Strava AP1 v1 Shutdown

As announced in a recent blog post, Strava is shutting down a service that my export tool requires to run. It's a bit of a bummer, but it has to happen.

It's a good thing…

Over the past two years, a number of you have contacted me about privacy concerns relating to the release of performance data, ride start/finish locations and other personal information. And unfortunately, my reply has always been that Strava's API just doesn't have any system set up for protecting this data.

Strava's new API uses an industry-standard authentication system that ensures you only share what you want to share, with users who are approved to see it. The changes will also reduce the load on Strava's servers, give them a better idea of how people are using their data, and free up their engineers to build more cool stuff.

…and a bad thing

Unfortunately, exporting rides is officially off the approved list of functions ("Replicating Strava functionality") for the new API. They've effectively decided that the ability to share ride data files should be a paid-only feature. Of course, this decision is Strava's to make, but it makes me sad.

Of additional concern is the fact that even as a paid member, if you want to download/move/share a large number of your stored rides, you'll have to download them one at a time—a laborious process to access data that is unambiguously yours under the terms of use.

Then there's the unpleasant possibility of losing ALL your ride data if anything should happen to Strava (an EC2 crash, for instance)—so I've created a modified version of the export tool that will extract all your rides to your local machine.

Get your rides while you can

Keep in mind that that this will only work through the end of June, when Strava turns off the old API. You can download the export-all-rides tool here. Because of the processing time and amount of data involved, you'll need to run it from the command line. It's a little geeky, but not too hard—there are instructions for OS X, and I don't think Windows is too different; just use the Command Prompt application instead of Terminal.

The point isn't to flee Strava for another service, but to have access to and the ability to share your data because it's freaking yours. I love Strava, I'm a paying member, and I'll continue to pay for it because it's so much better than anything else out there. That said, limiting data access to one-at-a-time downloads with no performance information is pretty weak sauce.

If you pay, you have a say

Remember, the more users who pay for Strava, the more Strava will be reliant on premium member fees, and the more receptive they'll have to be to user concerns about things like data access. Until then, just be sure to save your rides to your home computer before uploading.

Ride fast, be awesome,

-Cosmo