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Thread: 2017 Freezing Saddles Thread #1

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_s View Post
    Anyone wishing to advocate for no e-bikes is required to pedal my fully loaded bakfiets up Superman Hill with the pedal assist turned off. DM me to setup a time.
    As long as you are pedaling, that's good enough for me.

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  3. #22
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    I may be able to integrate registration in with the application. But work is also heating up, so that may not be feasible by sign-up time. My goal would be to have people log in with their forum credentials (don't worry, we won't store unhashed passwords) and then also authorize the application for strava. That will validate that they have a valid forum login and it'll also take any guess work out of looking at their performance (in strava) for last freezing saddles and/or looking at average monthly points for purposes of populating the teams.

    (I do not have any ambitions of making a team population algorithm, but someone is welcome to decide they'd take that on [and all the baggage therein].)

    I don't care about ebikes, because they haven't shown to actually disrupt the competition (or at least the leaderboards) in any way. Heck, I hardly saw the Elf guy driving the W&OD last winter, so I wouldn't even care if we let that troll play. :-)

    I would like to disallow manual entries, though. If you want to get creative you can always construct GPX files and upload them (you could do this in Strava too to get around their prohibition of manual rides for all their competitions).

    And FWIW I tend to agree with SteveO that the slackers team probably doesn't need to exist. The competition has grown large enough that there isn't much reason to feel like you have to go out and ride like crazy. Maybe the placement algorithm (person) could take into consideration expectation of riding far fewer miles for placement purposes. On the other hand, this competition has gotten really big. If growth trends continue this year, we might need to start thinking of subdividing the competition or something. There are some technical challenges (and work!) there to say the least.

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  5. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    (I do not have any ambitions of making a team population algorithm, but someone is welcome to decide they'd take that on [and all the baggage therein].)
    If people were relatively happy with the team construction last year, I can volunteer to do it again this year. But someone better buy me beer at the happy hours again.

    My take on the rules (because, you know, my opinion matters so much!):
    No slacker team. That is silly. Most of you "slackers" rode more than the bottom 40% of riders on actual teams last year.
    E-bikes are fine as long as they are not enclosed. (i.e. no ELF)
    I like the idea of no manual entries.
    We should have a hard cut off date for registration. Last year's last minute additions were a HUGE pain in the saddle sore.
    Is there a way to make sure that everyone who signs up, actually participates? If so, can we do that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunyata View Post
    We should have a hard cut off date for registration. Last year's last minute additions were a HUGE pain in the saddle sore.
    Is there a way to make sure that everyone who signs up, actually participates? If so, can we do that?
    I agree the deadline should be hard and without exception. If someone misses it, there's always next year. We're not exactly hurting for participation here ...

    What about dropping riders that don't log a ride in the first X (7?) days. Of course, that be just as much a pain for team membership.

    What about the idea floated last year of delaying team assignment and using the first Y (14?) days as a "qualification period". All points would ultimately count -- for both personal and team goals -- but the actual team assignments wouldn't be set yet. The amount of riding in that first period would be the basis for team assignment (or would heavily weight numbers from previous competition, etc.)

    And finally (well...), what about the idea of having ability to participate in the social aspect w/o joining a team? To satisfy desire for a Slackers team. "Spectator" effectively meaning that you'd like to post pictures, and maybe participate in the pointless prizes, but don't want to join a team (and wouldn't show up on any individual or team leaderboards). Maybe this is effectively the same as Slackers from a practical perspective and should just be disallowed, since we have plenty of other online places to be "social" while riding bikes. (The more I describe it the less of a good idea it seems.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunyata View Post
    Is there a way to make sure that everyone who signs up, actually participates? If so, can we do that?
    +1

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  10. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunyata View Post
    Is there a way to make sure that everyone who signs up, actually participates? If so, can we do that?
    Yes. People who are not part of this community - who get recruited to join - have, in my experience, a low participation rate. A solution would be to limit FS to this community - as it was always designed as a game among friends - not as anything else. Keep it within the community, and you will increase participation.

    BTW your desire to increase participation and your desire to eliminate the slacker team contradicts each other. The slacker team is by design the team for people who want to participate, but not 100%. Generally, its people who want to participate in the pointless games or whatever - but have no intention of riding every day or pounding miles. If I want to slack, but you dont give me a slacker team - well the easy solution is just to sign up on a team..... and then not participate.

    Slacker team has been a part of FS every single year. There has always been a demand for it by people who want to enjoy the community, but cannot make the full commitment. Not everyone can be, well, insane. Slacker team has always been a good thing and I have never understook why it causes such consternation that those who want to only partially participate should not be allowed to.
    Last edited by rcannon100; 10-26-2016 at 09:50 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunyata View Post
    We should have a hard cut off date for registration. Last year's last minute additions were a HUGE pain in the saddle sore.
    I agree with a deadline. However, it might be wise to leave the registration open afterward to create a pool of subs to replace those who don't show up. We just need to make it clear that if you missed the deadline you may not get to play.

    We'd want to be sensitive about using the first week or two as a clear proxy, particularly if some people are out of town or such at the beginning.

    I think the "slackers" issue more or less sorted itself out last year. I never liked the idea of a team, but I am in total agreement with Bob C that if there are "friends of FS" who want to help with happy hours and Pointless Prizes, play the side bets and otherwise join in the festivities, I'm good. Call 'em Slackers or call 'em FS Supporters or whatever.
    If, on the other hand, all they want to do is track their miles on a chart, then they already have Strava for that. I think to be a "Slacker" you need to actually participate somehow that is more than just riding your bike. I seem to recall that we limited Slackers last year to veterans. I like that idea.

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    Kill the slacker team. It's not like non-participants get turned away from FS-based events. What do you gain from being on the slacker team that you don't get from just reading the forum, aside from your name on a leaderboard where you don't count?

    I like the idea of dropping people who don't ride the first X days (unless you tell us beforehand you can't ride for whatever reason, but are going to be serious later, like my wife who last year couldn't ride the first few days due to a walking boot). 7 days is too long. Unless it's snowy/icy, I'd be inclined to say if you don't ride Jan 1 you're dropped, but that is probably too extreme for some of you.

    I like having the first 14 days or so determine teams.

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  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcannon100 View Post
    BTW your desire to increase participation and your desire to eliminate the slacker team contradicts each other. The slacker team is by design the team for people who want to participate, but not 100%. Generally, its people who want to participate in the pointless games or whatever - but have no intention of riding every day or pounding miles. If I want to slack, but you dont give me a slacker team - well the easy solution is just to sign up on a team..... and then not participate.
    The thinking is that the competition is so big, the number of people "in" the competition putting in really low miles and few riding days is high anyway, so there's effectively no pressure on anyone to ride every day or "pound miles." Because of that, the Slacker team actually ends up doing fairly well in the competition, because it tends to be made up of people who are pretty regular riders, despite their "slacker" claims. I think if we were back in the days of 5 or 6 teams of 5-7 people, then slacking does have a noticeable effect on team performance, but now even 3-4 people on a team doing pretty much nothing has only a marginal effect on a team's ranking. The only solution is to crack down on non-participation, but I think that ship has sailed.

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    I think in many cases the people who want to be on a slacker team know their nature and they know that in their nature if they are on a competitive team they will feel pressure to compete - not from their teammates or from the competition, but from themselves.

    What do they gain from being on a slacker team that they can't get from just showing up at happy hours and such? Participation in side bets and such that are tracked in the data that is collected from Strava by the freezing saddles app. Shortest ride / coldest ride / slowest ride, etc.

    I think the existence of a slacker team is fully justifiable (as above) and what/whom does it harm?

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