cycling · running

Strava and Gender: Also, beer, coffee, and cake

Strava’s 2018 Fascinating Year In Review Stats  makes for interesting reading. 


The easiest gender stat to understand is that Strava is pretty male place. In one year there were 149 million total uploads by women and 636 million uploads by men. That means that  77% percent of the activity uploads were by men and just 23% by women.

According to the report, “the differences in speed, or duration aren’t actually that much different between men and women. Only 5-8 minutes shorter for rides, and slightly slower for runs.”

My fave stat in the report concerns preferred beverages. Cyclists drink more coffee and runners drink more beer. But everyone likes cake! Cake comes in third–just behind beer and coffee–as the food or beverage athletes prefer. I was thinking that ice cream would be up there. But that might be just me.

In order, runners prefer beer, coffee, cake, cookie, donut, pastry.

Cyclists like best coffee, beer, cake, cookie, donut, pastry.

No bananas. No bagels! 

Where’s the data come from? It’s not as Strava connected devices track beer and donuts after all. Instead, these numbers are all self-reported. But all self-reported in a particular way. Strava got the numbers from the titles of individual workouts. (If you don’t give your workout a title, it gets the default of time of day + activity. Morning run or afternoon ride, for example.

So really it means that runners are more likely than cyclists to put the word “beer” in the title of their workout. Ditto cyclists and “coffee.” Given how many “morning coffee rides” I’ve been on that’s no surprise. There might also be a gendered element. There are a lot of women running, and lots of them not on Strava. I suspect women runners would be less likely to give their run a beer-themed name.  But I’m just speculating. 

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
“BEER” in bright lights.
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

7 thoughts on “Strava and Gender: Also, beer, coffee, and cake

  1. This makes me realize that I’m not alone among women in not using Strava (or even having any interest). I always feel like I should, but then it feels like more work, effort I’d rather spend on the workout or on whatever cake or ice cream (I’m with you, Sam!) I’m planning to eat ex post.

    1. I love Strava for individual tracking on segments but there are times when that doesn’t feel good and then I don’t do it.

  2. This is a great post for me to use for my science and values class (first or second day),so they can see how data can conceal so many possible explanations. And I’ve also been on a zillion coffee rides and few beer rides.

  3. Beer also has a larger safety implication for cycling. I’ve seen running events where you run some distance, drink a beer and repeat several times. Since cycling is operating a vehicle, that’s really not a safe thing to be doing, at least not to that extent.

  4. As a male reader and Strava user let me say this, Strava satisfies my statistical nature by quantifying my runs and rides. My runs/rides are not quantified by beer or cake. Although I like beer and cake. Running and riding help with the beer and cake intake. 😎

Comments are closed.