2024 BAFS General Info Sticky

Our Community Forums Freezing Saddles Winter Riding Competition 2024 BAFS General Info Sticky

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    This post provides a single spot for information regarding Bike Arlington Freezing Saddles (BAFS). I will update this post as needed to keep information current. If you have a question, or think that something needs to be added or changed in this post, PM me please.

    What is Freezing Saddles, (or BAFS “Bike Arlington Freezing Saddles”)?
    Freezing Saddles is a winter riding competition for bike riders in the general DC area, organized by random people who talk to each other on the Washington Area/ BikeArlington Bike Forum. While we organize ourselves on the BikeArlington forum, and BikeArlington has generously donated prizes in the past, we are not run by BikeArlington. As described by a forum member, BAFS organization:

    Originally Posted by Steve O:
    probably most closely resembles organizing a game of freeze tag on the grade-school playground.

    How it works, keeping in mind things can and do change year-to-year during the planning stage:
    Freezing Saddles runs from January 1 through 1 second before midnight, March 18 (the last FULL day of Winter). We divide people into teams of 10 or so people, striving for competitive parity. Each team is a mix of riders who typically ride enough to qualify as insane, people who ride regularly but like sane people, people who ride occasionally, and people who have never ridden through a winter before.

    In addition to the points competition, teams and individuals compete and play for Pointless Prizes, of which there are many, both serious and silly. For many, these “reindeer games” are the primary reason they join and play Freezing Saddles. To see last year’s list of Pointless Prizes, click here.

    Registration typically closes on Christmas Eve, and/or when we have reached the participation limit. In recent years, we capped the number of players at 250 to try to keep the game and the data collection manageable.

    We use Strava for data collection and team organization, which means that to play, you will need a Strava account and after teams are created, you will need to join your team’s Strava group. You will also need some sort of GPS device or smartphone to track your rides. We no longer count manually entered rides (not because we don’t trust you, they just tended to cause too much data corrective work for the leaderboard techie gurus).

    We use a leaderboard application http://freezingsaddles.org/ (originally developed by awesome forum member hozn and now maintained by a team headed by obscurerichard) to report on team and individual points and all kinds of other cool riding metrics with team/individual standings. Plus pictures. Players need to authorize this app to read your Strava data, or Strava rightly will not give us access to it.

    People also offer up “Pointless Prizes”, prizes for whatever kind of random things strikes the fancy of the person offering the prize. These are generally announced on postings in the Freezing Saddles subforum of the BikeArlington Forum.

    We are BACK to having in-person happy hours near the start of the game to formally announce teams and after the end of the game to hand out prizes. These are fun, but attendance is not mandatory. Details TBA in another thread.

    And if you want to promote any of this nonsense on the Twitters (while it lasts), the Grams, or some other social medium, use the hashbrown #BAFS2024.

    Some links to get you started:
    Registration form, and description of the steps to register here.
    List of whom to contact for various functions here.

    2024 Rules:
    1) Scoring: Same as last year, with the points heavily weighted to the early miles of each ride.
    • 10 points for each day of 1 mile+
    • Additional mileage points as follows: Mile 1=10 points; Mile 2=9 pts; Mile 3=8 pts, etc. Miles 10 and over = 1 pt each.
    • Like in 2023, there is no weekly point cap or distinction between individual and team points. Ride your hearts out.

    Cheat Sheet for the Mathematically Challenged
    Miles = Points
    1 = 20
    2 = 29
    3 = 37
    4 = 44
    5 = 50
    6 = 55
    7 = 59
    8 = 62
    9 = 64
    10 = 65
    11 = 66
    12 = 67
    13 = 68
    14 = 69
    15 = 70
    16 = 71
    17 = 72
    18 = 73
    19 = 74
    20 = 75

    2) Dates: Game runs 00:00:01 January 1 through 23:59:59 March 18. All rides starting from January 1 on count, even though teams may not be assigned for a few days. If you are planning to get a super-early start and be out riding your bike as the year changes, be aware that rides starting *before* midnight will not be counted by the leaderboard. You need to stop your recording device and restart a new ride after midnight for your miles on January 1 to count. Similarly, you will need to end your last ride by 23:59:59 March 18 for it to count.

    3) Stationary trainer rides don’t count. Mark your rides as such or include #NOBAFS in the title to exclude them. Take your bike outside and ride it some distance across the surface of the earth in order to earn points. Manual entries will also not be accepted.

    4) Rides made while travelling out of the area do count. On vacation somewhere warm? Lucky you! Find a bike and ride it for some points. Somewhere extra cold? So, so sorry. Find a bike and ride it for some points!

    5) Rides made on E-assist (but not solely electric/motor powered) bikes do count, except that rides on an Elf do NOT. See here: Inane E-bike Debate.

    6) Anyone can award a Pointless Prize for anything. Check out the thread for what people are offering, and feel free to join in and award something yourself. These are typically small fun or cute or symbolic things, not high dollar prizes or anything. But whatever you want! No one will probably argue about you throwing money or new bikes at them if you so desire.

    7) If you’d like to be a Friend of BAFS and participate in events, etc., but not compete as part of a team, check here: Friends of BAFS.

    8) If all the Reindeer Games and Pointless Prizes are not enough to keep you busy riding in blizzard season, see this Freezing Saddles unofficial calendar for “bikey” events, other meetups, and Freezing Saddles happy hours. This calendar is also found by scrolling down on the freezingsaddles.org home page.



    Would it be possible to update the links in this post to their new destinations given the forum transition, Henry, especially since we have no PMs in the new forum software?


    The links seem to be working. Are you seeing some specific broken links?

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