Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Strava Heat Map -- An Experiement

I saw, on Facebook, a link to Dan Diehn's blog write-up of his recent Great Southern Randonnee adventure.  That led to a couple things, but the one important to this post is that I looked at my friend Sag's blog ("sagittandy") and stumbled across one of Sag's more recent posts.  Haha -- Sag used to post rather frequently, at least once a month, after completing his R-ride, but when Sag and his pedalpal, Jayjay, reached R-60, they deemed "enough" and retired from randonneuring.

Reading the above-linked "recent" post from "sagittandy," I looked at the Strava Heat Map embedded there.  That made me interested in looking at the heat map for certain north of Raleigh permanent routes (mine).

I traced the path of the "Egypt Mtn" course.  If one can discern Epsom on the heat map, and zooms in, one can see a very faint trace into the store at Epsom.  Continuing on, the most interesting thing I saw was that almost no Strava user has ridden Dick Smith Rd which, just west of Bobbitt, makes a big southern loop down to the flood plain of the Tar River and then connects to another road which the "Egypt Mtn" course uses to head back toward Kittrell.  I was rather pleased to see that few Strava users ride that on Dick Smith Road -- on the  other hand, people are missing a fun road.  (If this works, this will be a link to the Strava Heat Map centered on Dick Smith Road.  If you get the map from this link, Toggle Labels to see road and town names.)  

Dick Smith Rd is part of the "Egypt Mtn" course because I personally do NOT like Kittrell Rd between Bobbitt and Kittrell.  I rode it once or twice several years pre-rando; at the time, the trees were quite close to the road and there was NO sight line at the bottom of at least one of the two creek crossings.  I was almost clipped by a passing vehicle that suddenly had to squeeze over toward me because of the appearance of oncoming traffic.  I recall that the trees have been cleared back to make a decent sight line, but I prefer the lesser traffic on Dick Smith Rd.  Apparently, not all cyclists are quite so safety conscious; the heat map shows quite a bit of bicycle traffic on Kittrell Road. 

[Note:  I would embed the Strava heat map, but I can't figure out HOW to do that.  Maybe one needs to be a Strava user to embed the map?] 

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