Well, not much

Do you use Strava, Facebook and Twitter to trumpet your riding prowess? Relax you’re not a narcissist… well, not much.

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“Very easy recovery ride, into a headwind, tired legs, flat tyre and a broken chain. Picked up a couple of King of the Mountains anyway though.”

Sounds familiar?

We’ve all read that kind of barely-disguised bragging on Strava, Twitter or countless other social sites, and now new research suggests those posters could be closet narcissists looking for a way to gain attention and validation. Well quelle surprise!

Researchers from Brunel University found, after analysing posts from Facebook, that narcissists tend to update about their achievements, diet, and exercise more frequently than the rest of us. They also suggested they may broadcast their diet and exercise routine to express the personal importance they place on physical appearance.

So all social media users are mentally unhinged…

Of course not, says Andy Waterman, former mbr staffer, editor of Meter magazine and Strava user. “I don’t follow people on Strava for their enlightening political views or sense of the absurd, I follow them to see where they ride and run, how much they train and how hard,” he says. “It didn’t occur to us that Strava is a social network at first — it was an easy training diary with the added challenge of segments.”

It’s for social butterflies not sociopaths

Strava also reckons it’s all about connecting and engaging with friends rather than narcissism. “We know that our members all use Strava for different reasons, whether it’s sharing their activities with the wider Strava community, their own followers or just to keep a log of their achievements and improvements,” Simon Klima from Strava told us.

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Could it just be that people enjoy communication with other, like-minded individuals? The Brunel researchers thought so, seeing Facebook posts about exercise and diet as a form of expression too.

Just make sure you leave the fist pump emojis at the trailside.