Tuesday, September 29, 2015

UK house prices August 2015

I’ve uploaded the latest house sale data from the Land Registry to my website. Prices seems to be ticking up at an increasing rate, numbers of sales are not changing much. One would imagine without an increase in volumes, prices can’t remain at their current high level. but I could have said the same thing for the past 7 years…

Saturday, August 29, 2015

UK Property Sales July 2015

I have uploaded the latest Land Registry house price data for Jul 2015 to my site. Prices continue to rise moderately and sales continue to be at a low level

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

August 2015 UK postcode data

I’ve uploaded the latest UK postcode data to my website. It now contains 2,551,959 postcodes, including live and terminated postcodes. I’ve run sanity checks on the data and all appears well but let me know if you spot any problems.

Friday, August 07, 2015

How to top a Strava segment leaderboard

Strava is all about the segments and bragging rights are gained by being top of the leaderboard for a segment. But for those of us living in areas with many other cyclists, we are very unlikely to be fast enough to top most of the local segments, even if we get pushed along by a massive tailwind. Here’s an example near me, with nearly 50,000 riders attempting it over half a million times. The leaderboard contains a number of professional cyclists, since a number of races have passed through, so I’m never going to get anywhere near the top (since you asked, I’m at about 10,000 currently).

But we all want our own KOM/QOM, so what to do?

Find an obscure segment

Head over to my Strava segment search tool and zoom in and pan around a bit. You should see quite a few more segments than you’ll find with Strava’s own search. They’ll generally be less popular segments and hence more likely to have beatable times. 

Create your own obscure segment

I have a couple of KOMs for my rides to and from work. These are fairly meaningless KOMs since I’m the only person to ride one of the segments and the other one has only been ridden by one other rider. But if that’s enough to make you feel you’ve made it as a rider, then go ahead and create your own segment. For this to work, you need to decrease the chance of anyone else riding your segment, so stick to obscure roads, make the segment fairly long and choose a route that nobody would ever normally follow. This is a brilliant example, one day I’ll get round to riding it to see if I can top the leaderboard

Keep riding

A while back I headed out on a ride, going down some roads I haven’t explored before. On getting home I discovered I’d topped a leaderboard without even trying. Admittedly only 10 other people have ridden the segment but it still counts!


There are websites that will take the output from your bike computer and shift it around so it appears you went faster than you did. No, really. It’s obvious chasing after Strava KOMs is a fairly pointless activity, but cheating to do it has to be the most ridiculous thing ever.

But what about inadvertently cheating? Whilst on a ride, my GPS went a bit haywire and for a few minutes I was at the top of a leaderboard. I guess the algorithms at Strava spotted the mistake (or the former holder of the KOM) and I was demoted pretty quickly. But what about this one? Everybody on the first page of that leaderboard is averaging over 78mph, which is very impressive for a hilly segment round Richmond Park. But if you look at the actual rides for those amazing times, none of them bear any relation to the actual segment, they are just in the same general area. Figure out how that bug works and you could be topping lots of leaderboards.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Strava segment explorer

I’ve added a new page to my website that gives a new look at Strava segments. I’m not too keen on the segment explorer on the Strava site. It doesn’t let me zoom in fully so I can’t find obscure segments that a slow coach like me might have a chance of gaining a KOM. It also only ever displays 10 segments at a time so I can’t get a good feel of what’s around.

My explorer fixes these issues. I have a load of ideas on how to improve it, so let me know if you find it useful and what you’d like to see.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

UK property sales May 2015

I’ve uploaded the latest Land Registry house price data to my site. Prices are still slowly ticking up but it seems the mini-boom in sales of 2013 and 2014 is over.