Explorer Tile Calculation Updates

The way that completed Explorer tiles are calculated has remained pretty static since its inception in March 2015 which included some, less than precise code to try to get around some of its known limitations (detailed below). I’ve now refined that code to improve the accuracy and also speed up the processing quite considerably and also introduced a method to get a definitive list of tiles for an Activity.  This improved accuracy will of course result in a number of tiles that were previously marked as ticked now showing up as unticked (and potentially affecting your max square size) but only tiles that you never actually visited in the first place 🙂

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Turns out having a coach helps, a lot!

Some of you may have read my previous post about my use over the winter months of a coach for some structured training to see how effective it really is.  This is my first experience with proper training having previously just free-style “trained” by trying to beast myself on Strava hill segments.  The goal of my training was the Strade Bianche Gran Fondo in early march which unfortunately ended with a puncture and a near hypothermic brother which combined to result in a DNF at around the halfway mark, but the more measurable gains had already been recorded – at 12% increase in FTP.

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Tour de Yorkshire 2017 – Men’s and Women’s Race Routes and Sportive

The 2017 edition of the Tour de Yorkshire very kindly finishes in VeloViewer’s global HQ of Sheffield taking in some of my personal, favourite cycling roads in the process. Here are the details of the 3 stages with the 2nd stage (Tadcaster / Harrogate) also being tackled by the Women’s peloton before the men’s race on the Saturday.

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Meet the Explorers

The Explorer Max Square leaderboard has brought together a small but remarkably dedicated international community of riders taking in new roads and trails at every opportunity in order to increase their Explorer Max Square. What drives them to ride across frozen lakes, attempt to access military bases and buy opera tickets to tick off map squares? Let’s ask them!

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Add 3D/2D profile pictures to your Strava activity at the push of a button

Strava has long had the ability for you to add photos to your activities to provide a much more engaging account of your day for your friends as well as for you. On the mobile apps the “Highlight Photo” is shown in place of the map in the activity feeds making your ride/run stand out from the list.  Previously the process of getting a VeloViewer 3D or 2D profile picture onto your activity was fairly laborious but now you can click a button and it will magically appear.

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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Cycling Road Race Courses Men’s and Women’s

UPDATED (8th November 2017) see below!  Yesterday (17th Feb 2017) the probable routes of the men and women’s Olympic Road Race were put onto twitter. I’ve mapped out the routes for you to take an in-depth look. Both routes include a flat roll out from central Tokyo followed by a number of laps of a lumpy 15.3km circuit featuring two main climbs, finishing off with a final 12km run to the line to the north.

Update (27th November 2017)

A new route has been shown which is very different to the original one leaked. All I’ve seen is this image for the men’s course with the women’s course starting/finishing in the same locations but with a shorter route:

I’m not sure which direction it’ll take around those loops so I won’t try plotting it as yet until I see a bit more information.

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First Time Using A Cycling Coach – Preparing for a Gran Fondo/Sportive

Despite taking up cycling at the tender age of 13 (30 years ago!) and doing numerous types of racing over the years, I’ve never actually done anything that resembled structured training in any way. The closest thing I’ve done is go out attacking local Strava hill segments for a summer on the run up to the 2014 Hill Climb season. So, with an Italian Gran Fondo in the diary for early March as a target I thought it was a great opportunity to hook up with a coach and see what gains can be made from a more structured approach. Spoiler alert, it helps, a lot.

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Eddington Numbers from your Strava Data

Everyone loves a number to compare themselves with their friends and to gauge your own efforts over time and the Eddington Number is no different. Basically if you’ve ridden 60 miles on 60 occasions, but not 61 miles on 61 occasions, then your Eddington Number would be 60. In order to raise your Eddington Number you’d need to do as many additional rides of 61 miles until you total 61 of them. If this is the first time you’ve heard of the Eddington Number then, like most people, you are currently still scratching your head trying to take that in. But fear not, the Eddington charts on VeloViewer will make it very easy to understand and give you some motivation for some very time-consuming activity!
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Strava Club & Friend Yearly Distance/Elevation Leaderboards

Who in your Strava cycling/running/swimming club has put down the most distance or climbing over the year? VeloViewer’s yearly leaderboards for whole array of different metrics might be just the ticket to finding out.  Pick any of your Strava clubs or the list of people you follow to see year or all-time leaderboards for all of the key metrics.

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VeloViewer Chrome Extension for Strava Website

Chrome Extensions allow you to extend any website out there to provide additional features. There are a number of Strava specific extensions already out there with StravistiX being by far the most popular.  I’d had numerous requests over the last year for a way to plan routes whilst seeing the explorer tiles so the most obvious way to do this was to use an extension that extended Strava’s Route Editor.  And while I was at it I may as well add a bunch of other handy links directly back to VeloViewer as well.

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