Instructions for Participants

Thank you for willingness to participate in the University Bicycle Working Group Spring 2018 activity data collection project! The data you provide on your bicycle commuting activity will be essential in determining where on campus to place infrastructure to make bicycle commuting easier and safer for you and those who travel by other modes around campus.

We will be collecting activity data using the Strava platform, which is free and open for registration to anyone. The platform allows users to post and share activity data, including bicycle rides and routes. These posted routes, which will be collected using the GPS location service on your phone, watch, or suitable recording device, are essential for the study team to collect. Please read through the instructions carefully to ensure you are able to do so in preparation for our data collection, which begins on April 2, 2018. We will collect data until April 16, 2018, so please make sure you are recording and sharing your route data with the study team during that time period.

Please post and share routes that include commuting by bicycle to or from the University of Nevada, Reno campus, or for trips between an origin and a destination on campus. We do not need to record your trips on city streets for non-campus purposes, and we will filter these out of the final data collected if posted.

Here are the full instructions to participate in the study.

Section 1 – Create a Strava account

Even if you already have an account, please review step 3 and follow step 4 in this section.

  1. Visit Strava and click on the "Sign Up" link.
  2. Follow the instructions to create an account. At the end, make a note of your username and email address tied to this account.
  3. Particularly for new users, we strongly recommend that the following privacy settings be enabled during your participation in this research project.
    • Turn on "Privacy Zones," which hide the beginning and end of your travel route to ensure that exact home and workplaces are not shared and stored. Follow the Strava Privacy Zones instructions. At a minimum, please be sure to use this setting around your home location, but do feel free to do so for other locations that you frequent.
    • Turn on "Enhanced Privacy", which will ensure that only users who you have given permission to can follow your account, though be sure to not set your activities to private. This restricts people from following your account to only your followers that you review and allow, which means only authorized users can see your activities and download your posted travel routes. Follow the Enhanced Privacy Mode instructions.
  4. Once these settings are enabled, please review this consent information, which details how the information will be used and your rights as a participant in the study. After reviewing, with your Strava account active, please either
    • Send an email to Dr. Scott Kelley ( that indicates your consent and willingness to participate in the study, and include in the email your Strava username.
      Sending the email to Dr. Kelley with your consent and Strava username will indicate your consent to participate in the study!
    • Find and follow the University Bicycle Group Study Strava account in the Strava environment.
      The action of following our account will represent your consent to participate in the study!
      We will approve you and follow you back (please give us permission to do so), and from that point, we may download your travel route data.

Section 2 – Download the Strava Application

If you already have the app, skip to Section 3

  1. We recommend installing and downloading the application on your smartphone, which you will use to track and share your activity data, but you are welcome to use a compatible device of your choosing, which are all listed on the Strava website. To do so, visit the Strava GPS cycling and running app and download the application on the appropriate platform and device.

Section 3 – Record and post/share bicycle commuting routes to or through campus using the Strava app for the two-week study period

For all trips that will involve bicycle travel on campus to reach your work or classroom location, please log your route! The two primary questions of interest to this study are:

  1. How are people accessing/leaving campus from the community while commuting on their bicycles?
  2. How are people moving through campus on their bicycles?

To both assist you in logging routes and to help ensure we are collecting only the relevant information for the study, please follow these steps closely for each bicycle trip that involves the University's campus during the set dates of the study period. Also, please maintain your regular bicycle travel behavior during the study period, or in other words, do not feel the need to travel new or different routes for the purpose of providing novel data. We want this data to be as representative a dataset of regular bicycle commuting as possible.

  1. If not activated already, enable the location service/GPS on your phone or other tracking device
    1. Go to the Strava App on your phone or tracking device
    2. Touch on the "+" icon on the screen. Its precise location on the screen will vary by platform.
    3. Choose "record activity"
    4. Once you have a GPS signal acquired, click the "START" button...
    5. UNLESS you are leaving from your home! The privacy setting above can help alleviate concerns about personally identifying information, but if you wish, for an extra layer of security, you can wait to start recording your bike route until you reach the closest major street intersection near your house. Then, click "START."
      Ignore and move to next step if you are not starting your journey from your house.
  2. Then, bike to your destination!
  3. When you reach your destination, dismount and secure your bicycle. Then, find your phone or tracking device
  4. Touch the large square button, which will stop recording. Its precise location on the screen will vary by device.
  5. Then touch the "FINISH" button...
    UNLESS your final destination is your home! The privacy setting above can help alleviate concerns about personally identifying information, but if you wish, for an extra layer of security, you can stop logging your bike route once you reach the closest major street intersection near your house and click "FINISH" there.
    Ignore and move to next step if your home is not your final destination.
  6. Then, provide a name for your file, which should be in this format "mmdd_#", where mm = month, dd=date, # = number of routes recorded for the study that day. Your ride into campus would be '1', and your ride home would be '2', if those are the two rides that involved traveling through campus that day. Number routes as high as necessary to capture all bike trips on campus that day.
  7. Then click "Post", which will post this route to your online Strava account, where it will be shared with your followers on your Strava account, including the UNR Bicycle Group Study account. Make sure you save the route as a cycling activity, not a running activity. After you post the route, it can be downloaded by the research team (which is why we need your permission to follow you!)
  8. Follow these steps for the entire study period

Additional Tips

  • If you would like to protect the locations of other popular stops (like a workplace or common travel destination), you can follow the recommended steps above for not logging travel immediately next to a home location. The “privacy bubble” setting will also help with this.
  • The study team recommends that you practice recording a route before the study period begins so that you are comfortable with the process