Should short segments be stamped out or encouraged?

We have been pondering the whys and wherefores of short tracks. And specifically short segments on Strava.

>>> When will Strava have mountain biking as a specific activity?

This whole train of thought and discussion was inspired by the rather excellent video (above) from Olly Wilkins and Will Greenfield.

The case against short segments

Now then, normally a super short segment in Strava is a bit of a pain. For a number of reasons.

Firstly, it has probably been created by someone who can’t get a good enough time on an already existing but longer (proper) version of the track.

Secondly, smartphone GPS signal inaccuracies mean that the already dubious accuracy of Strava timings is further thrown into doubt/irrelevance when you’re dealing with a short segment.

The case for short segments

But hang on though. Sometimes the short segments can be the best. After all, we live in the UK, we’re not going to be overly laden with extended sections of singletrack descents. Especially those without stiles/gates/hurdles/cows/sheep/doggers. A lot of UK riding is intense blasts down super twisty techy stuff.

What is the minimum distance a Strava segment must be? It is actually hard to find an answer by searching Strava. But we’ve just had a crack at creating the shortest segment we could get away with and the shortest distance it would allow was… 300m metres.

Yet we’ve definitely also come across segments in the past as short as 170 metres. Which sounds a bit random at first but then you realise that this is equivalent to 0.1 miles, which is probably what the minimum limit used to be.

So there you have it. Fascinating stuff we’re sure you’ll agree. Well, maybe not.

Even if the leaderboards and timings on short segments mean practically nothing, it’s nice to have these intense adrenalinisers highlighted and discoverable.

Here’s to the UK and its thousands of super tech segments that make all of our Sundays so much more interesting.