There are hundreds of top athletes that you can follow on Strava to get an insight into their training with all related statistics. However, one of the most popular Strava users of the moment is “Mathieu the pigeon,” the first pigeon in the world with a Strava account.
Mathieu, a pigeon that covers large distances across the Netherlands and Belgium at an impressive speed, can be tracked through his very own Strava account that is updated by his owner, Thijs van der Hulst. Mathieu already has over 3,200 followers, but that number is still on the rise. Mathieu is not Van der Hulst’s only pigeon. In fact, he has three other pigeons living in his backyard in Belgium that he takes out for competitions: “It’s all about which pigeon is the first to return home. As a pigeon owner, you can see your bird arriving in his loft, but you know nothing about his trip,” he told local publisher EditieNL.
A GPS-chip now allows us to follow the whole route a pigeon takes, and the outcomes of that can be quite interesting. Van der Hulst, for instance, discovered that Mathieu prefers not to fly over water. “I’ll have to train him to get better at that,” he says.