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Has anyone had success using Strava?
The lack of coverage has given me issues.

13 Replies

stuckinmizzou, May 4, 2017 at 8:48 am

I’ve started to use Strava (but only because it links up with my Garmin vivoactive HR), but am seriously considering going back to MapMyRide. MapMyRide’s app is much more flexible than Strava and has many more options (example: if I ride a stationary bike it has an option for that in MapMyRide, while Strava does not – in Strava’s forums, Strava users have asked for an option like this for several years – while Strava says it’s in the works, it has not yet been added).
I also find MapMyRide is better at auto-pausing when you stop and starts back up again automatically – I’ve had a couple of instances where I turned on Strava only to find out it recorded the time but not the distance.


Brady Bisgard, May 4, 2017 at 12:24 pm

I love Strava – I think it works great. I have an Apple Watch Series 2 and with that I don’t have to bring my phone on rides (or just throw it in the bag for safety). The Watch uses GPS and Strava can track where you are and all the usual metrics including heart rate!


Gypsy Rose, May 4, 2017 at 7:29 pm

One of the really cool things about Strava is that you get to “vote” each time you ride.

How does that work? Each time you log your ride with Strava, it goes into a massive database. Strava Metro anonymizes the database, aggregates the data, then partners with transportation agencies and planning organizations to provide them with data that are used to improve infrastructure for cyclists.

How do I know? I use the Strava Metro dataset in my work for a statewide bicycling advocacy organization. The data I receive from Strava are very useful for seeing where, when, and how many cyclists ride.

I used to use MapMyRide, however, now that I get a chance to cast a vote for my routes using Strava, I turn it on every time I ride.

(Sounds like an advertisement, I know, but Strava Metro really is good for the cause!)

~ Kevin


KenH, May 5, 2017 at 7:54 am

Well, you’ve given me a reason to try Strava, GR!

Dockat, were you asking about RAGBRAI use of Strava or just general use? I live in the suburban Chicago area of Illinois and although I have not used Strava to date, it is probably going to work about as well here as it does anywhere so my experience would not help you diagnose your issues even if I were a Strava user. The three I have used, MapMyRide, Endomondo (sp?), and the RoadID app all work flawless for me here and the one Strava user I ride with seems to have great luck with it too.

If you were asking about RAGBRAI in particular, well, nothing that depends on the cell phone network works very well during RAGBRAI. There just too dadburned many of us for any year round profitable rural cell phone infrastructure buildout to handle gracefully! If Strava or similar apps have an “offline” mode then you would want to run them that way for most of the week and only try to sync up with the network when you can get a good connection. Or use autonomous devices like Garmin GPS cycling computers and sync the data when you get home.


Sandaltan ., May 5, 2017 at 4:03 pm

Quoting Gypsy Rose: “How do I know? I use the Strava Metro dataset in my work for a statewide bicycling advocacy organization. The data I receive from Strava are very useful for seeing where, when, and how many cyclists ride.”

Add to that, the Florida DOT is working with Strava to determine the same where, when and how many in the Sunshine State.



John, May 5, 2017 at 8:21 pm

Be aware that large events like RAGBRAI will seriously overstate Strava heat maps routes:


There were several segments from last year’s RAGBRAI where we rode routes that were semi-closed to vehicle traffic, that might not be advisable for a normal commute. Tuesday where we rode 20+ miles along IA-2 stands out in my mind; but there are many other examples.


Zeb S, May 6, 2017 at 1:22 pm

Gypsy Rose, I had no idea Strava did that. That is fantastic for bicycle advocacy. I have problems with some Strava users and their behavior, so I’ve never really used the app but it is tied to my Garmin Connect account and Garmin devices.

Dockat, anything that relies upon cellular connectivity in Iowa on RAGBRAI is highly prone to failure, no matter who your provider is. I use a Garmin Edge 1000. If you want data/mapping while on Ragbrai, you can’t beat a GPS device.


Cory Rood, May 6, 2017 at 8:44 pm

I use strava for the sole purpose of keeping track of mileage and climbing. I could care less about KOM’s or anything like that, although I like to see if I can best myself


Gypsy Rose, May 8, 2017 at 10:15 am

On May 11th, Strava is hosting a Bike To Work Day. 80 thousand riders participated last year. More expected this year. It’ll be interesting to see the year-over-year data evolve.

~ Kevin


Dockat, May 8, 2017 at 1:07 pm

I am participating in the National Bike Challenge and I am hoping to be able to log these easy RAGBRAI miles thru Strava. I have not figured out how to record rides offline, last year when I tried to use Strava it was a mess with the lack of connectivity. Does anyone know how to log rides offline and then upload multiple rides at a later time?


Ellen Tighe, May 8, 2017 at 3:04 pm

Dockat, I sometimes start a ride in a rural area with no cell coverage at all. On at least one of those occasions, I wanted to use Strava on my phone to record the ride, and it worked fine–GPS signal seems to be the big key. I suspect, based on that experience, that Strava can record the GPS track and then superimpose it on their database of maps later on, when you manage to connect to the cell network. So, my suggestion would be to turn off the cellular service (or maybe just the data) on your phone, leave the GPS on, and record the ride. You can then upload when cell service is available; turning data service on right before you go to sleep at night and allowing the upload to happen then might work (I assume cell towers are significantly less overloaded in the middle of the night).

Big caveat here: not sure how (or if) this would work with multiple rides, but you could certainly try it out in training.


Marla Shifflett, May 8, 2017 at 8:19 pm

I like running Strava. I used it during RAGBRAI last year with no problems (Sprint is my cell carrier). Folks with AT&T (one of my riding partners) couldn’t use their phone for hardly anything other than a camera. Dockat: When I open Strava on my computer, on the regular activity feed page there is a “+” sign in the upper right corner. You can upload activities from a number of sources or manually enter as well. Those miles then end up on the National Bike Challenge, too. I have used that feature when my cell phone battery dies or I don’t run Strava for whatever reason. I have used Strava for “emergency” uses as well, such as finding my way back by vehicle to a stranded riding partner with a breakdown, tracing my path back when I’ve gotten lost, etc. I also enjoy the interaction with other biking friends. I love the heat maps for finding places to bike when visiting a new city or rural area. It works well for me. The others I’ve used worked well, too, but Strava seems to be more intuitive for me.


Dockat, April 29, 2018 at 6:03 pm


I run Strava in airplane mode, actually checked it on an airplane to Omaha, definitely a personal best for 40 miles, then I go live in the morning in the KYBO que to upload. Worked great . Verizon.


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