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rcannon100
10-29-2013, 02:27 PM
Freezing Saddles 2014 Discussion Draft - okay, we learned a lot last year.

Freezing Saddles is a community driven event generated by the good folk of the BA Bike Forum. It is not run or sponsored by any org. It is the product of many good people doing many good things. It is the ultimate in crowd sourced cycling!

Since this is a crowd sourced game, its time for the crowd to pontificate on how the game will be played. The goal is to come to consensus on this years version.

Lessons learned from last year

* Everyone who signs up must be reachable (dont assume they are watching the forum). I avoided collecting email addresses last year cause I did not want to handle PII. We had a number of people sign up but then never participate. Recommendation: This year we need some way to reach people. If we are able to use STRAVA this year, then everyone who signs up must (a) be a forum member and (b) be on STRAVA.

* This was really a community event of the forum. What made it fun was the banter in the cold of winter as we slogged our way through that 3 feet of snow last year. Recommendation: focus FS on the forum. Dont market it outside the forum. Assume participants are member participants.

* This is a crowd sourced game. We need lots of volunteers to handle all the different aspects of the game.

* This is a crowd sourced game run by volunteers. Please dont make the life of the volunteers more difficult.

* Late sign ups did not really work. The end result was the creation of an 11th team that never really got off the ground. We can just assign late sign ups to an N+1 team if we want - but I have no expectation that that team will be able to compete.

* Last year the handicap was based on November and December riding statistics (how much did you ride on average per week during November and December?). That actually seemed like it worked pretty well. What should this years handicap be based on? September perhaps for those who participated in the Natl Bike Challenge??

* Any other revisions??

Below is from last year:



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

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.


Be Brave. Be Bold. Be.... questful! In the words of Hedley Lamarr:

Men, you are about to embark on a great crusade to stamp out runaway decency on the bike paths. Now you men will only be risking your lives, whilst I will be risking an almost certain Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
[B]

ronwalf
10-29-2013, 02:42 PM
Strava removed their public API, so we'll have to find a new backend for this year. I think there might be some solution where people can keep using Strava, but use tapiriik.com (https://tapiriik.com/) to sync their rides to DropBox or RunKeeper.

I have my dissertation defense scheduled for the 13th of December, and I won't be able to pay much attention to BAFS until afterwards.

GB
10-29-2013, 02:52 PM
* This was really a community event of the forum. What made it fun was the banter in the cold of winter as we slogged our way through that 3 feet of snow last year. Recommendation: focus FS on the forum. Dont market it outside the forum. Assume participants are member participants.
....
* Late sign ups did not really work. The end result was the creation of an 11th team that never really got off the ground. We can just assign late sign ups to an N+1 team if we want - but I have no expectation that that team will be able to compete.


As a freezing saddles participant last year who wasn't on the forum at the time, sorry for being hard to get a hold of. That said, it was my introduction to the forum. So do you really want to discourage that?

I was also a late sign-up (I know, I really messed things up last year), and from my perspective it worked just fine. So my team wasn't competitive, I did my commute in the cold and was actually ranked fairly high in the middle of January (before audit busy season got into full swing).

Recommendation for this year - As a daily commuter with a 10 mile commute I thought that 10 pts just for riding on a day was too high relative to the 1 pt per mile. I suggest bringing it down to 1-5 pts just for turning on your Strava app.

rcannon100
10-29-2013, 03:03 PM
That said, it was my introduction to the forum. So do you really want to discourage that?

It resulted in having to reshuffle the teams entirely once, and also doing a lot of footwork to find the people who did not sign up. If someone volunteers to track down non-forum participants, fine. But someone will have to volunteer for this work.

Volunteer jobs will include, among others
* Sign up (last year done through google docs)
* Backend data
* Sorting teams
* Team captains (who will work as a committee to work out any kerfluffles)
* Pointless awards (both the idea for the award, and the work analyzing the data)
* End Reception

Hancockbs
10-29-2013, 03:11 PM
Recommendation for this year - As a daily commuter with a 10 mile commute I thought that 10 pts just for riding on a day was too high relative to the 1 pt per mile. I suggest bringing it down to 1-5 pts just for turning on your Strava app.

As someone who may have abused this last year, I completely agree that the points for ride verse miles needs to be better aligned.

ronwalf
10-29-2013, 03:16 PM
As someone who may have abused this last year, I completely agree that the points for ride verse miles needs to be better aligned.

The National Bike Challenge actually went the other way (20 pt rides)! The free ten points encouraged me to get out on the bike even when it was bitter cold. We could incentivize the same behavior via some other mechanism (i.e., weight miles inversely proportional to the temperature), but that's more complicated to set up/program.

consularrider
10-29-2013, 03:18 PM
As someone who rode every day of last year's event, but did not do a single "sleeze" ride, I have no problem with the 10 points per day, after all, that's half the points per day of the NBC. I like having an incentive to reward people just for getting out each day they can, not just the miles for us long haul truckers. We might set the minimum bar a little higher, maybe two miles instead of one which would mean more than just riding around the block a couple of times.

ShawnoftheDread
10-29-2013, 03:22 PM
I think 10 points per day worked out great, and made for a nice balance between encouraging daily riding by everyone and still rewarding those with longer commutes. I don't think anyone was able to abuse sleaze rides or a short daily commute to out-score their miles. Of the top 10 riders last year, all were ranked the same by both points and miles, and the same mostly holds true for the next 10 riders as well.

Subby
10-29-2013, 03:24 PM
I wouldn't change a whole lot. From a competitor's standpoint, I thought last year worked almost perfectly.

hozn
10-29-2013, 03:34 PM
I think the 10 points is fine, but I would bump it up to 2 or 3 miles. 1 mile is a tiny bike ride.

Larger teams might ease the pressure a little...

KayakCyndi
10-29-2013, 03:45 PM
Larger teams might ease the pressure a little...

And make those of us with mandated international work travel in the Jan - March time frame feel a little less bad. That said, it is doubtful I would have ridden on three continents last winter without Freezing Saddles. Maybe pressure isn't such a bad thing.

I second that the competition worked fabulously last year. I LOVED it and somehow haven't managed to cut back my mileage since!

Amalitza
10-29-2013, 05:06 PM
I think the 10 points is fine, but I would bump it up to 2 or 3 miles. 1 mile is a tiny bike ride.

Larger teams might ease the pressure a little...

One mile *is* a tiny bike ride, but it did get me on the bike for trips to the store when it was bbbrrrrrrr out. If I'd had to do a 3 mile loop to get a bottle of wine, I'm not sure I would have.

Hancockbs
10-29-2013, 05:40 PM
The National Bike Challenge actually went the other way (20 pt rides)! The free ten points encouraged me to get out on the bike even when it was bitter cold. We could incentivize the same behavior via some other mechanism (i.e., weight miles inversely proportional to the temperature), but that's more complicated to set up/program.

How about more points per more miles? 1-5 miles is 10 points for riding plus 1 point per miles, 6-10 gets 2 points per mile, 11-15 gets 3 points per mile, etc? I'm not suggesting these are the right numbers, just a concept.

Hancockbs
10-29-2013, 05:42 PM
I think 10 points per day worked out great, and made for a nice balance between encouraging daily riding by everyone and still rewarding those with longer commutes. I don't think anyone was able to abuse sleaze rides or a short daily commute to out-score their miles. Of the top 10 riders last year, all were ranked the same by both points and miles, and the same mostly holds true for the next 10 riders as well.

Thanks for the analysis, it lessens my concern.

GB
10-29-2013, 06:48 PM
Fair point; we already have a system of tracking miles, so making points match miles doesn't make much sense. Since people will ride for points when they wouldn't ride just for the miles then I'm fine with a points system that doesn't closely match miles.

To the extent that this is a social thing on forum, how about points for photos? - you and your bike covered in snow, frozen water bottles, monuments in the snow, etc. These would be added at the end, rather than incorporated into the automated system (I assume it's automated).

Rod Smith
10-29-2013, 07:02 PM
For the record, the NBC did 'not go the other way'. They gave twenty points (free miles) for every day last year too. As someone who pretty much has to ride every day, I'm fine with the 10 pts per day. 20 would be better. Double points for third axle? Just a thought.

My sleaze rides were 10 mile rides, but 1 mile rides should count too.

I didn't know the handicap last year was based on Nov, Dec mileage. If that was clear to me, I would have given a lower number than I did when asked for a number. :)

I thought we were asked how much we typically ride during this calendar period. I don't remember. The suggestion that we base the handicap on our September 2013 mileage is repugnant to me. :( I think we should use last year's Freezing Saddles mileage as a baseline for those willing to sign up again, and let newcomers reckon how much they expect to ride as best they can.


And make those of us with mandated international work travel in the Jan - March time frame feel a little less bad. That said, it is doubtful I would have ridden on three continents last winter without Freezing Saddles. Maybe pressure isn't such a bad thing.

I second that the competition worked fabulously last year. I LOVED it and somehow haven't managed to cut back my mileage since!

You have nothing to feel bad about! You rock!

vvill
10-29-2013, 09:14 PM
I think the 10 pts/day is fine and I'd also second that last year everything ran very well. If there were any modifications to be made to the 10 pts/day rule I would propose something like: Less than 2 miles (or perhaps 3 miles) would be only 5 pts. Any more gets the full 10pts. I wouldn't like to discourage even a 1 mile ride, but this would maybe encourage you to stay out and do maybe just a couple more. For some people with short commutes or simple bikeable errands, penalizing their daily mile bonus isn't in the spirit of winter bicycling.

Slightly larger teams wouldn't hurt I think. It would be easier that way to make up for an absentee rider, and maybe could keep the top teams in the competition closer? If there are more riders signing up this year, it might be necessary anyway (more than 10/11 teams seems excessive).

I'm not sure about the best way to do drafts/mile estimates. I don't plan to do the same amount of winter riding I did last year!


I think the lack of a public Strava API is going to be an issue though.

KLizotte
10-29-2013, 10:00 PM
I think we should use last year's Freezing Saddles mileage as a baseline for those willing to sign up again, and let newcomers reckon how much they expect to ride as best they can.

I concur that we should ask people for their same time period estimates (Jan-Mar or whatever it is) using last year's totals or people's best estimates to balance the teams. I find Nov-Dec riding to be much different than Jan-Feb riding (and not in a good way).

hozn
10-30-2013, 03:37 AM
Yeah, I would concur that the competition went really smoothly last year.

A few general observations/comments:
- 12 people (of 40-something?) had perfect attendance last year. That seems rather high, percentage wise. Maybe that should be a little harder to achieve?

- (Relatedly) I know one of the points is to encourage bike usage. The 10 points to reward getting on the bike makes sense, just feels like sleaze rides were way too easy (and don't contribute to fitness or transportation goals). Maybe I am worrying too much about that.

- I think the graduated pints system would work against the goal to get people on the bike for more trips. Certainly, it would have favored people like me who got miles by stretching commutes. I think the pinnacle of that silliness for me was getting up to leave at 3am so I could ride 100 miles and still be at my desk by 9am :)

- One thing that was clear when looking at the team point trends ( http://freezing.hozn.net/explore/team_cumul) was that the competition was basically decided from the beginning. There was a little shuffling early on but other than some jockeying between the top 2 teams (and other adjacent teams) the lines had clearly different slopes. I don't know how one adds more dynamics there without overcomplicating the rules -- shuffle teams during the competition? -- but it might be nice to make outcome less predictable.

- I think the small teams put a lot of social pressure on folks to ride. I realize this is part of the "team" aspect but think that this makes it hard if/when people get sick, etc. I don't know if larger teams help solve that -- or other more radical approaches like shuffling teams -- but it might be useful.

- I think it is perfectly reasonable to require contact info for participants and require membership in whatever backend is used.

- Basing on NBC mileage might make sense -- or last year BAFS, if applicable. There should be a stronger penalty for sandbagging, though, as that really skews the team placing/composition algorithm. Not sure how you do that without discouraging people from pushing their limits, though.

- the "pointless prizes" were one of the best aspects of the competition. Maybe there could be more of these established up front (and some for teams?) which would make emphasis on mileage-based points less important (and give a mechanism for teams that might have a lower slope on that points line ways of remaining competitive).

I will email Strava to see if we can get an API license for this activity/group. I am not holding out much hope, but I think the story is a compelling one.

Finally, take my suggestions with a grain of salt, since I won't be participating this year. :-) I enjoyed BAFS as an introduction the BA group last year, but in truth I love cycling because it is *not* a team sport. Of course I do plan to ride regularly (every day, during the work week, anyway) and really don't need the extra motivation / competition. It makes me a little obsessive. :-) I can't afford the time this year (bigger family), in any event, and want to make sure I am having as much fun on the bike as possible (e.g. choosing to mountain bike even if that means less mileage). Maybe I will be back for the 2014 edition.

Depending on platform, etc. I *am* interested in participating with the software development effort.

CPTJohnC
10-30-2013, 08:05 AM
As one of the 'hard to contact' set who wound up on Team 11, I still had a good time, and it definitely motivated me to ride more than I probably would have, esp. near the end. It didn't matter that my team was essentially 'out of it'. Obviously others might have a different POV. One of the problems with the 'contact' was my relative newness to the forum when FS began, and my failure to know 'where to look' for such contact. I was used to 'push' communications from other forums for private messages.

I don't have any great suggestions for handicapping, except to say that whatever system is used has to be simple/straightforward and work equally well for 'old hands' and 'new folks' -- I would probably have been a bit put off if the handicapping had tried to look back to the previous year's Jan-Mar mileage, or looked only at previous FS miles. Likewise, though, looking at my summer mileage (much, much higher) would give a really poor picture of my expected participation.

I like the 10 Pt per day, but I also like the graduated points/mile idea; that would balance the value of my 'sleaze' rides (grabbing a CaBi at lunch time just to slide in 2-3 miles) with my full commutes (19-20 miles each way). And I love the idea for bonus points for pictures -- perhaps there could be some bonus destinations? Places that almost no one would 'need' to go to, but that might be fun rides? Only one bonus per participant, per destination for the competition, to avoid someone who happens to be close by racking up bonus points for little/no effort?

eminva
10-30-2013, 08:05 AM
Thanks for the excellent and thoughtful analysis, Hans. I agree with everything, although I'm not sure how you would discourage sandbagging but encourage people to push their limits. And Mother Nature may have some influence on whether it is harder to achieve perfect attendance.:rolleyes:

I would be happy to help with Pointless Prizes again, that was fun.

I did enjoy working with my great teammates Subby, KelonWheels and crysb last year. But like Hans, I plan to sit 2014 out. My only cycling goal for the year so far is to ride less miles than in 2013. I have some other things I need to accomplish in the year. Of course I will continue with my bike commute, the occasional crazy stunt with acc, another scout trip, etc. But I just want to do it for fun, not competition.

Liz

TwoWheelsDC
10-30-2013, 08:10 AM
I think the rules/points system worked well. It was a little frustrating that the winners seemed to have been determined so early, but rather than messing with the points, I'd say split up the prizes, kinda like Hans saying, but rather than "prizes" make them each their own sub-competition, like pro races... So I'd propose a points competition, a mileage competition, an average (low) temperature competition, etc... We covered most of those categories in the pointless prizes (and had the relevant data) , but I think making them all parts of the competition from the outset could mix things up a lot. For example, I couldn't compete in mileage or points, but I could compete in low temps or after dark rides, so I could focus on those rides.

And to mix up the team standings, teams could get bonuses for those members of the team leading one of the sub-competitions. This would keep the team standings in flux as well, maybe adding some mystery as we near the end of the competition.

Jason B
10-30-2013, 08:43 AM
Did not play last year, but intend to join the reindeer games this year. In an attempt to be hip and learn the lingo, what is a "Sleaze ride"?

rcannon100
10-30-2013, 08:45 AM
These are all good comments.

Couple of points.

First, the competition was whatever the competition was. I declared that I would take care of first prize (through Phoenix Bikes), but any additional pointless prizes were up to the masses. We can have whatever competitions people want; someone has to volunteer to do it.

10 points: This is a commuter game. The 10 points gears the game towards daily riders. If I ride 15 miles per day, 4 days per week, that is 60 miles. But then some ELITE rider goes out and rides once a week 100 miles. The weekend ELITE rider wins that competition just on miles. The reason for the daily points is to change the math so that the game is about daily riding, not weekend ELITE riding. In the above example, both of us would have 100 points at the end of the week, and all I would have to do is go get some coffee on the weekend to get ahead.

And I had some other brilliant comment that I now forget. I think it has to do with backend. If not STRAVA, then the next choice on deck is doing this through Google Docs and a Google form - manually entering your miles. While I can build it probably, it will be tedious and imperfect.

Team formation. The design was a hat tournament; you are randomly assigned team mates. The team assignment was weighted, calculated on the average miles and days you rode during Nov and Dec. Teams were composed of riders whose average points for an average week would add up to something like 570 points. I actually thought this worked rather well. And actually, I thought the competition was much closer than other people are saying. For a long time, the teams were grouped, in my recollection, pretty close together. It was anyone's game and anyone could have pulled ahead. In the end, it became a slug match between two teams. To me, that suggests the weighting worked pretty well.

KayakCyndi
10-30-2013, 09:02 AM
A "Sleaze ride" is getting on your bike and riding the minimum 1 mile just to get the 10 points for getting on the bike.

The 10 points just to "get on the bike" did definitely motivate. I got on the bike to pick up dinner after a 20+ hour flight from Kathmandu.

GB
10-30-2013, 09:04 AM
I like the idea of have a prize category for miles, and different one for points.

I like getting points for a destination. - I'm thinking each team captain gets to pick 1 destination during the competition and it's active for 1 week.

For points not automatically calculated using based on mileage & days, I think everyone can track their own. Then if your points put you in a position for a prize they can be verified.

DismalScientist
10-30-2013, 09:16 AM
As an inveterate limit pusher/sandbagger, I would like to point out that my average daily mileage during Freezing Saddles was 93% higher than during the rest of 2013. Furthermore, the average daily mileage for the rest of 2013 is very close to the mileage I submitted to get my handicap. So, no, I do not think you should base handicaps on last years Freezing Saddles mileage.

dasgeh
10-30-2013, 09:23 AM
Missing BAFS was one of the (only) downsides to having maternity leave last winter. (Awwwwwww)

Here are my thoughts:
- 1 mile is transportation where I live (grocery store, church, coffee shop, bar, takeout, etc). Unless you change it to total miles per day (or adopt the next suggestion), I think you should count 1 mile rides for "riding" on a day.
- Bonus points for kids on the bike? Double the miles for 2 kids, triple for 3, etc. I will let people borrow kids for rides if they don't have any of their own.
- I love the destination idea. We could add a scavenger hunt aspect: each member (or one / team) submits a photo of themselves + bike somewhere within the Beltway (may need more rules than just "somewhere"). Others get points for photos at the same spot. If no one else gets a photo, that member/team gets points.
- A google form isn't horrible if Strava doesn't work.

hozn
10-30-2013, 09:58 AM
I really like TwoWheels' idea of making what would have been pointless prizes part of the competition. Like the grand tour jerseys. The idea of giving overall (GC) bonus points from achievements in other categories is brilliant too if we (well, you) wanted to mix up the overall lead.

Since it is freezing saddles, I think making one of those categories having to do with dark or cold rides makes sense. Even if we can't use Strava, we could get the weather data as before. Probably don't want too many competition "jerseys" -- leas 3-5?

I will look at the Tapiriik-supported sync options to see if any provide good API support. (And I still want to talk to Strava.)

Speaking of BAFS jerseys, is this something people would be interested in? Assuming costs were in the $50-60 range? I am not volunteering (yet), but if there were significant interest this is probably something to be considered. I can help with logistics, but would need help on the design front.

Justin Antos
10-30-2013, 10:22 AM
*Freezing Saddles last year was great. Kudos to all who made it happen. I've really enjoyed interacting with people I met on Strava all year.

*I liked the 10 points per ride, 1 point per mile - that way, teammates can contribute points without having to put in big mileage. It encourages you to get out and ride every day, to make riding part of your daily life.

*I like the idea of slightly bigger teams.

*If Strava isn't an option, it'd be great to run it using or some backend where we can share maps. I LOVED seeing the maps of everyone's rides, it was totally inspirational.

*As a winner of the "Pants on Fire" prize last year, I'd say: base the handicap in reality as much as possible, but don't penalize people for riding more than their normal. Deliberately low-balling the handicap isn't in the spirit of things, but riding more is the fun of the game!

*Looking forward to it this year! Although my mileage won't be as crazy this year with a 6-month old :).

rcannon100
10-30-2013, 10:43 AM
According to the SUPPORT page, we cannot create our own challenge through STRAVA. We can create our own challenge through ENDOMONDO - altho apparently it will just be based on miles ridden.

Through STRAVA we could still create team pages... but I dont see how it shows cumulative miles ridden during the competition.

I like the idea that no matter what, we use some service so that we can see each other riding. It was certainly part of the fun last year.

rcannon100
10-31-2013, 07:21 PM
I am awarding 25 extra points for anyone who bikes to work tomorrow*






*This offer not good anywhere at anytime. But tomorrow is gonna be insane!

ShawnoftheDread
10-31-2013, 07:38 PM
But tomorrow is gonna be insane!

Why, what's going on tomorrow?

Rod Smith
10-31-2013, 08:07 PM
Can you do that?

Jason B
11-01-2013, 04:34 AM
Just curious, did elevation count as points last year?

ShawnoftheDread
11-01-2013, 05:20 AM
Just curious, did elevation count as points last year?

No, but there may have been a pointless prize for it.

dbb
11-01-2013, 08:20 AM
I am awarding 25 extra points for anyone who bikes to work tomorrow*


You can deliver those points to my office

jrenaut
11-01-2013, 08:58 AM
You can deliver those points to my office
Mine, too. I laugh at the wind.

cyclingfool
11-01-2013, 09:05 AM
You can deliver those points to my office

Mine too. :)

KelOnWheels
11-01-2013, 09:12 AM
One mile *is* a tiny bike ride, but it did get me on the bike for trips to the store when it was bbbrrrrrrr out. If I'd had to do a 3 mile loop to get a bottle of wine, I'm not sure I would have.

Srsly. The liquor store is really close to my apartment. :D

vvill
11-01-2013, 09:29 AM
No, but there may have been a pointless prize for it.

I don't remember there being one, and elevation data is so variable between device and weather conditions anyway.

DismalScientist
11-01-2013, 09:38 AM
Arbitrary and capricious measurement just adds to the thrill of the competition.

CPTJohnC
11-04-2013, 08:30 AM
Speaking of BAFS jerseys, is this something people would be interested in? Assuming costs were in the $50-60 range? I am not volunteering (yet), but if there were significant interest this is probably something to be considered. I can help with logistics, but would need help on the design front.

I can't help with design, but I would buy one and I would be willing to donate the cost of an additional one as a prize (pointless or otherwise). Long sleeve?

On the subject of bonus points: How about bonuses for CaBi rides of greater than 5 miles (but only if the duration is under 30 minutes...) ;)

consularrider
11-04-2013, 06:33 PM
... Long sleeve? ...
For Freezing Saddles, I think a good winter jersey is in order.

ejwillis62
11-04-2013, 07:53 PM
I don't know if I can handle freezing saddles, I think I was traumatized last year. :) And it is cold already.

PeteD
11-04-2013, 08:00 PM
Base miles + a reason to keep looking at more bike gear.

NicDiesel
11-05-2013, 08:17 AM
Can I join this years Freezing Saddles from the balmy shores of Lake Nokomis (i.e. MPLS)?

Dickie
11-05-2013, 08:27 AM
Still on the fence whether I will participate this year or not. I provided some pointless prizes and attended the awards ceremony last year but did not actually belong to a team. I concur that a common complaint I heard was that teams were too small; an illness, travel, accident, whatever could destroy a team's chances and motivation completely. Perhaps a mid winter draft or trade window could be utilized or simply larger teams. I would also agree that the pointless prizes should be announced from the beginning and some of the more "data" sensitive ones should be part of the points competition. I think the balance of 10 points for riding and 1 point per mile is perfect encouragement for both camps or riders. I love the idea of different competitions all combining for points.... mileage, most days ridden, elevation, etc.

However, I think we really need to keep things as simple as possible or else the competition becomes a convoluted tangle of data and loop holes. Tiered mileage points, scavenger hunts, random bonus points, etc although fantastic ideas will only confuse the issue especially for the volunteers responsible for counting the data. If it is too difficult to explain in the written rules then it is too hard to follow as a competitor.... at least that's my opinion.

NicDiesel
11-05-2013, 08:36 AM
Every 15 minutes ridden in -20 degree weather (with the windchill) gives you 15 points.

DismalScientist
11-05-2013, 08:45 AM
Sorry, but that depends on whether you are riding with or against the wind. So you can't do it with a windchill adjustment.

Unfortunately, if only got down to -13 on February 1, 2013 for last year's Minneapolis winter.

NicDiesel
11-05-2013, 08:58 AM
sorry, but that depends on whether you are riding with or against the wind. So you can't do it with a windchill adjustment.

Unfortunately, if only got down to -13 on february 1, 2013 for last year's minneapolis winter.

quit killing my fun holmes!

creadinger
11-06-2013, 09:42 AM
I'm planing on joining Freezing Saddles this year. I'm hoping it will provide good motivation to keep commuting through the cold and dark a couple of times/week and get out to do the grocery trips and fun rides too. I'm open to helping out with stuff if necessary too.

As a FS noob, all of the suggestions for this year sound fine to me EXCEPT I would make the sleaze ride minimum 2 miles instead of 1. If you're going to get 11-12 points, you should at least have to be outside for more than 5 minutes. 5 minutes is almost not even worth putting on extra clothing for, and then who cares if it's 20 degrees or 80?

rcannon100
11-11-2013, 12:49 PM
Ok, so at this point, we have no backend. We have no way of doing the game. Last year we used STRAVA with open APIs. So.... can anyone volunteer.... not asking for someone to run the backend.... asking for someone to research what the backend options are.

* We could do google docs, but I would anticipate this will require a lot of work on the part of captains. (A google form would pour data into a google doc which would act as the scorecard for each team).

* Is strava out? Can make teams on strava, where we record miles- and then that information gets moved to a google doc scorecard?

Thoughts? Ideas?

GB
11-11-2013, 01:10 PM
However, I think we really need to keep things as simple as possible or else the competition becomes a convoluted tangle of data and loop holes. Tiered mileage points, scavenger hunts, random bonus points, etc although fantastic ideas will only confuse the issue especially for the volunteers responsible for counting the data. If it is too difficult to explain in the written rules then it is too hard to follow as a competitor.... at least that's my opinion.

My thought for the points not automatically calculated on a factor of miles + days is that these points would be tracked by the individual and then prize contenders will be audited. Because I completely agree that it is too much to ask 1 or 2 people to keep track of everyone's random points.

As for explaining the rules for these extra points here's my proposal:

Pics: you get the average of the first 3 responses to your picture (responses should be between 0 and 10 pts)
Destination: each team gets to pick 1 destination that is open to everyone is active for 1 week. In order for your ride at that destination to count it needs to be at least 1 mile long (or as long as we decide the daily minimum is) and take place during the active week. These rides will be worth 20 points + miles points + daily points. (note- daily and milage points will be calculated automatically, so you just need to keep track of which destination rides you did.

Those are the non-automatic points I'd most like to see. But if it doesn't happen I'll get over it really quickly.

It is up the individual to keep track of points earned for pictures and destinations. You must be able to prove your points in order for them to count.

I'll volunteer to audit *some* of the winners points if we go this route.

ronwalf
11-11-2013, 01:10 PM
* Is strava out? Can make teams on strava, where we record miles- and then that information gets moved to a google doc scorecard?


I've done minor amounts of research through the year. Short answer is that since tapiriik (https://tapiriik.com/) can sync Strava with several services that do have open APIs, whatever solution we come up with could let GPS users enter their miles through Strava (or Garmin Connect, or Run Keeper or wherever).

However, tapiriik does not support syncing manual activities. If I remember right, we have a good percentage of people who entered their miles manually. Some type of Google Forms/Docs solution might work well (although it probably needs to allow editing to correct mistakes) for the manual users.

I don't see a way to make teams and team membership quite a seamless as last year.

GB
11-11-2013, 01:16 PM
If I remember right, we have a good percentage of people who entered their miles manually.

Surprising that percentage seems to go up as the temp go down - must that the electronics don't work so well in the cold. ;)

GB
11-11-2013, 01:25 PM
By whom? Are you volunteering?'

Yes, see last line of same post. Sorry I can't help out on any of the IT side of things. But if people keep as list of points earned on which days, I should be able to verify *some* them in the forum's pics for points thread (still to be started) or on Strava.

hozn
11-11-2013, 03:23 PM
I agree with Dickie, making some of the pointless prizes official seems like a good idea, but it has to be dead simple. (Should they then become tram competitions/prizes probably?) Most miles in dark, in freezing temps, etc. Those are easy to track. I don't think we want any categories that have to be tracked by hand.

I will do some research on the API front tonight and see what our options are. Ron is right that tapiriik makes this more straightforward. We may be able to use Strava despite the locked down API, not sure. It may not be worth it if it violates their TOS,anyway, though. I think it would be unfortunate to use a back end that did not have a GPS component, since that makes many of the prizes possible (those that record manually would probably just be out of contention for those other prizes).

rcannon100
11-11-2013, 05:32 PM
We had approx 50 riders last year. We had ten teams of 5. We could have 5 teams of ten this year. Or seven teams of 7. Whichever. But the pool of riders is relatively small- change the denominator and change the number of teams.

Nothing is "official." There is no entity running this thing. Its just volunteers.

Convoluted. - Based on last year's experience, that's not really a concern. Because, again, its all volunteers. Whatever the prize or award is, its what one person volunteers to do. Now, first place, that's easy. That's just a count. But other awards? Well - as of right now - the only firm award I would say we have is First place. If someone has an idea for other awards - great! And if someone wants to step up to donate something for those awards - Great!

hozn
11-11-2013, 06:18 PM
I think the backend is only really needed for storing the mileage. People could use clubs in Strava to group the teams, but we cannot poll Strava for the data. We can, however, poll other services that tapiriik will sync to. In addition to Endomondo, it looks like RunKeeper has a pretty solid API. Garmin Connect does too.

I can evolve my software platform from last year to do the team organization (team pages), etc.

vvill
11-11-2013, 09:37 PM
Strava does allow users to export ride data as GPX (one at a time, unless you're a Premium Member), but then we still need a method to derive timing, mileage, elevation, etc. from those. And you wouldn't be able to poll data.

If we have a good idea of which one of the other APIs we can use then maybe we can do a trial run with a few users and see if it'll suit our needs. Does tapiriik sync elevation data too?

I guess we won't be able to easily do a Segment counter though (e.g. Hains Pt laps) without a Strava API. We'd have to roll our own which would involve a bit of work.

hozn
11-12-2013, 08:08 AM
Yeah, I think that the run RunKeeper API looks pretty solid. Looks like it includes some basic geo (lat/lon for start/end), as well as distance, elevation, etc. (http://developer.runkeeper.com/healthgraph/example-api-calls#example-get-individual-activity)

The Garmin Connect API is not bad either, looks like it has a little more data (at least for Garmin devices?). Not quite as easy to work with. Not certain of the security/authorization (RunKeeper seems to have a good strategy there using OAuth, might be more work to get the comeptition website officially registered with them, though). Also not 100% sure, but am fairly confident that non-Garmin owners can use Garmin Connect too (either manually uploading GPX files or using a service like tapiriik.

From what I can find, Endomondo does not have a public API. They have an API they have released to a few "select partners" and they have a mobile API that other services use for intergration, but it is apparently limited. Shucks! :)

Unfortunately, RideWithGPS doesn't appear to have any public developer API either -- and no support for tapiriik syncing, so probably a non-starter anyway.

From initial survey RunKeeper and Garmin Connect seem to be the best options. Neither is going to support the competition framework directly, but they both seem to provide a good place to publish data, which can then be pulled together by another app. Probably advantage to RunKeeper since it also has a mobile app that can record the data (in fact, the website is pretty limited) in case people want to publish directly there and not both with any syncing system.

At the end of the day, if I were participating I would want to not change my workflow at all. For those that choose to publish to Garmin Connect or Strava (or Endomondo!?) this is easy to do with tapiriik (costs $2/year to have it done automatically).

As noted, manual rides won't get sync'd so if anyone is logging manually, they'll have to do it on the storage backend website / using the app (e.g. RunKeeper). If I were running the competition (but I'm not!) I would exclude manually-entered activities since it makes those rides only count toward a points category, and thereby limiting the ability to introduce official alternative prize categories -- without severely handicapping teams with riders entering data manually. (Strava does not count manual activities for any of its competitions either.)

hozn
11-12-2013, 08:44 AM
If we have a good idea of which one of the other APIs we can use then maybe we can do a trial run with a few users and see if it'll suit our needs. Does tapiriik sync elevation data too?

I guess we won't be able to easily do a Segment counter though (e.g. Hains Pt laps) without a Strava API. We'd have to roll our own which would involve a bit of work.

Yeah, I believe tapiriik just grabs the GPX (or TCX, if available) and so it will sync elevation data and anything else that was recorded (heart rate, cadence, etc.). Of course the GPX that Strava provides may differ from the one that the device uploaded (if applicable), which means that there could be differences in things like elevation if people are recording via Strava app vs. recording via Garmin and syncing directly from Connect -> (e.g) RunKeeper. As attractive as it is, elevation is probably one to avoid turning into an official prize due to the variation. (My most recent test of this in deciding finally whether I was going to do the elvation challenge: Garmin 1650 ft, Strava: 1100 feet. So unless it is enforced that all data must pass through Strava, that probably gives disadvantage to smartphone users.)

Segment counter would not be very easy. Assuming that we can extract the GPX from the backend (can with Garmin Connect, but maybe not? with RunKeeper), we'd need to come up with a matching algorithm on lat/lon locations -- need to have tolerance due to inaccuracy/imprecision of GPS devices. There are obviously great libraries to do this, but it increases the server requirements (shared hosting is tougher when you need custom-compiled software, especially if you want it built into the database layer). Matching a single point on a segment might be doable, but a full segment (like a lap of HP) would certainly be much more work. I would say that segment matching is probably not an option for 2014, unless we screen scrape Strava (or use their unpublished rest+json APIs that the web frontend uses).

DismalScientist
11-12-2013, 09:29 AM
As noted, manual rides won't get sync'd so if anyone is logging manually, they'll have to do it on the storage backend website / using the app (e.g. RunKeeper). If I were running the competition (but I'm not!) I would exclude manually-entered activities since it makes those rides only count toward a points category, and thereby limiting the ability to introduce official alternative prize categories -- without severely handicapping teams with riders entering data manually. (Strava does not count manual activities for any of its competitions either.)

My manual entries we all for obvious GPS tracking errors and dead phone batteries. I don't see why manual activities should be excluded from the overall competition, but it's OK to exclude them from the alternative prize calculations.

hozn
11-12-2013, 09:43 AM
My manual entries we all for obvious GPS tracking errors and dead phone batteries. I don't see why manual activities should be excluded from the overall competition, but it's OK to exclude them from the alternative prize calculations.

Yeah, I realize that there are one-off cases. I guess my suggestion was that a requirement of the competition could be "must have GPS ride recording device" (i.e. smartphone, gps computer, etc.), since people that would only enter manually would put their team at a disadvantage for any non-mileage-based-points awards. That is assuming that such awards were made part of planned competition (announced from beginning).

Mikey
11-12-2013, 02:52 PM
As a manual ride recorder last year (I was smartphone less becuase of archaic DoD phone rules) and finally got strava during the NBC. I can say that recording miles on my smart phone is not fool proof. My cell phone battery life is not good enough to record more than 3 hours of riding (not as ridiculous as it sounds when you consider I live in Fairfax and commute to the District), and often time my Strava would be jacked up and would not record my results. There needs to be a manual entry capability for the challenge. It's okay if manual entry doesn't allow for specific pointless prizes but for the big challenge there needs to be a way to make it work for the technologically but not pedally challenged.

vvill
11-13-2013, 06:57 AM
Not sure if this would make ridewithgps an option, it's a 3 year old post:
"We don't have a complete JSON API yet, but much of our stuff is available via JSON. Send me an email, and let me know what you need, and I'll make it happen." (http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/668432-What-we-are-doing-at-ridewithgps-com?p=11259561&viewfull=1#post11259561)
ridewithgps does have segments too.

ridewithgps also gives you the best option to make a manual entry (you can manually map your route to log it), so you could even get an elevation estimate.

hozn
11-13-2013, 07:15 AM
Not sure if this would make ridewithgps an option, it's a 3 year old post:
"We don't have a complete JSON API yet, but much of our stuff is available via JSON. Send me an email, and let me know what you need, and I'll make it happen." (http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/668432-What-we-are-doing-at-ridewithgps-com?p=11259561&viewfull=1#post11259561)
ridewithgps does have segments too.

ridewithgps also gives you the best option to make a manual entry (you can manually map your route to log it), so you could even get an elevation estimate.

Yeah, I saw that thread. I didn't go further to inquire, figuring that the touchy-areas of data access (like authentication/authorization) would be rudimentary if they haven't planned this out. (E.g. with RunKeeper people would have to grant access to the application, which would then allow us to read activities without needing their account passwords.) It is probably worth an email, though, as I love the idea of supporting ridewithgps.

eminva
11-13-2013, 07:17 AM
I'm not a technical expert and I don't even know what "API" stands for, but if I'm on the Strava marketing team, I'd be reading this thread with increasing alarm. They either need to make the "API" available, figure out how to facilitate Freezing Saddles-type events inhouse or lose the franchise to a competitor or upstart.

Liz

vvill
11-13-2013, 07:42 AM
I think Strava already decided that they are the big fish with their last round of changes and ignoring many (actually, all but a few) developers. DC Rainmaker has a good write-up (http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/07/cutting-removing-functionality.html).


Yeah, I saw that thread. I didn't go further to inquire, figuring that the touchy-areas of data access (like authentication/authorization) would be rudimentary if they haven't planned this out. (E.g. with RunKeeper people would have to grant access to the application, which would then allow us to read activities without needing their account passwords.) It is probably worth an email, though, as I love the idea of supporting ridewithgps.

Are you volunteering? :)

Yeah I'd rather support ridewithgps since it seems to be run by just a people of guys (who ride, and code). I think a few people only signed up with Strava so they could participate in this challenge last year, so hopefully it wouldn't be too big a deal for people to get an new ridewithgps account if it works out.

hozn
11-13-2013, 07:58 AM
Are you volunteering? :)


Yeah, I'll contact them.

GB
11-13-2013, 08:08 AM
Would requests from multiple people to Strava help or hurt our cause?

PeteD
11-13-2013, 08:22 AM
If Strava's locked up their API, I'm curious how veloviewer.com is still able to get full information.

--Pete

vvill
11-13-2013, 08:23 AM
I can't imagine it would hurt. Reading the "comments" section on the DC Rainmaker thread, it seems that in around August, Strava changed their mind on some of the API access for third-party apps and started talking more to developers.


If Strava's locked up their API, I'm curious how veloviewer.com is still able to get full information.

--Pete

They're one of the few original apps who got API v3 access.

Mikey
11-13-2013, 08:24 AM
Do we want to start a new thread to get an idea of the people who would be participating? Do we want to resurrect the March Madness tournament idea. Each Team competing head to head for a week seeded by their cumulative score during the contest. Winner take all? (all of what I don't know).

GB
11-13-2013, 08:30 AM
on a mostly unrelated topic:

When you have Strava premium does it show you where your friend/follow(er/ies) are? If so, that plus the heat maps might just get me to pay (although I probably need more friends for it really be worth it ;)

americancyclo
11-13-2013, 08:33 AM
When you have Strava premium does it show you where your friend/follow(er/ies) are?
What do you mean by that? The real time tracking feature found on phones?

hozn
11-13-2013, 08:36 AM
What do you mean by that? The real time tracking feature found on phones?

Yeah, I think their Android app does this (maybe it's premium only?). I don't use the app, though, so can't really comment on that. It does sound marginally useful if you have your phone mounted to your bike. I use Garmin's live track feature when I am meeting someone somewhere, just in case I'm early/late.

(This isn't related to freezing saddles, though, so should probably be a new thread?)

GB
11-13-2013, 08:45 AM
so should probably be a new thread?)

Agreed, and done.

hozn
11-13-2013, 08:46 AM
If Strava's locked up their API, I'm curious how veloviewer.com is still able to get full information.

--Pete

Yeah, they haven't locked their API; they've restricted it. Veloviewer, raceshape, etc. have access.

It also seems that tapiriik was granted access at some point (after the official no-more-access cutoff date). I requested access originally, specifically referencing freezing saddles & the open-source python Strava library I would like to be able to maintain. (Was not granted.)

Anyway, I have emailed them again; they're not super quick with responses, but we'll see if anything new comes of it. I don't imagine multiple inquiries would hurt, though I think I was able to express the extent of participation in my email, so I'm not sure it would add a lot. It's not like they're going to relax the restrictions; the best I could hope for would just be to be given an API key.

(I've also emailed RWGPS. I'd probably contribute a patch to tapiriik to add RWGPS support if they do provide an API that supports it.)

P.S. "API" = "Application Programming Interface". It's basically making a website (or other application) intelligible to computers -- as opposed to humans. So this usually involves dumbing down the data into very rigid structures that can be processed by machine, as opposed to rich & colorful tables that make sense to humans. "Screen scraping" is when there is no API provided, so you make a computer attempt to process the contents of the designed-for-humans web pages to extract the data. This usually works, but is very brittle (since the website designers don't expect anyone to do this, they will make changes to the code at will that may not change the meaning for their human readers but may break the parsing algorithms of the screen scrapers -- e.g. re-arranging columns in a grid.)

mstone
11-13-2013, 08:57 AM
I'm not a technical expert and I don't even know what "API" stands for, but if I'm on the Strava marketing team, I'd be reading this thread with increasing alarm. They either need to make the "API" available, figure out how to facilitate Freezing Saddles-type events inhouse or lose the franchise to a competitor or upstart.

All of the for-profit data companies end up doing this. They feel that your data is their value proposition, and they aren't interested in sharing it. If you don't like that, don't give your data to a company and let them control access to it. The right answer is open APIs that let you keep your data where you want it, and allow apps & other authorized users to access it on your terms. That will only happen if people insist on it, and most people don't care that much and will put up with whatever strava/facebook/twitter/etc do.

eminva
11-13-2013, 09:09 AM
All of the for-profit data companies end up doing this. They feel that your data is their value proposition, and they aren't interested in sharing it. If you don't like that, don't give your data to a company and let them control access to it. The right answer is open APIs that let you keep your data where you want it, and allow apps & other authorized users to access it on your terms. That will only happen if people insist on it, and most people don't care that much and will put up with whatever strava/facebook/twitter/etc do.

My issue isn't whether I like it or not. It's just that if their most avid users, including a fair number of their paying "Premium" users have to go elsewhere to get all the functionality they want, they may end up deciding it's not worth sticking with the original once they get most of what they need elsewhere.

The thing that really got me thinking was vvill's note that Ridewithgps can do segments. That's probably the golden goose for Strava; if people can find that elsewhere, they've lost what sets them apart.

Liz

vvill
11-13-2013, 09:15 AM
The thing that really got me thinking was vvill's note that Ridewithgps can do segments. That's probably the golden goose for Strava; if people can find that elsewhere, they've lost what sets them apart.

Segments are only fun if there's a critical mass of people logging their rides though and I think Strava's definitely the only place with that (for now).

mstone
11-13-2013, 09:30 AM
My issue isn't whether I like it or not. It's just that if their most avid users, including a fair number of their paying "Premium" users have to go elsewhere to get all the functionality they want, they may end up deciding it's not worth sticking with the original once they get most of what they need elsewhere.

The thing that really got me thinking was vvill's note that Ridewithgps can do segments. That's probably the golden goose for Strava; if people can find that elsewhere, they've lost what sets them apart.

Strava is like any other social thingy: their entire value is the idea that your friends are there, and so you have to go there too. It's not about features, it's about userbase. (Side note: this is why I think high valuations for social companies are nuts--there's no real good reason why people can't just go somewhere else, and history suggests that people are fickle.) Given feature parity, there are fewer reasons not to move en masse, but moving still only makes sense if you can convince enough other people to move also. And then the big question is, will the new social thingy give you any more control of and access to your data than the old social thingy? (Looking not just at what they do now, but what you've given them permission to do once they're big enough to go for a money grab.)

jopamora
11-13-2013, 10:46 AM
Might want to come up with a new name for the challenge if the Weather Gang is right about their prediction. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/11/13/winter-outlook-2013-14-for-washington-d-c-volatile-leaning-warm-with-below-normal-snow/)

consularrider
11-13-2013, 11:01 AM
Well, that seems like the same winter weather pattern as the last two years.

Hancockbs
11-13-2013, 01:46 PM
Segments are only fun if there's a critical mass of people logging their rides though and I think Strava's definitely the only place with that (for now).

RwGPS has a very strong segment base as well. I load my data to both sites and find fairly equal usage of both, but generally by different people.

rcannon100
11-15-2013, 08:37 AM
So.... who has contacted what services? Hozn is signed up to contact RWGps? Any others? I think its an excellent idea (as in someone said it at FCCII this morning). What services can we contact?

* Strava
* Endomondo
* Garmin Connect
* Mapmyrides
* Geodistance.com,
* Bikejournal.com,
* Veloroutes.org
* Others

Seems pretty standard. We can draw up a pretty standard inquiry, send it to the venders, and see who responds.

Any volunteers to draft a standard letter (I can write up something about creating team challenges, but I dont speak open API and doubt I could draft that question correctly).

And then volunteers for different services (particularly if you are a customer and you like that service).

PeteD
11-15-2013, 10:07 AM
I've reached out through some back channels to see if we can get access to Strava's API. (Friend of a friend kinda thing). No guarantees.

--Pete

GB
11-15-2013, 10:30 AM
Without understand our IT problem at all, I was just wondering if not having teams would remove the problem?

I was on the misfit team last year, so it was really an individual competition for me, which I was perfectly happy with.

rcannon100
11-15-2013, 10:38 AM
Without understand our IT problem at all, I was just wondering if not having teams would remove the problem?

I was on the misfit team last year, so it was really an individual competition for me, which I was perfectly happy with.

Nah! If its an individual competition, then just send me RodSmith's address now and I will send him the first place award. We dont even have to have the competition. ;)

The idea of the hat-tournament is to create multiple teams of relatively the same handicap.

ShawnoftheDread
11-15-2013, 10:44 AM
Without understand our IT problem at all, I was just wondering if not having teams would remove the problem?

I was on the misfit team last year, so it was really an individual competition for me, which I was perfectly happy with.

Misfit? Our top three riders rode 4,000 miles between them. Or were you referring to our personalities?

americancyclo
11-15-2013, 11:23 AM
Misfit? Our top three riders rode 4,000 miles between them. Or were you referring to our personalities?

https://files.nyu.edu/cch223/public/images/New/misfits_81.jpg
which one are you?

ShawnoftheDread
11-15-2013, 11:49 AM
https://files.nyu.edu/cch223/public/images/New/misfits_81.jpg
which one are you?

Well I'm not Glenn Danzig, I can tell you that right now. Or maybe I am.

vvill
11-15-2013, 12:36 PM
So.... who has contacted what services? Hozn is signed up to contact RWGps? Any others? I think its an excellent idea (as in someone said it at FCCII this morning). What services can we contact?

I believe hozn has already contacted Strava (perhaps more than once), and rwgps.
Garmin Connect and RunKeeper already have accessible APIs, I think, but I think overall we'd rather be able to save people from having to sign up new accounts for this year since everyone is already on Strava.

consularrider
11-15-2013, 02:39 PM
Nah! If its an individual competition, then just send me RodSmith's address now and I will send him the first place award. We dont even have to have the competition. ;)
But he didn't have the most points last year, did he? ;)

KelOnWheels
11-15-2013, 03:33 PM
Well I'm not Glenn Danzig, I can tell you that right now. Or maybe I am.

Nah, I've seen you. You're taller than Danzig. :D

Rod Smith
11-15-2013, 06:09 PM
But he didn't have the most points last year, did he? ;)

That was last year Chris.

consularrider
11-15-2013, 06:26 PM
I'm not planning on spraining my ankle again, so you won't be starting with a 600 point advantage. ;)

rcannon100
11-15-2013, 06:59 PM
But he didn't have the most points last year, did he? ;)

I consulted the NBC scores.

hozn
11-16-2013, 02:34 AM
I believe hozn has already contacted Strava (perhaps more than once), and rwgps.
Garmin Connect and RunKeeper already have accessible APIs, I think, but I think overall we'd rather be able to save people from having to sign up new accounts for this year since everyone is already on Strava.

Yeah, I got a automated-looking response (actually two of them) from Strava saying that my API request was on a list and that they may grant more keys in coming months.

I have had a great exchange with Cullen from RWGPS and have a developer key to play with. They have API calls (largely undocumented) to support what we need and have some intriguing features like photo support which could make leaderboards interesting. And they have some competition stuff supported directly by their site, though it sounds like that is a work in progress. I certainly still have questions after looking at the example calls he sent, but this seems like it offers strong potential. Cullen also suggested that we could beta test their Android recorder app that they plan to release in January. I think the challenge is that we'd want to get RWGPS support added to tapiriik. I don't know how much time I'll have to work on this, but I will get in touch with the guy behind tapiriik and at least put him in touch Cullen. If I have time, I can maybe help writer the RWGPS connector.

More to come ...

sjclaeys
11-21-2013, 08:41 AM
We will need a new location for the Freezing Saddles awards ceremony: http://www.arlnow.com/2013/11/20/baileys-closes-in-crystal-city/

americancyclo
11-21-2013, 09:17 AM
I won't miss walking through the smoke in my bike kit.

culimerc
11-21-2013, 09:26 AM
We will need a new location for the Freezing Saddles awards ceremony: http://www.arlnow.com/2013/11/20/baileys-closes-in-crystal-city/
How 'bout the Forest Inn?? :)

PeteD
11-21-2013, 09:52 AM
I do know, however, that we should have self-serve API sign-up very soon - hopefully within a a few days. So your friend should be able to review terms and sign up for API keys shortly. There's also a developers@strava.com email address set up, but I don't think the guy running the API here does a great job of responding to emails. :(

My update from Strava.

--Pete

hozn
11-21-2013, 11:37 AM
My update from Strava.

--Pete

That is awesome! Yeah, Collin from tapiriik.com also indicated this. So that is wonderful news; I'm happy they're fixing the policy.

Probably we can just use Strava again then this year. That seems simplest all around. However, I *am* actively building the RWGPS support for tapiriik.com, so hopefully soon people will also be able to start using RWGPS with little/no additional effort. I started work last night and after getting some questions answered from Cullen @ RWGPS, I think I have what I need to complete that. I just need a few more hours of spare time. I like what RWGPS is doing and would love to support them, but the syncing capability is a requirement as I can't be bothered to manually upload data to any site. :)

rcannon100
11-21-2013, 11:54 AM
Massive!

Okay, we will pretend that the backend will magically materialize - and give you guys lots of chocolate for the holidays.

I will thus and therefore begin to work on sign up.

In listening to the conversation about Freezing Saddles, my presumption will be that last years rules are the status quo, unless we get consensus to change them.

I think the one clear item I heard consensus on was larger teams? Last year we took like 50 people and divided them into 10 teams of ~5 (based on handicaps). Its a push and a pull - the more people on teams the fewer the teams. What seems like a right number? Is 10 too big (with only 5 teams). Would it make more sense to have 8 on a team (with 6 teams). (these are all assumes sign up numbers for demo purposes).

I am not hearing consensus on the sleaze mile bonus? The daily bonus games the competition to favor the daily rider over the weekend distance warrior - and this is a commuter game. It is also a built in bonus for those who ride on the absolute worst days. As some have pointed out, a "1 mile" distance is legitimately for many of us the distance from our house to the coffee house on the corner - not a bad reason to ride. Comments (and LIKE any positions you support)?

I think the handicap is likely to remain the same? The question is currently "On average, how many miles did you ride per week and how many times did you ride per week during the month of November and December?"

The goal is to create teams who all have the same relative score based on that question (by grouping riders who have different value scores).

As for what the awards are - that isnt so much a consensus issue as someone needs to step up to the plate and volunteer to do the award (all of the data analysis, and getting the prizes). There are not official prizes; this isnt an official game. There is just someone volunteering.

The other volunteers we will need are team captains (last year I think this involved very little work - the major task is for the captain to handle any kerfuffle should any arise) and end of competition party.

Last year the competition ran Jan. 1 to the last day of winter (a bit more than 2.5 months).

consularrider
11-21-2013, 01:00 PM
... Okay, we will pretend that the backend will magically materialize - and give you guys lots of chocolate for the holidays ...
I have a couple bottles of Sam Adams Chocolate Stout I can add to the pot. ;)

dasgeh
11-21-2013, 01:59 PM
I am not hearing consensus on the sleaze mile bonus?

I vote for the limit for rides to "count" be 1 mile. (more than the average daily commute in Copenhagen, according to that other thread).

*Like to vote for this*

ronwalf
11-21-2013, 02:10 PM
I vote for the limit for rides to "count" be 1 mile.

Just a clarification from last year's challenge. The 10pt bonus was for at least 1 mile of total mileage in a day. So if you took 3 separate tripes totaling .34 miles each, you'd be golden. I'm pretty sure both hozn and I implemented this rule the same way.

Separately, I probably can't host the scoreboard this year (that whole graduation thing means UMD won't give me free web space). That shouldn't be a problem, since hozn's scoreboard was pretty great.

rcannon100
11-21-2013, 02:14 PM
Just a clarification from last year's challenge. The 10pt bonus was for at least 1 mile of total mileage in a day. So if you took 3 separate tripes totaling .34 miles each, you'd be golden. I'm pretty sure both hozn and I implemented this rule the same way.

Separately, I probably can't host the scoreboard this year (that whole graduation thing means UMD won't give me free web space). That shouldn't be a problem, since hozn's scoreboard was pretty great.

Can we just stick it up on a google site? It was javascript??

vvill
11-21-2013, 02:15 PM
I believe hozn will be able to host it.



I think we should keep all the rules the same, and just have slightly larger teams (6-8 riders per team sounds about right). It worked so well last year we don't need to make a whole bunch of changes.

Then just add some of the prize categories up front - average speed, climbing, climbing per mile, Hains Pt laps, time spent riding pre-dawn/post-dusk/below freezing, highest average ride length (the anti-sleaze award)?, or whatever, and we could even have people volunteer for awards in advance. These could all be team and/or individual as well.

hozn
11-21-2013, 02:40 PM
Can we just stick it up on a google site? It was javascript??

I believe it was Haskell! (ELITE!) I'm sorry that they won't host it for you this year. Assuming Strava comes back online for developers (and some necessary code changes to use new API), shouldn't be a problem with me running the leaderboards.

rcannon100
11-21-2013, 03:16 PM
Then just add some of the prize categories up front .

All we need is a volunteer. Which one are you volunteering for Will? Pick your favorite and its yours. You have to do the data munching and procure the trophies. Whoever is willing to volunteer gets to pick what the award is.

Freezing Saddles is whatever the volunteers make it; if there is no volunteer for X - then there is no X.

KayakCyndi
11-21-2013, 04:03 PM
Then just add some of the prize categories up front

As the reigning Queen of the World, who this year has more modest travel plans, I volunteer to pass my crown. The prize will go to the world traveler who logs rides on the most continents other than our own. If there is a tie the prize will go to the rider who earned the most KOMs/QOMs (assuming strava) on those rides.

hozn
11-21-2013, 05:21 PM
All we need is a volunteer. Which one are you volunteering for Will? Pick your favorite and its yours. You have to do the data munching and procure the trophies. Whoever is willing to volunteer gets to pick what the award is.

Freezing Saddles is whatever the volunteers make it; if there is no volunteer for X - then there is no X.

Assuming we have the data, I will build leaderboards for these alternate categories that people are volunteering to "sponsor".

Just tell me the rules (and team vs individual, etc.). Obviously any of data mining categories from last year should work, but there are lots of things we could do. In general we have ride data, weather data (temps, precip, sunrise/set), etc. Always looking for fun ways to mash stuff together.

vvill
11-21-2013, 06:37 PM
The two I awarded last year were a little more abstruse... one for the best map shape/design created by a ride's GPS track, and one was for the most manual entries.

I'm happy to award the first one again (best map shape/design created by a ride's GPS track). The second one is a bit silly to nominate upfront, and I think almost everyone has Strava tracks now either via a Garmin style GPS or smart phone - so I'll leave it out this time around. I'll see if I can think of something else interesting, but yeah in the meantime people are free to suggest categories, or volunteer to award one.

Justin Antos
11-22-2013, 09:25 AM
Given his commute last year from DC to Arlington VIA WEST VIRGINIA, I nominate DismalScientist to award the most Gratuitously Circuitous Commute this year!

rcannon100
11-22-2013, 09:47 AM
First Place Awards -> I am glad to pass the baton if someone else wants to handle this, otherwise I am glad to handle first place - most likely coordinating again with Phoenix Bikes for marvelous artistic creations. Henry Dunbar has already asked if we plan on doing this again. I think they very much liked this (their silent action will be in May or something this year so we wont have the presentation during their party like we did last year).

http://bikearlingtonforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2337&d=1359231901

jopamora
11-22-2013, 10:21 AM
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5245/5367322736_72dbc58352_z.jpg

Arlingtonrider
11-22-2013, 10:27 AM
If the Crystal City venue for last year's end of contest party was ok (Bailey's - they gave us a nice room and I think everyone was happy with it), I'll be glad to volunteer to arrange for it again. I like the idea of supporting Crystal City venues - Crystal City has been very bike friendly and the location is very convenient to get to by bike.

consularrider
11-22-2013, 10:30 AM
If the Crystal City venue for last year's end of contest party was ok (Bailey's - they gave us a nice room and I think everyone was happy with it), I'll be glad to volunteer to arrange for it again. I like the idea of supporting Crystal City venues - Crystal City has been very bike friendly and the location is very convenient to get to by bike.
Looks like Bailey's has closed, see post #110.

GB
11-22-2013, 10:31 AM
Shouldn't the awards ceremony be outside? Maybe NorthSide Social?

Arlingtonrider
11-22-2013, 10:47 AM
Looks like Bailey's has closed, see post #110.

In that case, some co-volunteers will be needed to occasionally help scout out other possible venues over the next several months, keeping in mind that many of us will soon be roaming Crystal City streets while part of the FMR trail is closed. A mission involving beers and burgers. Anyone up for helping with this?

PeteD
11-22-2013, 04:03 PM
Success?


Quick update! It looks like a developers self-service API flow has soft-launched today: http://www.strava.com/developers

hozn
11-22-2013, 06:39 PM
Success?

I should be on their list like 4 times but nobody told me. :) I will go give it a shot . Thanks!

hozn
11-22-2013, 08:45 PM
Yup, all registered; that was easy. I will start updating my code to use their new API. Note that with this new system participants will need to "opt in" in order to show up on the leaderboards, etc.

Hopefully I van get stuff updated by early-to-mid December so we can test drive it a bit before the competition starts.

PeteD
11-22-2013, 09:35 PM
I should be on their list like 4 times but nobody told me. :) I will go give it a shot . Thanks!

This is the "soft launch." :o

Because, who other than CI shops deploy on a Friday?

--Pete

KLizotte
11-22-2013, 10:37 PM
In that case, some co-volunteers will be needed to occasionally help scout out other possible venues over the next several months, keeping in mind that many of us will soon be roaming Crystal City streets while part of the FMR trail is closed. A mission involving beers and burgers. Anyone up for helping with this?

Doesn't Cap City Shirlington have a separate party room?

GB
11-25-2013, 04:46 PM
Ray's ^3rd (b/n Rosslyn & Courthouse, across the street from the original Ray's the Steaks and Hell Burger) has a separate (but not closed off) room, it can probably seat ~20. What's the expected turn out we should be scouting venues for? ( / for which we should be scouting venues)?

Are there price point guidelines for the pointless prizes? Or are they all intended to symbolic and of no monetary value (like trophies)?

...for some reason I feel like this post is jumping the gun a little... I guess you tell what part of this I'm most interested in... prizes and parties

Amalitza
11-25-2013, 07:03 PM
Last year's pointless prizes were mostly symbolic, with the exception of some gloves and socks kindly donated by Bike Arlington.

I'm still bitter about losing out on the cool (nepalese?) lunch box, though. :p

KayakCyndi
11-25-2013, 07:19 PM
I'm still bitter about losing out on the cool (nepalese?) lunch box, though. :p

It was from India and I really thought you'd win it! Alas no current plans to go back this Feb/March.

rcannon100
11-25-2013, 07:34 PM
Are there price point guidelines for the pointless prizes? Or are they all intended to symbolic and of no monetary value (like trophies)?

Prizes are what people make of them. This is our party and this is our friends - so go wild! Or... or.... hit up our local LBS friends and see if they want to be generous!!! First prize was procured last night with a very nice donation to Phoenix Bikes ~ which I pretty much considered a win-win.

And BTW I still have my Freezing Saddles paper plate trophy proudly sitting on my desk!

TrishN
11-26-2013, 08:15 AM
It was from India and I really thought you'd win it! Alas no current plans to go back this Feb/March.

Just chiming in on the awesomeness of the tiffin food box prize. I'm very thrilled to have won it! :D

ebubar
12-02-2013, 07:02 PM
Just chiming in to say i'm in for the challenge this year!

ejwillis62
12-02-2013, 07:15 PM
I am ready for freezing saddles too.
Liz W

DismalScientist
12-02-2013, 07:17 PM
You realize that by publicly stating this you are only hurting your ability to effectively sandbag this fine contest.:rolleyes:

Jason B
12-03-2013, 04:35 AM
So when, or how do you sign up for this, or did you already make teams and I just asked something that made everyone collectively say, "Awkward"?

hozn
12-03-2013, 05:36 AM
I believe rcannon will manage official registration and team assignment.

I am actively working on new Strava integration (Strava account will be required again for contestants). You will also have to authorize the freezing saddles Strava app to access your ride data -- more details to come on scoreboard app (and hopefully pre-enrollment for testing) in next couple weeks. The good news is that we can continue to work on the reporting tools during competition; we just need to make sure we are collecting the data and have the basic scoreboard in place by competition start.

rcannon100
12-03-2013, 07:43 AM
Yup. Sign up should be up in a couple of days. Freezing Saddles runs Jan 1 to the last day of winter.

NicDiesel
12-03-2013, 08:38 AM
Let's do this. I just bought a ton of Gore Tex gear that desperate needs a good Minnesota winter beating.

rcannon100
12-03-2013, 09:04 AM
This is a DRAFT of the form (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1M0TulhK4IWXKNPI1qcfRTlJBdeIDljAFtUvWunjNBag/viewform). Does this look about right? Feel free to BETA test it. Any entries will be deleted when it goes live in a couple of days.

Tim Kelley
12-03-2013, 09:07 AM
African or European?

GB
12-03-2013, 09:14 AM
Where can I see my Strava UserID #?

Mikey
12-03-2013, 09:16 AM
how does one with an Strava account find their Strava ID number?


Is it the number in the URL when I hover over my name from the profile page?
Thanks.

ronwalf
12-03-2013, 09:25 AM
This is a DRAFT of the form (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1M0TulhK4IWXKNPI1qcfRTlJBdeIDljAFtUvWunjNBag/viewform). Does this look about right? Feel free to BETA test it. Any entries will be deleted when it goes live in a couple of days.

Does it need instructions on how to find your Strava ID? I know how to find it (log on to strava, click my username, and copy it out of the URL), but that's probably non-obvious to the uninitiated.

Mikey
12-03-2013, 09:39 AM
I like the idea of "What are you going to volunteer for". It got me thinking. I volunteer to create weekly meaningless side bets/challenges etc throughout the challenge period. Not to be confused with pointless prizes which are cashed in at the end, the meaningless side challenges will come out weekly (as a thread on the forum) and add an extra bit of competition for the overly competative. Some examples would be, "First complete team to post a photo of themselves at a bar, enjoying a frosty beverage wins the meaningelss side challenge" or "Most individual miles between Midnight and 3am" etc. . . I may need a little help pulling data but that would depend on the challenge. Prizes could be anywhere from bragging rights, to donated SWAG, or points towards a future pointless prize.

Jason B
12-03-2013, 10:12 AM
Does it need instructions on how to find your Strava ID? I know how to find it (log on to strava, click my username, and copy it out of the URL), but that's probably non-obvious to the uninitiated.

Um, my name is Jason and I am uninitiated.
couldn't find it

DismalScientist
12-03-2013, 10:18 AM
Um, my name is Jason and I am uninitiated.
couldn't find it

It's 309382. :D

Arlingtonrider
12-03-2013, 10:20 AM
Last year a lot of the fun communications related to particular rides and were in Strava comments. Since everyone will have a Strava number, I suggest not limiting *all* communications to the forum - maybe just those concerning general things such as the rules of the challenge?

Mikey
12-03-2013, 10:21 AM
How does everyone feel about moving the Freezing Saddles competition to a separate forum header, so that it is easier to find, and it won't clog up the commuter or general discussion forums. I think it would be fairly easiy for the Bike Arlington crew to do technically? What to you think?

hozn
12-03-2013, 10:35 AM
+1 -- I think that is a great idea :)

Dickie
12-03-2013, 02:40 PM
African or European?

errr, I don't know that..... ahhhhhhhh

Mikey
12-03-2013, 09:26 PM
Dickie shouldn't be allowed to quote Monty Python, it sounds too much like his regular voice. At least when us Yanks fake the accent you know we are joking. ;)