Author Topic: AAA Points  (Read 122585 times)

Steve Snook

AAA Points
« on: November 01, 2008, 05:02:23 pm »
When I took on the AAA in late 2005, I asked people what they thought about it, and there were a number of concerns raised which I've tried to sort out. However, there was one matter which was controversial at the time, namely the AAA formula and AAA points. These are based on the rate of climb and the distance of the event.
 
Just over half wanted to keep the present points system.
 
Just under half wanted to change to a new simpler system based on one point per 1,000m of climbing.
 
After 3 years I thought it worth raising the matter again to see what people's views are now.
 
Just as a reminder, there is a minimum rate of climb for each distance, e.g. for a 100km event it is 15m per km, for a 200km event it is 14m per km, for a 300km event it is 13.33m per km etc.
 
The present formula provides a quarter point for achieving the minimum rate of climb. So a 100km event with a rate of climb of 15m per km, i.e. 1500m in total, is worth a quarter point. A 200km event with a rate of climb of 14m per km, i.e. 2800m in total, is also worth a quarter point. Each additional 100m of climb gains an additional quarter point regardless of distance. So a 100km event with 1600m of climbing is worth half a point, a 200km event with 2900m of climbing is worth half a point, and so on.
 
The new simpler system suggested in 2005 was to keep the minimum rate of climb for each distance as now, but to score a point per thousand metres for all climbing in the event regardless of distance, rounded to the nearest quarter point. So a 100km event climbing 1500m would score 1.5 points, a 200km event climbing 2800 metres would score 2.75 points, etc.

Discuss!

Steve, the AAA Man

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2008, 05:08:37 pm »
The present, 'illogical' formula was, I understand, back-worked from an adhoc scoring system of hilly events rated by apparent hardness. It seems to work...roughly. I'd vote to keep it as it is. It's fair in as much as the rules are the same for everybody. Also any historical comparisons would be lost if the scoring system was changed.

Fixedwheelnut

  • "If it ain't fixed it's broken"
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Re: AAA Points
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2008, 05:39:29 pm »
 I think keep the points system as it is but declare the total amount of climbing in meters with it.
 So my 100km Grimpeur is 0.75 AAA point with 1700m of climbing.

 One thing is how stating climbing is optional on non AAA events that can have tough sections that would be worthy of AAA points on their own that can catch some people out unaware.
"Don't stop pedalling"

Steve Snook

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2008, 06:41:40 pm »
... Also any historical comparisons would be lost if the scoring system was changed.

The points system was last changed in 2001, so yes comparisons can be made since then.

But quite a few events have their climbing underestimated, and are gradually getting amended, which would prevent a fair comparison.

Steve Snook

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2008, 06:46:42 pm »
  ...non AAA events can have tough sections that would be worthy of AAA points on their own that can catch some people out unaware.

I'd be interested to know more about events like that so we can get them enrolled in AAA.

I know of quite a few cases where the AAA points are just for a hilly section of the event rather than the whole event. Maybe it would be worth putting the AAA distance on the calendar where it's not the whole event?

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: AAA Points
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2008, 06:57:13 pm »
Hi Steve. In calculating climbing per km, how many measurement points are there per km? Yes, its the old fractual measurement question...

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2008, 07:07:27 pm »
I like that currently 'tough' 100k events get given equal billing with 'tough' longer events in AAA point terms. For me this makes them worth the trip - I don't find it worth travelling very far for a flat 100k.

The new points system seems to devalue these shorter rides, giving extra AAA points for climbing with kms in the legs! So, I would prefer to keep the old system.

Steve Snook

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2008, 07:08:04 pm »
Hi Steve. In calculating climbing per km, how many measurement points are there per km? Yes, its the old fractual measurement question...

There are 2 ways to work out climbing. One is to count contour lines which are at 10m intervals on a Landranger map. The other is to take entries from a GPS tracklog at 100m intervals. The two usually give fairly consistent results. So I guess 10 per km is the answer.

Steve Snook

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2008, 07:12:03 pm »
I like that currently 'tough' 100k events get given equal billing with 'tough' longer events in AAA point terms. ...
The new points system seems to devalue these shorter rides, giving extra AAA points for climbing with kms in the legs!...
Under the new system,  the AAA points for 100km events would generally go up. But the AAA points for 200km events and longer would go up even more.

Which is harder? A 100km event with 1500m of climbing, or a 200km event with 2800m of climbing? The current AAA system values them both as the same.

Hummers

  • It is all about the taste.
Re: AAA Points
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2008, 08:02:09 pm »
On a personal level, I really enjoy the fact that some rides are very vague on climbing whilst others are identified as lumpier rides through the current AAA scheme - or sometimes just word of mouth.

On a practical level, surely it is about what is simple to implement and easiest to administer - for you, your successor and the organisers.

H

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2008, 08:09:45 pm »
In the past it has been deemed too much work for the AAA secretary to work out climbing of all the AUK events, and too difficult to persuade all organisers to count their own contours. Hence the various blank events. Does Steve think that computer and satellite technology has made it doable to make it universal?

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2008, 08:11:43 pm »

Which is harder? A 100km event with 1500m of climbing, or a 200km event with 2800m of climbing? The current AAA system values them both as the same.

Different answers from different riders, I imagine.

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2008, 08:22:02 pm »
You can't use difficulty as a metric. What one person finds hard, another will find easy. I can name randonneurs who I most definitely wouldn't pit my audax wits against, who can describe a hilly ride that has me struggling with the time limit as "rolling", and yet describe a slog across the Fens (one contour in 100km) as "hard".

Having said that, a clinical 1 point per 1000m (presumably per n km traveled) would seem soulless.

Hmm... I think I like the current system  :-\.

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2008, 08:51:30 pm »
Re 'what is harder?' I rode a few AAA events this year and I found the 100km route with 2.25 AAA points much easier than 300km route with 2.25 AAA points and the 200km route with 1 AAA point. 

It does seem to make sense to make it simple and obvious rather than employ a complicated system of Merlinian origin.  However I also see merit in maintaining some form of differentiating based on metres climbed per km.  I'm no help, am I?

 

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: AAA Points
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2008, 10:12:07 pm »
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2008, 10:20:31 pm »
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

There is always a better way.  ;)

frere yacker

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2008, 09:47:36 am »
AAA has nothing to do with long distance cycling and should be abolished *discuss*

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2008, 10:01:24 am »
Re 'what is harder?' I rode a few AAA events this year and I found the 100km route with 2.25 AAA points much easier than 300km route with 2.25 AAA points and the 200km route with 1 AAA point. 

To my mind, comparisons like that just don't work. Even the same event seems harder sometimes than others. I struggled much more on this year's Dorset Coast compared to the previous year - and as far as I know, the scenery was no more scenic (though the blizzards might have had something to do with it!) and the route was the same.

There is too much influence from factors other than just the hilliness to make comparisons in difficulty fair.

Pedro

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2008, 01:46:01 pm »
I'd suggest that the AAA points are only ever based on the whole ride, rather than the current situation of some rides just being measured in parts.

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2008, 01:55:08 pm »
Overall the present system works well and rewards the intensity of climbing rather than total climb on a ride. So whilst it may seem odd to award 0.5 points for a 100 km ride and 2.5 points for a 2200m you would earn those extra points on the later ride due to the intensity of climbing.  I think a 200km with 2000m of climb would generally not be regarded as a hilly ride whilst a 100km with the same amount of climb would be. The AAA system is there to encourage riders to participate in hilly rides regardless of distance and reward them accordingly.  

It would be good to maybe group the grimpeur rides into the AAA badge catagories ie bronze, silver, gold and maybe platinum and award a rate of points for each category but I suppose this would create other issues.


Re: AAA Points
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2008, 03:35:43 pm »
AAA has nothing to do with long distance cycling and should be abolished *discuss*

quote from the 2008 Handbook relating to the AAA

....also to those who do not wish to ride the longest events but who enjoy hard riding.

Throughout the last 2 seasons I have enjoyed/endured several Hilly 100's and find them challenging and rewarding events.

Would the abolishment of AAA events also include the abolishment of all 100km events as Mr Yacker deems them not 'long distance'  ;)

PS I vote to keep the present points system.


Re: AAA Points
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2008, 04:12:50 pm »
AAA has nothing to do with long distance cycling and should be abolished *discuss*

Don't make the mistake of thinking it hasn't been discussed.

Steve Snook

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2008, 05:50:20 pm »

On a practical level, surely it is about what is simple to implement and easiest to administer - for you, your successor and the organisers.

H

A point per thousand metres of climbing would be easier to administer.

Steve Snook

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2008, 06:02:17 pm »
In the past it has been deemed too much work for the AAA secretary to work out climbing of all the AUK events, and too difficult to persuade all organisers to count their own contours. Hence the various blank events. Does Steve think that computer and satellite technology has made it doable to make it universal?

We're not quite there yet. Sites like bikely.com and the CTC one are a bit low on climbing. Mapping software like Memory Map, Anquet, Tracklogs is sometimes pretty good, sometimes pretty bad. GPS tracklogs are pretty good as long as the altimeter has been calibrated at the start of the event, and entries are at 100m intervals. It's a lot of work for the AAA sec to check all events, I don't mind helping organisers out on hilly events, and I do like to check all new or changed events. But all events? That would need a team of people.

Steve Snook

Re: AAA Points
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2008, 06:04:27 pm »
AAA has nothing to do with long distance cycling and should be abolished *discuss*

That's definitely a minority view.