I spend a lot of time cleaning up local leaderboards whenever I see a segment effort that is obviously impossible for some reason. In almost every case it involves someone who forgot to turn off their computer after a ride and then recorded their drive home. These rides are always easy to spot because they have 4 things in common. 1) There will be a time gap in the ride while the rider loads their bike onto the car. 2) There will be a major increase in average speed immediately after the time gap. 3) There will usually be a max speed after the time gap that would be impossible to achieve on a bike. 4) The ride begins and ends in different locations. In most but not all of these cases, there will also be a substantial difference between elapsed time and moving time. I assume that these are innocent mistakes, but these mistakes frequently mean someone loses a hard earned KOM. In most cases it is easy to identify and flag these rides and restore the KOM to its rightful owner.
One thing I have discovered is that the majority of these mistakes are made over and over again by the same handful of repeat offenders. I can identify 5 or 6 individuals in my community who are responsible for the majority of these cases. There are certain segments where I've flagged a dozen or more efforts by the same rider for the same reason. I have run up against the flagging limit just trying to get rid of all the bad efforts by a single rider on a single segment. This is time consuming and very frustrating. There should be an easier way to deal with this problem.
My suggestion is for Strava to identify the riders who are most often guilty of this and remove all of their efforts from the leaderboard for the segment in question. Any time that 2 or more efforts are flagged for the same reason on a given segment, all of the efforts for that rider should be removed from the leaderboard. If multiple segments are involved, then all efforts on those segments should be removed. Hopefully this would serve as a reminder to these repeat offenders to remember to turn off their devices at the end of each ride.
An automated system would be nice but I don't think Strava will do that. What you can do is flag the repeat offender, rather than their activity. The way do do that is open a support ticket detailing all the above info you've collected. Word it nicely and they will take action. I had to do that on a guy with an e-bike taking local legend awards and coming close to getting KOM's in the regular bike category.
They basically erased him from the leaderboards and set his profile page to private. This took two days from me opening the ticket. I was very pleased. You need to do similar.
It's a good suggestion, yes, but I also don't think they will do it.
What Strava was claiming to have at some point was an algorithm with which they can detect such 'KOM drivers' - it wouldn't be too difficult I'd say and then automatically flag a ride as suspicious and take it off the leaderboards until they have cropped or confirmed it.
Would also be great to be able to flag from within the app and not just on the web.
Hi @ChrisBerry thanks so much for sharing this. We know that segments are one of the most popular features on Strava and without integrity, their value decreases. We are committed to constantly making improvements to this feature (you can read more about recent updates here). As far as repeat offenders go, as @JBW-Florida mentioned, we recommend creating a support ticket and our support team will investigate the offending athlete in question and take appropriate action.
@astridsasse there is an existing idea to enable flagging in the mobile app here, if you'd like to vote for it.
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