Strava Death???

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Since I haven’t really done anything with Strava other than plug my Garmin into it and download some of my rides, I didn’t really have much information on the whole deal. I’m not a premium member, I don’t even know what extras you get for that, so I pretty much just get the same thing as what you have downloaded at Garmin Connect. The extra you get is the ability to see the times and routes of what other people that used Strava have done.

So, I wrote a little about looking at some Strava segments while I was out in California last week. A few of the segments that I compared my times to were total BS. They must of put their Garmins in their pocket while on a motocycle, because the KOM’s and descending times were not close to being realistic. But, most of segments had pretty legitimate information.

Anyway, I saw this article at about a family that is suing Strava for contributing to the death of one of their family members. Turns out the guy was trying to reclaim a Strave segment record for some descent in Northern California, lost control, crashed and died. Obviously, it turned out badly for the guy.

But having the family sue Strava for this is ludicrous. The family says that somehow Strava is at fault, “claiming negligence and that the website encouraged him to speed.” The article has a quote from the families attorney say, “They don’t put cones out. They don’t have anybody monitor and see whether a course, or a specific segment, is dangerous.”

Wow. They don’t cone the segments? Maybe the family and/or attorney doesn’t realize that every road in the country is potentially a Strava segement. Maybe every road in the World, I don’t know. So, for the website to monitor every “course” they record times for is obviously not gonna happen.

There are lots of good comments at Velonews about the whole thing. It makes me wonder what the United States is all about with all this litigation happening everytime someone or something gets hurt. I wish people would just take some responsibility for their own actions. Not everything is someone’s fault, shit just happens. Bad luck. Wrong place at the wrong time. Trying to set a Strava segment record and falling.

10 thoughts on “Strava Death???

  1. Ryan

    Steve, you can flag a person’s segment that is unrealistic and it will be removed from the KOM standings. Usually it’s pretty obvious if you are able to compare speed to HR. It’s hard to ride a segment all out with a HR of 115 and it’s probably equally hard to drive it with a HR of near 200 so it’s easy to detect if they have their HR displayed.

  2. Mark

    I agree on the Strava deal. I have ridden that descent in questionsand only complete morons go down it “for time”. Stating that Strava is reasponsible by creating a website that encourages people to become overly competative and at risk of injury and/or death as a result, it complete BS.

  3. Formerly Jim

    Strava does prompt you if your “kom” is taken away, sending you an email prodding you to “get it back”.

    The guy died in the oncoming lane because he was in over his head chasing time.

    Strava sent users an email yesterday firmly outlining terms and conditions, including a clause on indemnity. They’ve also removed that descent’s leaderboard.

    Say what you will about the plaintiff’s motives, but I think they should programatically remove the descents marked “dangerous” from being published.

    In that way, the threat of a lawsuit has already done a little bit of good. Corporations must be held responsible for some of the actions they provoke, even if they are only responsible for a tiny percentage, because a tiny percentage of asshats can kill someone innocent.

  4. jp

    While reading I thought it was going to say the guy had a heart attack trying to reclaim an UPHILL segment and just blew himself to bits. The fact that it was a decent is just plain ignorant and reckless on this riders part. Strava or not, it sounds like this guy could have been headed for disaster regardless at some point.

  5. tilford97 Post author

    Jim-I agree with a lot of what you said. But, inherently cycling is a dangerous sport. As soon as you clip in, you have to be on your toes. Most descents are dangerous. It just depends on what your skill levels are, how much you feel you want to push it to know exactly how dangerous.

    I usually only take a bunch of risks when I believe the rewards off set the risks. That is in life in general and for sure on a bicycle.

    That being said, I have no idea what the value of this Strava segement was to the guy. Maybe he thought it was a justified risk? An important part of his fabric. We’ll probably never know.

    There are worse ways to die that trying to do something to an extreme. No one lives forever.

  6. ken hillier

    doh ,
    pre computors etc gps .. remember when you used to go on a ride and just try and drop YOUR mates ???isnt that enough for ya !get better as a rider …then find more mates .doh !

  7. dlshulman

    I agree that it’s a bullshit lawsuit, but don’t get too carried away by it. The insurance companies, govt., and other corporations have been using examples like this case for years to make it more difficult to get a remedy when a corporation/govt. unlawfully injures you. The reality is that very few frivolous cases get filed and that tons of meritorious cases get tossed or have damages severely limited all because the corporations/govt. have brain-washed you into believing that they must be protected from the 1 in a 100 frivolous case. It’s a tragedy in this country that the public largely has no idea how the courts have undermined the rights of individuals.

  8. Tim

    South Park Rd. in Tilden Park (above Berkeley, CA) is closed to vehicle traffic most of the year. It’s a paved road that runs through a golf course and the bottom Ts into a main road going through the park. The hill is very steep with a long runout at the bottom and often there are pedestrians and trail hikers on the road. It’s totally inconsequential from a competitive standpoint- laughable even. Every year there are close calls with cyclists bombing the hill and pedestrians on the road. The fact that these people “compete” is just pathetic in the truest sense of the word. Such a waste of life.

  9. jerry

    comment #1…What ever happened to riding your bike because it is fun. Not every ride has to be full bore.

    Comment#2… Now days, it seems everything is someone elses fault. The guy bombs a hill and gets hurt so it had nothing to do with the decision the rider made to bomb the hill in the first place? Too many lawyers practicing legal extortion.


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