Cycling can be both beautiful and brutal. And if you live in the UK you can experience both ends of the spectrum several times in a single ride! Sporting social network powerhouse Strava realises this and wants its users to show both the ups and downs of riding by posting unfiltered images with their activities that highlight the ups and downs of cycling, running and swimming for its Athletes Unfiltered campaign.
Strava says it wants to see your awkward tan lines, flushed post-workout selfies, filthy hands, or just the unfettered joy of getting through a big day out. Forget about sticking a chrome filter on your best trout pout, bike based selfie then! It claims that it’s encouraging its community to forget about what people think, tag posts with #AthletesUnfiltered, and bring each other together with raw and ridiculous photos of the sports we love.
“There are two key insights that drove the work, both inspired by what’s wrong with the world lately, says Gareth Nettleton, VP of Marketing at Strava. “Firstly, we live in a terribly divisive time, and sport connects people across lines you might not expect. It is a positive, unifying force, and we want to shine a light on its power to bring people together.”
He added: “Secondly, Strava is a real, raw, very unfiltered social network. We believe that people all over the world are exhausted by the pressure to always present a perfect, curated self on other social networks. So we wanted to make it very clear that Strava is a place to put it all out there and be yourself. Unity and acceptance – that’s what this campaign is about.”
Tashia Palley, a London-based cyclist and Strava member who features in the YouTube film made to launch the campaign, said: “Strava is more real, more raw, in a way. So when you’ve done some exercise, people are just posting, no make up, sweaty selfies, of what you’ve done. And I think you feel such a buzz when you’re doing your exercise; who cares if you’ve got no makeup or look a mess?”
Rob has been pedalling Cycling Plus since 2007. His first proper road bikes were a Raleigh Sprint in the early 1980s and then a Trek 1000 in 1999. A former competitive runner, Rob has repeatedly threatened to become a competitive cyclist in every discipline from time-trailling to hill climbing to bike polo. We're still waiting.