One of my mates’ rides appeared in my Strava feed yesterday. I was a bit surprised to see that the map showed that he was in Albi, which was a weird because I knew he was actually in London. Looking back at his profile, over the last week or so he’d apparently been riding in Brussels and up La Planche des Belle Filles. He’d even picked up a 3rd fastest time for one of the Strava segments on the Brussels ride.
It turns out that these rides had actually been completed in spin classes. The bikes use Stages power meters and the data from their bikes was somehow overlaid on the routes for the Tour and Strava was convinced that they were actually there and riding the roads.
My mate is an “average” cyclist at best and the data feeding through to Strava is massively flattering his ability. I reckon a “Good” cyclist would be posting KOMs all over the place.
Its bad enough with feeds being clogged up with Zwift, but if its someone consolidating data from multiple sources and spoofing location data then it needs to be stopped - especially if they claim a KOM position as a result.
I’ve had a couple of instances now, where I get random kudos for rides I’ve never done; usually in the past. The last one was near Emsworth in Hants. I haven’t cycled in Hampshire since the 90s! It usually has me riding ‘with’ someone else.
My mate isn’t technically minded at all and he didn’t realise that the rides had gone into Strava the way that they have. He rarely looks at Strava from one week to the next. He recorded the spin classes onto a Stages app, which is linked to his Strava account. His normal classes just go in as data as an indoor cycling session. These Tour-themed classes have gone in differently.
There’s a big difference between these rides and Zwift because Zwift rides are clearly shown as such. These rides look like normal road rides and produce times for real Strava segments that appear on the rankings alongside real outdoor rides.