Obviously Strava is the worst thing to happen to mountain biking. This one app has convinced an entire generation of riders that speed is the only metric they should use to judge success. Strava does not measure style, creativity, jumps, wheelies or anything cool. The app teaches riders that, if you are faced with one line that is fun or challenging, and another line that is just faster, always choose the fast line. It does have one redeeming feature though, you can use it as a human Etch a Sketch.
I messed around with Strava for a year and it took me a while to get into doodling. I would have a 40 minute ride at lunch time each day. This gave me about 5 minutes to find a location with a a 5 minute ride back, and 30 minutes to create something. That's the same time limit Bob Ross would use!
I'll try to break down some tips I learned so you can try to do something creative with the otherwise stupid Strava app. First off...
Location, a nice big parking lot is a great place to start. Find a place that isn't very busy, and is mostly clear of cars. Orient your drawing so that the top points to the north, since the app always formats your ride this way. In a parking lot you can use the painted lines like graph paper. To keep my drawing symmetrical I would count the number of parking spots from the center to the edge of the drawing on one side and then match it with an equal number on the other. Parking lots are great for writing words and doing bigger stuff, but it's also fun to use natural features in your drawing. I'd incorporate the rounded edge of a parking lot or the perfect O of a traffic circle.
|Here's a little park with a mostly round circle