow Jersey?) is anticipated. But this stage is by no means flat and if you are planning on riding the stage then you might be interested in knowing what you are letting yourself in for.
Yesterday The Sunday Times newspaper (UK) had an article on page 5 of the main section entitled “40mph city cyclists defy speed limits” (in the paper) “City cyclists turn roads into racetracks” (on the website) written by Nicholas Hellen and Georgia Graham which repeatedly refers to a Segment in London where the average speed of the fastest riders is 41 mph. I was contacted by Georgia last Thursday and spoke at length to Nicholas about Strava and how it works and particularly about how you can’t trust the timings (and hence speed) of short segments. But from the beginning of the conversation it was very clear what their angle was going to be and basically wanted me (or someone) to be able to quote saying that Strava encourages me to break the law (speeding (which I pointed out to him isn’t actually breaking the law) and jumping red lights) in built up areas. It doesn’t and I don’t. In this post I’ll do my best to explain why that 41 mph should actually be more like 31 mph.
Holme Moss is a bit of a classic around these parts, particularly because it usually requires a fairly long loop and another major climb to get back home again, but also because it is one of the highest roads in the area and at 524m will be the
highest 2nd highest (Buttertubs Pass is 526m!) point visited by the 2014 Tour de France during its stay in England. Never ridiculously steep, the climb puts its efforts into psyching you out by laying out the snaking finale in front of you with the majority of the climb still remaining. The Mont Ventoux’esque transmitter tower that sits at the summit of the climb is so unmistakably apparent it is impossible ignore what’s in store.
Two very neat additions have been added to the Segment Details and Ride Details‘ maps: the option to go full screen and the option to overlay photos from Panoramio. Now your maps can go HUGE while you review your rides and check out everyone else’s pictures to see what you missed along the route, saves having to stop and take any yourself doesn’t it!
The Buttertubs Pass from Hawes in North Yorkshire will be one of the first climbs taken in by the 2014 Tour de France in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. I’m not going to attempt to regale you with tales of my epic ascent of the climb as I can only remember about 25 metres of it (and I don’t think I’ve ever regaled anything very well) so I’ll stick to what I know and provide the cold, hard stats!
Photo: Kreuzschnabel/Wikimedia Commons, License