Strava, the social network for athletes, has today published its annual Year in Sport report for the UK. Tens of millions of athletes across 195 countries call Strava the home of their active life - providing an unparalleled insight into the behaviours and trends of active people in the UK and around the world.
In 2017, 16 activities were uploaded to Strava every second. Strava’s global community of athletes generated hundreds of billions of data points, covering a staggering 8.4 billion km of cumulative distance - the equivalent of almost 11,000 round trips to the moon.
A measure of Strava’s social community is the kudos, where members give praise to another’s activity. Strava saw 2.3 billion kudos given worldwide, with 344 million kudos within the UK. An impressive 482 million photos were shared worldwide, with 76 million images shared in the UK alone.
All those activities create a uniquely positive community for sport, and they also create better communities in the 125 cities that use anonymised data to build more effective transportation infrastructure via Strava Metro.
Across Strava’s global platform, cyclists shared a total of 203 million rides in 2017, they clocked up a total of 7.3 billion km - almost enough for a one-way trip to Pluto. Strava’s cyclists together accumulated 69 billion metres in elevation gain, which equates to over 10,000 trips up from the earth’s core to its surface. Sunday 21st May was the most popular day for cycling.
Cycling activity on Strava continues to grow and grow as Britain’s riders logged 31 million rides throughout the year, totting up 904 million km along the way. Despite the nation’s modest hills compared with the mountain ranges of continental Europe, UK Strava riders still managed to climb an impressive 8.1 billion metres of cumulative elevation gain.
For ride distance, men recorded an average 32 km per ride, while women averaged 28 km. The average ride time for men and women showed only a marginal difference - with women averaging 1hr 26 min compared to men’s 1hr 30 min. Women recorded an average speed for the year of 20 km/h, with men registering 24 km/h.
Ceredigion in Wales emerged as the fastest region with an average speed of 33.6 km/h for men and women combined. Northern Ireland took the title of longest average ride with Ballymena cyclists clocking up an average of 51.2 km. Merthyr Tydfil once again proved the hilliest - demanding its riders to average 685m of climbing per ride through the Welsh Valleys. Stirling riders put in the most hours on the road on average, with a ride duration of 1hr38.
Strava also revealed that London was the most active location in the UK with 4,987,963 rides, followed by West Yorkshire (1,017,913) and Manchester (967,283).
London dominates the leaderboard for the top cycling segments in the UK, with clear evidence that grassroots cycling is alive and well, as Regents Park came in top with 2,039,575 attempts. The next two segments were from Herne Hill Velodrome (1,728,636) and Richmond Park (1,573,055) respectively.
For many Strava members, cycle commuting is a way of life, with an average of 253,429 rides recorded as commutes to and from work every week in the UK. A pacey average of 22.1 km/h ensured riders made it in on time, tackling an average 13.1 km door-to-door.
UK cycle commuters covered 173 million km - offsetting a potential 11.5 billion litres (and the equivalent of keeping 13,600 cars off the road).
Gareth Mills, UK Country Manager for Strava, said:
“The Year in Sport report for 2017 highlights some fascinating global and local trends. Each of the 31 million rides recorded this year tells a story, from Mark Beaumont’s epic ride around the globe, to the fact that finally have statistical evidence that UK cyclists are obsessed with coffee and cake!”
UK Cyclists Powered By Coffee and Cake
An analysis of Strava activities shows that there’s definitely a focus on just reward for all the hard work everyone has been putting in over the last twelve months. The following breakdown shows exactly what the UK are talking about when they mention food and drink:
- Coffee 40,724 (mentions)
- Cake 37,882
- Beer 33,581
- Wine 10,870
- Pizza 5,684
- Chocolate 5,338
- Eggs 5,065
- Bacon 4,842
- Sandwich 4,159
- Burgers 3,254
Getting Motivated To Get On Your Bike
Strava data has shown that finding a friend or like-minded group to train with boosts motivation and activity levels, with those who exercise with others 22% more active overall. Likewise members of Strava Clubs complete 46% more activities.
Setting yourself a target can also have a big effect, with more than 9 out of 10 people who set a goal in January still active 10 months later. Similarly, if you can manage to exercise at least once a week, the data shows you are 30% more likely to keep exercising all year round.
Most active areas for cycling
- WEST YORKSHIRE
- WEST MIDLANDS
Fastest areas for cycling
- NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE
Strava is the social network for athletes. Our mobile apps and website connect millions of active people every day. All athletes belong on Strava, no matter where they live, which sport they love or what device they use. Join the community at strava.com.
Our favourite stats:
- 16 activities uploaded every second, 11 million every week
- 100+ compatible mobile phones and GPS devices
- 140+ employees, most in San Francisco with more in Hanover and Bristol
- 1,100+ professional athletes are on Strava
- 1 million athletes join every 40 days
- 2.3 billion kudos given between athletes last year
- £5.99 a month to make the most of your sport with Premium, or £44.99 a year
- 100+ cities making commuting better with Strava Metro