In Ripcor, it is all about the camaraderie (well that and the beer and cake). One knows that upon arrival at Loch Fyne on a Saturday morning for a club ride you will be greeted with a cheerful array of abuse and ridicule. This is one of the things that makes membership of Ripcor such a joy.

During those few hours when we do manage to congregate we revel in equal measure in the company and improvements made by team members – whether this is a personal best time up a hill or repeated failures in repairing a puncture. The latter being one of the favourite spectator sports enjoyed by the team.

However, how do we manage to measure the gradual, or even seismic, progress of our brethren? In large part it is through gut feel. As an example it was impossible not to notice the significant weight loss experienced by Greengrass as he clocked up the miles to and from London in a vain attempt to keep our borders safe. Notwithstanding gut feel, an alternative is to rely on a wonderful piece of technology that measures almost every aspect of the individual performances of the assembled athletes. Yes, you’ve got it – Strava.

It relies on either an onboard computer or a smartphone to capture the individual riders route detail, speed, elevation gain, heart rate, time on the road (as well as time stationary – for coffee in Henley). It can even make a stab at calculating the calories that have been expended on the ride, however I have not yet found a mechanism to offset this with the inevitable calories consumed, whilst stationary in Henley.

The individual can keep a record of each and every ride (or, heaven forbid – run or swim) that they undertake as a record of their endeavour. Some members clock up every mile (or more correctly – kilometre) including Chris Hall’s daily commute of 4km which, incidentally, takes him approximately 29 minutes. It is rather a concern to see just how frequently Chris gets lost on his way to/from work.

How do I know this? I know this because I avidly follow Chris’ activity on Strava. In fairness I don’t just follow Chris – that would be strange. I follow ALL Ripcor members on the Ripcor club page. Ripcor has its own club on Strava and all members of Ripcor are invited and encouraged to join this space. It means that even though Chris is away from his fellow Ripcor members when he is undertaking his intrepid 4km commute we are still able to offer friendly nuggets of advice and wisdom via Strava.

If you are not already a member of the Ripcor club on Strava then please:
Explore > Clubs
Then input Ripcor
Search and join.
It is a space that is only available for club members so we do undertake a cull of unwanted interlopers on a regular basis.

If you are not a member of Strava yet - you should be. Go to the app store download the app and start recording your efforts.

If you are not a Premium member on Strava yet – you should be. Ask a loved one to buy you a gift subscription and unlock even more features to see how much you have suffered whilst trying to hold a conversation on your bike whilst riding alongside David Guy.

I look forward to meeting you virtually soon. Ride strong.

Lord Hampshire.