Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Adjusting Strava KOM speeds for gradient

I’ve been wanting to improve the algorithm behind my Strava segment chooser for some time. Until now it’s been based off the number of riders who’ve attempted the segment and the power output of the KOM. It gave reasonable results but had to ignore any segments whose KOM didn’t have any power data recorded (either from a power meter or estimated based off the rider’s weight and speed). And although more power means more speed, a heavier rider will have to output more power to go at the same speed so the power output isn’t the perfect indicator of how difficult a KOM is to beat.

But using speed also has its problems. 20 mph on a flat segment is generally not going to win any KOMs but 20mph on a 10% gradient may well do. Adjusting the KOM speed for the gradient of the segment has been my aim for a while, but I haven’t had a chance to look at it until now.

Since I now have quite a few segments in my database, I thought it was time to analyse KOM speeds against gradient. I put each segment in a bucket based on its gradient and calculated the average KOM speed. This gave me the following, rather surprising graph.


For gradients between about –2% and 10%, things work as I’d expect. The steeper the gradient, the slower the KOMs are. Beyond that, things get a bit weird. Steeper uphill segments get a little faster and steeper downhill segments get a little slower. I have a few ideas about why this might be (more mountain bike segments, the terror induced by a steep downhill) but nothing definitive.

Whatever the reason, I decided to ignore segments outside –2% to 10%. The graph in this range can be approximated to a straight line so calculating an adjusted speed is fairly easy. I’ve applied this to my segment chooser and the results are, er, much the same as before…

Friday, September 22, 2017

Convert a list to a comma string

It’s nothing special, but I’ve found this useful in the past and probably will again so here for my memory bank is a function that converts a list to a comma string

using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Text;

namespace Utils
  public static class ListHelper
    public static string ToCommaString<T>(this IEnumerable<T> list, string separator = ", ")
      var builder = new StringBuilder();

      foreach (var t in list)
        if (builder.Length > 0)

      return builder.ToString();

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Land Registry data for May 2017

I’ve uploaded the latest Land Registry data for England and Wales to my website. My earlier predictions of house price growth going negative appear to be incorrect. Prices continue to go up but at an ever decreasing pace.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Recovering data from a crashed Garmin 810

I love my Garmin and it would be a perfect piece of tech if it weren’t for one problem. Almost every time I use it to follow a course, it will die at some point during the ride. I can turn it back on and after several minutes of confusion it will figure out where it is and I can resume recording. The suggestions on the Garmin forum mostly seem to be to downgrade to an older version of the firmware, but I’m too lazy to do that and keep hoping Garmin will fix it at some point.

But they haven’t yet, so I just live with it. So I thought I’d document what I do to recover the data from before the crash. When I plug the Garmin in, the data from after the crash will sync to Strava but it will also complain that something failed to sync. So the first thing to do is to manually upload the pre-crash data to Strava. This will be a .fit file in the Garmin\Activities folder of the device. Strava seems to be able to cope with the file, even though the Garmin sync can’t.

You may be happy enough just doing that, but I like to have an accurate record of my rides so I want to merge the two together. So I now

  • Export the two activities from Strava as GPX files.
  • Open them both in this tool.
  • Select both files, right click and merge them
  • In the newly created file, select both tracks, right click and select Restructuring/Join
  • Save the new file
  • Delete the two original activities from Strava
  • Upload the newly created file to Strava and feel satisfied with all the PRs I’ve hopefully achieved…

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Property data for England and Wales April 2017

I’ve uploaded the April 2017 Land Registry data to my website. The annual change is still positive and although it’s heading towards zero, the progress is slowing.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Land Registry house price data for March 2017

Another month passes by and we have a new batch of house price data from the Land Registry. The annual change remains positive but continues to creep downwards. In some areas, the annual change has gone negative, you can see more detailed figures here.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Land Registry house price data February 2017

The latest Land Registry sales data for England and Wales has been released and my server is currently churning through the data. The top level annual change remains positive but continues to trend downwards.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Postcode data for February 2017

The ONS has released its latest postcode data, which is now on my site. I’ve run my usual sanity checks and it all seems to be in order, but let me know if you spot any anomalies.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Land Registry data for January 2017

Another month has flown by and it’s time for a house price update from the Land Registry. Sale volumes remain stable and prices continue to rise at an ever slower rate. It looks like the annual change will turn negative in 5 months if things continue in the same way.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017