Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Cycling speed variations with time of year

I’ve always assumed summer is the time of year when I will cycle the fastest. My ride data seems to back this up, with my average summer riding speed higher than my winter speed, but there are so many variables it is difficult to be definitive about it. For instance, during the summer I’m more likely to head out of the city and ride on some roads without too much traffic and fewer red lights, so I manage to maintain a higher average speed (although another variable to throw in is I tend to go up bigger hills where I’m slower!). Also I ride more during the summer so my overall fitness is probably higher. So maybe the difference in speed is not weather or temperature related.

But I was still surprised to read someone suggesting they go faster in the winter. The only time this happens to me is when I’m out during a windy winter day and catch a nice tailwind.

But I thought I’d check the Strava data from my site. Which months have the most KOMs? Checking that removes at least one variable, different roads. First I had to update my site to store the KOM date for each segment then I had to grab some data. I chose segments in the UK, removing those that were less than 0.5km (too easily messed up with dubious GPS data) and removing segments with less than 100 riders (not competitive enough) and this is what I got.


This is a fairly small sample but it certainly suggests the summer months are the best time to grab a KOM, which also suggests the summer is the fastest time of the year for cycling. But then a thought crossed my mind, people tend to cycle more during the summer months, so perhaps it’s unsurprising that most KOMs are achieved then. So my conclusion is that I still have no idea and more research is required. And there are too many variables…

Monday, February 01, 2016

UK Property Sales December 2015

I've uploaded the latest Land Registry house sale data to my website. House prices and sales volumes continue on their upward march

Thursday, December 31, 2015

UK house prices November 2015

You can now view and download UK house price data for November 2015 from my website. Not much to report, prices continue on their ever upward trajectory, transactions appear to be creeping upwards

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Postcode data for November 2015

I’ve uploaded the latest ONS postcode data for November 2015 to my website, all 2,554,806 of them. I’ve run my usual checks but let me know if you spot anything that looks incorrect.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Fixing Strava elevation data

For some reason, Strava actually trust the data that comes from their users. More specifically they use the elevation data from the user’s ride when the user creates a segment. From a technical point of view, this is definitely the easiest thing to do, but unfortunately GPS devices do occasionally lose their mind, so the data can be a mess. This can lead to garbage segment data, like this. A glance at the elevation profile makes it obvious that something is amiss. This dodgy data then means any derived data is also dubious, such as the climb category and the VAM numbers. The KOM rider on this particular segment has a VAM of 9,992 which is over 5 times what a drugged up Lance Armstrong could achieve. Even my average VAM on category 4 climbs is over 1,000 which suggests I could make a good fist of keeping up with a bunch of professional cyclists. Which I couldn’t. Ever.

In an ideal world, Strava would fix up these dodgy segments in some way. One fix would be to average out all the elevation data from every rider who has ridden a segment. Alternatively, they could use the elevation data from one of the mapping services. Finally, they could make it easier to report bad data.

So whilst we wait for Strava to fix this issue, I thought I’d have a play with the second option. My Strava segment search tool now has the ability to view segments as well as view them on Strava. This is what the example segment looks like. It use Google Maps to calculate the elevation of the segment and adds that to the elevation profile, along with calculated statistics.

Monday, November 09, 2015

UK stations data

As a prelude to some other work I might one day get round to, I’ve uploaded a list of UK train stations to my website. It comes in CSV and KML flavours, with the KML highlighting the busiest stations (mostly in the South East, as if you need to ask).