Forgive me Strava, for I have sinned…

Nothing beats uploading a ride to Strava and finding that you've bagged a KOM. Unless you know that you cheated…

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You know that feeling you get when you’re doing something on the internet that you really shouldn’t be? Well, a few weeks ago I had it big time and I didn’t even have to use private browsing.  I simply drew the bedroom curtains, lay back on my bed and… uploaded a ride to Strava in the anticipation that I’d see my name leap to the top of a leaderboard.

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As my afternoon effort appeared in my feed it was confirmed. I, ‘Rob Spedding Cycling Plus’, had bagged the KOM on a 0.5M segment in Wiltshire. In fact, I hadn’t just bagged the KOM I’d smashed it – taking a full 26 seconds off the previous best! Not bad for a man who climbs like he’s carrying a rucksack filled with rocks and anvils and who’s only other KOM came on a segment he created in mid-Wales. (I’m still 7th on Cheekychops!)

You dirty rotten scoundrel Spedding.
You dirty rotten scoundrel Spedding.

However, dear reader, I felt no pride. It wasn’t my L’Etape du Tour training coming good. I had cheated. I’d ridden the segment in question during a photoshoot for the latest issue of the magazine and I was riding a Cannondale CAAD12 equipped with a Cytronex e-bike conversion kit.

Still, for or second or two, I felt great. But then I felt ashamed. And then I deleted my internet history… (Not before getting a screengrab obviously).

What did I learn? Well, firstly that e-bikes really do make climbing a lot easier. No surprise there of course, but on the days you want to get out on a ride but simply can’t be bothered with the hard bits they’re awesome. Secondly, I’m useless at committing sporting fraud. When I uploaded the ride it was only ever with the intention of seeing how fast I’d gone before deleting it straight away. At no point did I think “No one will ever know. I’ll just leave it here…”

And sincere apologies to the current KOM holder if they recieved one of those emails informing them that their crown had been taken. It was all in the interest of ‘serious’ journalism…

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Find out what we thought of the Cytronex and e-bikes from Giant and Orbea in the September issue of Cycling Plus.