My fitness apps think I am cycling (I’m not)

TL;DR Fitness apps and my Pebble mistake a motorcycle ride home as a fitness activity. This is a quick bug report.

Some context — I live in India. Motorcycles/mopeds/scooters are pretty common here. I own one and use it to commute everyday.

Speed, location and time

Considering my most common route, I travel

  • Through traffic — typical speed would be 30–40 kmph
  • A plain, open road — where my speed reaches upwards of 60 kmph
  • Through traffic — typical speed would be 30–40 kmph

The total distance covered is a little shy of 12km. It takes me something between 20 to 25 mins to cover this everyday.

Movement

Considering the traffic and roads in India, one tends to travel with quite a few intermittent stops. I tend to carry my phone in my left forward pocket. When I stop/slow down my motorcycle, I usually put one or both of my legs on the floor to give additional support. This motion is quite similar to pedalling a bicycle. Of course this is not as common as actual pedalling.

Things that could help

Following are some of the data sources that could potentially help to eliminate this false positive —

  • Heart rate monitor
    I am using the Pebble Time, which does not come with a heart rate monitor. A fitness band with one could probably be a better fit?
  • Smarter motorcycle
    Even a simple beacon on my otherwise analog motorcycle could help my fitness apps identify my method of travel.

The apps here are Google Fit and Pebble, both of which I use regularly.