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VN tech ticker: Strava POI, Garmin-sponsored teams, Trek and WBR raise $1.8m

Here's the cycling technology news making headlines for Friday, January 14, 2022.

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Strava gets Start Points

Strava pushed a new feature on Thursday, which includes points of interest and Start Points, that sources data created by some of its millions of users.

The update was pushed out to all users, and displays points of interest including bike shops, cafes, water fountains, restrooms, and also suggested common ride and route stating points.

To use this feature, you’ll need version 223 or greater of the mobile app, and also available in desktop (website) view.

The starting points are now preset locations pinned on the Strava map which were created based on some of the most frequently ride and run starting locations set by Strava users, respecting users’ privacy settings.

“Our algorithm uses de-identified community data to see which locations get clusters of uploads from athletes and places the top ones on the map. So what you’ll find are the best spots in your area to start your activities,” said Strava communications representative Michael Joseph.

While the new points of interest feature is available to all users, using the route builder to create rides that originate from one of the indicated starting points on the map is a feature available to Strava subscribers.

“To route your activity from one of the suggested Start Points, simply long-press [on your mobile phone] on the point and your route recommendations will adjust. If you’re in the middle of an activity and need to find a water fountain or bathroom, just reroute,” suggests Joseph.

Garmin sponsored teams for 2022

Garmin is sponsoring 15 professional cycling teams in 2022, supplying bike computers, “wearables” like the ForeRunner 945 and Fenix line, hear rate monitoring straps, Varia radar units, Tacx trainers, and more.

“We are thrilled that many of the world’s top cycling teams and athletes have selected Garmin and Tacx for training, racing, and every adventure in between,” said Garmin vice president of global consumer marketing Susan Lyman. “From our premium smartwatches and GPS cycling computers to our popular cycling safety tools and training accessories, these runners, cyclists and triathletes have access to one of the strongest product ecosystems on the market, and we look forward to contributing to their continued success.”

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, Ineos Grenadiers, Astana-Qazaqstan, Canyon-SRAM, Lotto-Soudal, SD Worx, Team TotalEnergies, Trek Factory Racing, and Jumbo-Visma are some of the sponsored cycling teams.

Some of the privateers and individual sponsored athletes are individual pursuit world champion and world record holder Ashton Lambie, BWR Triple Crown second place overall Brennan Wertz, TJ Eisenhart, eight-time cross country world champion Nino Schurter, International Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductee Rebecca Rusch, and XCO national champion and Leadville Trail 100 winner Keegan Swenson.

Trek and World Bicycle Relief raise $1.8m

Trek Bicycle and World Bicycle Relief donated a total of $1,818,918 to communities in developing regions — in South American and African countries including Colombia, Zambia, Kenya, and Zimbabwe — and provided access to World Bicycle Relief’s purpose-built Buffalo bicycle.

Trek committed to matching up to $500,000 in donations to support a fundraising goal of one million dollars channeling to more than 11,000 students, health workers, farmers, and entrepreneurs through providing Buffalo bikes.

“I’m super proud of the Trek family for crushing our goal and raising $1.8 million for World Bicycle Relief,” said Trek Bicycle president John Burke. “World Bicycle Relief is a great organization, and this is a meaningful sum of money that will change the lives of over 11,000 families.”

The Buffalo Bicycle was Trek’s 2021 “Bike of the Year” and was designed to be robust and durable, and allow “beneficiaries travel long distances over difficult terrain.”

“Trek and Trek retailers have been important partners since the founding of our organization back in 2005, playing a key role in the product development process that resulted in the Buffalo Bicycle,” said World Bicycle Relief CEO Dave Neiswander. “Together we are excited to bring hope on two wheels and continue to help individuals and communities thrive.”

The United States ranked as the top country that provided donations to the program which peaked in November and December of 2021. The average donation amount was $171.51, and the most popular channel used to make donations was the Trekbikes.com website.

Additional campaign contributions came from the Trek women’s cycling team — donating €659 of their season’s prize money — and Golazo Sports of Belgium, which donated €150,000. Additionally, Scheels All Sports of the United States donated $50,000.

RGT adds handcycles to virtual cycling experience

RGT Cycling, Project Echelon, Echelon Racing League, and the Paralyzed Veterans of America collaborated to create in-game avatars, and a race series, for hand cyclists. (Photo: RGT Cycling)

RGT Cycling, Project Echelon Racing, the Echelon Racing League, and Paralyzed Veterans of America created a handcycle avatar for adaptive cyclists in the virtual cycling platform.

“We’re very proud to bring this collaboration to life and take this exciting first step in recognizing the importance of accessibility and inclusivity for athletes with disabilities,” said RGT cycling’s head of brand and marketing. “It’s just the start of a journey that will see a whole range of bikes for different needs on the platform, while also creating opportunities for NGBs and the UCI to host truly representative eSports national and world championships for athletes with disabilities.”

In-game avatars that feature a racer using a handcycle is the first designed for a virtual cycling platform, according to RGT.

In a press release, RGT indicates the paracycling series has a unique set of rules and regulations to make the events more inclusive and accessible.

The new avatar is available in Echelon Racing League’s paracycling series.

“The paracycling series and new avatar representing the paracycling community is just the first step in what we hope will be a ‘garage’ of virtual bikes that will work for different needs. We’re thrilled to be able to offer this new avatar showcasing an adaptive cyclist,” said Project Echelon Racing director Eric Hill. “We’re excited to be partnering with RGT Cycling, PVA, and USA Paracycling to host the paracycling series, and welcome paralyzed veterans and all individuals with disabilities to these virtual races.”

Started in November 2021, Echelon Racing League paracycling series races are contested on courses that replicate those contested during in-real-life events, such as Tour of America’s Dairyland, Tulsa Tough, Tour of the Gila and Joe Martin Stage Race, just like some of the other events in the Echelon Racing League series.

Those who are interested in competing in Echelon Racing League paracycling series can register on the Paracycling Race Series website.

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