Garmin Edge 800 users can take advantage of this trick to help win KOM’s on fitness site Strava, using the very useful Virtual Partner feature. Here’s how.
KOM sniping. It’s the new sport for the techno cyclist. It’s not good enough any more to feel the satisfaction of improved performance and personal bests. Oh no, to feel really smug you have to trigger as many “Uh oh..” emails from Strava as you can.
You know the ones, because your heart sinks every time you get one. The first reaction you might feel is “when am I going to reclaim it?”
The simple approach would be just to go out and work as hard as you can. Perhaps even wait for favourable wind conditions, or use any of these 9 tips, but read on to apply a little more geeky trickery to tip the odds in your favour.
Here’s a little trick Garmin Edge 800 users can use.
Using the virtual partner feature, you can ride against the “ghost” data from the fastest rider. This means that you’ll get constant feedback on whether you are in front of him/her, or lagging behind. And it will tell you exactly by how much.
It’s a great feeling to be working hard and watch that lead extend by 3 seconds, 4, 5, 6, 7.
If you start lagging behind it can also help motivate you to push harder, or perhaps work on your strategy. There may be certain sections where you need to hold back a little, and others where the ground can be made up more easily.
So how is it done?
#Step 1 – grab the data from the guy with the KOM.
Find the segment in Strava, right-click on the KOM’s time, then copy the link address. This is the segment_efforts data and it will look something like this http://app.strava.com/segment_efforts/220701547
#Step 2- Extracting the data
The simplest way to do this is to use a tool over at RaceShape.com
Just copy the segment URL into the box and click the Get Started button. It will look something like this
#Step 3 – get the new file onto your Garmin.
With your Garmin connected via USB cable, click the “Send Course to Device” button.
If this fails, as it did for me actually, just use the “download the CRS file” link below, and copy it to the Garmin > NewFiles folder on the internal memory of the Edge 800.
#Step 4 – check the data on the garmin unit
Restart the unit, and select the new file as a Course, from the courses menu.
Hit the settings (spanner icon) and turn directions OFF, and Virtual Partner ON.
On the ride
Load the course up, from the Courses list. Hit the spanner icon and make sure Virtual Partner is ON.
Hit the GO button when you’re approaching the segment. If it asks you to navigate to the beginning, just say no.
The magic begins
As soon as you hit the segment, your Garmin should say “Course Found”, and you are now racing against the KOM in real time.
The unit will even tell you when the Virtual Partner has finished.
..and also alert you when you have completed the segment.
There’s no reason why you can’t load up your Garmin with many different segments, and plan a route to connect them all together for a big KOM-busting ride.