Thursday 11th May is Strava’s second global Bike to Work day. After the success of last year’s inaugural initiative, which saw almost 80,000 people take part and 514 tons of greenhouse emissions offset as a result, Strava are hoping for an even bigger number this year. The concept is simple; cycle to work then tag it as a commute when you upload. That’s it!
So why do Strava want your data?
Their plan is to provide city governors and town planners with the information they need to improve their infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. The more commutes that are logged, the more data town planners have to work with. So by joining in, you are providing crucial data which will be used to effectively plan and improve cycling infrastructure.
Obviously, the aim is to encourage people to ride in more than just one day of the year. Given the endless benefits of swapping your car, bus or train for two wheels, hopefully the weekend warriors and long term abstainers will join the regular bicycle commuters year round.
Strava’s Metro heatmap shows all the data points which are logged around the world, providing a fascinating insight into cycling hot spots from country to country. Below are the UK maps for 2014 and 2015. The increase in data collection is clearly visible and hopefully this will continue to grow year on year.
Here in the UK, cycling is unfortunately a contentious topic as the increasing amounts of video footage show. From forcing cyclists off the road with aggressive driving to deliberate assaults on cyclists, it is clear that more needs to be done to make using your bike a safer, more integrated mode of transport. Data collection from initiatives such as Bike to Work day is therefore crucial to generating a positive change. Use the hashtag #CommutesCount and get involved! Why not also join our Strava group and find out who else is taking part in the challenge?