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View Full Version : Existential Thread: Or What is Freezing Saddles Really All About



Steve O
02-23-2016, 10:03 AM
I've had several conversations lately with active members of this forum that prompt me to ask the question: What is Freezing Saddles? Why do we do it?
Is it:
- A game by, for and of this Forum
- A winter riding competition that just happens to be organized and run by this Forum

Unquestionably Freezing Saddles was born of this Forum and its original intent was to provide a fun, winter riding competition among members.

Last year, and even more so this year, there are a lot of people listed as players on the Freezing Saddles web site who have likely never logged in to the forum (other than to register), know nothing of beerneuring or vvill's N+1 or really have any intention of contributing in any way. I have heard of some players who actually express dislike or disdain for the Forum. I have heard frustration about getting nothing but radio silence from "team members" when reaching out to organize an event or just to have an on-line conversation.

Most of the individual teams had a greeting thread back after the first happy hour. A number of players never bothered to even post a "hello" to their team members and, other than their miles being posted, haven't interacted in any way. Are they playing the game? If so, why not have every bike commuter in DC with Strava click a button and have their miles posted to the web site? What's the difference?

I like to think of FS as a tool to grow our community. I want to cast a wide net to bring people in. At the same time, I don't think I want players in the game who have no interest in ever being part of the community. Where is the balance between a game being played by people who want to be part of the community and not being perceived as a clique?

Is this something that we want to try to fix? Or not?

I have a couple of ideas (one carrot and one stick), which I'll save for later in the discussion.

americancyclo
02-23-2016, 10:41 AM
I like to think of FS as a tool to grow our community.
Why bury the lede?



I want to cast a wide net to bring people in.
To the forum or to winter cycling?

Are you asking if the forum should be exclusionary or if Freezing Saddles should be exclusionary?

I don't think we ever established rules about participation, but there were some guidelines from the archives:



Please keep in mind that this is a game of the forum, by the forum, and for the forum. The whole point is a bunch of friends coming together to goof off. We hope that people will join in the reindeer games, come to happy hours, participate and even organize pointless prizes and side bets, and join in group rides.

Take care inviting weirdos to join. If you dont think the weirdo is going to join in the forum, or come to a happy hour, or join a group ride - maybe dont invite them. If on the other hand the weirdo likes reindeer games, and is interested in adopting a puppy, maybe they are perfect. Every year new people assimilate into our community during FS. But there are also those who sign up, never show up, never play - and we then have to deal with how to fix our game.

Registration goes through December 24th. People who buy me pie at FCCII will be put on a good team. The rest of you will be put on Steve O's team.

TwoWheelsDC
02-23-2016, 11:39 AM
I think it's possible to have a contest that can be for everyone. I mean, sure, require participants to sign up through the forum or whatever, but if this becomes a bigger thing within the DC area, that's pretty cool. The forum could still play the host to the sidebets and happy hours and all that stuff, so those who want to have the motivation to ride but not the social aspect (ala the National Bike Challenge) can do so, but if they want to get anything more out of it, they come to the forum. Contrary to Bob's guidelines, I'm not sure how this negatively impacts the competition...is the concern having riders on your team who aren't social, or who don't pull their weight? I think that happens whether it's a "forum thing" or not (this year, I'm a good example of that type of teammate...sorry team!).

ShawnoftheDread
02-23-2016, 12:24 PM
There seem to be several new people here. And a lot of teams do their discussions on strava. You can't expect everyone to join in the forum scrum.

Bob James
02-23-2016, 02:48 PM
I don't comment in the forum much, but do read most of the comments and add a "like" here or there. Our team (11) decided to mostly comment within strava which made more sense for us for team discussion, but maybe not so much for BAFS-wide discussions. I do try to click on many's BAFS rides in Strava and make comments of encouragement (or smack talk). I've been on only 1 ride this challenge with other riders (primarily for medical reasons), so I am not a shining example of the physical social aspects to BAFS, but I hear there is a final day big group ride at Haines Point that I look forward to meeting team and other BAFS rides who can attend. I guess my overall intent of posting this comments is there are other ways to communicate with team members and participate in the challenge than using this forum.

Rod Smith
02-23-2016, 06:08 PM
Who invited this Bob James guy anyway (and his brother Caleb)? Bob seems like a nice guy and he came to my "team ride", but he bumped me out of the top five individuals today and he doesn't beerneur or own lots of n+1 bicycles. The James Brothers should be disqualified for unsociability and riding too much but I want them on our NBC team, so I say give them a pass. :D

I was amused to read a team captain's post in which she mentioned that she "despises the forum" :eek: but Freezing Saddles has brought new blood to the forums. Whether it should be for existing members or for growing the community has been the subject of discussions before. I think the balance is pretty good. How are the new members finding Freezing Saddles? I think most find out about it in Facebook groups 'Women and Bikes" and "Washington Area All-Stars" and word of mouth. I'm onboard with the effort to get more women riding, and I feel people who ride for the Washington Area All-Stars in the National Bike Challenge should be welcome. People who hear about by word of mouth are friends of friends. Not everyone who joins FS will become valued contributors to the forum but some will. Some will become members who visit the forum but don't post much. What they learn here will make them better bicyclists. I know I have learned a lot here that has made me a better rider. Informed riders improve bicycling in greater DC generally which is good.

hozn
02-23-2016, 07:05 PM
I don't have a real strong opinion on whether this remains forum focused or whether the community is defined more broadly, but I do have a vested interest in some aspect of the competition logistics. So I have a few comments.

- I'm not sure how much larger this competition can grow without more sophisticated technology (making it possible for groups/teams and individual riders to self-diagnose problems about why rides aren't syncing, etc.). So I guess what I'm suggesting is that we could cap ridership (at say 250) and decide how high we want to set the bar for participation, etc. Obviously we want it to be open to new people and those that aren't going to ride 500 miles a week, but if someone doesn't respond within 48 hours or log a ride in the first week of competition, it seems reasonable to drop them from the competition and pull in someone from a waitlist.

- Personally, I sympathize with the desire for teams not to converse on the forum. Forums are great when you really want to just read a single-topic thread, but really don't fit many of the more modern paradigms that people use for communicating online. I don't know that there's an easy technological solution, but I think many agree that communication in the forum format is often poorly organized ("thread tangents" indicate the problem), easily missed, and oddly anonymous in the modern social-media age. Personally, I find Facebook a far easier way to track events, for example, than Forum threads. Whether the shop rides or the coffee clubs, etc. I notice those threads have gone cold on the Forum as they moved to Facebook. That all said, I still use the forum obviously, because others do too. And making it a requirement for FS participation seems reasonable if there is desire to increase membership.

- Ultimately, it probably doesn't matter much how the competition started, but just what the current organizers & participants want to do with it going forward. I like the ideas vvill has raised this year with alternative scoring systems that could better capture the FS ethos. I think shifting focus a bit to make the side bets more first-class parts of the games would make sense. Maybe abolish the individual leaderboards or get more creative with them, to keep the focus more squarely on the teams. I liked Steve O's earlier ideas of possibly shuffling things up teams during competition to keep things competitive. This year seems like it has had more top-spot churn, but there have been clear "not-winning" teams from pretty early on.

- And finally, on the technology front, I'd love to see the data being used to create more meaningful outside-of-competition relationships and improve cycling for everyone. E.g. "did you know that you and <someone else> share a similar commute at similar time of day?" or "Did you know that the W&OD is now ridable again between Vienna and Falls Church?" There is a wealth of opportunity with the data we're collecting. We've chipped a way at a little more this year, so it's slowly evolving.

rcannon100
02-23-2016, 07:27 PM
Team 11 we has it down. We dont talk neither on the Forum nor on Strava.

http://cdn4.thr.com/sites/default/files/2014/10/This_is_Spinal_Tap.jpg

Bob James
02-23-2016, 07:56 PM
Rod, I was only ahead of you in the standing very briefly and I had to bike at 2am just to have a few hours of glory before your next ride. As to the James boys, there should be a BAFS prize for the surname with the most points. You might think it would be the more common "Smith", but no, it's the James gang.

lbds137
02-23-2016, 08:10 PM
As someone who rarely checks the forum (mainly because I never really got into it) and who was prodded to join the challenge by a coworker, I enjoy the data collection / competitive aspect of the challenge even though I don't participate much socially (when I do, I definitely participate more on the Strava team page than here). I check my team's Strava club leaderboard and the main Freezing Saddles data site pretty much daily, to see how I'm doing compared to my teammates and how my team is doing relative to other teams (and occasionally I check my individual stats against others'). I'm not super social in general, being more of an introvert, and I also don't like the forum paradigm either. That Strava's social interaction interface resembles Facebook's more than this forum's does is one of the reasons why I participate there more often than here, and another big reason is that I'm already on Strava anyway since I like to check up on my weekly goals for running and biking and give kudos to people I'm following. I also don't like that the forum has an insecure (non-HTTPS) login form (whereas Strava does have HTTPS), which is why I'm using a weak / throwaway password here but not on Strava.

I'm not sure I'll be checking the forums again super soon, but feel free to reply anyway. Just thought I'd share my $0.02... :)

jrenaut
02-23-2016, 08:17 PM
I'm not sure how much larger this competition can grow without more sophisticated technology (making it possible for groups/teams and individual riders to self-diagnose problems about why rides aren't syncing, etc.)

This is an important point that I can relate to as a small-time contributor to the running of the FS website. If we expand much (any?) more, we need more help for hozn. I can help with mucking with data once it's in the system, and tweaking the front end (I made the top 10 individual riders' names bigger on the leaderboard and no one noticed), but I haven't had the time (nor do I expect to have the time) to get far enough in to understand pulling the data from Strava. I know hozn isn't going to just leave us stranded, but at the same time, real life has to come first, and if we don't get more people contributing to the backend of the site, we can NOT get much bigger.

hozn
02-23-2016, 08:39 PM
Yeah, all true. There are also API limits at play. We can't fetch much more weather data than we are now, for example. And Strava increased the limits for this app, but that is also a factor. And Instagram API has limits, though I don't know that we are hitting those.

I also wanted to mention that I like the role that FS has/could play in simply building community around winter cycling. That has been why I like the idea of a sidelines (slackers) team that wants to be part of a community, but not a competition. I don't know that FS needs to be both, but I know I am always interested in seeing the snow ride pics even if not interested in playing.

Bob James
02-23-2016, 09:17 PM
.... (I made the top 10 individual riders' names bigger on the leaderboard and no one noticed),...

I noticed and is one of my vain (err.. main) motivations to try and stay in the top 10 :D Thanks so much for yours, Hozn's and anyone else contributing to the technical and administrative efforts of making this such a fun challenge.

Trailofgears
02-23-2016, 09:30 PM
Rod, I was only ahead of you in the standing very briefly and I had to bike at 2am just to have a few hours of glory before your next ride. As to the James boys, there should be a BAFS prize for the surname with the most points. You might think it would be the more common "Smith", but no, it's the James gang.

Don't Be a NEWB: Where there are gathered two or more individuals with the last name James, they shall be refered to as a gang; i.e. "The James Gang". Failure to do so is punishable by immediate train robbery - per American lore and tradition.

To Your Oh So Existential AF Point: I cherish this community and consider myself a virtual "keeper" or "troll" in this and similar bike-related mediums. And I do not feel wholly comfortable in this internet-based persona. I do however feel comfortable on a bike, which is where you'll find me - year round - and it's never been easier to find me thanks to BAFS.

Reach out any way that makes you feel comfortable. Strava, Twitter, IG, FB, email, text. Late

P.S. I gave this disclaimer to my team in like our first week of existence, but we communicate primarily via Strava.

sjclaeys
02-23-2016, 09:37 PM
I can understand the frustration with people who sign up but then don't participate in any way with there teams on or off the Forum. Maybe we should just have an "individuals" team for those who like the data and the competition but are not interested in team building. I think that a bigger problem is people who sign up and then hardly ride. It isn't fair to those on the waiting list and makes the team competition a crap shoot over who are unfortunate to get such people on their team. I think that there should be a ride/milage cut-off maybe at the end of each month. If you don't meet it, you are dropped. I have ideas on how to keep things fair for the teams who has a dropped member. For those who haven't ridden due to medical/work/family, then there could be an appeal process through the team captain.

jwetzel
02-24-2016, 12:05 AM
FS is about about winning the beerneuring sidebet.

consularrider
02-24-2016, 06:56 AM
Rod, I was only ahead of you in the standing very briefly and I had to bike at 2am just to have a few hours of glory before your next ride. As to the James boys, there should be a BAFS prize for the surname with the most points. You might think it would be the more common "Smith", but no, it's the James gang.

Well, I think there should be a team composed solely of those riders with some derivation of the name Chris. We'd be kicking you know what.

As far as the existential meaning of Freezing Saddles, I never studied philosophy, so I can't help. On a practical note, if there is any discussion of capping participation, I think out-of-area riders like me should be dropped to being only slackers or some sort of emeritus status.

hozn
02-24-2016, 07:09 AM
(I made the top 10 individual riders' names bigger on the leaderboard and no one noticed)

(I also noticed! and appreciate the work!)

hozn
02-24-2016, 07:14 AM
I can understand the frustration with people who sign up but then don't participate in any way with there teams on or off the Forum. Maybe we should just have an "individuals" team for those who like the data and the competition but are not interested in team building. I think that a bigger problem is people who sign up and then hardly ride. It isn't fair to those on the waiting list and makes the team competition a crap shoot over who are unfortunate to get such people on their team. I think that there should be a ride/milage cut-off maybe at the end of each month. If you don't meet it, you are dropped. I have ideas on how to keep things fair for the teams who has a dropped member. For those who haven't ridden due to medical/work/family, then there could be an appeal process through the team captain.

One idea would be to have individuals make a minimum commitment and factor that in to team assignment. If they fail to meet it for X weeks, drop them from the team and sub in someone else from the waiting list team with a similar commitment.

Things come up, but there are a handful of contestants who have ridden less than 5 days over the past 2 months (and aren't on the slackers team).

Sunyata
02-24-2016, 08:23 AM
It has been interesting to see people's thoughts and ideas on this.

From a "team assignments" point of view, the amount of participants this year was pretty staggering. I agree with capping the competition. But honestly, I would say cap it at 200, not 250.

I also feel that having some sort of minimum requirements for both the social aspects (for teams) and mileage/ride aspects is a good thing. There were far too many people that signed up then never responded.

At this point in the games, there are 18 people who have less than 10 ride days: 41 that have less than 20 ride days. And with the exception of one big snow storm, this has been a pretty mild winter.

For me, getting involved with Freezing Saddles last year was a way for me, as someone who was relatively new to the area, to meet other (non-mountain biking) cyclists in the area. I am a very socially awkward individual who has trouble meeting new people without some sort of activity involved. (I know it may not seem like it, but I was SO anxious to go to the opening happy hour last year, I knew NO one!) Freezing saddles opened me up to an amazing community and I made some pretty awesome friends. Before Freezing Saddles, I would give a head nod to other cyclists that I saw. Now, I get called out by name and can often say hi back with a name. That to me is the point of Freezing Saddles: expanding MY cycling community. Well, that and riding more during the winter. :o

So, for whatever my opinion is worth, I really think that the social aspect of BAFS is the most important thing. But, I honestly do not care one way or the other if the social part comes from the forum, from Facebook, from Strava or in all three places. Just as long as it happens and people get together to ride their bikes and have a beer or coffee or cupcake or whatever.

americancyclo
02-24-2016, 08:50 AM
tweaking the front end (I made the top 10 individual riders' names bigger on the leaderboard and no one noticed

Fastfriendlyguy and I were talking about this at the last Java Shack FCC, seeing his name in bigger letters is his primary motivation to get out and ride this year. More people noticed than you know!

consider this your attaboy.

Maybe you can start making the bottom 10% of the list RED to inspire people to get out and ride a little more ;)

rcannon100
02-24-2016, 08:52 AM
Well, I think there should be a team composed solely of those riders with some derivation of the name Chris. We'd be kicking you know what.

As far as the existential meaning of Freezing Saddles, I never studied philosophy, so I can't help. On a practical note, if there is any discussion of capping participation, I think out-of-area riders like me should be dropped to being only slackers or some sort of emeritus status.

Particularly the out-of-area riders from Colorado

11047

DrP
02-24-2016, 09:04 AM
This is my first year with Freezing Saddles. Last year I had just discovered the forum while looking for trail conditions and lurked for months before posting. It has gotten me out cycling more than I would have in the past - before, with iffy conditions, my 40 mile Sunday ride would turn into a 3hr walk, this year I have done a 3hr walk and then a 20-40 mile ride. And I am riding errands on Saturdays. Sure, some of that is because my work travel schedule became insane and my commuting days and miles are not what they had been for the previous six months.

Am I being social? Not in the face-to-face sense. I check the forum and Strava, even while on travel (e.g., now) and reply on each. I couldn't make the beginning happy hour and most other events are hard to make too given my schedule and their locations (I have yet to figure out what kinds of jobs the rest of you have that allow you to go to coffee clubs and pancake clubs before work and then meet at 5 for beer; I leave for the office on my bike at 7 am and often don't get home until after 7pm), especially since it is work for me to be social. Are you going to punish the non-extroverts by removing them from Freezing Saddles? Well, that doesn't seem to open.

Actually riding seems important - either number of days or miles and at least some level of sociability, like however the groups are communicating. Showing up to all the other events offered? Perhaps not. Maybe we need a "social" option on the sign in - like "I will attend as many events as humanly possible, and do some riding" "I will try really hard to attend at least one event and ride a lot," and "I will comment on the forum and ride like crazy, but no promises on face-to-face interactions." Then you can assign folks to more teams like themselves. Or decide to mix them all up so that perhaps the sociable non-riders will interact with the non-social riders and make several more social longer riders.

ramblingrider
02-24-2016, 09:04 AM
I very much agree with Sunyata's points about having minimum requirements for social and mileage/ride days aspects. And the beer or coffee or cupcake or whatever part. :) I hope there's a way to enforce requirements while still keeping it as a friendly game.

Amalitza
02-24-2016, 09:40 AM
Size is an issue. Whether you think it’s a good, neutral, or bad issue (probably all), it is an issue. We doubled in size between last and this year (and quintupled in size from year one) and that simply changes things.
Not being a software person, I’d expect that’s the biggest/earliest choke point in actually being able to handle growth, but as Sunyata noted, it makes other organizational demands as well. And it changes the nature of the game, I think. It seems a lot harder at this size to nurture friendly rivalries between teams, simply because there are just so many of them, it’s harder to keep up with what people outside of your own team are doing. (Unless I am just not a dedicated enough stalker?) But we are probably at a point where we need to consider capping the size at a manageable level, or something, or recognize it is likely to transition to something more like the national bike challenge. (Which I only ever signed up for in the first place to make my year 1 FS captain Rod Smith happy when he was first putting together the All-Stars. I like FS much more better.)

I have a preference towards keeping it small-ish and primarily social (a fun game among friends) vs. a true points competition. I also have a preference towards keeping it inclusive and welcoming new people. Those preferences are somewhat in conflict with each other.

Also, yes jrenaut I noticed the big letters for the special people. As I am not one of them, I didn’t care. ;)

sjclaeys
02-24-2016, 09:44 AM
One idea would be to have individuals make a minimum commitment and factor that in to team assignment. If they fail to meet it for X weeks, drop them from the team and sub in someone else from the waiting list team with a similar commitment.

Things come up, but there are a handful of contestants who have ridden less than 5 days over the past 2 months (and aren't on the slackers team).

I am not sure how we can automate dropping someone when they don't meet their commitment, but leave that to the tech gurus. My thought was to have a hard cut off, either in miles or rides or both. If someone is dropped, they are replaced on their team by a "phantom" rider who is the average of the other teams' last place riders who have not been cut.

hozn
02-24-2016, 09:47 AM
I am not sure how we can automate dropping someone when they don't meet their commitment, but leave that to the tech gurus. My thought was to have a hard cut off, either in miles or rides or both. If someone is dropped, they are replaced on their team by a "phantom" rider who is the average of the other teams' last place riders who have not been cut.

We can't [reasonably] do phantom riders, but automating dropping riders would be easy if the FS application is responsible for registrations (something we've discussed in past) and so tracks those commitment values.

Amalitza
02-24-2016, 09:48 AM
Oh, also, while I have no problem with implementing ideas to keep teams reasonably competitive, I do think it’s unrealistic to expect too much on this front. I think we already have pretty evenly matched teams in the grand scheme of things. In a multi-month team gaming activity, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect teams to have NOT sorted themselves out somewhat by the halfway point. Unless someone else is aware of a type of sport or game where this happens?

hozn
02-24-2016, 09:55 AM
So, for whatever my opinion is worth, I really think that the social aspect of BAFS is the most important thing. But, I honestly do not care one way or the other if the social part comes from the forum, from Facebook, from Strava or in all three places. Just as long as it happens and people get together to ride their bikes and have a beer or coffee or cupcake or whatever.

I think that you're right that it really doens't matter where people are getting their social "fix" so long as that is a prominent part of the experience. It would be nice if there were a better way to cross-link between Strava/Facebook/Forum. That, I think, is a technical shortcoming that we could hope to find fixed in the future.

For example (just thinking out loud):
- Have the Forum and Strava share single-sign-on information.
- and/or Have the Forum use Facebook for SSO
- Have relevant FB groups (e.g. the Coffee Club) cross-linked
- Have relevant FB events (e.g. group rides, shop rides) cross-linked

I don't think that FB replaces the value of the Forum, though it would appear that the majority of Forum participants would rather use Facebook for planning events, organizing coffee-club attendance, Facebook or Instagram for posting/discussing photos, etc.

ginacico
02-24-2016, 10:17 AM
I joined BAFS purely as a personal challenge. I may be in the bottom ranks, but as I figured all along ANY biking I do between December and March is more than I've done in the past, and it's been a great learning experience for me. Heck, even when the weather was perfect I wasn't riding more than 2-3 days per week, because all of it is new to me. I'm not a gotta-do kind of person, and I'm Teflon when it comes to peer pressure. I go for a ride whenever it makes sense in my circumstances and there's some measure of enjoyment in it.

Frankly, if there had been a beginners category or a way to participate outside the team competition, I would've preferred that. But there was a whole lot of pressure that everyone should play, and you must be on a team, etc etc. "It'll be FUN!" (cringe). That's how we ended up with 250+ people on 21 teams, and of course there's a wide spectrum in their participation. I think you either accept that, or change the basic premise of the game for next year.

Now all the talk of minimum requirements seems all too predictable and inevitable. I can barely keep up with my own team's stats (my team is awesome, btw, I am sincerely inspired by them). I don't know which teams my friends are on, and I don't have time in my week to do a lot of Strava spying. The only reason I have a Strava account at all is because of BAFS, and I won't use it after winter is over. The side bets and pointless prizes are the most fun, but I can't keep track of more than a couple of them.

In short, the BAFS game feels way too big. I do love the community, and even on those lonely rides in the cold and dark, I never feel like I'm out there alone. If we did nothing more than hand out neon green ankle bands and organize happy hours, I'd be all in, but the competition part of it is kinda making me wish I hadn't committed.

Vicegrip
02-24-2016, 11:41 AM
Some good ideas and concepts here. Let me totaly mess that up with some random ramblings.

Cap at 250 or even a bit less. if the game continues to grow in popularity then those that want to play will be at the ready when reg opens. Previous players get a short advance window to sign up.

Not all that comfortable with minimum stats. Much of the idea is a winter competition but there is something to be said about welcoming new to winter riding riders. I do think that non riders should bow out or be bumped off and replaced. I guess this is is counter to what I just said in a way. I do see the need to control the folks that think signing up for FS will make them ride but soon realise that only their own desire to can make them ride. If a min it should be low and intended to catch those that don't get it rather than those that can't ride all the time. 3 rides of qualifying length a week or the like. Care is needed here.

Not all that concerned if a team does or does not ride together. Teams that ride together are fun. I have been on a team that did quite a few fun group rides with an active vocal Captain and on one that has done no team group rides with little noise from the Capt. This is winter riding, not group riding and being able to compete when and how you can best do so should not be discredited.

I like to look at this game as more than the team win. It is not unusual to have one team take a lead that never fades. If we all only look at that one win class then the game is way too long. This is where the pointless prizes come in. There are many facets someone can focus on and try and "win" Not a lot of time but a strong rider? Climbing stats. Not a strong rider? Steady state and pick off pointless prizes like the number of prize locations visited be they bike stores, beer halls or bridges crossed.


It is normal to have a team that ranges from a top 10 to a bottom 10. it is the folks in the middle that make things roll well or not.

I think folks have come up with a fun game to play and have added much to it over the years it has been running. I think we should all get from it and give to it what we want. Me, I don't want to let my team members down but I also don't want to grow tired of winter riding or estrange myself from the home life.

The game should be competitive and fun not just advertising for for new riders or forum members. Take care of the fun part and the rest will naturally follow.

vvill
02-24-2016, 12:14 PM
There are lots of good points brought up here. I think having tiers of participation would be a good idea. Those who just want to participate but not "compete" could just join the main Strava club, and those who want to be more serious about it can be assigned more formally into teams. Then cap the number of riders in teams to 200 (or less, actually - I agree it's too big now). There'd be no particular cap on the unassigned riders. Perhaps the unassigned riders would be able to make their own teams just for fun and team stats as well, but they wouldn't be "competing" as such with the main leaderboard teams, and we could maybe only refresh their stats once a day (or less) to reduce API hits. (Slackers/alumni who live outside the area would be limited to joining the "informal" teams.)

I think the social aspect of the forum and riding should be able to function without Freezing Saddles. The forum has had happy hours with commuters socializing from early days, and like Sunyata, that's how I began to meet most of the people I ride with now (well, along with the coffee clubs, although some of those are extensions of forum folks too.) I feel that Freezing Saddles was originally sort of a glorified sidebet between riders on this forum that did actually already sort of know each other, and it's main purpose was to encourage/help winter riding and make it not only more bearable but fun, by challenging riders and qualifying their efforts.


(I made the top 10 individual riders' names bigger on the leaderboard and no one noticed)

I noticed this pretty much immediately too!

I would be happy to help out where I can with coding but I'm not terribly familiar with python, nor linux for that matter.

TwoWheelsDC
02-24-2016, 12:37 PM
I dunno...the idea of dropping people for not riding enough is anathema to me and seems to go against the spirit of the competition. Okay sure, it's a competition, but I always thought the idea was for the big-guns to have fun duking it out, while ALSO encouraging people who wouldn't otherwise ride at all to get out and ride some and maybe socialize with the community. I mean, maybe if the technical capacity requires a cull, then alright, fine...But I think that would ultimately prove a detriment to whole endeavor. Perhaps moving toward a more individualized competition, where teams were optional, would be the way to deal with the slacker "problem."

Frankly, I think the slacker thing is a non-issue. There are people on every team (including me!) who don't end up riding much, and it seems to balance out fine. As long at the top 30% of riders are evenly distributed, I think the rest of the riders probably aren't having too much of an influence on overall team rankings.

ShawnoftheDread
02-24-2016, 01:15 PM
Fastfriendlyguy and I were talking about this at the last Java Shack FCC, seeing his name in bigger letters is his primary motivation to get out and ride this year.

So it's Jon's fault. Thanks, Jon!

S. Arlington Observer
02-24-2016, 01:25 PM
Some thoughts.

This was my first year and I have enjoyed it very much. It has definitely increased the number of days and the length of my winter rides. I enjoyed the initial happy hour very much and, while my team has not organized follow ups, I do enjoy seeing their stats and occasionally commenting with them on the Strava discussion. They are great at encouraging me.

I think it is important to remember that "competition" can mean different things. I knew going into this that I could not ride for miles and miles. I am older (not old, just older than the median) and not conditioned for that. And my other life commitments don't really allow me to devote more time to it.

What I knew I could probably do is ride every day or almost every day. And, so far, I have (every day .. usually between 2 and 5 miles, sometimes 7 or more). So, even though I average only between 30 and 40 miles a week I have always ranked in the mid range of players by sheer consistency. That is a goal I can reasonably strive for. If the goal post is moved to require that I compete with those AWESOME guys at the top of my team's leaderboard I would essentially be out of the game.

Our team has battled two others for the 4 - 6 spots for weeks now. Sure, it would be great to be number one. But the more realistic day to day chance to be on top of THAT sub group is actually very motivating.

I hope FS won't become elitist because there is a place for all levels - and it has been a great experience for this middling rider.

sjclaeys
02-24-2016, 01:32 PM
Not all that comfortable with minimum stats. Much of the idea is a winter competition but there is something to be said about welcoming new to winter riding riders. I do think that non riders should bow out or be bumped off and replaced. I guess this is is counter to what I just said in a way. I do see the need to control the folks that think signing up for FS will make them ride but soon realise that only their own desire to can make them ride. If a min it should be low and intended to catch those that don't get it rather than those that can't ride all the time. 3 rides of qualifying length a week or the like. Care is needed here.

I am fine with a low minimum of 3 rides a week. The concern I have is that for the past few years I've had "teammates" who may only ride three times during the entire Freezing Saddles. Also, these participants rarely communicate with the rest of the team or otherwise participate at all in FS, so the goal of welcoming new riders isn't being met anyhow. I have a current teammate who at the very beginning said that they are not going to ride much (and haven't) because they are training for a marathon. The question of why sign up if that is the case does not seem to have crossed his mind.

Subby
02-24-2016, 01:44 PM
The best part of freezing saddles this year is that I have now "met" (either through strava or in person) at least 20 cyclists that I didn't know before. Making that social connection and growing my bike family is really important to me.

Plus I am addicted to BIG FONT LEADERBOARD.

Bob James
02-24-2016, 01:45 PM
At this point in the games, there are 18 people who have less than 10 ride days: 41 that have less than 20 ride days. And with the exception of one big snow storm, this has been a pretty mild winter.


Sunyata's stat is very enlightening in my opinion. I'm definitely would not want any minimum participation based on miles, but ride days seems a more reasonable criteria (if any minimum of something is implemented). I'm just as impressed by those new to winter riding, who ride 1-5 miles in the snow/cold/rain/wind (general winter weather) than with the regular all-season mega riders riders who ride 50-200 miles.

I'm even more impressed by those who commute to work on their bikes in this weather. I can't imagine getting all dressed up for the cold twice or more a day and be mentally and physically prepared for work. I sometimes do a 2 mile commute on a capital share bike, but I get to work sweaty (or freezing), nose running, hair messed up, clothes rumpled and maybe splattered with winter road muck.

Amalitza
02-24-2016, 02:04 PM
3 times a week as a minimum expectation would be intimidatingly high to someone who hasn't ridden much in winter before. I would NEVER have participated in the first year if that expectation existed. And I wound up riding every day that year, but would never ever have expected that going in.

Not everyone who rides a bike is a bike commuter, and 3 times a week (every week? on average? either way) is a lot of times a week for most people to do -- and COMMIT to do for 2-1/2 months in non-optimal conditions -- a specific recreational/exercise activity.

I really don't like the idea of minimum ride thresholds at all, but I also think the suggested "low" threshold is not actually low. I also don't know what criteria should get used if we want to or need to cap participation numbers but not use riding thresholds... :confused:

TwoWheelsDC
02-24-2016, 02:12 PM
I also don't know what criteria should get used if we want to or need to cap participation numbers but not use riding thresholds... :confused:

Lottery system. $50 to get a number, and 250 numbers are chosen to take part in the competition. Proceeds go to the TwoWheelsDC N+1 Charity Fund, LLC.

Steve O
02-24-2016, 02:12 PM
This is a great discussion.

I didn't articulate this as well as I could have to start. The simple question is this:

Is Freezing Saddles:

A) A winter bike riding competition in which players score points for days and miles of riding for themselves and for a "Team." (Oh, and there might be some other stuff going on, too, but it may or may not matter to me)?

OR

B) A community of friends who love bikes, riding bikes, talking about bikes and sharing the joy of bikes, and have created a game of winter riding to make the fun they have together even more fun?


It definitely started as B). What is it now and what do we want it to be?

sjclaeys
02-24-2016, 02:15 PM
It seems that Freezing Saddles is ending up as "something" (not a competition heaven forbid, a way to increase social interaction, or an opportunity to participate in "reindeer games") that does not not require any bike riding or socializing. If that is the case, then what is the point?

Steve O
02-24-2016, 02:30 PM
I'm going to follow up my own question with my opinion.

I like B)

vvill recently suggested a "gnarly weather" metric that might more accurately capture the "spirit" of Freezing Saddles. Similarly, if we believe a significant part of the "spirit" of Freezing Saddles is beerneuring and N+1 and London Bridge and photos on Instagram & the website and ridiculous coffee challenges and happy hours and the FSLNHPP, etc., then why not include those in the rankings? Currently we give points for days and miles, so, as any dismal economist would point out, that's what people care about. If the rankings included points for the social aspects--as many here have emphasized, an important component of the "spirit" of Freezing Saddles, then it becomes integral to the game rather than ancillary.

E.g.
5 points for each day you get a photo posted on the site
30 points for your team each time you post to the beerneuring side bet
50 points for a London Bridge post (no deliberate falling!)
10 points if you appear in a photo at a coffee club
Take a team photo at an event and earn xxx points for the photo depending on how many teammates appear
25 points for each N+1 bike you post
And so on...

Points accrue to your team, not to you as an individual. Individuals win the Pointless Prizes.
There could still be a prize for the team with the most miles and the team with the most days, but those prizes wouldn't be the main focus--just part of the game like everything else. This way, Freezing Saddles, by its very design, is a more broad-based, interactive game and not just a riding competition. People who just want to ride can continue to do so, but those who do more boost their team more.

Vicegrip
02-24-2016, 02:52 PM
3 times a week as a minimum expectation would be intimidatingly high to someone who hasn't ridden much in winter before. I would NEVER have participated in the first year if that expectation existed. And I wound up riding every day that year, but would never ever have expected that going in.

Not everyone who rides a bike is a bike commuter, and 3 times a week (every week? on average? either way) is a lot of times a week for most people to do -- and COMMIT to do for 2-1/2 months in non-optimal conditions -- a specific recreational/exercise activity.

I really don't like the idea of minimum ride thresholds at all, but I also think the suggested "low" threshold is not actually low. I also don't know what criteria should get used if we want to or need to cap participation numbers but not use riding thresholds... :confused:Agree. I was the one that used a number while discussing a theoretical concept. A better "number" would be X days of no rides at all or something else along those lines. As was also posted another team has a member that said he/she was not going to ride and was true to their word. This takes some of the fun away from the team and begs the question "why sign up?" The goal to open up spots to those that want to play/ride and gently remove those that found themselves in the wrong room. Not to kick out a player than has a vacation in the middle or pulled a hamstring. As I said this would have to be handled carefully.

The goal is to get it across to folks that this is a winter riding game. Once a week if it 100% more than you have in the past is a win. Every day is a win, 3 a week if that is where you are happy is a win. Taking a space and then wandering off to shoot pool or run on a treadmill is not.

F.S. is a homegrown and unique social game. those that started this had a great idea that has been carried well by those that have been building, running and tuning it.

cvcalhoun
02-24-2016, 03:04 PM
For the record, I vote for B.

A few other comments:

1. The Fourth Awakens has been quite social. We've had two meet-ups plus a group ride so far, and another meet-up is planned for Sunday.

2. This forum is not really good for team chit-chat, at least as it is currently structured. Having everything in one thread means people who are interested in a specific event or topic may not see it, because it gets lost in the general thread. There have also been complaints about having team threads showing up for a lot of people who are not even FS participants and have no interest. And in the case of our team, the forum name one of them gave does not seem to exist on this forum, but several e-mails have not gotten her to correct the situation.

If we want to have people use this forum, I'd suggest having a separate subforum under Freezing Saddles for each team, so that there could be separate threads under that subforum for specific topics. And I'd also suggest that posts in those subforums not show up on the New Forum Posts. However, I do not know if this is possible, given the software we are using.

3. I'm also not fond of the Strava chat, because it requires people to go to the team page even to see whether there are new discussions, and then click yet another link to see what the discussions are. We have therefore ended up in a closed Facebook group, but that requires that everyone have a Facebook account, which not everyone does. For the two people on our team not on Facebook, we have sent e-mails and made announcements on Strava, but I'm not sure they are being read.

4. I agree the competition was more fun when it was smaller. My understanding is that the first year, there were five teams that were in competition for first place, right up to the end. At this point, most of the teams have already given up on first place. I wouldn't have an issue with limiting it to 200 people. If nothing else, we could lower the numbers by not putting people who register after the deadline on teams, except to substitute for people who don't show up or get injured. This would also have the advantage of having a pool of people we could use for substitutions for the injured, or for people who don't meet minimum riding goals. (See next paragraph.)

5. If we have minimum riding goals, I'd like to see them be very minimal. Perhaps an average of one ride a week, and not have the first cut of people for failing to make them until 3 weeks into the competition. This would avoid cutting people who are on vacation, or have injuries, the first week or so. Plus, even after that, I don't want to cut people who ordinarily bike a lot, but take off a week for one reason or another. (I personally am around the middle of the pack in terms of both points and miles, but took off a week when I had a respiratory infection and was nevertheless having to shovel snow two hours a day, every day.)

6. I think this year's competition has been made less fun by the absence of certain prizes we had in the past. For example, we had a "find the Presidents" challenge one year, and a crossing bridges competition another. Because they were short-term, they provided an incentive to get out even for people who knew their team wasn't going to win. Even the weight loss challenge provided a fun challenge for those whose teams were not going to win. This year, we've got coffeeneuring and beerneuring, but for those who don't like beer or coffee, those don't help. And N+1 is not going to work for those of us with only one bike. I'm not going to spend the money to rent others just to win that challenge.

On the other hand, pointless prizes/side bets are obviously up to the people that choose to give them, so there is no real way to ensure that there are more fun ones, short of volunteering to give one myself. (And did I mention the money thing? Also, the fact I've already spent a lot of time on the registration thing?)

Tania
02-24-2016, 03:11 PM
Team 8 communicates entirely via a closed FB Group.

Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean things aren't happening.

ShawnoftheDread
02-24-2016, 03:12 PM
Lottery system. $50 to get a number, and 250 numbers are chosen to take part in the competition. Proceeds go to the TwoWheelsDC N+1 Charity Fund, LLC.

If only you had suggested that before posting a pic of your Cinelli.

dcv
02-24-2016, 03:45 PM
If only you had suggested that before posting a pic of your Cinelli.

or his Triumph

jrenaut
02-24-2016, 04:17 PM
[all the stuff Steve wrote]...

I like where this is heading, though most of these ideas are really difficult to automate and would require a lot of manual checking. Not to mention weeks of arguing over how many points each thing is worth and which side events become scoring events.

I get a lot out of this competition, but I've never even been close to the top team. I'm leading our team in points and I'd be no higher than 5th on any team in the top 5 right now. But I've been having a blast with family beerneuring, and I've never ridden this much in my life. I'll beat my first FS total later this week. It's gotten my wife more into riding, too (this is her first FS).

By the way, if people want to experiment with any alternate leaderboards where points can be calculated from the database, let me know, I can probably make one for you.

DismalScientist
02-24-2016, 04:49 PM
This is a great discussion.

.

Is Freezing Saddles:

A) A winter bike riding competition in which players score points for days and miles of riding for themselves and for a "Team." (Oh, and there might be some other stuff going on, too, but it may or may not matter to me)?

OR

B) A community of friends who love bikes, riding bikes, talking about bikes and sharing the joy of bikes, and have created a game of winter riding to make the fun they have together even more fun?


It definitely started as B).


B) ??????

You weren't here the first year, were you?

americancyclo
02-24-2016, 05:15 PM
I think Stevie's idea about bonus points will create false situations where people value the points of an activity over the socialization that is the goal. Alternate ways of being competitive are welcome but I don't think that is the best way. Maybe the pointless prizes have a team bonus at the ending ceremony?

What about larger teams? 20 teams is hard to keep track of. 10 would be much easier.

As far as data calls, is it hard to set up a schedule that calls for data based on ride frequency? Everyday riders get everyday data calls. If your only riding twice a week, maybe you only get weekly data calls. I know that a majority of my rides happen Tuesday to Friday so I'd happily forgo any data calls from Sat-Tuesday. Maybe that's a huge programming PITA though.

As far as fun, it's up to us to make it fun. That's why when I think of a cool challenge, I usually give a prize for it. See last years Instagram prize I co-sponsored with Subby and the Kosen Dangi award.

wheels&wings
02-24-2016, 05:57 PM
I think Steve O, Steve C and others have articulated the issue well. Many of this year’s teams include folks who rarely log miles and have never said hi on the forum, on Strava, on Facebook, or in person. It would be great if more people actually engaged. I’m not sure how to solve this, though I really appreciate the ideas people are coming up with.

As for Steve O’s proposal, I’d agree with americancyclo… Actually I’d be uncomfortable with point awards for engaging in social activities, photos, etc. Call me old-fashioned, but I feel like these things should come from the heart, and to give them point values takes the fun out of it. Also I’d say that much of the homegrown genius and good humor of Freezing Saddles is not the sort of thing I’d want to quantify…. like when my teammate Snugglefestival took it upon herself to sew headbands and face-masks and distribute them at our Cap City Happy Hour (pure awesomeness). I know that my own participation could not easily be assessed in any metric either…things like ride title poems and cooking up silly prizes (more in the works). I sure as heck wouldn’t want to get points for these things. I like to do them because I love FS and because you are my friends. At the same time, I don’t do side bets or other activities ‘cause I’m a single mom who can barely keep her head above water.
However we decide to re-structure Freezing Saddles, I hope it will continue to encourage cohesion in the winter riding community but at the same time leave a lot of space for different forms of participation.

Vicegrip
02-24-2016, 06:01 PM
Team Points. Miles and days. /

Pointless prizes. Anything goes. The more "anything" the better.

cvcalhoun
02-24-2016, 06:01 PM
What about larger teams? 20 teams is hard to keep track of. 10 would be much easier.

There are two problems with larger teams:

• No one individual's points would have much of an impact on standing, so there isn't much incentive to ride more. That's been the issue with the National Bike Challenge--it really records what people already do, rather than giving them an incentive to do more.

• It makes it much harder for team members to get to know each other. The past couple of years, with teams of 9 or 10, we could usually get almost everyone on the team together for a meet-up. Now, we're lucky if we get half the team. And if we got the whole team, it would be pretty much impossible to have general conversation, anyway.

I would rather have smaller teams rather than larger. That could mean having a smaller competition overall. Or it could mean having more teams. If we go for the "more teams" option, I'd like to see more emphasis on pointless prizes. With more teams, you'd have a smaller percentage of people on the first place team, so it would be more important to find ways to have fun other than winning the competition as a whole.

rcannon100
02-24-2016, 08:36 PM
How about we award points based on posts spent kvetching about Freezing Saddles? Pontificating seems to be a core reason d'etre of this experience, and surely the entire point of mandating the Freds be active participants on the Forum is to ensure robust bickering.

Steve O
02-24-2016, 09:15 PM
Actually I’d be uncomfortable with point awards for engaging in social activities, photos, etc. Call me old-fashioned, but I feel like these things should come from the heart, and to give them point values takes the fun out of it.

Actually I’d be uncomfortable with point awards for riding my bike. Call me old-fashioned, but I feel like it should come from the heart, and to give point values takes the fun out of it.
==================

We created this system--with points--to encourage people to ride their bikes more in the winter. Why is that any different than awarding points for encouraging people to sew buffs or go to a happy hour?

If awarding points gets me out riding my bike on a day when I otherwise wouldn't, is it bad to award points for taking a photo of my ride and posting it when I might not have otherwise done it? Or ride to a coffee shop I wouldn't have ever visited otherwise? I fail to see the difference.

Brünø Moore
02-24-2016, 09:31 PM
As for Steve O’s proposal, I’d agree with americancyclo… Actually I’d be uncomfortable with point awards for engaging in social activities, photos, etc. Call me old-fashioned, but I feel like these things should come from the heart, and to give them point values takes the fun out of it. Also I’d say that much of the homegrown genius and good humor of Freezing Saddles is not the sort of thing I’d want to quantify…. like when my teammate Snugglefestival took it upon herself to sew headbands and face-masks and distribute them at our Cap City Happy Hour (pure awesomeness). I know that my own participation could not easily be assessed in any metric either…things like ride title poems and cooking up silly prizes (more in the works). I sure as heck wouldn’t want to get points for these things. I like to do them because I love FS and because you are my friends. At the same time, I don’t do side bets or other activities ‘cause I’m a single mom who can barely keep her head above water.
However we decide to re-structure Freezing Saddles, I hope it will continue to encourage cohesion in the winter riding community but at the same time leave a lot of space for different forms of participation.

I'm really, really uncomfortable with the level of points-based "you must be this Elite to ride" shiznit going on. That's part of why the coffee "challenge" is so ridiculous; yes, it's partly my guide to awesome people and places you can bike to, partly me soliciting tips for other awesome people and places, partly just me being weird, and partly me poking fun at the whole "let's score points!" mentality. Look, we're biking during snowstorms. Biking. In snowstorms. Are we really taking ourselves seriously? Why would we even want to?

Look, beerneuring is expensive. I did it last year, but, by the end, $5 a beer really put a hit on my (bike shop minion) budget. Even my weirdo coffeechallenge doesn't quite sit right with me in every respect, even if I deliberately chose something cheeper and more work-friendly than alcohol; I don't want to have any "pay to play" aspect to any part of FS if it can be helped. How can I reconcile my transit activism, my honest and sincere belief that riding a bike is something for all people, something liberating and freeing, something you can participate in regardless of class, race, perceived ability, gender identification, sexual orientation, employment status, or other category we use to discriminate, disparage, and destroy one another? How would imposing minimums, of any kind, increase the inclusiveness of our community? How do our endless "are ebikes real bikes? Do they count?" discussions, to take but one example, help our community, save to reinforce a notion that there are Real Cyclists™ and cheaters (nevermind that the cheaters with their electric assists may be carrying cargo, children, may be people with disabilities, elderly, or otherwise not be able to fully enjoy riding a bike without assistance)?

And now here we are looking for ways to limit our competition and keep more points totals. Looking for ways to winnow and exclude. We don't want the Great Unwashed, the Uncommitted, the noncompetitive, the social for society's sake; no, we need points totals!

It reminds me very much of the old John Forester idea that we need to give certificates for Competent Cyclists—the discriminatory idea that some people (in Forester's world, physically Elite males on road bikes, who viewed their commutes as Serious Training for racing), people who have been properly trained and initiated, are Real Cyclists, and the rest, infantilized. It's a return of the idea that we've been trying to kill, this idea of cycling as competition, rather than a part of everyday lived experience, something for every single person who wants to ride.

I've been reading many of Mary's interviews with my former Inquisition teammates from last year on Chasing Mailboxes. Thing is, we still see each other pretty often, whether at TCM, Vigilante, Board & Brew, Proteus, or just on the trails. FS built us into a community. It's a bit harder to do that this year—CT6 is spread out over two counties, after all, even if a bit more than half of us are in the College Park/Laurel area, and three within coasting distance of one another—but we still try. Do I want points for meeting Millie for coffee, or riding through the snow with Bonnie? No, not really. Don't f'n care. The picture of my face covered in wool, or my borrowed bike dripping, or the stories I can tell baristas are worth so, so much more.

So here's the deal. If we're trying to keep this for the few, as a competition, one with standards to be observed, well, it's been real, good ridin' with y'alls, but I'm gonna have to call it quits. I can't be part of that. It goes against so much of what I want a true cycling community to be, one that encourages the person who's scared to ride and the person who's scared not to. There is no place for elitism in our community, and, if we're going to be placing point values on what should be joyful, slightly silly, and transformative, I'm out. We make a place for all, or we are nothing.

hozn
02-24-2016, 09:59 PM
Well, I think the fundamental problem here is the competition is too large. Both technically, organizationally, and apparently socially. So if you have to limit it, how would you decide who gets in? I think dropping folks that don't ride and don't participate in any other way seems a reasonable place to start, no?

In any event, there will be a limit next year, I think it is clear. Likely that will simply be based on registration date, but it would be nice if there were some commitment for participants to actually participate.

I agree that we want to welcome newcomers and seasoned cyclists alike. But groups are always elitist; it is so by definition. You define yourselves by who you exclude, just as much as who you include. Perhaps we could start by kicking out those damn elitists...

dkel
02-24-2016, 10:20 PM
Perhaps we could start by kicking out those damn elitists...

I just caught myself before clicking "elite" for your post. ;)

Rod Smith
02-25-2016, 07:03 AM
OK cap at 250. Suggestions, members of the winning team and anyone who rode every day the year before gets a spot. People who aren't riding get axed. People who rode less than 30 days get to sit a year out unless they bring a note from doctor? The rest first come, first served?

See you later if it becomes a contest for instagram happy coffee hour club. I have no interest in that.

americancyclo
02-25-2016, 07:16 AM
Perhaps we could start by kicking out those damn elitists...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJHUres_2xU#t=260

Vicegrip
02-25-2016, 08:11 AM
I did not play during the first season but did watch on the site. From my viewing angle F.S year one sure looked like a fun winter riding competition to me. Playing F.S. pushed me out of my comfort zone into the fun zone which is just the thing. Now my less than perfect weather cycling and gear planning is well past anything I though was doable. I used to think 50 deg was cold. Now 50 deg is "improved cooling for more power" weather. Nothing quite like getting the personal gear selection just right for the ride in and having the right gear on or in the pack for the ride home too. Goldilocks rides are a joy. Joy comes from knowing that it is not always going to go right. The experience of the standard stuff of cycle commuting like forgetting socks or cold fingers fumbling through a flat at 6 am make the good rides better. I think this goes for long distance seemingly thermonuclear powered riders to short hops on a Cabi. Points to ride could be considered an added reason rather than pressure. I guess it depends on how you look at it. Having someone I am trying to catch up to or stay in front of is fun.
My buddies race cars and I still play cars with them now and then. They spend cubic money and time away from home and family to have their fun on a few weekends a year. just like bikes it does not always go well which again makes the good times better. with cycling I have some fun 2X a day, save bucks, get to eat and drink like a king and still be more fit than I was 20 years ago.

Keep it simple for the foundation portion of the game. Simple systems with clear simple rules that work are almost always the most robust. It seem like 250 is a number limit that comes up based on the constraints of the web based portions of the game in free mode but the actual number should be based on the system and social constraints of a free volunteer based activity. Reg opens up on X day first XXX are on teams, XX more after the first XXX are offered a place on a wait list. When someone wants out or fails to appear a person from the wait list is called up.

vvill
02-25-2016, 09:00 AM
So this is what happens when Steve O replies to his own reply in his own thread.



Seriously though, it doesn't sound like there's much positive response in a points system based on "social" challenges, etc. I think the basic system we have works pretty well - to effect positive changes I think it's better to start identifying real concerns that organizers/participants have rather than proposing sweeping alternatives straight away. Some things I've seen come up include (in a rough order of "importance"):

- API/software limitations
- total number of players
- team sizes/number of teams, team assignments
- substitutions for players who don't end up riding (whether it's injury, loss of interest, etc.)
- auxiliary scoring systems




If you want to gauge the success of FS, it's probably best to talk to new players and see if they had similar experiences to the veterans' previous experiences. Did you go ride more than before? Did you want to? Does winter riding seem easier now? More fun? Do you go riding out in the snow for fun? Did seeing other riders out there inspire you? Did seeing the scores/data motivate you? etc. I can't speak for other teams but I've been very impressed by my team's FS "newbies" and I think they've been experiencing the competition similarly to how I did in my first year.




As for the OT, I don't think it's reasonable to expect 200 players to all know each other, nor for every player to decide they like Freezing Saddles enough to want to join in the social aspects, especially if they've just signed up for the first time. Each season I typically know a bunch of folks already, and meet some more, but I wouldn't expect to meet everyone in the competition, or even in my team.



Frankly, I think the slacker thing is a non-issue. There are people on every team (including me!) who don't end up riding much, and it seems to balance out fine. As long at the top 30% of riders are evenly distributed, I think the rest of the riders probably aren't having too much of an influence on overall team rankings.

Depends on how you define "too much of an influence". A few weeks ago I investigated how team rankings change with teams capped at a certain number of riders. My team is top 6 until you get to 10+ players (we're 12th overall), although it's perhaps an extreme case. I think the frustration of Steve C comes from not being able to have any effect on your team standings because you're so far behind, and although I tend to agree with folks who say "this is just what happens in a competition with 20 teams", I do think this is something that can be addressed since we do the team assignments, and there are clearly different levels of "competing" riders out there. But changing that up with tiers of competition seems a little unpopular.

Tania
02-25-2016, 09:07 AM
If you want to gauge the success of FS, it's probably best to talk to new players and see if they had similar experiences to the veterans' previous experiences. Did you go ride more than before? Did you want to? Does winter riding seem easier now? More fun? Do you go riding out in the snow for fun? Did seeing other riders out there inspire you? Did seeing the scores/data motivate you? etc. I can't speak for other teams but I've been very impressed by my team's FS "newbies" and I think they've been experiencing the competition similarly to how I did in my first year.







Did you go ride more than before? YES. 740 YTD vs maybe 100 same time frame last year (that's a guess, but last year was mostly coffee rides)


Did you want to? YES!

Does winter riding seem easier now? ...No. It's not the cold it's the ice. But that's my own mental issues, and now I do have studded tires. So easier, nope. But I'm more likely to suck it up and try.

Do you go riding out in the snow for fun? YES! I even bought a mid-fat bike. And a dedicated commuter.


Did seeing the scores/data motivate you? Oh yeah.

Editing to add that I likely wouldn't bother to do FS again if it was based more on any kind of '-neuring' format, the rules for which make my eyes glaze over mid-way through the second ridiculous rule. I'm here to ride, not attend happy hours or take pictures.

Amalitza
02-25-2016, 09:12 AM
Seriously though, it doesn't sound like there's much positive response in a points system based on "social" challenges, etc.



I mean, I get his intent, but I can't even imagine how to implement it logistically. What we do now is not very complex (I don't think), but simply getting everyone playing to do all the steps necessary for the leaderboard to *automatically track our points for us* is not a trivial thing.

accordioneur
02-25-2016, 09:53 AM
Another newbie here. Having grown up in an urban environment, cycling has always been a part of my life, primarily as transportation and casual leisure. When I recently decided to focus a little more on riding for fitness/recreation I was surprised to discover that, around here at least, riding a bicycle is a complex and exclusive endeavor requiring elaborate outfits, a near full-time obsession with gear, and with a high bar in terms of minimum capabilities. I decided to participate in FS for two reasons: (1) to motivate myself to keep up bike commuting through the winter, and (2) as a way into the cycling community. I figured that the common bond of being out there in the freezing cold would overcome the social barrier of my not being a Serious Cyclist. I have found that participation has exceeded my expectations on both counts. My days ridden in the winter have gone from ZERO in past years to 32 (so far). I cannot think of any previous year when I would have biked to work the morning after a snowstorm. I have enjoyed participating in AM coffees. And it has gotten me to do some fun, kooky things - like 1.01 miles of laps in the dark around an industrial park in Mississippi on a borrowed cruiser bike. In addition, FS has been my introduction into the forums and has occasionally provided me with bragging rights when talking to Serious Cyclists who are not winter riders. I am really enjoying participating.

Did you go ride more than before? Yes

Did you want to? Yes

Does winter riding seem easier now? Yes

More fun? Yes

Do you go riding out in the snow for fun? Yes

Did seeing other riders out there inspire you? Yes

Did seeing the scores/data motivate you? Yes

accordioneur
02-25-2016, 11:44 AM
I forgot to mention that in part because of my recent enthusiasm for cycling my wife, who hasn't ridden in many, many years, just purchased a bike!

LeprosyStudyGroup
02-25-2016, 12:38 PM
Did you go ride more than before? YES. 740 YTD vs maybe 100 same time frame last year (that's a guess, but last year was mostly coffee rides)


Did you want to? YES!

Does winter riding seem easier now? ...No. It's not the cold it's the ice. But that's my own mental issues, and now I do have studded tires. So easier, nope. But I'm more likely to suck it up and try.

Do you go riding out in the snow for fun? YES! I even bought a mid-fat bike. And a dedicated commuter.


Did seeing the scores/data motivate you? Oh yeah.

Editing to add that I likely wouldn't bother to do FS again if it was based more on any kind of '-neuring' format, the rules for which make my eyes glaze over mid-way through the second ridiculous rule. I'm here to ride, not attend happy hours or take pictures.

As another FS newbie, +1 on every single thing Tania says here, except w/o the studs or fatbike! (and my emphasis on rules)
Oh, and btw I also feel the whole concept of sleaze rides to get points is stupid, but I acknowledge there is nothing better to be done about that issue.

Having an enthusiastic and motivating team leader (Like Powerful Pete) is really important, but getting enough people of that personality type is probably next to impossible for more than a few teams, and nobody can be blamed when it doesn't happen.

rcannon100
02-25-2016, 01:19 PM
Really? We are deciding the rules to 2017 FS when we havent finished 2016? Really?

You can make up any rules you like. The reality is that the game is controlled more than anything by those who volunteer to do the work.

https://media.giphy.com/media/K9mJICus1k3PG/giphy.gif

LeprosyStudyGroup
02-25-2016, 01:31 PM
You seem to be missing the point of the discussion and then reacting negatively to where you end up, time to hit the showers breh.

rcannon100
02-25-2016, 01:43 PM
You seem to be missing the point of the discussion and then reacting negatively to where you end up, time to hit the showers breh.

Oh I miss the point of just about every discussion I am in. I'm a lawyer.

americancyclo
02-25-2016, 03:01 PM
You seem to be missing the point of the discussion and then reacting negatively to where you end up, time to hit the showers breh.
he does kinda know from what he speaks:
BAFS 2013

Freezing Saddles: Winter Bike Challenge
Never Give an ELITE Cyclist an Even Break


Official Frozen Scoreboard (http://www.cs.umd.edu/~ronwalf/2013/freezing-saddles/)

NOTE: Excluded activities: If you post an activity to Strava during the competition period which is not an outdoor bike ride, then it should have the string "#NoBAFS" in the activity name.

Freezing Saddles! The Epic Adventure of a band of ELITE Cyclists, facing the challenges of the wild wild wild bike paths. Confronting the darkest of evenings, the coldest of mornings, and the stupidest of Ninjas - these brave cyclists challenge each other because, if they didnt, they might have to actually do some work during the day.

The saga runs January 1 until the last day of Winter, March 20. It will conclude with a March Madness Playoff that someone will probably design. There will be a Happy Hour at the end with many pointless trophies.

Tribes (teams):
· Composed of ~5 riders or less
· For riders from the #bikedc, Washington DC Bike Forum general community (Washington DC greater metropolitan area)
· Volunteer Captains (captains will address any data problems, negotiate or cause confusion, and provide motivational seminars);
· This is a ten-gallon hat tournament. Riders will be randomly assigned to tribes based on self declared average weekly mileage and days cycled. Tribes will be created so that each tribes's average weekly point score is roughly equal to everyone else's. To achieve this, tribes may be composed of differing numbers of riders.
· No late sign ups.
· Interested cyclists must sign up by December 25 Midnight - Tribes will be announced within a couple days.

Scoring: Riders will receive 10 points for each day and 1 point for each mile ridden. Minimum ride is 1 mile. The tribe's score will be the sum of the tribe members (indoor trainers do not count- you must be freezing in the saddle outside).

Backend: STRAVA (please sign up for an account, and join the "Bike Arlington" club on STRAVA - you should be able to enter data manually or automatically. Additional information will be posted here on the forum.)

This is a self organized group activity based on consensus. No one is in charge or running this thing. Participation is voluntary and entirely at your own risk.

file:///c:\TEMP\1\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.jpg
BAFS 2014

Consensus:


Freezing Saddles: Winter Bike Challenge
Never Give an ELITE Cyclist an Even Break

Freezing Saddles! The Epic Adventure of a band of ELITE Cyclists, facing the challenges of the wild wild winter bike paths. Confronting the darkest of evenings, the coldest of mornings, and the stupidest of Ninjas - these brave cyclists challenge each other because, if they didnt, they might have to actually do some work during the day.

The saga runs January 1 until the last day of Winter, March 19. There will be a Happy Hour at the end with many pointless trophies.

* Tribes (teams):
** Composed of ~8 riders or less
** For riders from the WABA / Bike Arlington forum
** Volunteer Captains (captains will address any data problems, negotiate or cause confusion, and provide motivational seminars);
* This is a ten-gallon hat tournament. Riders will be randomly assigned to tribes based on self declared average weekly mileage and days cycled. Tribes will be created so that each tribes's average weekly point score is roughly equal to everyone else's. To achieve this, tribes may be composed of differing numbers of riders.
* No late sign ups (this year absolute - I have other things that I will have to be attending to).
* Interested cyclists must sign up by December 24 Midnight - Tribes will be announced within a couple days.
* All rides must be logged by DATE in order to be included
* No sandbagging.
* Communications will be through the forum.

Scoring: Riders will receive 10 points for each day and 1 point for each mile ridden. Minimum ride is 1 mile. The tribe's score will be the sum of the tribe members (indoor trainers do not count- you must be freezing in the saddle outside).

La Strava
* We will honor the "trainer" checkbox in Strava; those rides will be ignored. As will rides with #NoBAFS (case-insensitive) in the ride name.
* Any rides with kiddos on your bike can be tagged in the ride name with #Kidical for a kidically pointless prize.
* In order for rides to be counted, the athletes will need to authorize the Freezing Saddles application to read their Strava data. (Details coming very soon on how to do that.)
* Also, riders will need to be a member of their "tribe" Strava club in order for their rides to count (we'll only be showing riders that are on one of the competition teams) -- and I will need the list of those team IDs for configuring the scoreboard. Of course any recorded rides will be counted retroactively if any of the team captains are late in getting the clubs formed (or late in getting me the ID of the clubs ... or I'm late in updating the app configuration).

Freezing Saddles is a self organized effort of the participants. Freezing Saddles is not sponsored by anyone (it is not sponsored by Bike Arlington or by WABA). There is no organization. It is just a bunch of people coming together to be silly and ride bikes when it is really really cold. Your participation in Freezing Saddles is voluntary and at your own risk and you have not paid anyone anything to participate. Please volunteer to help make this self organized effort succeed.


BAFS 2015


Freezing Saddles 2015 Registration (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1EhFezEg2xAwo6ApP61LfNKwcVA7JOPtTK9HUYTKG9EQ/viewform)

Please keep in mind that this is a game of the forum, by the forum, and for the forum. The whole point is a bunch of friends coming together to goof off. We hope that people will join in the reindeer games, come to happy hours, participate and even organize pointless prizes and side bets, and join in group rides.

Take care inviting weirdos to join. If you dont think the weirdo is going to join in the forum, or come to a happy hour, or join a group ride - maybe dont invite them. If on the other hand the weirdo likes reindeer games, and is interested in adopting a puppy, maybe they are perfect. Every year new people assimilate into our community during FS. But there are also those who sign up, never show up, never play - and we then have to deal with how to fix our game.

Registration goes through December 24th. People who buy me pie at FCCII will be put on a good team. The rest of you will be put on Steve O's team.

Storing this somewhere where people can see it

Oh I miss the point of just about every discussion I am in. I'm a lawyer.
also true.

rcannon100
02-25-2016, 04:15 PM
he does kinda know from what he speaks:


http://gifrific.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Will-Ferrell-Elf-You-Sit-on-a-Throne-of-Lies.gif

lordofthemark
02-25-2016, 04:28 PM
I think we could improve Freezing Saddles if we stopped giving points for posting GIFs.

rcannon100
02-25-2016, 04:49 PM
I think we could improve Freezing Saddles if we stopped giving points for posting GIFs.

http://images.sodahead.com/polls/004726202/3314102857_53288887_answer_2_xlarge.png

JonRobot
02-25-2016, 08:00 PM
I'm another new freezing saddles guy. You can tell by my post history (what little there is) that i'm not huge into commenting on the forum. not because i don't like you people, i just don't comment much of anywhere. but i lurk and look at the forum pretty regularly. i haven't been able to do any group rides with my team or any other; again, not because i don't like them, but even on a local team, the meetup spot that works best for my team as a whole is 15 miles away from my house, and i don't have the legs to do a 30 mile round trip in addition to whatever ride is going on. but i commute every day now (except for one sick day and one day i was just too burnt out from work) and ride on the weekends. that being said:

Did you go ride more than before? yeah, last year at this point i had done 10 miles, and today i'm at 313. this year i've biked on 54 days, and last year i only bike 4 days by this time. and three of those were inside on a trainer.

Did you want to? for sure. some days i wanted to ride strictly for the points, but i've been motivated to ride every day. the only two i've missed were because an ear infection made my balance... not so reliable (though now that i think of it i could have racked up some london bridge points), and when i unexpectedly had to be in baltimore for work and couldn't bring a bike.

Does winter riding seem easier now? yes. i think the coldest ride i'd ever done before was in the mid 40s, and i thought it was horrible. now that's a heatwave. the winter doesn't scare me now

More fun? yes. well, not more fun that riding when it's nice and warm out, but more fun then i expected? hell yes.

Do you go riding out in the snow for fun? yup. i never would have ridden right after a blizzard before, let alone riding out during it. my wife even went out with me. then she hasn't since, because apparently "the cold is stupid"...

Did seeing other riders out there inspire you? if this means seeing other people doing freezing saddles, no, since as far as i know i haven't seen anyone else with the shiny green band. but if this means seeing other cyclists at all, then yes. and maybe more than that are the incredulous looks of people in their cars wondering what the hell is wrong with me.

Did seeing the scores/data motivate you? absolutely. i'm part of the just-ice league, and my teammates are kicking ass, and they make me want to not miss days (even though i've missed two now)

how all of this plays into the future of freezing saddles, i don't know. i do know, however, that signing up for this ridiculous thing made me not just bike way more than i ever have or would have before, but also make it so i plan on doing it again next year.

Steve O
02-26-2016, 09:22 AM
Team Points. Miles and days. /

Pointless prizes. Anything goes. The more "anything" the better.

So this is actually what's going on right now. There are currently about 30 Pointless Prize categories on the list and about 8 ongoing side bets/games. Mostly crickets.

Two years ago we had side bets like Find the Founding Fathers and the Birdges of Arlington County and Strava Art and lots of players got involved. The Founding Fathers thread is over 300 posts long. snugglefestival recently attempted to start a Strava Art side bet and has like 3 entries. vvill is disappointed that only a handful of people are posting in the N+1 side bet thread.

As Unassailable Czar of Ride Titles, I am decidedly underwhelmed this year. Twice as many players, but with the exception of about 5-6, barely a thread of creativity (granted, the loss of phatboing in this regard is huge). I used to see clever titles every day and last year selecting the winners was nearly impossible. This year not so much.

So what has changed? There are 2-3 times as many people playing now than then. I don't want to believe that more players makes it less fun. And I'm not a fan of capping it either, because I like to believe in "the more, the merrier."

Steve O
02-26-2016, 09:40 AM
On a related note, one thing I believe would be huge, both for Freezing Saddles and for our whole community, would be a really good, centralized calendar.
The first thing you see when you log into The Chain Link (http://www.thechainlink.org/) is upcoming rides and events. What if that were easily see-able whenever one logs into the forum or WABA or BikeArlington or even Freezing Saddles? All the calendars on these sites are specific to their own stuff, but as a person riding a bike, I'd rather read about all the things going on in one place. What if all the sites referenced a single, centralized calendar that was either linked or partially visible on all the local sites?

Bringing this back to Freezing Saddles, if there were a calendar on the Freezing Saddles website and on the Forum (yes, I know the Forum has a calendar, but it sucks), and people posted their happy hours and rides and Sunday coffees there, it would at least be one way to help with connections. As some have pointed out, socialization is happening, but it's all fragmented. And I know that events are happening that others would likely want to know about and maybe even participate in, but they just never find out.

americancyclo
02-26-2016, 10:23 AM
Two years ago we had side bets like Find the Founding Fathers and the Birdges of Arlington County

Didn't Mikey organize both of those?


On a related note, one thing I believe would be huge, both for Freezing Saddles and for our whole community, would be a really good, centralized calendar.

ICAL format for my google calendar please

Steve O
02-26-2016, 10:29 AM
Didn't Mikey organize both of those?


Yes. And he also organized a couple this year that were met with an avalanche of indifference.

hozn
02-26-2016, 10:29 AM
I wonder if we could use Facebook APIs and/or Strava to pull in upcoming events. I am leery of creating a new data source for events, but if we could aggregate the current data sources....

Granted, this may not be possible, in which case a new calendar may make sense. (In which case, I would advocate for a moderated/shared Google Calendar.) Or other ideas?

americancyclo
02-26-2016, 10:39 AM
Yes. And he also organized a couple this year that were met with an avalanche of indifference.
You won FSSB(16) I round 2 - #HeadsUp
Dismal won FSSB(16) 1 - Finders Keepers -- Round 1 (NAME TO BE ANNOUNCED) which is also very similar to #bicycletag

seems like there is some buy-in. but then again, I never ran out at lunch to take photos of my bike and presidents, so maybe i'm not the target demographic.

vvill
02-26-2016, 12:34 PM
Moderated Google Calendar sounds fine to me.

Seeing the replies from newbies here seems to indicate that FS has been (again) successful. Sidebets are just sidebets. Some of them may get stale, or people may not be as interested or have time to do that much bike-related activities other than just riding through the winter (which is no mean feat). I think the Suburban Labyrinth challenge is great but I haven't had time to map anything out yet.

I wouldn't say I'm disappointed with the n+1 challenge, although I would love to see more people borrowing other peoples' bikes. It doesn't matter too much though, there's a whole thread full of bike pictures and descriptions, with a handful of bike tech/gear talk - which is a win to me.

hozn
02-26-2016, 02:10 PM
Yeah, I love the N+1 thread even though I haven't participated -- in the correct way :-)

KayakCyndi
02-26-2016, 04:33 PM
..... although I would love to see more people borrowing other peoples' bikes. It doesn't matter too much though, there's a whole thread full of bike pictures and descriptions, with a handful of bike tech/gear talk - which is a win to me.

Next week I'll begin riding with a pedal wrench. Who is in for a few Haines point laps???

dcv
02-26-2016, 07:35 PM
Next week I'll begin riding with a pedal wrench. Who is in for a few Haines point laps???

But that would only help you win

shardg
02-26-2016, 08:35 PM
I have been reading the posts and decided to comment as a first year rider with FS.
I have enjoyed the competition and the motivation to ride everyday for the team and for the overall spirit of the "competition".
Before this winter I had not ridden in temps below 40, never in snow, never at night, and certainly never at midnight just so I could keep the streak going. I have ridden each day on 2 business trips and after getting home late from work and being dog tired. So FS has been impactful and I appreciate the opportunity.
The side bets intrigue me but I simply could not keep up with tag and some of the commuting focused games. I live outside the immediate DC area but have used FS to have others in my area ride in colder weather and they have joined me on my efforts to ride everyday.
As a new member I probably do not join in on the forum and social events as much as I should, but I think most people are slow to engage.
When you reduce the pool you may decide to cut out the outside the beltway people since we are less likely to be as social or commute. That would be understandable and fair. If that happens I would probably try to create a local outside the beltway competition or just use Strava, but the point is by being able to participate this year it has had a great impact on me and my riding.
Thanks for allowing that to happen folks.

Alcova cyclist
02-26-2016, 08:42 PM
This is my second year doing FS. After years as a on-and-off mostly just fair weather cycle commuter, last year's FS converted me over to no kidding every day commuting, something which carried through all last year and right into this year's contest. It fundamentally changed the way I approached cycling and commuting. For me, this is a huge component of "what FS is really all about" -- helping people get over the hump about riding year-round. It also made me transition from a board lurker to occasional poster and I've even been to a few social functions and gotten to know several regular riders (unfortunately I've been crazy busy and therefore somewhat anti-social this year)

Last year I really enjoyed the competitive aspect (both team and individual) and I feel that was an important part of helping me convert to an every day rider. This year isn't quite the same... but I think that's just the unlucky way my team shook out in the standings. I don't care (too much) that we're getting crushed overall (18th out of 20 teams), but it's kind of a bummer that we seem to be really far from the teams above and below us (400+ and 300+ point gaps respectively). That combined with the larger number of team members and I just don't feel that extra push to do more like I did last year. I think putting a little (friendly) pressure on people (especially newer riders) to push the envelope is integral to getting other riders over the hump.

jrenaut
02-26-2016, 09:35 PM
Is there something we can do to increase the competitiveness? I don't want to take away from Team 15, but they have a 1600 point lead with three weeks to go. This is a fantastic accomplishment for Team 15, who are all ELITE badasses, but doesn't help motivation for those of us left behind. It was clear my team wasn't going to be close to the top after the first week.

What if we tried scoring it weekly? Assuming 20 teams, if your team is top this week you get 20 points, 2nd gets 19, etc. The individual leaderboard stays the same, but the team leaderboard is based on the weekly scores? If I get a chance this weekend, I'll put up the leaderboard if we scored it this way so we can see how much difference it would make. I know last year it was proposed that we do away with the 10 point daily bonus, but that hardly would have changed the leaderboard at all, and i think the 10 point bonus is important for getting people to ride when it sucks outside.

vern
02-26-2016, 11:20 PM
Is there something we can do to increase the competitiveness? I don't want to take away from Team 15, but they have a 1600 point lead with three weeks to go. This is a fantastic accomplishment for Team 15, who are all ELITE badasses, but doesn't help motivation for those of us left behind. It was clear my team wasn't going to be close to the top after the first week.

What if we tried scoring it weekly? Assuming 20 teams, if your team is top this week you get 20 points, 2nd gets 19, etc. The individual leaderboard stays the same, but the team leaderboard is based on the weekly scores? If I get a chance this weekend, I'll put up the leaderboard if we scored it this way so we can see how much difference it would make. I know last year it was proposed that we do away with the 10 point daily bonus, but that hardly would have changed the leaderboard at all, and i think the 10 point bonus is important for getting people to ride when it sucks outside.


I don't think you can change the rules in the middle of the game. Maybe your team (and every other team) can't win, but each team can try to reach a higher spot in the standings (but for the 2nd place team). Individuals can continue to try and achieve goals they may have set for themselves. And participants can continue to ride and enjoy riding for its own sake. But you don't change the rules in the middle of the game.

consularrider
02-27-2016, 04:01 AM
Is there something we can do to increase the competitiveness? I don't want to take away from Team 15, but they have a 1600 point lead with three weeks to go. This is a fantastic accomplishment for Team 15, who are all ELITE badasses, but doesn't help motivation for those of us left behind. It was clear my team wasn't going to be close to the top after the first week.

It's all my fault, I have ridden 1200 fewer miles this year than my average for the first three Freezing Saddles. Sorry everyone, but I did warn Sunyata when she set up the teams. :p

UnknownCyclist
02-27-2016, 05:20 AM
None of these issues would be a problem if Trump had already been elected. Under President Trump, BAFS would be so amazing it would make your head spin.

jrenaut
02-27-2016, 06:52 AM
I don't think you can change the rules in the middle of the game. Maybe your team (and every other team) can't win, but each team can try to reach a higher spot in the standings (but for the 2nd place team). Individuals can continue to try and achieve goals they may have set for themselves. And participants can continue to ride and enjoy riding for its own sake. But you don't change the rules in the middle of the game.

I didn't mean to change for this year. I agree, no scoring changes mid-year.

hozn
02-27-2016, 06:53 AM
I don't think jrenaut is proposing changing the rules for 2016FS. He's bringing up a point that others have noted which is that the competition typically isn't very competitive for very long.

The idea of capping the lead on a weekly basis is interesting. I like the idea that things get reset and teams have to keep trying to keep ahead rather than stockpile mad miles early on to secure victory. I dunno.

I think that elevating some of the quantitative pointless prizes to first-class status and having many serious subcompetitions might also make this more competitive for a larger percentage of the participants.

I think it is great to have these discussions. I also think despite some feelings that this hasn't had quite the same quality as previous years, it is obviously the most successful Freezing Saddles by far if we measure by new people having fun and people riding in winter for the first time.

Growing is hard to do.

Bob James
02-27-2016, 07:12 AM
It's been very competitive for Team 11. We've been battling between 3rd and 6th place for weeks. It's every bit as challenging and rewarding as battling for 1st place. Go Team 11.

Competition - the act or process of trying to get or win something (such as a prize or a higher level of success)

Bob James
02-27-2016, 07:23 AM
What if we tried scoring it weekly? Assuming 20 teams, if your team is top this week you get 20 points, 2nd gets 19, etc. The individual leaderboard stays the same, but the team leaderboard is based on the weekly scores? If I get a chance this weekend, I'll put up the leaderboard if we scored it this way so we can see how much difference it would make. I know last year it was proposed that we do away with the 10 point daily bonus, but that hardly would have changed the leaderboard at all, and i think the 10 point bonus is important for getting people to ride when it sucks outside.

I think the 10 point incentive is vital to encouraging players ride every day. Many of us go out and do a sleaze ride primarily for the extra 10 points and it awards consistency and participation. It would be great to have tiered extra points for the top 3 teams each week and also for the team with the rider with the most miles, most elevation and longest ride (from the Strava leaderboard stats). That would shake up which teams get extra points each week and maybe level the playing field.

Alcova cyclist
02-27-2016, 07:53 AM
It's been very competitive for Team 11. We've been battling between 3rd and 6th place for weeks. It's every bit as challenging and rewarding as battling for 1st place. Go Team 11.

Competition - the act or process of trying to get or win something (such as a prize or a higher level of success)

This is what I was trying to say upthread. It doesn't bother me too greatly if a team or two or three runs away with it early (As I recall that happened last year too). But wherever you are in the standings it's much more fun to have a few teams you're slugging it out with. I just don't know how you could adjust the scoring to make that more likely.

Also, I agree that the 10 point bonus is worth keeping in some form -- it's one of the things that taught me that you really can ride in weather that seemed impossible. It also gives lower mileage riders the chance to be solid contributors to their teams even if they're never going to go ride a century on the weekend -- and that aspect of community and encouragement across all levels of cyclists is part of the FS magic. "Freeze points" or something like it might be an alternative (or maybe I just like it because i come out way better by FP metrics than any other scoring system).

Steve O
02-27-2016, 12:40 PM
I totally agree that Freezing Saddles this year is again a fun and engaging competition, and it has brought new people into our community and has encouraged more people than ever to ride in weather they would never have otherwise. Yay for us.

I also really like this conversation, because good is good, but there are always ways to get better. That a number of us are sharing ideas is a great sign.

Here's one idea that just popped into my head this morning that may be pretty easy. Along the lines of, "too far behind already..." what if the site also highlighted a team leaderboard of total team days ridden? I'd be curious to see how that board lined up with the other one. Some of the teams with lots of short commutes might be right up there in the running. And if there were a button right next to the other leaderboard buttons on the front page, it would add another layer of friendly competition and might even be competitive right up to the end.

vvill
02-27-2016, 02:31 PM
I don't think jrenaut is proposing changing the rules for 2016FS. He's bringing up a point that others have noted which is that the competition typically isn't very competitive for very long.

The idea of capping the lead on a weekly basis is interesting. I like the idea that things get reset and teams have to keep trying to keep ahead rather than stockpile mad miles early on to secure victory. I dunno.

I think that elevating some of the quantitative pointless prizes to first-class status and having many serious subcompetitions might also make this more competitive for a larger percentage of the participants.

I think it is great to have these discussions. I also think despite some feelings that this hasn't had quite the same quality as previous years, it is obviously the most successful Freezing Saddles by far if we measure by new people having fun and people riding in winter for the first time.

Growing is hard to do.

I agree with everything here - and I would also be interested in seeing the points set up on a weekly basis, although I suspect Team 15 is still gonna mop the floor.

With respect to competitiveness I feel like there's just no way to balance teams if we want to be fully inclusive and base the scoring on day and miles. There's just such a mix of riders - some folks would be happy to log 200 miles over winter, some do more than that in the first day of the year.

cvcalhoun
02-27-2016, 05:55 PM
I agree with everything here - and I would also be interested in seeing the points set up on a weekly basis, although I suspect Team 15 is still gonna mop the floor.

With respect to competitiveness I feel like there's just no way to balance teams if we want to be fully inclusive and base the scoring on day and miles. There's just such a mix of riders - some folks would be happy to log 200 miles over winter, some do more than that in the first day of the year.

I also question the goal of balancing the teams. I understand wanting to have them balanced before we start, so that no team starts out with a handicap. But no matter what we do, some teams (those whose members ride more miles than could be expected, based on past performance) will do better than others. Isn't riding more miles than expected exactly what we're trying to encourages? So the fact that some teams are way ahead of others is inherent in having it a competition at all, not an indication of a problem with assignments.

If we want teams to be as close as possible in points throughout the competition, we could juggle the teams every week so that their points were exactly the same. But I can't see that this would make the competition more fun or more fair.


I totally agree that Freezing Saddles this year is again a fun and engaging competition, and it has brought new people into our community and has encouraged more people than ever to ride in weather they would never have otherwise. Yay for us.

I also really like this conversation, because good is good, but there are always ways to get better. That a number of us are sharing ideas is a great sign.

Here's one idea that just popped into my head this morning that may be pretty easy. Along the lines of, "too far behind already..." what if the site also highlighted a team leaderboard of total team days ridden? I'd be curious to see how that board lined up with the other one. Some of the teams with lots of short commutes might be right up there in the running. And if there were a button right next to the other leaderboard buttons on the front page, it would add another layer of friendly competition and might even be competitive right up to the end.

I'd love to see this! It would be particularly encouraging to new people. If you haven't ridden all winter before, it's unlikely you'll be among the top riders this year. But riding every day is a manageable goal, even for new riders. (I did it each of my first two years, although I have to admit to having slacked a bit this year.) And learning that you can get out every day will encourage people to ride more in future years.

Judd
02-29-2016, 07:24 PM
I'm a first year participant and like how "the game" is structured. I rode zero miles in the winter last year. I've ridden 660 this winter. I now think 40 degree weather is "pretty nice" for a bike ride.

I've met some awesome people like Tim Vandish and Teresa Armundson who are two of the nicest people I've ever met; Ian Fingerman who changed my life as I was wallflowering at the initial happy hour by telling me that all you have to do is talk about bikes; Cynthia Palmer who is the cutest person that I have ever met; Sara Lappano, who will never do more Hains Point laps than me; and Mary Gersemalina who takes the best pictures on her rides.

Although I'm motivated by points and data, I don't really care that my team isn't going to win the overall points. There is enough data available that you can pick something else to win. My team is currently "winning" Hains Point laps. I'll consider us victorious as long as we do more than Team 3 this year.

I think the system works the right way and is simple. Riding a mile is good. Riding more than a mile is extra good.

As far as side bets and pointless prizes, I haven't really participated other than a little Beerneuring. Some of them are so complicated that my eyes glaze over after the first few sentences.

In sum, pipe down old timers, the new kids still find it fun and are happy to meet you especially since many of us lurked on the boards and on Strava before joining Freezing Saddles this year and at least in my case might consider you to be a biking idol.

cvcalhoun
03-01-2016, 06:07 PM
It's been very competitive for Team 11. We've been battling between 3rd and 6th place for weeks. It's every bit as challenging and rewarding as battling for 1st place. Go Team 11.

Competition - the act or process of trying to get or win something (such as a prize or a higher level of success)

I agree. The Fourth Awakens has taken great pleasure in going from thirteenth to eighth place.

cvcalhoun
03-01-2016, 06:20 PM
It's been very competitive for Team 11. We've been battling between 3rd and 6th place for weeks. It's every bit as challenging and rewarding as battling for 1st place. Go Team 11.

Competition - the act or process of trying to get or win something (such as a prize or a higher level of success)

I agree. The Fourth Awakens has taken great pleasure in going from thirteenth to eighth place.

SouthernDCist
03-21-2016, 11:35 PM
I'm going to follow up my own question with my opinion.

I like B)

vvill recently suggested a "gnarly weather" metric that might more accurately capture the "spirit" of Freezing Saddles. Similarly, if we believe a significant part of the "spirit" of Freezing Saddles is beerneuring and N+1 and London Bridge and photos on Instagram & the website and ridiculous coffee challenges and happy hours and the FSLNHPP, etc., then why not include those in the rankings? Currently we give points for days and miles, so, as any dismal economist would point out, that's what people care about. If the rankings included points for the social aspects--as many here have emphasized, an important component of the "spirit" of Freezing Saddles, then it becomes integral to the game rather than ancillary.


As someone who's worked as a recruiting consultant for social organizations in a past life, I just wanted to say that I've found this thread especially enlightening and heartening. I've personally witnessed many of these same existential conversations amongst organizational founders at their precipice of either exponential growth toward more socially inclusive recruitment, or re-focused principles toward the ideal perspective that the founders' intended.

I whole-heatedly appreciated getting to play this year. My team was a never ending source of Kudos and motivation for this first-timer, and I needed it. I wouldn't have ridden nearly as often, like most of my non-BAFS riding friends (thus, I feel at least somewhat converted). I really enjoyed my lone team meetup, and hope to make it to the closing HH.

While I may have approached BAFS an initial "Type A" perspective, I now have far greater respect for what "Type B" could be, and I hope to join y'all for the ride. :cool:

sammyiam
03-22-2016, 09:06 AM
I'd like to revive a thought that came up earlier in this thread: what if you could just sign up to compete individually, and those of us who want to play reindeer games can sign up to be on teams? That way folks for whom coffeneuring or beerneuring isn't at all engaging can still get out there and kick ass with their time and miles in the saddle.

I really like it not being about the points, but the points are definitely what makes me get out there for 1.1 miles at 11:30pm just to get it in. I didn't find this year's games engaging, which was disappointing, but they change up each year. Something that made it really difficult to use the forum (and I gave up on that in week 3) was the team discussions. I don't really care about another team's discussions, but I struggled to find the games and side bets in the mess of the forum.

Also, this thread has been particularly awesome. Sometimes though, when new folks want to get involved or help improve things, those suggestions get shot down by "we've always done it this way", for example, when I suggested that our happy hours NOT be on a weekday, so that those who are non-commuters or don't work in the city can still come (and thus, increase our community connections). So, food for thought.

cvcalhoun
03-22-2016, 12:46 PM
I'd like to revive a thought that came up earlier in this thread: what if you could just sign up to compete individually, and those of us who want to play reindeer games can sign up to be on teams? That way folks for whom coffeneuring or beerneuring isn't at all engaging can still get out there and kick ass with their time and miles in the saddle.

I really like it not being about the points, but the points are definitely what makes me get out there for 1.1 miles at 11:30pm just to get it in. I didn't find this year's games engaging, which was disappointing, but they change up each year. Something that made it really difficult to use the forum (and I gave up on that in week 3) was the team discussions. I don't really care about another team's discussions, but I struggled to find the games and side bets in the mess of the forum.

Also, this thread has been particularly awesome. Sometimes though, when new folks want to get involved or help improve things, those suggestions get shot down by "we've always done it this way", for example, when I suggested that our happy hours NOT be on a weekday, so that those who are non-commuters or don't work in the city can still come (and thus, increase our community connections). So, food for thought.
The question is what the purpose of this game is. In large part, it's about two things: getting people to realize they really can bike all winter, and increasing the sense of community. Neither goal is fostered by having nonteam players. Someone who has not biked before is unlikely to see any prospect of doing well in an individual challenge; it's the team balancing that gives them a chance to be on the winning team. And the teams are what provide a lot of the social interaction.

At a time when we are going to have to limit participation, anyway, I see no point to including people who aren't really interested in the goals of Freezing Saddles anyway.

Amalitza
03-22-2016, 01:44 PM
As someone who's worked as a recruiting consultant for social organizations in a past life, ... I've personally witnessed many of these same existential conversations amongst organizational founders at their precipice of either exponential growth toward more socially inclusive recruitment, or re-focused principles toward the ideal perspective that the founders' intended.



So... any advice for figuring it all out from a voice of experience? :cool:

sjclaeys
03-22-2016, 02:16 PM
My additional three cents:

1) Let's not kid ourselves that the overriding goal of Freezing Saddles so far has been a competition. The degree that participants are competitive varies, but it remains a competition nonetheless. Otherwise, there would be no reason to count points earned. This competition does foster other goals, such as increased riding in the winter and enriching the bicycling communities. While these valuable benefits are directly the result from Freezing Saddles from being a competition, they are not the overriding goal. Of course, the overall of goal of Freezing Saddles can be changed. I do not how how we would achieve agreement/consensus on this. The use of polls that was tried earlier this year did not seem to work very well and sometimes the polling results were ignored. Another possibility is creating another winter bicycling event that is not competition based.
2) We need to recognize that there are people who sign up for Freezing Saddles who ultimately show no interest in however the goal of Freezing Saddles is defined, whether it is as a competition, increase winter riding or enriching the bicycling community. I think that we need to consider how to handle such people.
3) In deciding how to structure Freezing Saddles in the future, the focus should be on what is needed to maximize the value and positive experience of Freezing Saddles for the participants overall, including those who are already invested in Freezing Saddles through past participation. I am worried about the willingness to not adopt a suggested approach solely out of the perception that it might cause some unknown person to possibly not sign up. If a policy preserves or increases the value and integrity of Freezing Saddles overall for the majority of the participants, then it should be adopted regardless of whether it may hypothetically cause one or two people not to join.

Steve O
03-22-2016, 02:56 PM
My additional three cents:

1) Let's not kid ourselves that the overriding goal of Freezing Saddles so far has been a competition. The degree that participants are competitive varies, but it remains a competition nonetheless. Otherwise, there would be no reason to count points earned. This competition does foster other goals, such as increased riding in the winter and enriching the bicycling communities. While these valuable benefits are directly the result from Freezing Saddles from being a competition, they are not the overriding goal. Of course, the overall of goal of Freezing Saddles can be changed. I do not how how we would achieve agreement/consensus on this. The use of polls that was tried earlier this year did not seem to work very well and sometimes the polling results were ignored. Another possibility is creating another winter bicycling event that is not competition based.

An analogy might be getting together with your friends to play poker. The goal of the poker game is to win money, but the purpose of the poker game is to be with your friends.
Likewise, the goal of Freezing Saddles, the competition, is to win (or move up the standings at least). The purpose of Freezing Saddles is broader than that, and is the reason for this whole discussion.

The more the goal and the purpose are aligned, the more the purpose will be achieved. Hence, suggestions to include points for things that help foster community and suggestions to be selective about including people who are not really interested in the purpose.

jrenaut
03-22-2016, 03:52 PM
The question is what the purpose of this game is. In large part, it's about two things: getting people to realize they really can bike all winter, and increasing the sense of community. Neither goal is fostered by having nonteam players.
While I don't disagree with your intent, I don't totally agree with your view of teams. This may be because we've had different team experiences. This year, I was on sammyiam's team. Though our captain made a valiant effort, we did almost nothing together. And much of what we did do was because I already knew sammyiam from #FridayCoffeeClub. My enjoyment of FS was almost entirely internal. Obviously I've done this before, so my experience will be different from a new person. But being on a team doesn't automatically make you enjoy and appreciate FS.

Maybe we change guidelines on choosing teams. If we collect a few important data points in the survey, I can write a program to randomly assign the teams based on the data. Please note that I VERY MUCH appreciate the work that's been done to choose the teams up to now - I know it's a huge effort and Sunyata did an awesome job.

If people make a guess about mileage, we can distribute more or less evenly. Then I think each team needs a veteran captain who has opted in to leading the team (organizing events, going after side bets, whatever the team is up for). I would be in favor of ditching the localized teams - it sucks for us in DC where no one commutes more than 3 miles each way, and it doesn't automatically make things more social. Us city folk tend to be good about riding every day but not about distance.

sethpo
03-22-2016, 05:09 PM
I blame the idiot driver that took out Ricky.

That's all.

Carry on.

ShawnoftheDread
03-22-2016, 07:36 PM
An analogy might be getting together with your friends to play poker. The goal of the poker game is to win money, but the purpose of the poker game is to be with your friends.

No, no. The goal is to make your friends cry. Money is incidental.

sethpo
03-22-2016, 07:40 PM
I gave this more thought and frankly, i still don't have much to say but mostly that's because -- and I totally respect the desire to improve that drives this spirited thread -- I don't really see where we have a problem.

FS is whatever people want it to be and I think that's OK.

It's social. Or not.
It's competition*. Or not.
It's community building whether you want it to be or not.
It's evangelizing cycling whether you want it to be or not.
It's whatever you make of it and that's not going to be the same for everyone and frankly, I would hate for it to try to be because that's against the spirit of cycling! Or not. I dunno.

I'm sure there are real logistical/technical issues but frankly since I don't volunteer with anything I have no input what-so-ever on such matters and am 100% fine with whatever those great folks tell me they need.


* To be honest though, I don't really have much sympathy for folks that get upset b/c their team isn't competitive in an ad-hoc volunteer-driven "contest" where everyone is a winner and some folks just happen to work harder and win more.

cvcalhoun
03-22-2016, 07:46 PM
While I don't disagree with your intent, I don't totally agree with your view of teams. This may be because we've had different team experiences. This year, I was on sammyiam's team. Though our captain made a valiant effort, we did almost nothing together. And much of what we did do was because I already knew sammyiam from #FridayCoffeeClub. My enjoyment of FS was almost entirely internal. Obviously I've done this before, so my experience will be different from a new person. But being on a team doesn't automatically make you enjoy and appreciate FS.

Maybe we change guidelines on choosing teams. If we collect a few important data points in the survey, I can write a program to randomly assign the teams based on the data. Please note that I VERY MUCH appreciate the work that's been done to choose the teams up to now - I know it's a huge effort and Sunyata did an awesome job.

If people make a guess about mileage, we can distribute more or less evenly. Then I think each team needs a veteran captain who has opted in to leading the team (organizing events, going after side bets, whatever the team is up for). I would be in favor of ditching the localized teams - it sucks for us in DC where no one commutes more than 3 miles each way, and it doesn't automatically make things more social. Us city folk tend to be good about riding every day but not about distance.

Well, I'd love to see your changes. I argued unsuccessfully this year that we should not have local teams, but was overwhelmingly voted down.

We used to ask people to guess about mileage, but stopped due to concerns about sandbagging. (This year, we used last year's numbers for veterans, but asked new players only if they expected to be very high mileage.) But we still did attempt to balance the teams based on anticipated mileage.

And I would like to see team captains get more involved. To date, they appear to have been chosen in large part due to riding more miles than anyone else--which means they are the ones with the least time to organize social things. I don't blame them for not doing it, but I'd like to see a reevaluation of how they are picked, and what their duties are supposed to be.

rcannon100
03-22-2016, 09:19 PM
No, no. The goal is to make your friends cry. Money is incidental.

I always thought poker was just an excuse to drink whiskey. Speaking of which, WHEN IS OUR NEXT POKER GAME?

http://www.dogsplayingpoker.org/gallery/coolidge/img/a_friend_in_need.jpg

Rod Smith
03-23-2016, 05:15 AM
Net year all the activities I arrange will start in a coffee shop and end at a brewpub. No more freezing your saddles off waiting for me at Hains Point!

Tim Kelley
03-23-2016, 07:38 AM
I always thought poker was just an excuse to drink whiskey. Speaking of which, WHEN IS OUR NEXT POKER GAME?

http://www.dogsplayingpoker.org/gallery/coolidge/img/a_friend_in_need.jpg


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOgo0N62ByM

Amalitza
03-23-2016, 09:48 AM
Sometimes though, when new folks want to get involved or help improve things, those suggestions get shot down by "we've always done it this way", for example, when I suggested that our happy hours NOT be on a weekday, so that those who are non-commuters or don't work in the city can still come (and thus, increase our community connections). So, food for thought.

If it makes you feel any better, this probably has nothing to do with being new (or new-ish). Look at how many times poor SteveO keeps getting shot down in his own thread, and he is not new.

btw, I would love a weekend happy hour, for the reasons you give (I don't work in the city. I can't attend weekday ones without taking leave from work). I believe other people have expressed preferences for weekdays due to some sort of nonsense about weekends being "family time" or some such. It may not be "we've always done it this way" so much as "we've had this conversation before and keep coming to the same answer". But if you want to try for a critical mass of people who want a weekend one next year, I'll be on board!

wheels&wings
03-23-2016, 10:19 AM
A few people have expressed disappointment about the hours of gatherings, the entertainment value of side bets, etc.

I just want to emphasize, this community is what we – each of us – make of it. Everything we do, someone has come up with and organized. It’s delicious and home-made. Sometimes it takes going out on a limb and hoping others will show up….like for a group bike ride or a Bread Thread gathering. http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?8636-Bread-Thread/
Or sponsoring FS prizes or side games….it’s all up to us.

We’ve got a wealth of amazing talent, energy and creativity in our two-wheeled community. We can each pick and choose where to engage. I don’t participate in everything… there’s no way you’ll ever see me in a beer-drinking side bet, for example, ‘cause you’d lose me after the first ounce.

But if we feel like something is lacking, there’s nothing stopping us from going ahead and trying it.

rcannon100
03-23-2016, 10:53 AM
FTFY


But if YOU feel like something is lacking, there’s nothing stopping YOU from going ahead and trying it.

Friend Wheels&Wings Speaks My mind.

Vicegrip
03-23-2016, 12:03 PM
Just think of all the stuff that is done so "right" it goes without mention.

ShawnoftheDread
03-23-2016, 12:30 PM
If it makes you feel any better, this probably has nothing to do with being new (or new-ish). Look at how many times poor SteveO keeps getting shot down in his own thread, and he is not new.

Unusual cases make for bad case law.

Amalitza
03-23-2016, 01:43 PM
^^^^^ Touché :)

Steve O
03-23-2016, 03:23 PM
Look at how many times poor SteveO keeps getting shot down in his own thread, ...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this may be the first time I have ever gotten an iota of sympathy 'round these parts.

consularrider
03-24-2016, 01:34 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this may be the first time I have ever gotten an iota of sympathy 'round these parts.

What, just because she used the word "poor"?

Steve O
11-15-2016, 10:19 AM
None of these issues would be a problem if Trump had already been elected. Under President Trump, BAFS would be so amazing it would make your head spin.

Posted last February 27

cvcalhoun
11-18-2016, 06:27 AM
Posted last February 27
If BAFS is responsible for Trump, I'm never participating again!

creadinger
11-21-2016, 06:56 AM
Posted last February 27

Good lord, what the hell have we done?!

Actually since I didn't participate last year, I think I can reasonably claim non-responsibility.

Powerful Pete
11-23-2016, 11:32 AM
It all comes down to trying to get Boomer to ride fewer miles and convince those who associate with him that he really is a shady cycling character. Also his day job involves forests and not roots and tuber crops (inside work related joke - but roots and tubers are really cool).

Also, did I mention the need to discourage him from riding?

Boomer2U
12-04-2016, 11:45 AM
It all comes down to trying to get Boomer to ride fewer miles and convince those who associate with him that he really is a shady cycling character. Also his day job involves forests and not roots and tuber crops (inside work related joke - but roots and tubers are really cool).

Also, did I mention the need to discourage him from riding?
As this is a new FS2017 season, and there may be newcomers unexposed, or old timers who may have already become numb about @PowerfulPete's relentless nefarious ways, in a word: Beware!
I mean, come on, how can you trust a guy who volunteered to be a FS2016 team captain, and then, without any free, prior, nor informed consent, just disappeared half way through the FS 2016 season. Whoof! Vanished off of Strava (check his timeline; Strava doesn't lie), Nada. Zilch. His team fell precipitously after his unannounced and unceremonious departure. Check last year's standing. @Honz's manipulation of the data doesn't lie. Believe me, you do not want this guy on your team. Even less so to ride near, and especially behind him. After all, he rides in a southern climate, and eats roots and raw fish all day long. Would you want to stare at that saddle all FS season long? I don't think so!!
P.S.
Oh, and he's a sore loser, just like SteveO. Just check who came in 11th most miles among the FS2015 competition. Or who lost the FS2016 coffeeneuring pointless prize (check here: http://www.washingtonareabikeforum.com/showthread.php?t=9719)

Jus sayin'!!

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk

streetsmarts
12-04-2016, 05:10 PM
Man. Tough crowd here.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

Powerful Pete
12-05-2016, 10:50 AM
As this is a new FS2017 season, and there may be newcomers unexposed, or old timers who may have already become numb about @PowerfulPete's relentless nefarious ways, in a word: Beware!
I mean, come on, how can you trust a guy who volunteered to be a FS2016 team captain, and then, without any free, prior, nor informed consent, just disappeared half way through the FS 2016 season. Whoof! Vanished off of Strava (check his timeline; Strava doesn't lie), Nada. Zilch. His team fell precipitously after his unannounced and unceremonious departure. Check last year's standing. @Honz's manipulation of the data doesn't lie. Believe me, you do not want this guy on your team. Even less so to ride near, and especially behind him. After all, he rides in a southern climate, and eats roots and raw fish all day long. Would you want to stare at that saddle all FS season long? I don't think so!!
P.S.
Oh, and he's a sore loser, just like SteveO. Just check who came in 11th most miles among the FS2015 competition. Or who lost the FS2016 coffeeneuring pointless prize (check here: http://www.washingtonareabikeforum.com/showthread.php?t=9719)

Jus sayin'!!

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk

I do not even know where to being with all of this warped information and false news. I move to Latin America to continue the vigorous expansion of the BikeArlingtonForum franchise is a new market, at the request of the Board of Directors, and this is the thanks I receive? And for the record, I was volunteered. People are always volunteering me, even though I have not one managerial and/or work/responsibility bone or wee bit of cartilage in my entire system.

And dredging up old stats, that have clearly been doctored (I am not saying this, but your yuuuge numbers? Fake, I say. All rigged. The way we all know Strava is rigged for all those who did better than me in the standings)... forestry guys with no shame.

Oh, and my saddle is eminently "stareable at". Hah.

Go drink a warm beer and enjoy your mild British autumn. While I have to suffer through a South American winter. As if the two were even comparable. When I can only keep hydrated with ice cold fermented and distilled beverages... the nerve. Sheesh.

Powerful Pete
12-05-2016, 10:51 AM
Man. Tough crowd here.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

You have no idea, my good fellow forum user. And keep your guard up around that Boomer character. :D