Likes Likes:  25
Dislikes Dislikes:  0
ELITE ELITE:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: How do you choose riders so the team has variety?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    PG
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Question How do you choose riders so the team has variety?

    Hi. First timer here. I was wondering how the teams are arranged. I think I read that there's a mix of people who ride a lot to those that ride a little for a healthy variety, but how do you know who is what? Are you looking at their previous rides on Strava? What if they just started one or don't have that much info on there? Do you ask for personal input from everyone?

    Sorry if this info is already posted somewhere. I tried searching through a bunch of threads and couldn't find any answers.

    Thanks!

  2. Likes Jessica Hirschhorn liked this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Columbia Heights, DC
    Posts
    4,438
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    This is a discussion every year, and we haven't really found the answer. A lot of people put in a lot of work to get competitive teams, and it seems to fail every year.

    Some people ride consistently year round. Some people do a lot extra for BAFS. Some, like my wife, ride year round but only bother with Strava during BAFS.

    If you have a brilliant idea to ensure maximum competitiveness right up to the last day of the competition, we'd love it hear it. Some year my hope is for it to come down to three or four teams desperately sprinting around Hains Point right up to the stroke of midnight at the Freezing Saddles Last Night Hains Point Party.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    PG
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    What a dream!

    Not trying to reinvent the wheel here. But I am curious to know what has been tried in the past.

    Too late for this year (or is it?), but have y'all ever done something like adding a question to the sign up page that gives you an idea of their typical mileage? Maybe everyone chooses a number between 1-5 where 5 would be riders who typically go 70+ miles all the way down to 1 who are riders that ride less than 5 miles a ride. Possibly also factoring in how many times a week they typically ride. And then each team gets 1-5 types of riders.

    That's if all teams are compiled randomly. I'm assuming people want to be on teams with their friends especially if they've been doing this for a while.

    Does enthusiasm typically wane further into the competition?

  5. Likes Jessica Hirschhorn liked this post
  6. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Columbia Heights, DC
    Posts
    4,438
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I think there is a question about daily or yearly mileage. But it's hard to distinguish between, say, someone who does the trainer all winter and then century rides every weekend when it's nice, and someone who rides every day for transportation but never more than 15 miles in a day.

    It's not random (although that has been suggested). Currently chuxtr is the arbiter of the Super Secret Algorithm of Team Choosing. He wasn't the first, and is unlikely to be the last.

    Friends don't enter into it - you can request to be on a local team, but I think that's DC vs VA vs MD, not you and your 10 buddies.

    And then there's the discussion about what the actual goal of this whole thing is. Do we want to maximize everyone's mileage, meaning we need all the teams competitive? Do we want to maximize participation in the side games, meaning the competition is fine but it's not the focus? Do we want to encourage as many people as possible to ride through the winter and find out that, with a bit of the right gear, it's totally doable for normal people in all but the worst weather? The answer to "what is the point of BAFS" varies wildly among participants.

  7. Likes kwarkentien, Shabooya liked this post
  8. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Pentagon City in Arlington VA
    Posts
    5,760
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shabooya View Post
    What a dream!

    Not trying to reinvent the wheel here. But I am curious to know what has been tried in the past.

    Too late for this year (or is it?), but have y'all ever done something like adding a question to the sign up page that gives you an idea of their typical mileage? Maybe everyone chooses a number between 1-5 where 5 would be riders who typically go 70+ miles all the way down to 1 who are riders who ride less than 5 miles a ride. Possibly also factoring in how many times a week they typically ride. And then each team gets 1-5 types of riders.

    That's if all teams are compiled randomly. I'm assuming people want to be on teams with their friends especially if they've been doing this for a while.

    Does enthusiasm typically wane further into the competition?

    • I have done the analysis on random v. some-sort-of-system every year. Random generally comes pretty close, but falls just a tiny bit shy of whatever system is used. Or the other way round: whatever systems we have tried are only slightly better than random assignments.
    • We changed the scoring system, which I believed would tighten the rankings. It didn't (but most people liked it better).
    • We have asked for people to estimate or report their mileage in the past. That also seems to make little difference in making the rankings closer.
    • A number of people like being on teams with others from not too far away, so we ask for zip code as a way to help accommodate that.
    • We do not accommodate friend requests, or at least never have in the past.
    • Some enthusiasm wanes for some people, but I am pleased to say that many players keep riding--with a significant number also playing the reindeer games--right up to the last minute.


    I am certain the chuxtr will be more than happy to get your assistance next year. He has the extraordinarily unforgiving task of coming up with the teams.

  9. #6
    cvcalhoun's Avatar
    cvcalhoun is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Bethesda, MD
    Posts
    2,711
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shabooya View Post
    What a dream!

    Not trying to reinvent the wheel here. But I am curious to know what has been tried in the past.

    Too late for this year (or is it?), but have y'all ever done something like adding a question to the sign up page that gives you an idea of their typical mileage? Maybe everyone chooses a number between 1-5 where 5 would be riders who typically go 70+ miles all the way down to 1 who are riders that ride less than 5 miles a ride. Possibly also factoring in how many times a week they typically ride. And then each team gets 1-5 types of riders.

    That's if all teams are compiled randomly. I'm assuming people want to be on teams with their friends especially if they've been doing this for a while.

    Does enthusiasm typically wane further into the competition?
    We have traditionally checked last year's mileage (for people who participated the prior year) and asked people about their mileage (for those who didn't). Teams were then formed so that each team had approximately equal predicted mileage. So if you wanted to help your team, a premium was put on riding more than you did last year (or more than you usually do), as opposed to riding more miles than anyone else. That gave even the riders with the lowest usual mileage an incentive to do a little better.

    We pretty much agreed this year that we should be using points instead of mileage for that purpose in future years. If we just count mileage, the person who bikes 20 miles every Saturday gets counted the same as one who bikes 4 miles a day, 5 days a week. But the former person would get 75 points a week, while the latter would get 220. So it makes more sense to create teams based on points rather than mileage.

    However, this year we decided to just do random assignments, other than making sure each team had one of the top riders from last year, each had one of the bottom riders from last year, and each had at least one newbie. The reason was that we believed that last year's mileage/points would be of no use in predicting this year's. The person who commuted daily last year may now be working from home. The person who took the bus/subway to work last year may now be riding a bike to avoid contact with other people. The person who was working full-time last year and had no time to ride may now be unemployed and spending a lot of time riding as distraction. The people who ride a century every weekend just for fun and the people who don't dare venture out if it's under 40 degrees may be the same as last year, but everyone else's mileage is unpredictable.
    Last edited by cvcalhoun; 12-26-2020 at 10:05 PM.

  10. Likes Shabooya, CBGanimal, jrenaut, kwarkentien liked this post
  11. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    olney
    Posts
    840
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shabooya View Post
    Hi. First timer here. I was wondering how the teams are arranged. I think I read that there's a mix of people who ride a lot to those that ride a little for a healthy variety, but how do you know who is what? Are you looking at their previous rides on Strava? What if they just started one or don't have that much info on there? Do you ask for personal input from everyone?

    Sorry if this info is already posted somewhere. I tried searching through a bunch of threads and couldn't find any answers.

    Thanks!
    They look for me, and then put all the folks who don't ride on my team!

    Luckily, there are some other ringers in here now, so I hope they split that up a bit!

    Oh, and Judd will sell your email to the lowest bidder!! Yes! The lowest. Just to spite you!

  12. Likes Jessica Hirschhorn, SarahBee, Judd, JoM, Henry liked this post
  13. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    PG
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Thanks to all of you for taking the time to reply in detail. Your mostly random option does seem to be a winner given that it was said there hasn't been too significant of a difference between random and more curated teams. Getting into any more details seems like a good job for someone who especially enjoys puzzles/equations and possibilities and outcomes. Here's hoping that's you, chuxtr, and, if not, good luck.

    To be honest, I missed the part about this being a competition initially. I was thinking it was just great motivation to get out and ride regularly especially since I used to be an every day commuter in the city and now have to find reasons to ride in the county. So something for everyone with competing and games and camaraderie sounds great to me.

    As for wanting to be on a team with people on your side of the border...was that more for pre-pandemic meetups/group rides/potential new local friends? What would be the point now, or before, if it wasn't any of the ones I listed?

  14. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    4,280
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanA View Post
    They look for me, and then put all the folks who don't ride on my team!

    Luckily, there are some other ringers in here now, so I hope they split that up a bit!

    Oh, and Judd will sell your email to the lowest bidder!! Yes! The lowest. Just to spite you!
    Prices so low that I will actually pay you $1 to take Alanís e-mail address off my hands.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  15. Likes AlanA, kwarkentien liked this post
  16. #10
    cvcalhoun's Avatar
    cvcalhoun is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Bethesda, MD
    Posts
    2,711
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shabooya View Post
    As for wanting to be on a team with people on your side of the border...was that more for pre-pandemic meetups/group rides/potential new local friends? What would be the point now, or before, if it wasn't any of the ones I listed?
    Yes, the idea was that meetups and getting to know people were more likely if you didn't have people from Greenbelt and people from Alexandria on the same team. I would think it less critical this year. But I would expect that at least some teams will do things like socially distanced group rides--and those are easier if you don't have to bike 40 miles even to get to the ride.

  17. Likes Shabooya liked this post

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •