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Thread: Existential Thread: Or What is Freezing Saddles Really All About

  1. #21
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    americancyclo is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrenaut View Post
    tweaking the front end (I made the top 10 individual riders' names bigger on the leaderboard and no one noticed
    Fastfriendlyguy and I were talking about this at the last Java Shack FCC, seeing his name in bigger letters is his primary motivation to get out and ride this year. More people noticed than you know!

    consider this your attaboy.

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

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by consularrider View Post
    Well, I think there should be a team composed solely of those riders with some derivation of the name Chris. We'd be kicking you know what.

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

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

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

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

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    I very much agree with Sunyata's points about having minimum requirements for social and mileage/ride days aspects. And the beer or coffee or cupcake or whatever part. I hope there's a way to enforce requirements while still keeping it as a friendly game.

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  9. #25
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    Size is an issue. Whether you think itís a good, neutral, or bad issue (probably all), it is an issue. We doubled in size between last and this year (and quintupled in size from year one) and that simply changes things.
    Not being a software person, Iíd expect thatís the biggest/earliest choke point in actually being able to handle growth, but as Sunyata noted, it makes other organizational demands as well. And it changes the nature of the game, I think. It seems a lot harder at this size to nurture friendly rivalries between teams, simply because there are just so many of them, itís harder to keep up with what people outside of your own team are doing. (Unless I am just not a dedicated enough stalker?) But we are probably at a point where we need to consider capping the size at a manageable level, or something, or recognize it is likely to transition to something more like the national bike challenge. (Which I only ever signed up for in the first place to make my year 1 FS captain Rod Smith happy when he was first putting together the All-Stars. I like FS much more better.)

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

    Also, yes jrenaut I noticed the big letters for the special people. As I am not one of them, I didnít care.

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

    Things come up, but there are a handful of contestants who have ridden less than 5 days over the past 2 months (and aren't on the slackers team).
    I am not sure how we can automate dropping someone when they don't meet their commitment, but leave that to the tech gurus. My thought was to have a hard cut off, either in miles or rides or both. If someone is dropped, they are replaced on their team by a "phantom" rider who is the average of the other teams' last place riders who have not been cut.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjclaeys View Post
    I am not sure how we can automate dropping someone when they don't meet their commitment, but leave that to the tech gurus. My thought was to have a hard cut off, either in miles or rides or both. If someone is dropped, they are replaced on their team by a "phantom" rider who is the average of the other teams' last place riders who have not been cut.
    We can't [reasonably] do phantom riders, but automating dropping riders would be easy if the FS application is responsible for registrations (something we've discussed in past) and so tracks those commitment values.

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

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunyata View Post
    So, for whatever my opinion is worth, I really think that the social aspect of BAFS is the most important thing. But, I honestly do not care one way or the other if the social part comes from the forum, from Facebook, from Strava or in all three places. Just as long as it happens and people get together to ride their bikes and have a beer or coffee or cupcake or whatever.
    I think that you're right that it really doens't matter where people are getting their social "fix" so long as that is a prominent part of the experience. It would be nice if there were a better way to cross-link between Strava/Facebook/Forum. That, I think, is a technical shortcoming that we could hope to find fixed in the future.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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