Friday, August 2, 2013

KOMs Are Worth Nothing and Everything

Strava King of the Mountains (KOMs) are worth nothing. And they're worth everything.

Allow me to explain. The following scene is taken from Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven (2005), where the terms of Jerusalem's surrender are being discussed by the Crusader Balian and the Muslim Sultan Saladin. Balian asks Saladin what Jerusalem is worth. Saladin dismissively says, "Nothing" and walks away.

But then the Sultan turns back around to exclaim, "Everything!" It was a dramatic scene. Ridley Scott has his moments.

I wish Ridley Scott could bring to the big screen the drama, the political back biting and raw savagery that a Strava King of the Mountain (KOM) segment brings out among us cyclists. I'd volunteer to write the screen play. I'd lift much of it from Ridley Scott's big hits, like Blackhawk Down (2001), Gladiator (2000), and Thelma and Louise (1991).  Wait, what? Thelma and Louise?! How'd that get in here? I meant Alien (1979) . I'd love to take a crack at re-imagining the alien scene*-- you could take it to the bank that the little alien feller'd be ripping out of MOD's guts and stuff before the credits rolled.

But really, I'd steal only one idea from Mr. Scott, and that's from the The Kingdom of Heaven. It's the notion that the Strava KOM is the new Jerusalem, worth nothing and everything simultaneously.

For those not in the know, Strava KOMs give anyone with a bicycle and a GPS-enabled device a chance to race by comparing performance on the same course, even if it's one solitary hill. Over time, a tough KOM becomes something every local cyclist knows about, as well as who owns the KOM. If you happen to be that top dog, then you're kinda special.

But not really. It's truly worth nothing.

But take one's hard-earned KOM away from them? Ah, now there's the rub. It does mean something after all. And not just something, it means everything. I've seen it. The taunting. The bullying. Even war mongering. Looky:

It took some time, but Fred's Hipster Cruise KOM was inevitably taken from him.

Though MOD waged war, the Hipster Cruise KOM was taken by none other than local legend and budding hipster, Jonathan Neve. Oh the irony, and lost by 10 seconds to rub it in. See? Bullying, I tell you.

Many times, those dethroned will reclaim their KOM within 24 hours of losing it. The only known exception to this rule is Jonathan Wait, and only when one of his KOMs is lost on a late Saturday afternoons. Why? Because Jonathan chooses not to ride on Sundays. Therefore, take his KOMs late Saturday and you can rest assured that it will stand for at least 24 hours, maybe even more. In fact, take one on Saturday that's at least 50 miles away from his home, and you're golden. He'll be forced to take a 1/2 day of vacation on Monday to reclaim it.

Because, though it is worth nothing, it is worth everything. Especially to Jonathan.

I typically give Kudos to those who capture a Strava KOM. I do so because I'm aware that they recently had snot bubbling out of their nose and lactic acid burning in their legs as they huffed and puffed their way to Strava glory. I know. I've been there. So why not share a virtual thumbs-up with them?

Because really, though it's worth nothing, it's worth everything.

So there you have it. In short, KOMs are worth nothing and everything. I think this subject has been covered sufficiently and I have nothing else to say about it.

Happy Friday Everyone.

*** Lifted Alien scene cut from Strava KOM screen play ***

MOD is huffing and puffing up Surfside KOM at 37 MPH. Snot's bubbling out of his nose and sweat is flying off his brows.  At this blistering pace, he'll claim another KOM to his list of palmares. Suddenly, his stomach doesn't feel so good. He wonders, was it the Total Stress Score (TSS) that was causing it, or the remnants of last night's wine skin enema gurgling and swishing around in his upper colon? He can't dwell on it, there's only 500 meters to go. He turns his pedals in fury. Screw Brady. This KOM is worth everything. A jolt of adrenalin sends a sharp pain to his gut. Though the crest of the hill is within sight, he looks down at his rainbow striped skinsuit to see a bulge beginning to protrude from his belly. Oh my, it can't be!  It.. can't... be... 


An alien with Shim's face has suddenly popped out from Mod's midsection. It jumps up onto the handlebars, throws his little alien arms over his head and hisses,"yesssssssssssssss" while capturing the Surfside KOM by a fully-extended set of inner pharyngeal jaws.

Roll credits.


  1. I think it might be my favorite thing about Strava that they feel the need to stir the pot. I don't even care about the stupid Hipster Cruise segment. Seriously. Not at all. Oh that reminds me. Brady? Buddy? You think I could get a decent lead-out from you on the Hipster Cruise segment sometime in the next 24 hours or so? I'd really appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

  2. Way ahead of you. I set my deep dish wheels at 120psi this morning, anticipating this request