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cvcalhoun
10-14-2014, 10:15 PM
So having finished Freezing Saddles in January through March, 30 Days of Biking in April, and the National Bike Challenge in May through September, I have my first month all year with no specific biking challenge. I'm going through withdrawal! When is registration for Freezing Saddles going to open, so I can get my fix?

jrenaut
10-15-2014, 07:56 AM
You could just ride around with an ice pack stuffed in your shorts to get in the right frame of mind.

Raymo853
10-15-2014, 08:45 AM
You could just ride around with an ice pack stuffed in your shorts to get in the right frame of mind.

And with very dark sunglasses

dkel
10-15-2014, 09:11 AM
And with very dark sunglasses

And with every square inch of your body covered by several layers of carefully chosen and very expensive fabrics.

cyclingfool
10-15-2014, 09:28 AM
And with every square inch of your body covered by several layers of carefully chosen and very expensive fabrics.

Speak for yourself. (link (http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?3077-My-Morning-Commute&p=74606#post74606))

rcannon100
10-15-2014, 09:59 AM
You should be doing coffeeneuring. There are also regular challenges on STRAVA.

Raymo853
10-15-2014, 11:10 AM
My two hopes for this year: I won't pick up Mono in Costa Rica . It will not be as cold as last year.

Mikey
10-16-2014, 08:31 AM
Did someone say it's time to learn about the Vice Presidents?

kingman762
11-17-2014, 09:01 PM
It seems to me that freezing saddles should start when we get the first frozen commute (which looks to be tomorrow). By January we'll have been freezing in the saddles for a month and a half...

rcannon100
11-17-2014, 09:26 PM
It seems to me that freezing saddles should start when we get the first frozen commute (which looks to be tomorrow). By January we'll have been freezing in the saddles for a month and a half...

So are you volunteering to organize and run it?

Steve O
11-17-2014, 09:49 PM
So are you volunteering to organize and run it?

Which does bring us to the topic:

As a grass-roots event, everyone chipping in in some small way makes it all work out. So step right up everyone.

I volunteer to:
- Once again be Unassailable Czar of Ride Titles for the Pointless Prizes.
- Organize the Pointless Prizes awards for the happy hour (others will award prizes, too; I just decide the order and keep the festivities moving).
- Help publicize and bring a toasting beverage for the FSLNHPP* on March 19.
- Dislike posts with cute kids or puppies.

jrenaut
11-17-2014, 09:58 PM
I think we do need to get started on stuff, right? Isn't there a kickoff happy hour to schedule?

I volunteer to:
1) Help hozn with programming stuff again
2) FSLNHPP organization and whatnot

Rod Smith
11-17-2014, 10:00 PM
I volunteer to ride the most.

Steve O
11-17-2014, 10:09 PM
Oh, by the way. For the first day of FS2015 I will unfortunately be in Cancun (http://www.thereefplayacar.com/), so I'll miss the New Year's Hains Point cold, miserable, pointless circling. I just checked and, yes, the resort has bicycles.
(Note to self: remember Garmin.)

cvcalhoun
11-17-2014, 10:35 PM
Oh, by the way. For the first day of FS2015 I will unfortunately be in Cancun (http://www.thereefplayacar.com/), so I'll miss the New Year's Hains Point cold, miserable, pointless circling. I just checked and, yes, the resort has bicycles.
(Note to self: remember Garmin.)

That "unfortunately" doesn't sound sincere to me!

Tim Kelley
11-18-2014, 08:27 AM
BikeArlington will provide some prizes!!

Raymo853
11-18-2014, 08:34 AM
Oh, by the way. For the first day of FS2015 I will unfortunately be in Cancun (http://www.thereefplayacar.com/), so I'll miss the New Year's Hains Point cold, miserable, pointless circling. I just checked and, yes, the resort has bicycles.
(Note to self: remember Garmin.)

There is going to be a Jan 01 Haines Point ride? Does anyone know the time? I was about to announce my Jan 01 11 AM Fort Dupont CX/MTB ride. Maybe I can join the Haines Ride going there and/or coming back.

Mikey
11-18-2014, 08:47 AM
More side bets coming your way, better brush up on your history and civics ;)

rcannon100
11-18-2014, 09:05 AM
More side bets coming your way, better brush up on your history and civics ;)

This was my favorite part from last year!

ShawnoftheDread
11-18-2014, 09:12 AM
I'm only in if Dickie finally quits wussing out.

UnknownCyclist
11-18-2014, 09:59 AM
I'll provide comments from the peanut gallery.

dasgeh
11-18-2014, 10:16 AM
I'll encourage #kidical riding.

Arlingtonrider
11-18-2014, 10:31 AM
I'll work on setting up happy hours.

dasgeh
11-18-2014, 10:50 AM
Which reminds me: may I suggest that we do something more for kids this year? Even just designating part of the space for kids, and having coloring stuff and snacks all ready for them (if possible with softer music) would go a long way. We could even bring in some toys. We could even formally rope in the older ones to help entertain the little ones (which, in my experience, works well for both groups). The forum family is growing, and making space for offspring is important to allowing all the adults to continue to enjoy the fun.

I'll help Arlingtonrider make the happy hours kid friendly, if that's cool with people.

GB
11-18-2014, 10:58 AM
I'll help Arlingtonrider make the happy hours kid friendly, if that's cool with people.

Small kids + coloring books, toys, snacks = super cute!

What do you have against Steve O?

Arlingtonrider
11-18-2014, 11:00 AM
Maybe we should consider having a separate kidical event, just in case of space or venue limitations. It might be worth considering as a possible back up plan, unless someone knows of a large bike-friendly venue available at no cost.

These sorts of things can be worked out later, right? Let's not get too far in the weeds just yet.

KayakCyndi
11-18-2014, 11:05 AM
I volunteer to ride the most.

I volunteer to be on Rod's team!

Oh and to:
- Crown the King/Queen of the world (fear not, I have no int'l travel plans).
- Hopefully not crash and miss most of the January.

dasgeh
11-18-2014, 11:09 AM
Maybe we should consider having a separate kidical event, just in case of space or venue limitations. It might be worth considering as a back up plan.

The issue is that many of us with kids won't come to the main event without our kids. If there's nothing for the kids at the main event, then our kids will be biting our ankles the whole time, and we won't get to talk to people or have fun. A separate event wouldn't solve that problem, unless you want to prizes once for people with kids and once for people without, but BOO.

Amalitza
11-18-2014, 11:18 AM
I will provide an early bird award for the most pre-dawn miles/points/hours/rides (whichever data is available) since my total on that will be approximately zero.

Arlingtonrider
11-18-2014, 11:21 AM
Dasgeh, I think we're getting into the weeds way too early on the kidical happy hour issue, but if you'd like to help if needed later to find a large enough venue to accommodate that, that would be great. It might not be an issue, depending on the number of people who plan to come.

Also, we don't even know yet if there will be a Freezing Saddles 2015.

Arlingtonrider
11-18-2014, 11:22 AM
I'll provide the award for most miles ridden on Jan 1, 2015.

cyclingfool
11-18-2014, 11:29 AM
I volunteer to be on Rod's team!

Oh and to:
- Crown the King/Queen of the world (fear not, I have no int'l travel plans).
- Hopefully not crash and miss most of the January.

Lentement mais Surement reunion! :D

I'm definitely in for FS again this year. My base miles from the fall for handicapping purposes are pretty much guaranteed not to be indicative of my actual riding in the winter this year, since my employment status and/or location are changing as of 1/1/15, if not sooner. I'll either be still at my current employer (with reduced hours cobbled together perhaps with other part time gigs and thus reduced commuting opportunities), or gainfully employed elsewhere. The elsewhere could mean a longer but still realistic bike commute or, gasp, a return to metro (or even worse, car) for most of my commuting for a while. My hopes right now are squarely pinned on a job opportunity panning out that would increase my daily commute miles by from 14-15 daily up to 20! That would be ideal!

IOW, I have no idea how many miles I'll be able to put up. So, apologies (or you're welcomes) in advance to my teammates depending on whether I under- or overperform.

cyclingfool
11-18-2014, 11:30 AM
I'll provide the award for most miles ridden on Jan 1, 2015.

The gauntlet has been thrown.

dasgeh
11-18-2014, 11:55 AM
IOW, I have no idea how many miles I'll be able to put up. So, apologies (or you're welcomes) in advance to my teammates depending on whether I under- or overperform.

I just realized I'm in a similar boat. Uncertainty FTW.

Mikey
11-18-2014, 11:58 AM
we must be crazy. After the first really cold morning, and we all are like, "I can't wait to spend the next 3 months in this weather, you guys in or what?"

vern
11-18-2014, 12:23 PM
I wasn't around these here boards last year, so I am new to this game, but I think I would like to play. Cavaet is that I don't have a bike set up for snow so a snowy winter will chew up my miles.

rcannon100
11-18-2014, 12:25 PM
Freezing Saddles is a disorganized game amongst friends, based out of the BA Forum.


FS is NOT bicycle advocacy.
FS is not run by any organization
FS is not sponsored by any organization
There is no purpose to FS other than goofing off


FS is consensus driven by the disorganized group. We start with last years game - and modify it as we see fit if we reach consensus. If no consensus is reached, then the assumption is that last years game rules pretty much stay in place.

FS is entirely volunteer run. If you are participating, you should be volunteering. For something. Somehow. Lots and lots of people contribute small pieces. If you volunteer to do something, it is up to you to do it - no one is supervising you.

The first order of business - well beyond ArlingtonRider planning a happy hour which is really the only important part - how shall we play the game. What are the rules of the game? should the rules, the teams, the point, be changed or revised in any way?

B

KayakCyndi
11-18-2014, 12:30 PM
.... What are the rules of the game? should the rules, the teams, the point, be changed or revised in any way?



Keep it simple and don't change a thing. I see little reason to tinker with what worked so well the past two years!

rcannon100
11-18-2014, 12:34 PM
The first year we had teams of 5. If one person was not able to complete the game, it harmed the team a lot.

The second year we had teams of 10. That seemed clearly better.

We had a HORRIBLE time with substitutes and with late additions to the game.

The teams are created by handicaps where each team is designed to start with the same handicap. I really dont think this worked. 1/3 of you sandbagged your handicap and I dont think the handicaps were reliable. Completely randomly assigning people to teams probably would have been as successful as the handicaps.

Also last year we had a HUGE problem of scale. The game grew a lot, with everyone inviting outsiders to the game.

What should we do with the teams? Teams of 10? Teams of 20 (and therefore one person going to Kiev for a while wont make a difference)?

How should the teams be selected? Purely random? Let people form their own teams? Still use the handicaps? If we use the handicaps, is there a way to make them better, more reliable?

Can we limit the game to just members of the forum? This is after all a game among friends. Kinda defeats the purpose if all these outsiders sign up who are not part of the forum who will not come to happy hours or group rides.

Should we use captains again this year to resolve sticky wicket problems?

I am glad to volunteer to run the registration again this year. Someone else can volunteer to do late registrations or be the substitution czar.

B

Powerful Pete
11-18-2014, 12:41 PM
I would very much like to participate. I was negotiating my new DC based job when I came across the forum and was mightily impressed by the entire FS thing last winter. I want to be one of the cool people with icicle boogers.

I am in. 20~30 km a day of riding, beyond occasional business travel and wussing out due to my ultra-pansiness.

I am a great organizer, if you consider Italians who consider everything as a detail not worth focusing on as someone who is a worthwhile organizer.

But I will do as I am told, more or less.

americancyclo
11-18-2014, 12:43 PM
The first year we had teams of 5. If one person was not able to complete the game, it harmed the team a lot.

The second year we had teams of 10. That seemed clearly better.

We had a HORRIBLE time with substitutes and with late additions to the game.

The teams are created by handicaps where each team is designed to start with the same handicap. I really dont think this worked. 1/3 of you sandbagged your handicap and I dont think the handicaps were reliable. Completely randomly assigning people to teams probably would have been as successful as the handicaps.

Also last year we had a HUGE problem of scale. The game grew a lot, with everyone inviting outsiders to the game.

What should we do with the teams? Teams of 10? Teams of 20 (and therefore one person going to Kiev for a while wont make a difference)?

How should the teams be selected? Purely random? Let people form their own teams? Still use the handicaps? If we use the handicaps, is there a way to make them better, more reliable?

Can we limit the game to just members of the forum? This is after all a game among friends. Kinda defeats the purpose if all these outsiders sign up who are not part of the forum who will not come to happy hours or group rides.

Should we use captains again this year to resolve sticky wicket problems?

I am glad to volunteer to run the registration again this year. Someone else can volunteer to do late registrations or be the substitution czar.

B

I liked the teams of 10

use last years FS mileage as the handicap number? if handicaps didn't really work, then why go through the effort of handicapping? why not just randomize?

in regards to outsiders, isn't this supposed to bring others in to the fold? if not, then require at least one forum post since March 20, 2014 to be eligible to join FS2015.

I support captains.

sethpo
11-18-2014, 12:58 PM
Just to throw this bomb in the mix w/ no intention of doing anything about it....

What if the teams had some kind of geographic component so the folks on the teams could somehow, you know, do team stuff like basketball or swimming?

sjclaeys
11-18-2014, 01:00 PM
The first year we had teams of 5. If one person was not able to complete the game, it harmed the team a lot.

The second year we had teams of 10. That seemed clearly better.

We had a HORRIBLE time with substitutes and with late additions to the game.

The teams are created by handicaps where each team is designed to start with the same handicap. I really dont think this worked. 1/3 of you sandbagged your handicap and I dont think the handicaps were reliable. Completely randomly assigning people to teams probably would have been as successful as the handicaps.

Also last year we had a HUGE problem of scale. The game grew a lot, with everyone inviting outsiders to the game.

What should we do with the teams? Teams of 10? Teams of 20 (and therefore one person going to Kiev for a while wont make a difference)?

How should the teams be selected? Purely random? Let people form their own teams? Still use the handicaps? If we use the handicaps, is there a way to make them better, more reliable?

Can we limit the game to just members of the forum? This is after all a game among friends. Kinda defeats the purpose if all these outsiders sign up who are not part of the forum who will not come to happy hours or group rides.

Should we use captains again this year to resolve sticky wicket problems?

I am glad to volunteer to run the registration again this year. Someone else can volunteer to do late registrations or be the substitution czar.

B

Here are my thoughts.:

10 people on a team is ideal. The (mostly) friendly competition between teams, development of team spirit within the teams, and getting to know other forum members are among the best aspects of FS. I think that these will be lost with larger teams. Letting people form their own teams is probably the worse option, creating bad dynamics. Is using the data from this year's FS to develop handicaps possible? That would seem to avoid the sandbagging problem, except for those who purposely sandbagged in this year's FS anticipating that the data would be used for handicapping in next year's. Limiting the game to just members of the forum is a good idea, though it is not too terribly high a hurdle. At the very least, although this is a friendly game, it should be made clear that the point of all of this is to ride your bike during the game. Myself and other captains had team members who only rode once or twice. I'm not saying ride everyday, but a little effort should be given. Speaking of captains, I think having captains again is a good idea to handle problems and develop team esprit de corps. I am happy to be a captain again. Can we solve the substitution and late registration problems by not having them? That is all.

Arlingtonrider
11-18-2014, 01:06 PM
I would vote for keeping FS the same as last year to the greatest extent manageable and making teams of 10 or maybe 12 depending on how many people sign up. I don't especially like dividing it geographically since we all are within riding distance of each other. (Update: I can see benefits both ways - I don't feel strongly about this.) No late sign ups. Also, I think its awesome when teams get together as a group and also invite any other FS member who wants to join them for a particular event or ride. This was the spirit of the competition the last couple of years.

Greenbelt
11-18-2014, 01:30 PM
The first year we had teams of 5. If one person was not able to complete the game, it harmed the team a lot.

The second year we had teams of 10. That seemed clearly better.

We had a HORRIBLE time with substitutes and with late additions to the game.

The teams are created by handicaps where each team is designed to start with the same handicap. I really dont think this worked. 1/3 of you sandbagged your handicap and I dont think the handicaps were reliable. Completely randomly assigning people to teams probably would have been as successful as the handicaps.

Also last year we had a HUGE problem of scale. The game grew a lot, with everyone inviting outsiders to the game.

What should we do with the teams? Teams of 10? Teams of 20 (and therefore one person going to Kiev for a while wont make a difference)?

How should the teams be selected? Purely random? Let people form their own teams? Still use the handicaps? If we use the handicaps, is there a way to make them better, more reliable?

Can we limit the game to just members of the forum? This is after all a game among friends. Kinda defeats the purpose if all these outsiders sign up who are not part of the forum who will not come to happy hours or group rides.

Should we use captains again this year to resolve sticky wicket problems?

I am glad to volunteer to run the registration again this year. Someone else can volunteer to do late registrations or be the substitution czar.

B

My two cents is that the team size of 5-10 is good, allows team-level social events and rides pretty well. Smaller teams have more volatile results, which keeps it interesting to follow the leaderboard.

Maybe ask people to give their December ride averages as a handicap, rather than (mis) estimating?

Since winning didn't matter though, maybe that would be overkill.

I enjoy stuff like this, helps get through the winter, which is not my favorite season...

ShawnoftheDread
11-18-2014, 01:30 PM
I am a great organizer, if you consider Italians who consider everything as a detail not worth focusing on as someone who is a worthwhile organizer.

But I will do as I am told, more or less.

A game run by Italians?! What could possibly go wrong?

dasgeh
11-18-2014, 01:33 PM
Re: randomizing and handicaps.

I think handicaps are tough. I imagine someone with skillz and a few extra minutes could take last year's numbers, assign random teams, and let us know whether this is a horrible idea. (You'd have to run the simulation a few times). Basically if the difference in point totals between teams is similar in most simulations to what it was with the handicapping, I definitely say go with random.

rcannon100
11-18-2014, 01:35 PM
Last Years Game:

Note: It does not say it here but I did knock off a few registrations that were not local and could not establish that they had anything to do with us.

-------------


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 ~10 riders
** 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.

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.

http://www.morethings.com/fan/blazing_saddles/blazing-saddles-665.jpg

Arlingtonrider
11-18-2014, 01:36 PM
December ride averages can't be determined in time to get the teams together, but October or November might work. Not advocating one way or another on the handicap issue, but just wanted to point out that technical problem with using December.
My two cents is that the team size of 5-10 is good, allows team-level social events and rides pretty well. Smaller teams have more volatile results, which keeps it interesting to follow the leaderboard.

Maybe ask people to give their December ride averages as a handicap, rather than (mis) estimating?

Since winning didn't matter though, maybe that would be overkill.

I enjoy stuff like this, helps get through the winter, which is not my favorite season...

DismalScientist
11-18-2014, 01:41 PM
I think there is a distinction between sandbagging and going above and beyond in one's effort. I've always calculated my handicap assuming five normal round trip commutes per week. If I exceed that, it doesn't mean I sandbagged the estimate. What is considered an "accurate" handicap?

rcannon100
11-18-2014, 01:45 PM
One that is consistent with what you were reporting on STRAVA for the same period. 1/3 of people, for whom I could confirm the data, self reported a handicap that was not in agreement with what they were recording on Strava. Or, in otherwords, handicap self reporting was pointless.

DismalScientist
11-18-2014, 01:52 PM
My self-reported handicap should have been higher than what Strava said in October and November, but it was likely more "accurate" since in reflects my base riding level. Using previous January through March numbers would reflect previous craziness associated with FS. My Strava profile is quite even throughout the year, but has a January thru March peak.

lfreuclid
11-18-2014, 02:19 PM
Hi there,
I spent all of last year commuting to work by bike. Everyone thought I was crazy but then I heard that you were all out there doing it too. How do I get involved this time around? I don't track my rides on Strava, but I can learn!

~Feeling Freezing

vern
11-18-2014, 02:45 PM
If this is Strava dependent than I'm out as I don't have any of those new-fangled electronic gizmos.

cyclingfool
11-18-2014, 02:49 PM
I like the idea of randomized teams, as long as my team from last year stays intact. ;) LOL

Seriously, though, if handicapping didn't work as intended, why bother? I think if the teams are big enough, say 10-12 as seems to be the consensus thus far, then a randomization should produce relatively equal teams as long as we don't end up with two big hitters like Rod on one single team, in which case re-randomize?

rcannon100
11-18-2014, 02:50 PM
You dont need a gizmo. You can manually enter your miles in Strava.

Ben
11-18-2014, 02:54 PM
I'm new to bike commuting this year, so I'm not sure what my handicap should be. I'm excited to be part of this this year though!
Also, would it be too complicated to give a five point or double mile bonus for rides on days where the recorded high at DCA (usually the warmest point in the region) is below freezing? I volunteer to compile this data (note which days would qualify and send it to whoever is collecting the mileage from strava) if people think it would be a good idea.

Sounds like a lot of fun! And also crazy - but mostly fun!

vvill
11-18-2014, 02:55 PM
Overall I feel the competition worked pretty well, although I'm not sure how exactly the substitute/late sign ups worked. For signing up I think we could open sign up earlier, and unofficially begin a trial run sometime in December. Those who've signed up but don't end up logging miles (or just log one or two rides and then disappear) can then be filtered out for the proper team assignments for the competition that begins in January. I support the idea of team captains too. Most of the mileage monsters (Rod, Jeff, etc.) who are signed up could then be on different teams. The team size seemed about right to me.

I think the mileage estimates and therefore handicaps are based on what you think you will ride during FS, not what you ride during the rest of the year. Now that we're in our third year it's easier to go back and look at returning participants' numbers, but obviously it's still going to be a rough estimate. Maybe we can do pools - one for captains, one for those interested in riding lots of miles, one for medium mileage riders, one for occasional riders, etc. And then pick the same number of people from each pool to make each team so each would have say, 1 captain, 2 high mileage riders, 5 medium, 3 occasional, or whatever. You self-nominate which pool you want to be in. (If we have a slacker team, then that's separate.) This way there's a random element, but there's still some seeding to keep big mileage riders apart. And sandbaggers will still be obvious. :rolleyes:


I'll do some side award or two for something yet to be determined (won't be the GPS art ride thing though). Maybe photo based/biweekly challenges if I'm feeling energetic. I would be happy to attend a kid-friendly happy hour too, but not sure it's easy to set up.



I do like the idea of the geographical thing but don't think teams should be based on it. Maybe do a side award based on geographic divisions; an alternative leaderboard like in the NBC.


Of course, all this is nought until hozn chimes in!

rcannon100
11-18-2014, 03:48 PM
Of course, all this is nought until hozn chimes in!

Grand Master Hozn is on board.

rcannon100
11-18-2014, 03:50 PM
I think the mileage estimates and therefore handicaps are based on what you think you will ride during FS, not what you ride during the rest of the year. Now that we're in our third year it's easier to go back and look at returning participants' numbers, but obviously it's still going to be a rough estimate. Maybe we can do pools - one for captains, one for those interested in riding lots of miles, one for medium mileage riders, one for occasional riders, etc. And then pick the same number of people from each pool to make each team so each would have say, 1 captain, 2 high mileage riders, 5 medium, 3 occasional, or whatever. You self-nominate which pool you want to be in. (If we have a slacker team, then that's separate.) This way there's a random element, but there's still some seeding to keep big mileage riders apart. And sandbaggers will still be obvious. :rolleyes:

Beginning to think that this is a most excellent idea.

dkel
11-18-2014, 04:02 PM
I wonder if there's an algorithm that could be applied to last year's accumulated data, to determine a handicap for people who participated last year. It could be presented as a guideline if people are still declaring their own handicaps, or it could be used to assign people to mileage categories (as in vvill's idea), or create mileage categories.

cvcalhoun
11-18-2014, 04:10 PM
I think the mileage estimates and therefore handicaps are based on what you think you will ride during FS, not what you ride during the rest of the year.

Last year, we were asked what we had done during certain months (October/November, maybe?), rather than what we expected to do. And to me, that makes a lot of sense. If you based handicaps on what people thought they were going to do during FS, a) it would be impossible to measure whether they were telling the truth, and b) the team that won would automatically be the one in which people most wildly underestimated what they would actually do. If you use actual numbers (perhaps verified using Strava records, at least for those already in Strava), you provide an incentive for people to increase their riding, rather than an incentive for them to underestimate their future riding.

Basing the handicaps on what people did last year could work for those in the competition both years, but would still leave open the question about what to do about people who just joined this year. Those people might or might not even have records of what they did last year. And even if they did, the newbies would be at a big advantage in not having their numbers from last year artificially inflated by the competition itself.

TL;DR: Last year's system worked fine, except perhaps for sandbagging, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Sandbagging could be avoided by basing handicaps on Strava records, at least where they exist.

hozn
11-18-2014, 04:11 PM
Yes, I am on board. Changing jobs so busy right now, but the software is in a fine state to start working when we are ready. (There are many things I would like to improve, but they are not prerequisites for starting to track miles / scores etc..). The dry run system in Dec worked well to ensure everyone was signed up.

For people that have participated in previous years we can incorporate past numbers. I will give this more thought, not sure if I have any strong opinion. On one hand, it may not be fair to strictly take the handicap based on the mileage, since people push harder than they typically ride. But we also don't want sandbagging. Last year seemed to be a bit more dynamic, but there were definitely see teams that seemingly had little hope if victory.

http://freezingsaddles.com to review the data from last year.

If anyone wants raw data to chew over, shoot me a PM.

sjclaeys
11-18-2014, 04:23 PM
Have already spent more time at work than I should reading this thread. Freezing Saddles 2015 is already a success.

vvill
11-18-2014, 04:25 PM
TL;DR: Last year's system worked fine, except perhaps for sandbagging, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Sandbagging could be avoided by basing handicaps on Strava records, at least where they exist.

Yeah I agree. The pool idea is hopefully to make it easier for people to set up (I'd hope?) because it's self-nominated and it's not quantitative. Since any estimate/prediction is not very precise there's no point projecting it onto a more complex number-based team seeding system.



http://freezingsaddles.com to review the data from last year.


Web application could not be started :(

GB
11-18-2014, 04:38 PM
For people that have participated in previous years we can incorporate past numbers. I will give this more thought, not sure if I have any strong opinion. On one hand, it may not be fair to strictly take the handicap based on the mileage, since people push harder than they typically ride. But we also don't want sandbagging. Last year seemed to be a bit more dynamic, but there were definitely see teams that seemingly had little hope if victory.

I like the idea of discount points above your stated milage, and bonusing points below. I'd do a 10% bonus or discount with a +/- 10% window on your stated miles. If you think you're going to ride 100 and you say 50 then the miles after 55 only count .9. and if you end up only riding 40 then each mile counts 1.1. This gives you a real incentive to give a good guess and to ride when your lagging behind. This should rest every week. The reason not to say 1000 miles/week and load up on the bonus points is that the teams are built to be even based on your stated milage. So although your personal score would be good your team would blame you for falling short of your goal.

dasgeh
11-18-2014, 04:49 PM
Some of us have a harder time estimating miles than others. Last year, I had a number of trips in Oct-Dec and none during FS, so that was not an accurate basis. This year, my work situation is changing in a yet-uncertain way. If randomizing works (either with buckets or without), then that's my vote.

hozn
11-18-2014, 05:41 PM
Web application could not be started :(

Errrr ... I guess the recent server upgrade did in fact affect me :) I will get on that when I have some free time -- prob not tonight.

cyclingfool
11-18-2014, 05:56 PM
Errrr ... I guess the recent server upgrade did in fact affect me :) I will get on that when I have some free time -- prob not tonight.

Dammit! What are we posting you for?! Oh, wait. ;)

ShawnoftheDread
11-18-2014, 06:21 PM
Some of us have a harder time estimating miles than others. Last year, I had a number of trips in Oct-Dec and none during FS, so that was not an accurate basis. This year, my work situation is changing in a yet-uncertain way. If randomizing works (either with buckets or without), then that's my vote.

You weren't supposed to estimate. You were supposed to submit your actual miles and days ridden during the months in question. Not what you would have ridden if a, b, and c did or did not occur. It seems like last year a lot of people reverse sandbagged, stating higher miles than they actually rode because they knew they were going to try harder during the contest than they had in the fall. Just state your actual rides and we'll all be starting from the same point.

dasgeh
11-18-2014, 06:31 PM
You weren't supposed to estimate.

There was at least one proposal to estimate. That is problematic

Using October - November data is also problematic because some of us are going to have more month to month variance than others (eg those of us changing jobs that halve our commute)

ShawnoftheDread
11-18-2014, 07:08 PM
There was at least one proposal to estimate. That is problematic

Using October - November data is also problematic because some of us are going to have more month to month variance than others (eg those of us changing jobs that halve our commute)

Yes, everyone has an issue with something. Some of us hate the cold so we're at a disadvantage in a contest that emphasizes winter riding. Riders from the Midwest should be handicapped differently than those from California.

peterw_diy
11-18-2014, 07:08 PM
Teams of 10, randomly selected. I love the idea that random selection means no worries about sandbagging (last year I stressed a bit because I inadvertently sandbagged by underestimating some normal route lengths), and less trouble for any late team assignments.

Also seems a relatively easy programming enhancement would be team size handicapping. Somebody drops out right before the start? That team gets an 11% mileage bonus. Some team has 11 riders? 9% mileage penalty.

OK, so, jrenault, hozn, let's discuss what PRNG to use... Dual_EC_DRBG? :-)

rcannon100
11-18-2014, 07:25 PM
Last year there was a non-competitive team (a team participating in FS and pointless prizes, but not competing in the mileage / points competition.) My assumption is that option will be offered again as well.

dasgeh
11-18-2014, 07:44 PM
Yes, everyone has an issue with something. Some of us hate the cold so we're at a disadvantage in a contest that emphasizes winter riding. Riders from the Midwest should be handicapped differently than those from California.
It depends on what the goal of handicapping is. I don't think anyone is saying handicapping should control for how "hard" it is on a particular person. My understanding is that handicapping is to balance teams. My point is that neither an estimate model nor a past performance model will work to achieve that goal because some people will have circumstances that are unique.

I'm hoping randomization will.

DismalScientist
11-18-2014, 08:12 PM
Riders from the Midwest should be handicapped differently than those from California.

Hey, I'm already handicapped by my personality.

dcv
11-18-2014, 08:58 PM
Two teams:
1. Rod Smith, Steve Eunpu, Chris Randall
2. Everyone else

hozn
11-18-2014, 09:53 PM
Errrr ... I guess the recent server upgrade did in fact affect me :) I will get on that when I have some free time -- prob not tonight.

OK, this is fixed. Of course, let me know if you encounter any more problems.

Steve O
11-18-2014, 10:26 PM
pick the same number of people from each pool to make each team so each would have say, 1 captain, 2 high mileage riders, 5 medium, 3 occasional, or whatever. You self-nominate which pool you want to be in. (If we have a slacker team, then that's separate.) This way there's a random element, but there's still some seeding to keep big mileage riders apart. And sandbaggers will still be obvious. :rolleyes:

Hey, rcannon, this is just like Ultimate. Remember? Players would self assign based on their experience/skill. I think this could work.

Steve O
11-18-2014, 10:29 PM
but there were definitely some teams that seemingly had little hope of victory.

yea...like mine :(

Steve O
11-18-2014, 10:34 PM
Also, would it be too complicated to give a five point or double mile bonus for rides on days where the recorded high at DCA (usually the warmest point in the region) is below freezing?
No, not a good idea. This just causes a slippery (haha!) slope. What about days with more than x" of snow? Those might be considered tougher than just the cold. Or days that are 33 and raining...or sleeting; IMO, those are the worst days of all.

Better than messing with the simple point system, if you are inclined to honor the truly courageous, offer a special prize. Last year 30+ idiots earned "bicycle icicles" for riding on the day of the polar vortex. (BTW - I still have 5-6 of these to give to those who earned them but whom I haven't seen or do not know.)

Brünø Moore
11-18-2014, 10:36 PM
While I'm all for randomish teams (with keeping the supermegariders separated—I'm guessing it'd work out more-or-less to be about the same as handicapping), there's a part of me that would like a bit of geographic unity—bias things towards, say, having Marylanders and NE DCists on one team, rather than matching someone from Greenbelt with a teammate out in Reston. Ride as a team, freeze as a team, lose your frikkin' mind as a team.

I'm going through the recaps of last year's pointless prizes. I may just have to sponsor one of my own.

cyclingfool
11-19-2014, 12:22 AM
No, not a good idea. This just causes a slippery (haha!) slope. What about days with more than x" of snow? Those might be considered tougher than just the cold. Or days that are 33 and raining...or sleeting; IMO, those are the worst days of all.

Better than messing with the simple point system, if you are inclined to honor the truly courageous, offer a special prize. Last year 30+ idiots earned "bicycle icicles" for riding on the day of the polar vortex. (BTW - I still have 5-6 of these to give to those who earned them but whom I haven't seen or do not know.)

I think I may be on of those 5-6. I never make it to any of the happy hours and despite my dogged determination to ride through thick and thin last winter, I missed the awards happy hour, too. Didn't realize I had an outstanding prize to claim! :D

Mikey
11-19-2014, 06:33 AM
10 seemed perfect. Enough to carry me but enough for me to meet everyone, plus it made some of the team side bets more fun. I also use this as a way to meet more forum members so I like that I am assigned to a team (guaranteed I will not know everyone already).
How about this for handycapping: Last years's FS miles are the most accurate but they are not on par with peoples estimates or nov/Dec miles. Why not take estimates and nov miles for newbies, and 80% of FS miles for the ice-crusted veterans. It's completely arbitrary, but if you do it with authority we minion will obey. Also I loved that we had a happy hour near the start of the competition. Friday Jan 2nd, Arlingtonrider?

Rod Smith
11-19-2014, 06:40 AM
Two teams:
1. Rod Smith, Steve Eunpu, Chris Randall
2. Everyone else

Don't be pointing fingers. Your YTD mileage is greater than ChrisR's. Unfortunately Eunpu is dead set against participating in Freezing Saddles. :(

Harry Meatmotor
11-19-2014, 07:04 AM
too bad i don't have any GPS-enabled wizardry, otherwise I'd be in on this freezing saddles hot mess. polar vortex, schmolar vortex.



("meatloaf, beatloaf, double-bubble beatloaf")





(props to anybody that can name the source of that quote!)

Steve O
11-19-2014, 07:22 AM
I think I may be on of those 5-6. I never make it to any of the happy hours and despite my dogged determination to ride through thick and thin last winter, I missed the awards happy hour, too. Didn't realize I had an outstanding prize to claim! :D

You are right; I have yours.
The six bicycle icicles that may still be claimed are for (using their Freezing Saddles names):
Marc Mitchum (If I had only had it with me when you rolled up to dasgeh and me at the I of D a couple weeks ago)
Jason Jacot
Jason Brodowski
Eric Weisz
Greg G
Greg Anderson

PM me if you have any ideas about how to get them to you. Might be able to transfer through someone at FCCII or the like.
Or if you are planning on doing the Hains Point 100. Or the Plaid ride. Or something.

Sunyata
11-19-2014, 07:55 AM
I was not here last winter, but I would love to join in.

Since I am new and you know, my opinion matters so much... I think the simplest thing to do is to use the pool and region suggestion and have everyone put their name in a regionalized pool and then perhaps randomize the team picks?

Either way, this will keep me motivated to continue to commute through the winter and keep up my winter mountain bike training rides. :cool:

Can we count races or other long distance group rides?

jrenaut
11-19-2014, 08:01 AM
Can we count races or other long distance group rides?
As long as you're riding a bike outdoors, it counts.

vvill
11-19-2014, 08:01 AM
too bad i don't have any GPS-enabled wizardry, otherwise I'd be in on this freezing saddles hot mess. polar vortex, schmolar vortex.



("meatloaf, beatloaf, double-bubble beatloaf")





(props to anybody that can name the source of that quote!)

I've only seen A Christmas Story once but I thought it was really odd.

You don't need a GPS to participate. Just an odometer, or if you know your regular commute mileage that'll work too.

Amalitza
11-19-2014, 08:05 AM
As long as you're riding a bike outdoors, it counts.

Even if you are riding a bike outdoors in **gasp, clutch pearls** Cancun.

Raymo853
11-19-2014, 08:05 AM
I too vote for fully randomized teams. Especially after my inverse sand-bag last year. I was flying and riding long in December and then from mid-Jan until Feb I could barely ride.

jrenaut
11-19-2014, 08:09 AM
I was talking to my wife about this, and she suggested (and I'm not sure I'm in favor, but throwing it out there anyway) taking the biggest sandbaggers after, say, 1/3 of the competition, and switching them to teams at the bottom. The only problem is who to swap back - my impression is that most of those who greatly OVER-estimate miles are those who had unexpected life changes (new job or something) or an injury, so it probably isn't fair to move them.

In general, though, I'm opposed to change. But I'm not that competitive. I don't really care if my team wins. My focus in this is 1) social and 2) making sure I'm providing the points I promised. I guess I'm more competing with myself and the weather in the context of a team than with the other teams. I realize this probably puts me in the minority.

jrenaut
11-19-2014, 08:10 AM
Even if you are riding a bike outdoors in **gasp, clutch pearls** Cancun.
Yes, though if you do too much of this you may have an ice pack duct taped to you at the post party.

Dickie
11-19-2014, 08:23 AM
I don't have time to read a ten page thread about Freezing Saddles never mind actually participate, don't any of you have bosses? .... So, could somebody summarize what I'm not going to read :-)

rcannon100
11-19-2014, 08:25 AM
We can always give people the option of being geographically segregated or not. It can be a check box. Would you like to be on a [] DC [] MD [] VA [] Mixed team. I think it would be nice to structure this to facilitate group rides and activities.

I like the simplicity of buckets. Problem is that it will be really hard to build balanced teams that way because the buckets will not divide evenly. And if there are not 12 necessary elite riders, than how many "Bobs" equal a "Rod"?

Random teams will only work if the team size is big enough to balance the random. I doubt TEN is big enough to do that.

So then we return to handicaps. And I guess one thing we can do is simply use Grumpy Cat to stare people down and say "Dont Sandbag - I will be checking your strava numbers - if you Sandbag, I will put you on Steve O's team"

If we do use handicaps, WHAT do we use for handicaps. There are a couple of different proposals going around.

http://images.codingforcharity.org/dmp/20120206/demotivational_poster_Sand-Bagging_20120206212412_reg.png

Harry Meatmotor
11-19-2014, 08:25 AM
You don't need a GPS to participate. Just an odometer, or if you know your regular commute mileage that'll work too.

I thought the competition syncs with strava? If not, I can self report no problem.

rcannon100
11-19-2014, 08:26 AM
I don't have time to read a ten page thread about Freezing Saddles never mind actually participate, don't any of you have bosses? .... So, could somebody summarize what I'm not going to read :-)

Yeah, in Sum, we have all agreed that you need to make some really cool prizes again.

That, and you owe us all Beer.

rcannon100
11-19-2014, 08:27 AM
I thought the competition syncs with strava? If not, I can self report no problem.

You can enter mileage into STRAVA manually. You MUST use strava to play (or whatever Hozn says)

rcannon100
11-19-2014, 08:28 AM
she suggested (and I'm not sure I'm in favor, but throwing it out there anyway) taking the biggest sandbaggers after, say, 1/3 of the competition, and switching them to teams at the bottom.

Also remember that someone has to volunteer to do things like this.

vvill
11-19-2014, 08:34 AM
You can enter mileage into STRAVA manually. You MUST use strava to play (or whatever Hozn says)

Yep. The only thing is that without GPS you won't be able to participate in some of the side competitions, e.g. Hains Pt laps, most climbing, etc.

Steve O
11-19-2014, 08:40 AM
Even if you are riding a bike outdoors in **gasp, clutch pearls** Cancun.

Yep.

Rootchopper
11-19-2014, 08:47 AM
I found this confusing last year. I find it confusing now. Hopelessly confusing.

I have threee questions:

How many cups of coffee would I have to consume?

How do we defend ourselves against pointed sticks?

Why would anyone in his or her right mind want to do this?

Okay, wait a sec. I think I have the answer to the last one, so forget that.

jrenaut
11-19-2014, 08:49 AM
Oh, by the way. For the first day of FS2015 I will unfortunately be in Cancun (http://www.thereefplayacar.com/), so I'll miss the New Year's Hains Point cold, miserable, pointless circling. I just checked and, yes, the resort has bicycles.
(Note to self: remember Garmin.)
I will be highly disappointed if there is not a photo of you riding a bike in Cancun wearing pearls.

Subby
11-19-2014, 08:52 AM
In, but there is no effing way I am riding as much as I did last year. :\

OR IS THERE?????

I will award a prize/prizes to the best pics on insta or twitter with the hashtag #freezingsaddles2015, #fs2015, or #WEALLGONNADIE

americancyclo
11-19-2014, 09:02 AM
Yes, though if you do too much of this you may have an ice pack duct taped to you at the post party.

i think you're on to something there


I don't have time to read a ten page thread about Freezing Saddles never mind actually participate, don't any of you have bosses? .... So, could somebody summarize what I'm not going to read :-)
ask your boss for the executive summary

I will award a prize/prizes to the best pics on insta or twitter with the hashtag #freezingsaddles2015, #fs2015, or #WEALLGONNADIE

Also in for a strava/instagram based prize

Steve O
11-19-2014, 09:02 AM
Throwing in a couple of 2-centsers. I'll preface this by saying that the whole point is to expand our social/biking circles and to have fun. And to have fun. So points, schmoints; they don't really matter. The prizes are pointless, after all. The point is to have fun. Did I mention fun?

1) I think modified randomizing (with separation of the monster riders) will work just as well as handicapping. I say this from my perspective from last year: the only team motivation I had left by early March was avoiding the ignominy of being overtaken by the slackers. And that was with the supposed equal handicapping. Randomizing is also easier.

2) How about everyone is on two teams?--sort of like NBC with Washington Area All-Stars and your local challenge team.
- "Official" 10-person team with a stupid name
- Local team. These teams can be of varying sizes from, say, 5 up to 15 or 20. Scores weighted by number of riders to adjust for team size. Mikey and others can come up with side bets specific to the local teams even. And local teams will find it easier to get together for coffee clubs or rides, etc. Maybe even brawls with the next local team over if they start riding on your turf, man.
- Those of us on a sucky official team might still be able to contribute to a competitive local team. Kind of like the NHL, where all the teams make the playoffs.

3) You must be on the forum. That said, people who want to join the forum in order to participate in FS are welcome and encouraged to do so. I like Bob's rule that communications take place here, which helps build interest in the Forum.

chris_s
11-19-2014, 09:17 AM
The rules are made up and the points don't matter? How did I miss that this is the Whose Line Is It Anyway of bike challenges? I'm totally in. I'm off to read up on last year's event. Pointless prizes seem like the kind of thing right up my alley.

jrenaut
11-19-2014, 09:18 AM
The rules are made up and the points don't matter? How did I miss that this is the Whose Line Is It Anyway of bike challenges? I'm totally in. I'm off to read up on last year's event. Pointless prizes seem like the kind of thing right up my alley.
No need to read up. Just join and be assimilated.

Arlingtonrider
11-19-2014, 09:23 AM
I also volunteer to provide the award for most Hains Point laps.

americancyclo
11-19-2014, 09:26 AM
I will be highly disappointed if there is not a photo of you riding a bike in Cancun wearing pearls.

if steve's going for the warm weather prize, i think i found an award. Snowballs (http://www.amazon.com/Snowballs-Underwear-Fertility-Medium-32-34/dp/B00HLHJ5SI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416410713&sr=8-1&keywords=snowballs+underwear&pebp=1416410716324) [link is to Amazon, product is of questionable nature]

Steve O
11-19-2014, 09:28 AM
I'm totally in. I'm off to read up on last year's event.

Don't miss the Founding Fathers thread (http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?6457-FSSB-3-Find-the-Founding-Fathers/). That was totally fun.

cyclingfool
11-19-2014, 09:49 AM
PM me if you have any ideas about how to get them to you. Might be able to transfer through someone at FCCII or the like.
Or if you are planning on doing the Hains Point 100. Or the Plaid ride. Or something.

Let me finish my master's capstone by Friday and then maybe I'll have a clear enough head and schedule to think that far ahead. :-\

sethpo
11-19-2014, 09:57 AM
So I was thinking that it got damn cold damn fast and I wanted to look at #data from #strava to confirm and visualize the rapid decline from warmth to frozen and yet I can't seem to find a report on Strava that does this.

Is there a way to export all data? Is there something I am missing? Why do I really care to see #data that confirms what my toes already know?

cyclingfool
11-19-2014, 10:04 AM
No need to read up. Just join and be assimilated.

Resistance is futile.

7035

Mikey
11-19-2014, 10:44 AM
I'm against geographically asigned teams. It just leads to whining from Marylanders when you ask them to cross a bridge ;)

GB
11-19-2014, 10:51 AM
[QUOTE=rcannon100;100126]

Random teams will only work if the team size is big enough to balance the random. I doubt TEN is big enough to do that.


Agreed. Estimated milage/& riding days ftw.

americancyclo
11-19-2014, 10:56 AM
For those that want geographical teams, Strava offers the ability to create clubs.

http://www.strava.com/clubs/new

consularrider
11-19-2014, 11:13 AM
There is going to be a Jan 01 Haines Point ride? Does anyone know the time? I was about to announce my Jan 01 11 AM Fort Dupont CX/MTB ride. Maybe I can join the Haines Ride going there and/or coming back.

Just FYI on the January 1 Hains Point ride. There seems to be a local tradition of going out to Hains Point on January 1 and riding laps. Various local clubs set their own start times, but in general, it's whenever you get there and however many laps you want to do. One group is the VeloDCity Meetup (http://www.meetup.com/veloDCity/events/218665093/).

Oh yeah, I want to be part of the 2015 Freezing Saddles silliness and can be there for the introductory happy hour, just don't expect me to be present for the wrap up happy hour. Also, I have no way of predicting what kind of mileage, or days per week I'll be riding once I get to Ukraine. FYI, it's already colder in Kyiv than the DC region (other than this morning).

Raymo853
11-19-2014, 11:39 AM
Some sounds advice on avoiding illness and/or recovering well just in time for Freezing Saddles:
http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/toolbox/toolbox-fighting-flu-season/#.VGzT0xCZh-0

cvcalhoun
11-19-2014, 12:15 PM
Some sounds advice on avoiding illness and/or recovering well just in time for Freezing Saddles:
http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/toolbox/toolbox-fighting-flu-season/#.VGzT0xCZh-0

In the discussion of the bleedingly obvious, how did they omit flu shots?

TwoWheelsDC
11-19-2014, 12:36 PM
I'm thinking I need to upgrade the FS graphic. That will be a good distraction from my schoolwork this week.

Steve O
11-19-2014, 01:20 PM
Random teams will only work if the team size is big enough to balance the random. I doubt TEN is big enough to do that.

I don't doubt. Random only has to do better than this (http://www.freezingsaddles.com/explore/team_cumul).

7039

rcannon100
11-19-2014, 01:29 PM
Sorta.

What you see there is the result of a lot of substitutions and adding people on to teams after about a month, in order to maintain a competitive game. But for those substitutions and add ons, the spread would have been greater.

If you could expand the graph, you would see that Team Slackers was beating at least two teams, I believe, for the first period of the game.

Those substitutions and add ons were a pain in the butt. Someone can agree to be the Czar of substitutions and add-ons - and the captains can agree that they will once again negotiate these deals. I dont particularly want to again go through the substitutions, people who didnt show up, people who magically showed up who had not registered, people who dropped off, people who whined until they got there way....... And I would note that by the end of all the substitutions some captains were in full revolt and declaring to me "I dont care."

I would like to create a scenario where it is "do it once, do it right" without the slings and arrows of last year.

DismalScientist
11-19-2014, 01:44 PM
"I don't care" means full revolt? I don't care because everything seems so pointless.:rolleyes:

I think you should let the market take care of this. See how much everyone will pay for substitutions and just pocket the loot. You need to be compensated for the crap they give you.

Raymo853
11-19-2014, 01:54 PM
I don't doubt. Random only has to do better than this.

I do not think it was unfair last year, regardless still vote for completely random. I also like the idea of keeping ten teams,, but expand their size.

How about we have no late additions or substitutions? Instead, make all the teams the same size before the final calculations. How? Any member that does not ride at least 10 days be considered inactive and eliminated from the final calculations. Then what ever the smallest size team is after those cuts, will be the number of counted team members for all teams. Ex: Team B is the smallest with 13 active members, then all the teams final points are just calculated from their 13 best performing members.

PeteD
11-19-2014, 02:04 PM
7040

cvcalhoun
11-19-2014, 02:07 PM
I do not think it was unfair last year, regardless still vote for completely random. I also like the idea of keeping ten teams,, but expand their size.

How about we have no late additions or substitutions? Instead, make all the teams the same size before the final calculations. How? Any member that does not ride at least 10 days be considered inactive and eliminated from the final calculations. Then what ever the smallest size team is after those cuts, will be the number of counted team members for all teams. Ex: Team B is the smallest with 13 active members, then all the teams final points are just calculated from their 13 best performing members.

Of course, this means that in Team A, with 16 active members, there is no incentive at all for the bottom three performers to ride at all. If the idea is to motivate people to ride, providing the least motivation for those already riding the least seems counterproductive.

jrenaut
11-19-2014, 02:10 PM
No substitutions. Anyone who comes in late goes onto the Miserable Outcasts team and has to wear a dunce cap at the post party. Rule 5 applies to teams who lose a member due to injury or whatnot.

cvcalhoun
11-19-2014, 02:17 PM
I'm thinking I need to upgrade the FS graphic. That will be a good distraction from my schoolwork this week.

Maybe something based on this?

7041

elwbikes
11-19-2014, 02:23 PM
I'll work on setting up happy hours.

Let me know if you need help with that, or with anything else!

cvcalhoun
11-19-2014, 02:43 PM
Sorta.

What you see there is the result of a lot of substitutions and adding people on to teams after about a month, in order to maintain a competitive game. But for those substitutions and add ons, the spread would have been greater.

If you could expand the graph, you would see that Team Slackers was beating at least two teams, I believe, for the first period of the game.

Those substitutions and add ons were a pain in the butt. Someone can agree to be the Czar of substitutions and add-ons - and the captains can agree that they will once again negotiate these deals. I dont particularly want to again go through the substitutions, people who didnt show up, people who magically showed up who had not registered, people who dropped off, people who whined until they got there way....... And I would note that by the end of all the substitutions some captains were in full revolt and declaring to me "I dont care."

I would like to create a scenario where it is "do it once, do it right" without the slings and arrows of last year.

Last year, my recollection is that we originally had a rule saying "no add ons" after the registration date, then had to change it because we couldn't find many of the people who had originally registered. And a big part of that was that the only contact information we had for team members was forum names, and the default on this forum is that a member gets no notification of private messages. I ended up chasing down one team member on Facebook, making public posts on threads where other members seemed to be active, making a guess at the name of one member who was typoed on our list, and generally doing everything but a public striptease to attract the attention of members we were having trouble finding. Sloppy Seconds ended up finding all the members (and thus having no substitutions), but other teams were less persistent or less lucky.

Perhaps this year, we could start out by disseminating some contact information other than forum names? E-mail addresses, Strava links, or something? I suspect that a large majority of the confusion could have been avoided if we'd had a way to find members and get them signed up for the Strava clubs right away.

elwbikes
11-19-2014, 03:37 PM
Perhaps this year, we could start out by disseminating some contact information other than forum names? E-mail addresses, Strava links, or something? I suspect that a large majority of the confusion could have been avoided if we'd had a way to find members and get them signed up for the Strava clubs right away.

I second that. Some of us are unused to how the forum works (me!) and had no idea if I was on a team or not. Luckily, I was! Can't wait to do it again this year, plus I'm recruiting lots of Women & Bicycles ladies. :D

PS if we do substitutions or late registration, I volunteer to be the czar of that!

rcannon100
11-19-2014, 04:37 PM
This is an activity of this forum. Participants are either part of this forum or they are not. Members of this forum are volunteering and donating time and money to make this game work. One frustrating part from previous years has been to have people join the game that do not participate in the forum, do not come to forum events, do not volunteer, and do not get to know anyone on the forum.

This is a game among friends in this forum. If that's not you, there are lots of other games and strava challenges. Using the forum as the primary means of communicating for the game reinforces this.


I suspect that a large majority of the confusion could have been avoided if we'd had a way to find members and get them signed up for the Strava clubs right away.

The troubles that we had last year had nothing to do with finding members due to a lack of contact information. Captains had contact information for their team members.


plus I'm recruiting lots of Women & Bicycles ladies

Please encourage them to join the forum.

KelOnWheels
11-19-2014, 05:05 PM
In the discussion of the bleedingly obvious, how did they omit flu shots?

I GOT MINE! Not being able to ride for 2 months right in the middle of Freezing Saddles last year sucked :P

cvcalhoun
11-19-2014, 07:01 PM
This is a game among friends in this forum. If that's not you, there are lots of other games and strava challenges. Using the forum as the primary means of communicating for the game reinforces this.

I would just point out that many people who are active on the forum don't get private messages on the forum. The default is not to get e-mail notification of private messages. And my experience last year was that even many active forum participants never saw their private messages.

oldbikechick
11-19-2014, 09:59 PM
You can enter mileage into STRAVA manually. You MUST use strava to play (or whatever Hozn says)

I was very low-tech last year and just entered my miles into Strava. I was never a user of Strava before (or since), and it was easy enough for me to figure out. I don't even have an odometer, I just know the mileage of my route and when I went anywhere else, I just mapped it on Google maps. Note that I was on the "slacker" team so I don't think anyone was too concerned about the veracity of my paltry miles. Maybe it would be more of an issue if you are manually entering some sort of hard-to-believe huge number of miles.

Mikey
11-20-2014, 07:42 AM
Maybe something based on this?

7041

check out FSSB #5 (http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?6568-FSSB-5-Winter-wonderland) for updated photos of last year's festivities.

Dickie
11-20-2014, 07:58 AM
Take what I am about to say with a grain of salt since I have never participated in Freezing Saddles.... and I'm British. Seems to me a large portion of this thread is concerned about; balancing the teams, keeping this a Forum event, and preventing random folks from signing up but never participating. The solution for all of these is simple.... set up an entrance fee. Those who love the forum and the people associated with it will have no issue paying the fee. It will also eliminate those folks who sign up without really thinking about the consequences. You could donate the money to WABA or Phoenix Bikes, pay for an after party, or buy an actual trophy.... whatever. The fee could be as little as $5-10, or as much as $20, regardless.... if we can afford to buy the proper gear to ride in the winter we can afford a small donation. Setting up a payment option wouldn't be too difficult.... I'm sure PeteD could help us there.

Rod Smith
11-20-2014, 08:07 AM
Great idea! Rider with the most miles takes the pot? Just a thought. :p

jrenaut
11-20-2014, 08:13 AM
I think Freezing Saddles is better as a recruitment tool. People love ridiculous competitions. Raising the barrier to entry means fewer people participating. I can't speak for all, but I know that going to the post party two years ago then participating last year has definitely raised my interest in the forum. I understand that managing additions and subtractions can be a pain, and it's not my pain, so easy for me to add to it.

Why not heavily restrict additions, open it to everyone but stress that we WILL NOT chase you down. If you don't know what team you're on, it's on you to figure it out. And like I said before, teams that lose players that way can consult rule 5.

Arlingtonrider
11-20-2014, 08:32 AM
The venue I hope to be able to get for the 2 main happy hours is the separate room at Capitol City Brewing Co, which I think holds about 75 people total (any kids included). If BAFS happy hours get too big and we would still like to have a room to ourselves, someone else (not me) is going to have to find venue(s) for us. Just saying.

Last year I think we had about 100 BASF participants, and about about 68 people (including some spouses and kids) came to the final happy hour. The first happy hour was much smaller. Both, on keeping with our Thursday tradition (special discounts) were on Thursday nights.

If it turns out that Cap City can't accommodate us this year, (for their reasons or ours), we will need a volunteer to lead a venue search.

DismalScientist
11-20-2014, 09:11 AM
If we can afford to buy the proper gear to ride in the winter we can afford a small donation.

Apparently I can't afford proper gear.:rolleyes:

Steve O
11-20-2014, 09:25 AM
Apparently I can't afford proper gear.:rolleyes:

I have seen Dismal on a bike, and I can attest to the truth of this statement.

americancyclo
11-20-2014, 09:43 AM
Apparently I can't afford proper gear.:rolleyes:


I have seen Dismal on a bike, and I can attest to the truth of this statement.

I dunno, wasn't he wearing GORE(tm) khakis the other day when some of us were whining about plastic underwear?

or was it the Assos Biznus Kasuual pant?

ShawnoftheDread
11-20-2014, 09:59 AM
Great idea! Rider with the most miles takes the pot? Just a thought. :p

Yes, but no professionals.

rcannon100
11-20-2014, 10:09 AM
The solution for all of these is simple.... set up an entrance fee.

Not unless there is an organization running this. One word: Legal Liability. Once this is a paid for event, the organizers are exposed to lawsuit, we will need insurance, we will need Denning to write us up a waiver.... blah blah

The lack of entrance fee of any sort has always been intentional. This is a group of friends coming together to goof off. Nothing more.



I think Freezing Saddles is better as a recruitment tool

But again, it is not. FS is a game played by friends. It has no purpose. It is not sponsored. There is not organization or mission behind it.

If we want it to be organized or we want it to have a mission or whatever, that's fine. But someone will have to handle all of the legal ramifications that come with that.

jrenaut
11-20-2014, 10:19 AM
But again, it is not. FS is a game played by friends. It has no purpose. It is not sponsored. There is not organization or mission behind it.

If we want it to be organized or we want it to have a mission or whatever, that's fine. But someone will have to handle all of the legal ramifications that come with that.
Ok, it functions as a recruitment tool. We can call it whatever we want for legal purposes. And since my objection was to the fee, and your legal argument objecting to the fee is much stronger than my argument, I think we're good to just ride our bikes. Together, in the cold, for prizes that don't matter.

rcannon100
11-20-2014, 10:23 AM
Okay, I am circling back to thinking that handicaps is the way to do this.

* Teams will be formed using the handicap system. Participants will self report their average weekly mileage for TIME PERIOD (for Sept through Nov??). Those self reported averages will be checked against strava. Sandbaggers will be ridiculed.
* Teams of 10 to 12 will be formed composed of relatively equal handicap scores (each team should be able the same strength to start with)
* Participants may select if they have a preference to be assigned to an MD, DC, VA or ANY team in order to promote team activities
* Late comers or whatever will be assigned to a substitute pool
* Captains who are missing participants and are below the handicap may take from the substitute pool. The captain with the greatest deficit handicap gets first dibs
* EVERYONE who participates must go through the registration system
* There will once again be a slacker team for people who want to compete but are too lame to compete. ;)
* Communications will be through the forum

dasgeh
11-20-2014, 10:52 AM
Okay, I am circling back to thinking that handicaps is the way to do this.

* Teams will be formed using the handicap system. Participants will self report their average weekly mileage for TIME PERIOD (for Sept through Nov??). Those self reported averages will be checked against strava. Sandbaggers will be ridiculed.

Some of us have stopped futzing with Strava while there has been no reason to futz with Strava (i.e. no NBC or BAFS)

Also, some of us have predictable changes in our mileage between now and next year (change in work location). Wanna be on my team?

cyclingfool
11-20-2014, 11:12 AM
Some of us have stopped futzing with Strava while there has been no reason to futz with Strava (i.e. no NBC or BAFS)

Also, some of us have predictable changes in our mileage between now and next year (change in work location). Wanna be on my team?

I'll join. Between you and me, we have the beginnings of Team Unpredictable Miles.

elwbikes
11-20-2014, 11:15 AM
If it turns out that Cap City can't accommodate us this year, (for their reasons or ours), we will need a volunteer to lead a venue search.

I volunteer!!! This is what I get paid to do, so I volunteer.

As for the minimum type things, did Cap City Brewing require a minimum? Then we just make sure everybody spends x amount?

rcannon100
11-20-2014, 11:16 AM
Some of us have stopped futzing with Strava while there has been no reason to futz with Strava (i.e. no NBC or BAFS)

Also, some of us have predictable changes in our mileage between now and next year (change in work location). Wanna be on my team?

The concern is not that your self reported mileage will be higher than Strava. That is not sandbagging. The concern is that your self reported mileage will be less than what you are showing in Strava. THAT is sandbagging (makes you appear weaker than you are, for the purpose of giving your team an unfair advantage).

While no benchmark is going to be perfect, we need a benchmark.

jrenaut
11-20-2014, 11:26 AM
More importantly, when is the kickoff happy hour?

cyclingfool
11-20-2014, 12:19 PM
The concern is not that your self reported mileage will be higher than Strava. That is not sandbagging. The concern is that your self reported mileage will be less than what you are showing in Strava. THAT is sandbagging (makes you appear weaker than you are, for the purpose of giving your team an unfair advantage).

While no benchmark is going to be perfect, we need a benchmark.

While overreporting miles may not be a nefarious plot to try to boost one's team's peformance in the standings, the point of handicapping is to produce teams that are all at least "in the same ballpark" statistically speaking. So, if Rider X's fall mileage suggests he'll be doing 80 miles a week, but he ends up only doing 40 due to unforeseen or unpredictable circumstances beyond X's control (change in commute, e.g.), X's team is in effect being given an unfair disadvantage, so it is not without consequence if the goal is to balance the teams.

In the end, the contest is about having fun and riding bikes during the colder weather months. If the contest is not perfect, it's not the end of the world. I'm in no matter what. I even threw my hat in for randomized teams, so I don't care all that much. Even a poorly performing handicapped system has the potential to level the field more than a randomized one. But "reverse unintentional sandbagging" is not a victimless occurrence.

Amalitza
11-20-2014, 12:35 PM
Someone else can volunteer to do late registrations or be the substitution czar.
B

I would be willing to be the substitution czar if one is needed. I am also thinking I'll be one of the lame slackers* this year and thus will have no personal investment in the outcome of team building and management.



* There will once again be a slacker team for people who want to compete but are too lame to compete. ;)

sleeplatekate
11-20-2014, 03:10 PM
We can always give people the option of being geographically segregated or not.
...
So then we return to handicaps. And I guess one thing we can do is simply use Grumpy Cat to stare people down and say "Dont Sandbag - I will be checking your strava numbers - if you Sandbag, I will put you on Steve O's team"

And you REALLY do not want to be on Steve O's team, speaking from experience. It is not fun.

Greenbelt
11-20-2014, 03:48 PM
I would be willing to be the substitution czar if one is needed. I am also thinking I'll be one of the lame slackers* this year and thus will have no personal investment in the outcome of team building and management.

Onward slackers! Or is that rearward? Backward?

Our motto: attacking off the back since last year.

KayakCyndi
11-20-2014, 04:13 PM
.... I am also thinking I'll be one of the lame slackers* this year and thus will have no personal investment in the outcome of team building and management.

I don't believe you! More like getting an early start on the sandbagging.

Mikey
11-20-2014, 04:14 PM
My wife is in for participation this year. She has started biking about 3 days a week from home to work (14mi round trip) and she loves it. She wants to participate to help motivate her.

ebubar
11-20-2014, 05:41 PM
I'm in but i'm feeling rather slackery in light of the heavy snow rumors.
I like the idea of using last winter's miles for the handicap rather than September-November. I put in some decent miles
(30 a day, 5 days a week commuting) in the fall, but once the snow starts don't have the time to bike my usual 30 miles a day.
Basing my handicap on the cold (but not snowy) fall would be a disservice to my team...unless I join with the Slackers. In that case,
whatevs!

KelOnWheels
11-20-2014, 06:13 PM
On the other hand, if I base my handicap on my COMPLETE LAZY-ASS LACK OF RIDING since the clocks changed, I will get ALL THE POINTS!

Or something.

What was my point again?

rcannon100
11-20-2014, 06:19 PM
I like the idea of using last winter's miles for the handicap rather than September-November.

Would that be for everyone, or just those who did Freezing Saddles?
For those who did not do FS, what mileage would we use?
If some did last winter, and some did this fall, will we be comparing apples to oranges?

It really doesnt matter which miles we use. Its a handicap. It is a comparison of riders as against riders, with the hope of creating relatively balanced teams. We could use last winter. We could use this fall. The key is not that it is an accurate reflection of how many miles you will do - the key is that it is a somewhat accurate reflection of how strong a cyclists you are relative to the other cyclists in the game.

So..... thoughts????

rcannon100
11-20-2014, 06:22 PM
Onward slackers! Or is that rearward? Backward?

Our motto: attacking off the back since last year.
http://www.quickmeme.com/img/81/814a4c3eb8edf8460bfd5a8fc4f55d95feadfcbb2d4734b139 ccae201241003f.jpg

Rod Smith
11-20-2014, 07:41 PM
acl and Greenbelt on the slackers team. :roll eyes: Get Dirt, Hozn and Dickie on there too.

ShawnoftheDread
11-20-2014, 08:07 PM
Would that be for everyone, or just those who did Freezing Saddles?
For those who did not do FS, what mileage would we use?
If some did last winter, and some did this fall, will we be comparing apples to oranges?

It really doesnt matter which miles we use. Its a handicap. It is a comparison of riders as against riders, with the hope of creating relatively balanced teams. We could use last winter. We could use this fall. The key is not that it is an accurate reflection of how many miles you will do - the key is that it is a somewhat accurate reflection of how strong a cyclists you are relative to the other cyclists in the game.

So..... thoughts????

Miles from May and June. Since we are trying to encourage cycling through the winter, why not use many riders' peak months as the basis for the handicap?

cvcalhoun
11-20-2014, 08:36 PM
So it's agreed, then? Ten teams, all of which are officially slackers?

hozn
11-20-2014, 09:53 PM
Miles from May and June. Since we are trying to encourage cycling through the winter, why not use many riders' peak months as the basis for the handicap?

I like this idea: use peak season as the metric.

And, yeah, it will be the slackers team again for me. All (or most) of the social benefits without the competitive part! :) I like competition (e.g. racing), but when the competition is won by more time in the saddle that means it is competing with things like "time with the kids" (for multiple months) and I know I am not that good at letting go. So, slackers team for me!

Steve O
11-20-2014, 10:58 PM
I did some statistical chicanery based on last year's results. Here's what I learned, which I think supports my proposal of modified randomizing.

Last year the 9th place team (mine :() ended up with 63% of the points of the first place team (I did not include the Slackers). That was using a handicapping system of some inscrutable kind invented by the cannon.

I ran 8 monte carlos on last year's individual scores (I added two fictional riders to make 100 exactly; a strong one and a wimpy one) with 10-person teams. The results were (last place score as % of first place; higher % = more balanced):



41%


57%


57%


58%


63%



63%


72%


75%


Half of the randomized results were as good or better than last year's results, but with 10 teams included instead of 9.

I then ran 8 Monte Carlos on the modified randomization. Modification: I took the top 20 riders from last year and assigned them 1&20, 2&19, 3&18, 4&17, etc. I then randomly filled out the teams with 8 other riders.
Here are the results:


62%


67%



70%


72%



75%


76%


78%


83%



Only one out of 8 was less competitive than last year. Or zero depending on how you account for 10 vs. 9 teams.

There you have it. There's a 50/50 chance that random selection of teams last year would have been at least as competitive as the actual teams were. A modified randomization scheme would have performed better in virtually all cases.

I propose modified random. It eliminates potential sandbagging and also eliminates the need for newbies to estimate or people to worry about changing circumstances, etc. It's easier to implement and is highly likely to result in teams that are at least as competitive as any "system" that we try to devise.

Arlingtonrider
11-21-2014, 05:32 AM
I volunteer!!! This is what I get paid to do, so I volunteer.

Fantastic! Thank you so much!! That will be awesome! It's the main happy hour at the end of the competition that I was most concerned about getting a larger venue for. Would also love to have enough space to accommodate the kiddos a little better at that event if we can manage it. Thanks so much, Emma!

I was thinking of asking about Thursday, Jan 8 or Thursday, Jan 15 at Cap City for the kickoff meet and greet happy hour, if we can get the room. People could meet some of their teammates and other competitors, and the Golden Nugget for most miles ridden on Jan 1 would also be awarded.

Would Jan. 8 or 15 work for most of you? Any preference? A weeknight would allow you to swing by on your way home, and they have all the usual happy hour specials. We'd probably start around 5 pm, but any announcements and the award would be later. (Teams may or may not be announced earlier. Mr. Cannon handles that.)

Rod Smith
11-21-2014, 06:55 AM
I like this idea: use peak season as the metric.

And, yeah, it will be the slackers team again for me. All (or most) of the social benefits without the competitive part! :) I like competition (e.g. racing), but when the competition is won by more time in the saddle that means it is competing with things like "time with the kids" (for multiple months) and I know I am not that good at letting go. So, slackers team for me!

Understood, but if you were on my team last year you would have been the second highest placed team member. And Karen Smith had more points than you. I think I'll join the slackers. We can win this thing!

Amalitza
11-21-2014, 07:49 AM
I think I'll join the slackers. We can win this thing!

NOOOOOO!!! We CAN'T WIN!!! We WON'T TRY!! :) I have home remodeling projects that have been procrastinated too long, and non-mileage fitness/cycling goals I would like to pay more attention to. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES will I get sucked into just going out and riding some more miles today because my teammates are going above and beyond and i don't want to let them down, and the people on that other team are also going above and beyond and slowly but surely catching up to us and I have to do my part to not let that happen!

rcannon100
11-21-2014, 08:32 AM
I propose modified random. It eliminates potential sandbagging and also eliminates the need for newbies to estimate or people to worry about changing circumstances, etc. It's easier to implement and is highly likely to result in teams that are at least as competitive as any "system" that we try to devise.

Love this.

But.... you are doing this with a known set. You are doing this knowing who the top riders are. Will it blow it up if you dont know who the top riders are. Take, for example, a fictional rider who has never played Freezing Saddles before: Tim Kellie (no relation to our Tim Kelley). If Tim Kellie were to join and be assigned to one of the teams in the modified random way that you suggested, and if Tim Kellie hypothetically was a top cyclists - assigning him to a team would pretty much blow up the game, right?

If that is true, then is the solution simply to still have cyclists self report their average mileage. Use last years top riders in the modified distribution + add in any other top rider who happens to just hypothetically appear. After the top riders are accounted for - then its random?

Mikey
11-21-2014, 08:37 AM
Fantastic! Thank you so much!! That will be awesome! It's the main happy hour at the end of the competition that I was most concerned about getting a larger venue for. Would also love to have enough space to accommodate the kiddos a little better at that event if we can manage it. Thanks so much, Emma!

I was thinking of asking about Thursday, Jan 8 or Thursday, Jan 15 at Cap City for the kickoff meet and greet happy hour, if we can get the room. People could meet some of their teammates and other competitors, and the Golden Nugget for most miles ridden on Jan 1 would also be awarded.

Would Jan. 8 or 15 work for most of you? Any preference? A weeknight would allow you to swing by on your way home, and they have all the usual happy hour specials. We'd probably start around 5 pm, but any announcements and the award would be later. (Teams may or may not be announced earlier. Mr. Cannon handles that.)

I understand CAP City has their big happy hour on Thursdays. Could we do it Friday Jan 2, (closer to the start) if we did it somewhere else? I'd be fine at either, just putting it out there.

Mikey
11-21-2014, 08:42 AM
Love this.

But.... you are doing this with a known set. You are doing this knowing who the top riders are. Will it blow it up if you dont know who the top riders are. Take, for example, a fictional rider who has never played Freezing Saddles before: Tim Kellie (no relation to our Tim Kelley). If Tim Kellie were to join and be assigned to one of the teams in the modified random way that you suggested, and if Tim Kellie hypothetically was a top cyclists - assigning him to a team would pretty much blow up the game, right?

If that is true, then is the solution simply to still have cyclists self report their average mileage. Use last years top riders in the modified distribution + add in any other top rider who happens to just hypothetically appear. After the top riders are accounted for - then its random?


Fair does not always equal even. As long as we are under the same rules (quote mileage, etc, be honest) then it is what it is. The more complex your algorithm for determining teams the more disappointed you will be when it doesn't work.

Or you let the captains do fantasy bike commuting, and draft their teams each wednesday.

rcannon100
11-21-2014, 08:44 AM
Or you let the captains do fantasy bike commuting, and draft their teams each wednesday.

That would be fun. We CAN do a draft as well. It takes time - that's the problem. But when I used to play local Ultimate, we had a draft every season. Allows coaches to form their own teams. Have people register with self reported handicaps, and then its up to the captains

This does not scale tho. Last year we grew 100%. If we do that again, the draft could be very long. It is possible to stop-clock a draft (you have 20 seconds to pick - if you dont pick, you simply get the next top draft pick).

americancyclo
11-21-2014, 08:50 AM
I like Steve's idea with an announcement of the teams at happy hour. That would lend a bit of draft excitement to it without people playing favorites.

Arlingtonrider
11-21-2014, 08:57 AM
I understand CAP City has their big happy hour on Thursdays. Could we do it Friday Jan 2, (closer to the start) if we did it somewhere else? I'd be fine at either, just putting it out there.

I haven't spoken to the Cap City folks yet, so I can ask for any day that people would like. We just wouldn't have the great deals on beer and appetizers. So please chime in on preferred dates. If Cap City doesn't work out, we can try Crystal City, but the last time I checked there, it was very expensive to get a separate room.

Mikey
11-21-2014, 08:57 AM
Each of the captains hide color-coded tickets throughout the metro area. Find a ticket you are on a team, and off to visit an excentric candymaker and his slave-run chocolate/murder factory.

dasgeh
11-21-2014, 09:00 AM
Fantastic! Thank you so much!! That will be awesome! It's the main happy hour at the end of the competition that I was most concerned about getting a larger venue for. Would also love to have enough space to accommodate the kiddos a little better at that event if we can manage it. Thanks so much, Emma!


Might be worth asking the Crystal City BID. They can be super helpful and have connections in their community. Plus, Crystal City is a bit more central...

83(b)
11-21-2014, 09:25 AM
Might be worth asking the Crystal City BID. They can be super helpful and have connections in their community. Plus, Crystal City is a bit more central...

The Crystal City Sports Pub has several large rooms that they open to groups. And I recall that the BW3 and Bailey's also will reserve areas for larger groups.

Arlingtonrider
11-21-2014, 09:33 AM
How is the car and bike parking at those places? We used Baileys once but I read that it had closed and that the new owners had eliminated the separate room. Does anyone know?

dasgeh
11-21-2014, 09:41 AM
How is the car and bike parking at those places? We used Baileys once but I read that it had closed and that the new owners had eliminated the separate room. Does anyone know?

Free and easy after, I think, 6pm. Many of the places are set up so you can park and get in without going outside, which may be even better, given the timing.

americancyclo
11-21-2014, 09:43 AM
The Crystal City Sports Pub has several large rooms that they open to groups. And I recall that the BW3 and Bailey's also will reserve areas for larger groups.

I never understood why people called it BW3 until i read wikipedia


Originally called Buffalo Wild Wings & Weck

americancyclo
11-21-2014, 09:51 AM
Might be worth asking the Crystal City BID. They can be super helpful and have connections in their community. Plus, Crystal City is a bit more central...

Joe is on the forums, and I sent him an email, but he might be out of town for a bit, considering the holidays

83(b)
11-21-2014, 10:07 AM
How is the car and bike parking at those places? We used Baileys once but I read that it had closed and that the new owners had eliminated the separate room. Does anyone know?

I think Dasgeh's right re: the underground decks in Crystal City being free and open after 6:00. And bike parking along Crystal Drive is easy. Parking near 23rd street for the Sports Pub means meandering a bit through the neighborhood for an on-street spot, but it's not usually very hard. There's also an easily accessible paid lot right behind the Pub. The sidewalks are a bit narrow though, so bikes would probably be best off parked at the meters along 22nd or thereabouts. Still pretty easy all around.

Re: Bailey's. I moved out of the neighborhood two years ago, so I'm not sure what the deal is there. Decent beer selection aside, I never really cared for them since they have some exception to allow indoor smoking. I'd only ever go there if I knew what I was wearing needed dry-cleaning!

Steve O
11-21-2014, 10:54 AM
Love this.
But.... you are doing this with a known set.

Correct, but unless there is some reason to believe that this year's riders will differ in some significant way from last year's, then this should be a representative dataset. Feel free to create your own datasets and run some simulations. I think starting with last year's is a pretty good place to start.


Take, for example, a fictional rider who has never played Freezing Saddles before: Tim Kellie (no relation to our Tim Kelley). If Tim Kellie were to join and be assigned to one of the teams in the modified random way that you suggested, and if Tim Kellie hypothetically were a top cyclist...

Maybe not; I did this. I included a fictional rider who would have been in the top 10, and another one who would have been in the bottom 15 or so. Those riders were randomly assigned and the results still were better than last year's in virtually all cases.

Also, this Tim Kellie character (and other newbies) are much more likely to mis-estimate or somehow get their handicap wrong.
For instance, we could end up with someone like Justin Antos from year "The First." Freezing Saddles Disease infected his brain, and he rode like 4x the number of miles he anticipated (and he was on my team ;)!).
I have no idea what the handicap was for some of the riders on my team from year "The Second," but they certainly rode a LOT less than their handicap accounted for.
Handicapping the top riders from last year is much more likely to be accurate, because we have performance data. Handicapping new riders is probably not much better than random.

People get injured; unexpected work trips intervene; flu puts someone down for two weeks; flying monkeys steal a team member; good luck; bad luck. If I were rcannon, I'd rather blame any of this on a random number generator than on my clever handicapping scheme.

Arlingtonrider
11-21-2014, 11:05 AM
Thanks for the great suggestons and info! I just called Buffalo Wild Wings in Crystal City and it sounds like they can accommodate us well. I agree that this would be a better location (just off the MVT at 2540 Crystal Drive) for the Freezing Saddles kick off, and might be worth considering for the final event too. Would that work well for you all for the kick off? If so, we just need a date.

GB
11-21-2014, 11:18 AM
There you have it. There's a 50/50 chance that random selection of teams last year would have been at least as competitive as the actual teams were. A modified randomization scheme would have performed better in virtually all cases.

I'm have to agree with Cannon's comment that this analysis has the benifit of hindsight. But we are basically all saying the same thing, we need a handicap, it's just a matter how how precise it is. Personally I think an estimated # of days and miles is better than a hi/avg/low classification, but I don't really care. People can sand bag with either.

I like the product of our FMCC discussion - 2 layers of teams, like with the NBC. The first layer is pretty much like last year and teams are locked 1/1. The second layer is a 2 team recruiting tool that pits (DC vs VA, or men vs women, or, disc breaks vs other breaks, whatever). This second layer is open all season and half the competition is in recruiting. The teams are not rebalanced, your team gets to keep whoever you recruit and there points.

IT people is this an option?

vern
11-21-2014, 11:58 AM
Thanks for the great suggestons and info! I just called Buffalo Wild Wings in Crystal City and it sounds like they can accommodate us well! I agree that that would be a better location (just off the MVT at 2540 Crystal Drive) for the Freezing Saddles kick off, and might be worth considering for the final event too. Would that work well for you all for the kick off? If so, we just need a date!

That's about a 8 second commute from my office...approved!

ShawnoftheDread
11-21-2014, 12:30 PM
Modified random proposal: start with last year's individual results, crossing out anyone who doesn't re-up or who opts for slacker team. Top 10 are all separate teams (or 9, depending on number of teams needed). The next 10 are placed on those teams in reverse order (#20 placed with # 1, #11 placed with #10, etc). Then everyone else is drawn out of a hat for placement on a team.

Though personally I prefer our usual handicaps.

jrenaut
11-21-2014, 12:41 PM
I'm have to agree with Cannon's comment that this analysis has the benifit of hindsight. But we are basically all saying the same thing, we need a handicap, it's just a matter how how precise it is. Personally I think an estimated # of days and miles is better than a hi/avg/low classification, but I don't really care. People can sand bag with either.

I like the product of our FMCC discussion - 2 layers of teams, like with the NBC. The first layer is pretty much like last year and teams are locked 1/1. The second layer is a 2 team recruiting tool that pits (DC vs VA, or men vs women, or, disc breaks vs other breaks, whatever). This second layer is open all season and half the competition is in recruiting. The teams are not rebalanced, your team gets to keep whoever you recruit and there points.

IT people is this an option?
It's not a trivial thing to manage. It's certainly possible, but I'm not sure I can commit a ton of time to working on the website this year, and while I wouldn't speak for hozn, I get the impression he's in something of the same boat. It's an easier option for next year.

Steve O
11-21-2014, 01:52 PM
Modified random proposal: start with last year's individual results, crossing out anyone who doesn't re-up or who opts for slacker team. Top 10 are all separate teams (or 9, depending on number of teams needed). The next 10 are placed on those teams in reverse order (#20 placed with # 1, #11 placed with #10, etc). Then everyone else is drawn out of a hat for placement on a team.

This is identical to my proposal, and is what I modeled (http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?7689-Freezing-Saddles-2015&p=100343#post100343) that resulted in consistently more competitive results than last year's handicapping system.

Greenbelt
11-21-2014, 01:58 PM
Suggest pointless award for in-commute FFWB (fully frozen water bottle). Or maybe just a good slushy, since the physics majors will probably say that most of us aren't outside long enough to freeze a WB solid, even on longer commutes, with all the shaking motion. To verify, must have post-commute video. -Jeff

cyclingfool
11-21-2014, 02:54 PM
Suggest pointless award for in-commute FFWB (fully frozen water bottle). Or maybe just a good slushy, since the physics majors will probably say that most of us aren't outside long enough to freeze a WB solid, even on longer commutes, with all the shaking motion. To verify, must have post-commute video. -Jeff

And no sandbagging it by putting the water bottle in the freezer overnight pre-commute. :)

dasgeh
11-21-2014, 03:13 PM
This is identical to my proposal, and is what I modeled (http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?7689-Freezing-Saddles-2015&p=100343#post100343) that resulted in consistently more competitive results than last year's handicapping system.

Only issue: what if new high-mileage folks join?

How about this: people enter a handicap during registration based on either last year's FS miles or Oct-Dec miles, or even May-Aug miles (don't think it's that big of a deal). We take the number of registrants and figure out how many teams we'll have (with 10-12 people per team) - say it's X teams. Then we take the 2*X riders by handicapped, and assign them to teams under the Shawn/Steve O model. Then we take the rest and randomly assign.

*the above ignores those who register for the Slackers team, of course.

hozn
11-21-2014, 05:01 PM
It's not a trivial thing to manage. It's certainly possible, but I'm not sure I can commit a ton of time to working on the website this year, and while I wouldn't speak for hozn, I get the impression he's in something of the same boat. It's an easier option for next year.

Yeah, same boat. I still owe dasgeh a spreadsheet (this weekend, I hope!). New job. Quite busy. :-/

dkel
11-21-2014, 05:19 PM
Apparently there are no A-type personalities among cyclists, otherwise it would take forever just to decide how to organize this after two years already in the bag.

Vicegrip
11-21-2014, 05:47 PM
Modified random proposal: start with last year's individual results, crossing out anyone who doesn't re-up or who opts for slacker team. Top 10 are all separate teams (or 9, depending on number of teams needed). The next 10 are placed on those teams in reverse order (#20 placed with # 1, #11 placed with #10, etc). Then everyone else is drawn out of a hat for placement on a team.

Though personally I prefer our usual handicaps.


This is identical to my proposal, and is what I modeled (http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?7689-Freezing-Saddles-2015&p=100343#post100343) that resulted in consistently more competitive results than last year's handicapping system.Hindsight can also be considered learning from experience. I like the idea to distribute the top 20 that reup in 2 rounds and fill out the teams via random draw from there. Besides it is for fun right? A close finish between a good number of teams would be cool the fun is there simply from the people.

hozn
11-21-2014, 05:59 PM
What about delaying team formation (is this what was already proposed?) and using the first week or two as the "qualifying laps" for team seeding rather than relying on self-reported handicaps. The miles would still count, of course; hopefully that would discourage soft pedaling the qualifying run.

TwoWheelsDC
11-21-2014, 06:44 PM
Not my best work, but I have to get back to my paper on the Carbon Tax....

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8609/15660246028_3b987ec4c2_b.jpg

cyclingfool
11-21-2014, 07:13 PM
No helmet?! That rider's gonna die! :rolleyes:

ShawnoftheDread
11-21-2014, 07:59 PM
This is identical to my proposal, and is what I modeled (http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?7689-Freezing-Saddles-2015&p=100343#post100343) that resulted in consistently more competitive results than last year's handicapping system.

What, you think I read your posts?

dasgeh
11-21-2014, 08:45 PM
No helmet?! That rider's gonna die! :rolleyes:

Wait, are you on my facebook feed?

Vicegrip
11-22-2014, 09:26 AM
What about delaying team formation (is this what was already proposed?) and using the first week or two as the "qualifying laps" for team seeding rather than relying on self-reported handicaps. The miles would still count, of course; hopefully that would discourage soft pedaling the qualifying run.That sounds clever and doable too. How about the top 20 returnees from last year get split out per last years results and everyone else does the 2 weeks thing?

Steve O
11-22-2014, 10:21 AM
What about delaying team formation (is this what was already proposed?) and using the first week or two as the "qualifying laps" for team seeding rather than relying on self-reported handicaps.

Better yet: why don't we delay until March 15? Then we'll make all the teams perfectly even and watch the fun ensue!!!

timo96
11-23-2014, 05:29 PM
Hindsight can also be considered learning from experience. I like the idea to distribute the top 20 that reup in 2 rounds and fill out the teams via random draw from there. Besides it is for fun right? A close finish between a good number of teams would be cool the fun is there simply from the people.

This is the way to do it.

rcannon100
11-26-2014, 06:00 PM
Any further thoughts? Again, I like Steve's modified random - but the problem is, I think, that it cannot account for new ringers who would through the statistics. If a mythical Tom Kellie were to be assigned to one of the teams and if Tom Kellie had not played last year - this mythical uber rider would throw the game.

Does that bring us back to straight up handicaps? And if so, based on what period? September through November?

We need to move to consensus. Which is the right option?

dkel
11-26-2014, 06:32 PM
We need to move to consensus. Which is the right option?

I like any option that highlights the top 20: since I've never been in the top of any sport...until Freezing Saddles! Makes me happy anytime someone says "top 20,” since I was 18th overall last year.

Thanks for letting me swell with pride for a moment, everyone.

rcannon100
11-26-2014, 08:55 PM
And how do you account for a top twenty rider who did not participate last year?

dkel
11-26-2014, 08:56 PM
And how do you account for a top twenty rider who did not participate last year?

Can we go back to talking about me?

dasgeh
11-26-2014, 09:14 PM
Any further thoughts? Again, I like Steve's modified random - but the problem is, I think, that it cannot account for new ringers who would through the statistics. If a mythical Tom Kellie were to be assigned to one of the teams and if Tom Kellie had not played last year - this mythical uber rider would throw the game.

Does that bring us back to straight up handicaps? And if so, based on what period? September through November?

We need to move to consensus. Which is the right option?

Why not have everyone enter handicaps, but only use them to find the top 20 riders, then randomize that group, and randomize the next group? Solves the new riders problem AND solves the issue of "what if we need more than 10 teams"

ShawnoftheDread
11-26-2014, 09:48 PM
Why not have everyone enter handicaps, but only use them to find the top 20 riders, then randomize that group, and randomize the next group? Solves the new riders problem AND solves the issue of "what if we need more than 10 teams"

I don't think the top 20 should be randomized. It defeats the purpose if identifying the top 20 to begin with, which is to make sure they don't end up on the same team.

dasgeh
11-26-2014, 09:50 PM
I don't think the top 20 should be randomized. It defeats the purpose if identifying the top 20 to begin with, which is to make sure they don't end up on the same team.
No, the top 20 would be randomized so 2 are on each team. Then the rest randomized to fill out the teams. And if we have, eg, 12 teams, we take the top 24 and randomly put them 2 per team.

ShawnoftheDread
11-26-2014, 09:55 PM
No, the top 20 would be randomized so 2 are on each team. Then the rest randomized to fill out the teams. And if we have, eg, 12 teams, we take the top 24 and randomly put them 2 per team.

But if they're randomized, you could end up with the top 2 on the same team and 19 and 20 on a team. Lame. The top 20 system described earlier already accounts for the possible need of more than 10 teams - you just take the first 11 or 12 or whatever it is and then the next 11 or 12.

dasgeh
11-26-2014, 10:10 PM
But if they're randomized, you could end up with the top 2 on the same team and 19 and 20 on a team. Lame. The top 20 system described earlier already accounts for the possible need of more than 10 teams - you just take the first 11 or 12 or whatever it is and then the next 11 or 12.
Either you go with last year's miles , which assumes a lot and doesn't work for newbies or you go with people's handicaps, which is out of their heads.

I think you have to go with handicaps

Either way, you'll have some variance between reported and actual, such that even report #1 and reported #2 end up on the same team, that doesn't mean that those will be actual #1 and #2 at the end.

But it's two separate decisions: 1) what numbers do you base the system on (i think you have to use handicaps) and 2) what to do with the top tier ( i feel less strongly that randomized is best there)

Steve O
11-27-2014, 12:00 AM
Points:

- We used handicaps last year and the results were no better than if the riders had been randomly assigned.
- Modified random significantly improves on randomly assigned based on analysis of actual data.
- Modified random improves on the handicapping system used last year 85% - 90% of the time.
- Handicaps for newbies are not reliable--no better than random.
- Handicaps based on past performance are better.

Therefore using handicaps on known riders will improve competitiveness. Using handicaps on new riders is a waste of effort.

That is the reasoning behind my recommendation of modified random.

Additional points:
1) Modified random mostly indemnifies the team assigner's system from being second guessed
2) Modified random cannot be tested at the end of FS to see how it did against the handicapping system, but not vice versa. That may be good for data analysis, but invalidates point #1 if it turns out MR would have been more competitive (which I will bet you lunch it will be).
3) MR is easier to implement

vvill
11-27-2014, 07:44 AM
I'd think assigning the top 20 as proposed by Steve O (assuming 10 teams) would work pretty well.

I think after that it's still worth considering doing buckets/pools (and then randomly picking an equal number from each). If you look at the points from last season, it's not as if the points suddenly drop off after the top 20.

So... assuming say 10 teams and 100 riders:
Top 20
Pool A next 20
Pool B next 20
Pool C bottom 40

For newbies, they can self-nominate to be in either A/B/C. You can't predict their points, so don't bother trying too hard.

Rod Smith
11-27-2014, 08:00 AM
I'm surprised that anyone gave themselves a handicap that was LOWER than the number asked for (miles and days ridden in Nov. and Dec.) I gave myself a handicap greater than the number asked for because using my Nov. and Dec. miles would have been unfair. I can't believe a significant number of us intentionally deceived.

If some of us cheated to our advantage (or to our disadvantage), I assume most of us did neither. I'm sure some riders didn't have a record of the miles they rode in Nov. and Dec. so they estimated and I assume the estimates were almost all in good faith, as accurate as possible. I feel handicaps, based on real numbers or estimates are going to be mostly close enough for our purposes.

So if Chris Watson or other big mile rider joins the forum and the challenge, we should use her handicap and if that puts her in the top twenty, assign her to a team based on that, not add her to the pool of randomly assigned participants. Chris was fourth placed rider on our National Bike Challenge team, ahead of Jeff Lemieux, Greg Garrett, Chris Randall, Dickie Sewell.

Rod Smith
11-27-2014, 08:17 AM
Also, pairing #1 with #20, #2 with #19, #3 with #18 etc. and assigning the rest randomly will give my team a big advantage (almost 500 points) over the other teams. Not that there's anything wrong with that. #800poundgorilla

On the other hand, 500 points is less than 3% of the winning team's total last year so perhaps not worth worrying about.

dasgeh
11-27-2014, 09:05 AM
Points:

- We used handicaps last year and the results were no better than if the riders had been randomly assigned.
- Modified random significantly improves on randomly assigned based on analysis of actual data.
- Modified random improves on the handicapping system used last year 85% - 90% of the time.
- Handicaps for newbies are not reliable--no better than random.
- Handicaps based on past performance are better.


Some of these are based on your one analysis of one year of data, and I don't think you looked at people's reported handicap last year in your analysis (at least you didn't discuss it in the write up). Others of these are pure conjecture.
So why not put an entry on registration for handicap*? Then when we know the number of registrants, we can tier into buckets based on reported handicap.

* we have to define handicap which could be A) avg weekly mileage from bafs last year, B) avg weekly mileage from Oct - Dec, C) estimated weekly mileage for 2015 bafs or D) something else. All of those options have their issues.

peterw_diy
11-27-2014, 09:20 AM
Random random random. Easy, no sandbagging, no hard feelings.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

dcv
11-27-2014, 09:33 AM
seunpu
http://i1209.photobucket.com/albums/cc399/vng2327/bike%20posts/dear-fans-why-you-no-join-our-contest_zps7d8c5028.jpg

hozn
11-27-2014, 10:09 AM
I say do what the data says makes sense. We have handicap info from last year, though it is "massaged" (corrected, when it underreported wrt strava) data so not sure if that helps this analysis really.

I know some of you have asked for specific datasets. Sorry, I have little time to give that now, but am happy to provide db access to anyone that wants to build/explore the data directly.

Or jrenaut may have more time to support right now. (Or others that already have db access.)

ShawnoftheDread
11-27-2014, 11:11 AM
Also, pairing #1 with #20, #2 with #19, #3 with #18 etc. and assigning the rest randomly will give my team a big advantage (almost 500 points) over the other teams. Not that there's anything wrong with that. #800poundgorilla

On the other hand, 500 points is less than 3% of the winning team's total last year so perhaps not worth worrying about.

What would give you a bigger advantage: being purposely placed with #20 or being randomly placed with #4 and #5?

I think completely random shouldn't be used because of the possibility or the latter. As for modified random or handicaps, good arguments have been made for both. But I think modified random would be easier to implement, as I'm sure Bob spent a lot of time creating the teams the past two years.

rcannon100
11-27-2014, 11:44 AM
3) MR is easier to implement


Just one point of clarification. Setting the teams is not hard. It is an investment of time and if the game launches ~ its good. This is not hard. (ease of implementation should not be factor ~ good game design is the key)

What is hard is when people who are not on the forum sign up for FS and then dont show up, creating holes in teams - or people cant play for some reason - or people get placed on teams who did not go through the registration process. The goal is to create a bunch of relatively equal teams. Shat is hard has been the gap between creating the teams - and finding out who did not show up, who is on IR, who didnt sign up but wants to play. Both previous years this has been challenging.

Thankfully ACL has volunteered to be substitution czar.

Also, remember that our goal here is to move toward consensus.


1) Modified random indemnifies the team assigner's system from being second guessed

There is absolutely no truth to that statement. :p

dkel
11-27-2014, 12:37 PM
What is hard is when people who are not on the forum sign up for FS and then dont show up, creating holes in teams - or people cant play for some reason - or people get placed on teams who did not go through the registration process. [...] What is hard has been the gap between creating the teams - and finding out who did not show up, who is on IR, who didnt sign up but wants to play.

Sounds like none of the hair-splitting in forming teams will matter...


Wait—did I just say that out loud?

dkel
11-27-2014, 12:40 PM
Sounds like none of the hair-splitting in forming teams will matter...


Wait—did I just say that out loud?

Seriously, though, if there's no way to overcome the effects of unpredictability, let's just use one of the ideas (even last year's plan) and go for it. Not being on a competitive team won't keep me from busting it to ride every day and get as high as I can on the overall list. So it will still be fun!

rcannon100
11-27-2014, 01:16 PM
The first year we did this, FS was a great success and the game design was pretty good. The second year we modified the game, and that was an improvement. But we suffered from scale. We had lots of outsiders and those outsiders did not show up, causing teams to be very unbalanced. It took a lot of work to balance the teams. When we did, the game worked well.

We are taking time now to reconsider the game design because, well, this game is fun. And a good game design makes it fun. If we set up the game right, it works better and we avoid a lot of whining later on. If we get impatient (what is the hurry after all) and take "whatever option," then one month from now those of us doing the work will be dealing with a bunch of people screaming because they dont like this or that or the other thing.

If you are not going to be part of a competitive team and this does not matter to you, then maybe I would suggest step aside and let those people who will be participating and competing work this out. We are close to being done. Engaging in a good peer dialogue produces good results. You dont have to be a part of this process if it doesnt matter to you.

Right now I think the compelling game design is Steve's MR if we can solve some of the questions out there (which I think we can).

TALKING PROPOSAL
* Modified Random
* Everyone provides handicap based on Sept through November. This will be checked against Strava. Sandbaggers will be ridiculed.
* Top cyclists will be spread across teams based on handicap. Using top cyclists, we will create a set of relatively equal teams. The rest of the cyclists will be randomized.
* Participants will be given the option of regionalization (MD, DC, VA)
* ACL will be substitution czar. Late signups or whatever will be put in a substitution pool. After three weeks or something, the team captain with the greatest deficit can take on subs (in past years, where we did not randomize, participants with like handicaps were substituted (if someone with a 75 handicap did not show up, they could be substituted with someone with a 75 ish handicap)
* Communication and coordination will be through the forum
* Game is for members of the forum, for people in the area (with maybe the exception of Kiev)

PeteD
11-27-2014, 01:29 PM
I'm glad I'm not all that competitive. I just wanna ride a bike with my friends

7095

Amalitza
11-28-2014, 09:32 AM
Sounds like none of the hair-splitting in forming teams will matter...


Wait—did I just say that out loud?

I don't think it will, either, no matter what handicapping scheme gets used or how talented a substitution czar I do or don't turn out to be, not if what you're going for is a bunch of teams still competitive by March, which is what it sounds like people are trying to get to. Having watched the 2013 craziness, and been a member of the first place team in 2014, I would strongly suggest that team dynamics is the biggest factor in being in the top couple teams, and you can't handicap for that.

Something that Steve O's randomized look back at 2014 misses (has to miss, not his fault) is that many of the individual scores would have been different had we been on different teams. My score, at least, would almost certainly not have been what it was if I weren't on the same team as Chris Shue out there riding centuries with broken collarbones at 4am (seriously, 4am!?!?-- in February?!). And I'm betting that the sleaze champions of 2014 (who gave us a good run for our money, or whatever it was we won) didn't just randomly happen to all be on the same team, but encouraged and fed off each other to get out there every day and *become* the sleaze champions, and almost winning team.

It doesn't matter to me this year but for 2016 I will vote for random teams, unless y'all try it out this year and it's a disaster. :)

CPTJohnC
11-28-2014, 10:33 AM
I would strongly suggest that team dynamics is the biggest factor in being in the top couple teams, and you can't handicap for that.

This. I guarantee you I rode many, many more days (though not a lot of miles) because of my team. Watching Fast Friendly Guy do Strava art, and Dave (DKel) get really into things was just amazing! Did it change my riding behavior? You bet it did!

ShawnoftheDread
11-28-2014, 12:37 PM
I think what you're saying is my teams didn't lose, I just failed them as the captain.

rcannon100
11-28-2014, 01:10 PM
I would strongly suggest that team dynamics is the biggest factor in being in the top couple teams, and you can't handicap for that.

Actually..... you can.... just saying.

CPTJohnC
11-28-2014, 01:20 PM
I think what you're saying is my teams didn't lose, I just failed them as the captain.

It isn't necessarily all about the captain. There's a somewhat indecipherable dynamic that just... works. Sometimes. I am pretty sure that our head of team spirit was ~not~ our captain.

Oh, and we didn't win - We were #3. My contribution to that was small. But it was larger than our margin over the next closest team, so obviously there was something to it.

That said: I think some handicapping is useful: we don't all ride 4AM centuries. With a broken collarbone. Or do bike advocacy as part of our jobs. But as for what separates the #3 team from #4 (at least last year)? It was very much about team dynamic - which convinced me to take way more sleaze rides than I otherwise would have at 11PM in sub 20f weather.

dkel
11-28-2014, 01:50 PM
Actually..... you can.... just saying.

I'm very interested in this; how does it work? I feel like all the ideas people have come up with are good, but I haven't seen (or have missed) how planning can mitigate for the unexpected injury or now-show, aside from rejiggering the teams to compensate (or is that the only way?). That seems to be the biggest hurdle in keeping the game close, along with creating that magical team dynamic.

cvcalhoun
11-28-2014, 07:59 PM
I can verify that team dynamic thing. I (accurately) reported last year that in the relevant pre-FS period, I was bicycling 2 days a week for a total of about 30 miles a week. During FS, I bicycled every day, and racked up just under 75 miles a week. That wasn't the result of sandbagging, but of genuinely increasing my mileage more than I ever thought possible. My points weren't all that astronomical--I was number 7 of our team of 9. (Yep, geeks, I really was Seven of Nine!) But the difference between the points I would have had based on my original schedule and the points I actually had was more than the difference between our winning team and the runner up.

But the idea behind handicapping is not that the teams should be equal all the way through FS, but that they should start out with roughly equal capabilities. I don't think last year's system did badly at that, and I'd be fine with using it this year. Or if you wanted to eliminate potential sandbagging, you could use last year's FS numbers, and then randomize the newbies. But I really don't see the need for some immensely complicated system.

Dickie
11-30-2014, 01:25 PM
Having read an entire thread about an event I do not intend to participate in should earn me a Master's of something right? Master's of stupidity, procrastination, OCD, fear of missing out….. something.

Vicegrip
11-30-2014, 02:26 PM
Having read an entire thread about an event I do not intend to participate in should earn me a Master's of something right? Master's of stupidity, procrastination, OCD, fear of missing out….. something.Easy fix, retake the lost time by signing up.

DCAKen
12-01-2014, 10:10 AM
Just to put another spin on all the handicapping discussions...

The number of days that a participant gets the daily bonus is never taken into account. Those ten points can be a substantial percentage of the points earned...and I had several 13 point days during those bitter cold spells only because I didn't want to end up on the Sleaze Days list. How much of an effect does the daily bonus have on a team's ranking?

rcannon100
12-01-2014, 10:33 AM
Just to put another spin on all the handicapping discussions...

The number of days that a participant gets the daily bonus is never taken into account. Those ten points can be a substantial percentage of the points earned...and I had several 13 point days during those bitter cold spells only because I didn't want to end up on the Sleaze Days list. How much of an effect does the daily bonus have on a team's ranking?

This is incorrect. The handicap was people's score based on miles ridden and days ridden.

Anyway, Steve O and I argued until we were blue in the face at FCC-Post-Turkey and have achieved multilateral consensus. As soon az I makes my grammah all good the form shud go live.

jrenaut
12-01-2014, 10:42 AM
As soon az I makes my grammah all good the form shud go live.
I'm thrilled to hear that. If this thread reaches 30 pages before we can sign up I'll burn my Moose Mitts.

rcannon100
12-01-2014, 10:52 AM
I'm thrilled to hear that. If this thread reaches 30 pages before we can sign up I'll burn my Moose Mitts.

https://d18l82el6cdm1i.cloudfront.net/solvable/5fc83380fd.644b81172f.ubnImP.jpg

dasgeh
12-01-2014, 10:55 AM
Just to put another spin on all the handicapping discussions...

The number of days that a participant gets the daily bonus is never taken into account. Those ten points can be a substantial percentage of the points earned...and I had several 13 point days during those bitter cold spells only because I didn't want to end up on the Sleaze Days list. How much of an effect does the daily bonus have on a team's ranking?
It's a good point: increasing the daily bonus will counter the effect mega-mileage riders have on rankings and encourage every day riding.

I wonder if we doubled the daily bonus whether completely random teams would be competitive. Or just the top 1 rider per team assigned (v. Top 2), then random, would work

jrenaut
12-01-2014, 10:55 AM
Bear in mind that I help hozn with the Freezing Saddles website. Sure would be a shame if a "software glitch" kept under-reporting your points...

jrenaut
12-01-2014, 10:57 AM
It's a good point: increasing the daily bonus will counter the effect mega-mileage riders have on rankings and encourage every day riding.

I wonder if we doubled the daily bonus whether completely random teams would be competitive. Or just the top 1 rider per team assigned (v. Top 2), then random, would work
I'm nearly positive we ran some numbers last year and messing with the daily bonus would have had an entirely negligible effect on the standings. I might even have some record of that on my laptop at home.

rcannon100
12-01-2014, 11:57 AM
We also discussed this at length last year and decided to stay with the current mileage and points design. This was not brought up this year as something to change, and we are about to go live with registration (altering the rules could alter how registration is done)

americancyclo
12-01-2014, 12:06 PM
As soon az I makes my grammah all good the form shud go live.

So, never, then? :p

ShawnoftheDread
12-01-2014, 12:11 PM
I'm nearly positive we ran some numbers last year and messing with the daily bonus would have had an entirely negligible effect on the standings. I might even have some record of that on my laptop at home.

Yes, we found little effect. Probably because the high mileage riders and teams also ride every day.

Steve O
12-04-2014, 11:12 PM
Is anyone really good at graphic design? and have a lot of extra time on their hands. I think it would be cool to generate a poster with all of the winning photos on it, and present them at FS end happy hour.

Instead of a poster, how about a 2015 calendar featuring photos from last year's Winter Wonderland and Founding Fathers side bets?

If you would be willing to pay $10 for such a thing, please like this post. If there is enough interest, I may take it on. Would make available at the initial happy hour.