Zwifters are cyclists, but there is no classification for them under the governance of the Union Cycliste Internationale. The landscape of team racing on Zwift looks more like the wild wild west than the sweeping paved turns of the Alps. This means that the Zwfit community needs to work through some things.
Now, I’m not proposing a Union Zwift Internationale. Fact is, the UCI — or rather the long established etiquette and rules of the road — has given us a framework for racing in our virtual, but oh so real, cycling world. However, while the rules of the road are pretty set, the organization of races and rides and the formulation and maintenance of clubs and teams are not.
Several weeks ago I started the Unofficial Zwift Team and Club Listing. I thought a couple of teams would form and we’d have fun racing against the few of us. I figured someone with more time and a better idea would come along and the List would fade away.
Well, the List is still here. There are multiple teams and clubs formed and some of them are getting larger. In some cases the teams have split into different levels of riders. So, A class riders going under one banner and B class riders under another. This was done in part to meet the 15 rider limit for the competitive teams.
I set this limit arbitrarily in order to match “real world” scenarios. Most local teams I’ve been associated with have a limit of team members. Obviously, professional races always have a limit on how many riders can be in a particular race.
However, another reason I set the limit was because a mass of riders from one team could definitely have a bearing on a race in Zwift simply due to their huge numbers. With the way drafting works in the game, numbers is power! That concerned me.
There are several counter arguments. Isn’t it true that several teams riding under different names, but representing the same banner still a single team? Even though a team may have a large number of riders, do you really think they will all show up at the same time? And, of course, “Hey, who do you think you are to say how many riders can be on a team!?!”
I guess that final argument is the one that bothers me the most. While setting up the List, I tried to involve the Zwift community in what shape it would take. I want it to be useful, and not a burden. I want it to be a structure that can help us move toward better racing on Zwift, but not a restriction that keeps our community from enjoying the fun and camaraderie that comes from racing on a team.
So, I’m coming to you all to get your feedback. I’ll be checking out any conversations this post might generate in the forums, here on the site, and with any direct messages to me. Then I’ll put out a poll and we’ll all vote on it.
If we are to organize into teams, how do you think we should handle it? Should there be a limit to the number of riders? If so, how many should that be? If we have no limit to how many can be on a team roster, do we limit the number of riders who can participate in a given event?
Granted, all of this is hardly enforceable. It would have to be carried out under an honor system. We don’t have the UZI after all.
Now, about that those flyers…