Okay, I started this idea way back when I was wanting to hold a race with a payout. Ultimately, I was encouraged by Zwift not to attempt such a race because it would be very hard to assure that the race was fair. Since those days we’ve seen all kinds of discussions going on about the way races and events are conducted. It makes me glad I never went through with my plan!
Before you read this… I’m definitely not saying that everyone should do what I propose. I am not advocating it as a standard for all races and events on Zwift. This was an idea for a particular race series in which people would choose to participate. Feel free to critique the idea, but, please, don’t go off on how you’re not going to let someone force you to do this or that. No one is!
I did mention in a previous blog that I would lay out what I thought would be an answer to making an attempt at fair racing. It would involve some sort of way to verify the abilities of those participating. So, this was my plan…
- Weight verification. Don’t diss me too much on this idea. It actually wasn’t mine. It was given to me by the folks at Zwift. The idea here is that you would go to your local bicycle shop — or maybe a notary public 😉 — and do a weigh in. You would then put that number on a paper with the signature of the “official” who witnessed your weigh in.
Here is a problem I discovered. You can see that when I did this weigh in it shows me at 174 pounds. Well, with a little diet discipline and some exercise, I’ve gotten down to around 171 pounds. So, the consistency of this aspect of the “virtual passport” is a problem. What would be cool is a way to upload your weight from a scale just before the race, but then you would have the issue of verification.
Visual verification. Okay, I admit this was the more harebrained of my ideas. My thought was that adding another component to the weigh in would be a photograph showing the physical makeup of the rider. I thought this would give more credence to the weight submitted, would give visual cues to the age, fitness, etc. of the rider.
It would be a little like the way you do when you show up for a race. Everyone lines up at the start. Immediately, you recognize the usual suspects, but then you start evaluating the folks you don’t know. You can tell a lot about a racer by the way he dresses, holds himself on the bike, how lean he is, and his muscle tone. That was my thought…
Well, it was pointed out that with no frame of reference, you couldn’t adequately verify weight, height, etc. from a photograph. Not only that, this was the aspect of my idea that got the most negative feedback! Frankly, the more I thought about it, the more creepy it did seem.
But so you can see I’m practicing what I preach, I’ve included a photograph taken on the day I had my weigh in at the bicycle shop. The criticisms are valid. You can’t tell from the photograph whether 174 pounds was accurate or even confirm that my height is 6 feet.
- FTP report. Back when I originally had the idea there was no workout mode on Zwift. Now, it would be pretty easy to have a report for FTP because participants could conduct an FTP test right there in Zwift. My thought back when I was thinking of a race series was for people to go out and do their best 20 minute effort, take a screenshot of the ride data, and then post it with the other virtual passport data.
Here is mine from the same period when I did the weigh in, etc. In this case, it put me at 295 watts. I guess it is also of interest to see the other increments, though I don’t think the 5 seconds, 1 minute, and 5 minute records are my “best” efforts as I was doing a more sustained effort.
Again, I believe that the FTP test in the workout mode would be a better standard, but I have not yet attempted one. I’ve been sick for the last week and am just now getting back on the bicycle. Actually, I don’t think I’m going to attempt the test until after Thanksgiving when I’ll start thinking of training again.
- Equipment. This primarily is the trainer used by the rider. For the particular series I was wanting to conduct, it would limit participants to those with smart trainers. Of course, you could also have different categories for zPower riders and smart trainers.For me, I would be racing with a Wahoo Kickr.
- Outside references. For this, I was thinking of some sort of record of performance outside of Zwift. Primarily I was thinking about riding in the “real world commander cialis discount.” This could be a link to a rider’s Strava profile and/or race results from a licensing body. Of course, that supposes that the participants track their information on Strava and hold a racing license with an organization such as USACycling.
So, there you go. I’ve exposed myself! You now know that I am a 47-year old bald dude at 6 feet (shrunk down from 6′ 1″), at between 171 — 174 pounds (with a little too much of that around the middle), who hasn’t raced competitively in the real world for several years, and struggles to get his FTP up near 300 watts. Keep that in mind when you are leaving me as we climb the Watopia KOM!