The Discoverer

Strava: The App that Might be Causing Accidents in Medellin.

Maria del Mar Navarro, Discover Staff Writer

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Four weeks ago, Trentino Parcells  had an accident riding his bike in Via Palmas. The second-grade teacher was hospitalized for almost 2 weeks, due to the bones that he broke in the accident. One of his friends who witnessed the terrible event say that this happened thanks to the high speed at which Parcells descended.

Along with the cycling, the application “Strava” is also trending in Medellin and has become the engine that drives many people to take an interest in this sport. The App is a social network that allows users to publish their kilometers traveled on the bike, thus record their time and create a table of positions, which encourages all types of competition among the city’s riders. 5 out of the 7 cyclists that were interviewed for this article have STRAVA downloaded on their phones and make use of it.

 

What is Strava? 

People like Mateo Uribe, (graduate from The Columbus School) believe that without STRAVA, cycling would not make as much sense, and he claims that he prefers not to cycle if he can not make use of this new application.  “ It is a super cool app that maps everything out, in which you can publish the photos that you take during the ride, and that also gives you statistics to compare your performance to others,” said Jeremy Gleason, 8th grade teacher at TCS. Many people not only compete with themselves, but also have that need to show how good they are in the social media compared to others. This need to be included on the top 10 list of STRAVA is so strong that some people even modify their times and their routes manually, like Nicolas Montoya, an amateur who claims to have done this several times already. “In strava one can upload their routes manually, so I think I’m not the only proud person who does so,” says Montoya.

Cycling Via las Palmas

When in Medellin , one of the most popular routes to cycle is Via Palmas. Unfortunately, Via palmas has more accidents than almost any road in the country according to studies carried out in 2017 by the Superintendence of Ports and Transport. 7 out of 7 of the people interviewed for this article ride in Palmas most of the time. “ The high range of accidents is very concerning and something that I don’t understand; because there are so many accidents that are horrible on that street (palmas),” states Brett Roper, 3rd grade teacher at TCS.

 

Every month we see more and more members of the community adopting this new way of life that is marked by cycling. This new trend is apparently leaving a mark on the life of everyone who joins this sport. It must be admitted that for many years there have been cyclists in Medellin, however it is inevitable to realize that this trend is increasing rapidly.  Do to the rage of competition that brings the application, one can infer that one of the causes of this trend is the App STRAVA itself. “ Strava is 100% my motivation for cycling, “ claims Gleason, 8th grade teacher at TCS, That is also top 5 on the fastest downhill category in Via Palmas according to STRAVA. Gleason admits to had suffered from a “bunch” of accidents and that one of them was caused by riding too fast downhill. On the other hand, Carolina Penagos (senior at TCS) and Tomas Echeverri (Junior at TCS) who do not have this application, said that they never had any accidents related to cycling nor they are interested in going too fast down Via Palmas.

Then if the commotion of the competition of this app is combined with the road with more accident in the country we can see the side effects of  triumph. We can acknowledge the direct correlation with the cycling casualties that are so common lately.

 

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