— By Todd Aalgaard
Sometimes, when you near the finish of a long, scenic training ride or run, you just don’t want to stop. Sunset nears, the lights come on, and you think, “What’s a few dozen more kilometres or another half hour?”
Then a dozen becomes 30, and an hour becomes two. Then your family starts to worry that you’ve ended up in a ditch somewhere.
A new feature added to Strava is intended to minimize those worries, and of course, to speed up any resolution to a more dangerous situation. The feature, called Beacon, allows Strava subscribers to share their rides with as many as three contacts. Tapping the feature before kicking off generates a unique URL—meaning that those on the other end don’t need to be Strava users themselves to follow along in real-time—that, when clicked, relays information like position, whether you’re out of wireless range, battery life, and even if you’ve paused your workout.
In short, any variable that can cause worry at home when you’re out on your bike is accounted for with Beacon. There is, however, a catch.
While Strava is free to download and use in most cases, Strava Premium, on the other hand, charges subscribers US$6 a month—or US$60 a year—for its more advanced offerings. Beacon is one of them, meaning that there’s a price to pay for peace of mind.