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Strava Cycling Data Reveals the UK's Year in Numbers

by Holly Blades

Strava, the social network for athletes, has for the third year running published its annual End of Year Insights report for the UK, providing an unparalleled insight into the behaviours and trends of the UK's cyclists.

2016 Highlights:

  • Globally, 9.6 activities were uploaded to Strava every second, on average (up from 5.3 activities per second in 2015)
  • Globally, cyclists shared a total of 161 million rides in 2016; UK accounts for 27.4 million
  • 223,376 rides recorded as commutes each week in the UK
  • Male cyclists recorded an average 41 km per ride, while female cyclists averaged 34 km per ride


Copyright George Marshall

In 2016, 9.6 activities were uploaded to Strava every second, on average (up from 5.3 activities per second in 2015). Strava's global community of athletes generated hundreds of billions of data points, a staggering 60,400 years worth of cumulative activity time. A measure of Strava's social community is the kudos, where member's give praise to another's activity. Strava saw 1.3 billion kudos given worldwide, with 183 million kudos within the UK. An impressive 51 million photos were shared worldwide, with 5.4 million images shared in the UK alone.  

Such an immense depth of data is unprecedented and allows documentation and analysis of the UK's growth in the world of cycling and running, while also providing direct comparison with the Strava community on a global scale. 

Global Cycling 

Across Strava's global platform, cyclists shared a total of 161 million rides in 2016, they clocked up a total of 5.8 billion km - almost enough for a one-way trip to Neptune. Strava's cyclists together accumulated 55 billion metres in elevation gain, which equates to over 8000 trips up from the earth's core to its surface. Sunday 11th September was the most popular day for cycling. 


Copyright Jered Gruber

UK Cycling 

Cycling uploads on Strava continue to grow and grow as the UK's riders logged 27.4 million individual rides throughout the year, totting up 800 million km along the way.  An unseasonably high 25°C was recorded on Sunday 8th May (10°C higher than the historical average), resulting in that day becoming the year's most popular day for a ride, enticing Brits to take to the saddle.  Despite the nation's modest hills, compared with the mountain peaks of continental Europe, UK Strava riders still managed to reach an impressive 6.9 billion metres of cumulative elevation gain. 

For ride distance, men recorded an average 41 km per ride, while women averaged 34 km. The average ride time for men and women showed only a marginal difference - with women averaging 1hr 44 min compared to men's 1hr 53min. Women recorded an average speed for the year of 19.8 km/h, with men registering 25.6 km/h. 

Ards, Northern Ireland emerged as the fastest region with an average speed of 25.4 km/h for men and women combined. Northern Ireland also took the title of longest average ride with 44.9 km; with Banbridge cyclists clocking up the most kilometres on average. Merthyr Tydfil once again proved the hilliest; demanding its riders to average 645m of climbing per ride through the Welsh Valleys. 

Strava also revealed that London was the most active location in the UK with 4.4 million rides logged, a considerable margin of difference over its nearest rival West Yorkshire, which totalled 915,489 activities. York's cyclists mustered only 117m of climbing, the area's cyclists producing the flattest average rides on Strava. Richmond Gate Roundabout to Queen's Rd. Car Park has proven the most popular Strava segment in the UK in 2016, with 313,889 individual attempts. 


Copyright Jered Gruber

Cycle Commuting 

For many of Strava's members, cycle commuting is a way of life, with an average of 223,376 rides recorded as commutes to and from work every week in the UK. An average speed of 22.4 km/h ensured riders made it in on time, tackling an average 13.5 km door-to-door.  Warmer weather made commuting by bike significantly more appealing, as demonstrated by the 87% summer increase in commuting activities, when compared to winter. 

Gareth Mills, UK Country Manager for Strava, said: "The Strava End of Year Insights report shows the healthy growth of the Strava community and how the UK continues to lead the way in cycling and running in terms of participation levels. From the thousands of parkrunners uploading their Saturday morning runs to our first Global Bike to Work Day, every one of the 27.4 million rides and 16.9 million runs in the UK tells a story and the End of Year Insights shows the cumulative impact of the Strava community." 



To find out more about Strava, please visit www.strava.com.





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