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Auto-Flag blatant vehicle travel rides

Davos_Loonersbe
Mt. Kenya

Many of the leaderboards for segments in urban areas (especially those next to highways) are riddled with blatant vehicle travel "rides". In nearly every case, a rider neglects to stop recording their ride when they get in the car to drive home. The result, in the case of most segments following major roadways, is the top 30 leaderboard spots boasting outrageously inhuman times--i.e. 72 mph on a flat road for 10 minutes, etc. 

I suggest that a flagging algorithm should be setup in the Strava software that automatically removes certain rides from the leaderboard under strict parameters. For example, on a flat/uphill road, it is physically impossible to ride a bicycle, electric or otherwise, faster than 70 mph, for any length of time, barring outrageously extreme circumstances. To prevent vehicle travel from clogging up an upsetting proportion of urban segment leaderboards, Strava could auto-flag those rides which exceed human-effort plausibility, such as the parameter described above. If auto-flagged, the rider should have the opportunity to appeal if his/her ride was legitimate. 

If a feature like this already exists in the Strava software, then I argue it is far from sufficiently strict. I have witnessed leaderboard clogging in nearly every popular segment in the Dallas area, and it is impractical to manually flag each one. Seriously--I've tried. After flagging ten or so blatant vehicle travel rides, my ability to flag is temporarily removed. I emphasize that I use the flagging feature judiciously, yet Strava eventually deems its use inappropriate no matter how ridiculous the ride in question is. 

In summary, please consider the following suggestions:

1) instate an auto-flagging algorithm that removes rides from the leaderboard which obviously exceed the realm of human-on-bicycle ability

2) if an auto-flagging feature already exists, strengthen its parameters significantly

3) if the above are impossible, then allow human users to flag more than ten rides before the feature is temporarily revoked (yes, I will painstakingly flag every blatant vehicle travel ride in Dallas if given the opportunity)

2 REPLIES 2

lopey66
Pico de Orizaba

I use to get notifications of people taking my KOM weekly to daily, at 100kmh from a freeway which near a MTB park. I raised it as a strava feature some years back, and it can be done simply done a number of ways, when riding cadence, power, heart rate & temperature(bike is now in car) these will be significant changes, checking the current KOM of segments that are being broken to standard deviation of the top times 

Ian
Pico de Orizaba

Hi Davos - great post !

I was caught by the auto-flagging algorithm about 2 years ago - I finished a ride but my fingers were too cold and wet to unlock my phone to stop the recording and when I started driving home I got a Strava alert within about a minute of me reaching 50 mph (I cropped the activity when I got home to resolve things).

Maybe I'm lucky, but in my area I rarely see obvious car rides - I maybe flag 2 or 3 per month (I've given up adding friendly comments on an Activity to highlight the issue as I never get a response).  Perhaps there are quite a few keen local cyclists who between them help to keep things "clean". 

I agree that the auto-flag algorithm should be tightened, such as taking account of gradient (not even pros can go up a long hill at 40 mph), and perhaps rider experience, such as someone who typically rides at 15 mph and then rides for an extended period at 30 mph.  

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