My phone is just a phone too, so no go there. But I keep all the 'ride data' I've ever wanted or needed in my head anyway, so I guess it doesn't really matter.
(I do usually bring the phone along, specially when I'm riding alone, just in case.)
You should never leave your phone at home, especially if you ride solo. Should you get lost or hurt it is a valuable tool to have handy.
I recently discovered Strava. Before I was using MapMyRide to get an overall picture of the speed I was riding but with frequent stops its hard to know where and how to improve. Now I can quickly compare my own times on segments as well as check to see how I compare with my friends. I'll never be KOM but that's not important. Plus, the accuracy (or lack thereof) can give people a few minute head start if Strava puts them on the second switchback at the start or finish. Even with segments that don't have switchbacks there is still a 15-30 second margin for error. Strava is also a great way to discover new trails and routes. Some of the signage at small parks isn't great but with Strava you can check to see where others ride and plan your next visit.
I like Strava too. I don't do much actual racing on segments (though I do a little on familiar trails). I do use it to track my miles - but even then I don't use it on every ride. I like racing myself on some segments and just seeing how fast others can ride it. Its a fun diversion when riding solo.
I just got back from KT, some of the times on segments up there are insane. I would love to ride with someone who is that much faster than I am riding some of those. I could definitely learn something there.
Another use - there's a local park near my house that has some new trails on it that need traffic. I created segments on Strava of those trails and that way I can not only "announce" those trails to local riders, but also kind of watch how often certain trails are getting ridden.
How bout this example of how great Stava is:
So I'm out hiking in Groton Town Forest with my kids (wanting to check out the newly cut ST) and out from around a corner come three individuals who obviously lost their way during the Windam World Cup XC race. These three bozo's come ripping around a blind corner at warp speed and luckily swerve and break before they plow into my two little guys. The guys seemed to feel bad and couldn't offer enough apologies. I told them everything was cool and things like that happen from time to time, no worries. Then before the guys rode off, one of them blurted out, "There goes our Strava run, now we have to go back and start over, we were at PR pace".........it was then clear, these dudes were using the trails as a time trial course.
Hey, I think there's nothing wrong with trying to ride faster, trying to better your form, etc.........but for those of you who like to rip the trails at warp speed (I'm included also), please be aware that you may be riding on a multi-use trail and you may run into someone on a horse, a family with either kids, pets, and old folks (all of which may be behind the eight ball when dodging bikers), and (hopefully not) an anti-bike wingnut. Please don't give any of those folks a reason to rally around limiting MTB access because of careless riding.
BTW, this applies to everyone not just Strava users.
Amen Brother antmav!
That's not a problem with Strava, it's the user. You should flag the segment.
Here's an interesting segment I found on the vineyard:
DV - I hope can live with yourself when someone follows that segment and gets a propeller through the skull.