Tag Archives: Zwift

It’s an international affair

The Unofficial Zwift Team and Club Listing is continuing to grow. It’s turning into an international affair. “National teams” are popping up every few hours. Pretty soon and we’ll be able to stage another World Championships in Richmond!

Here are the countries represented so far. Some have only just been established without any team members. Others are starting to build quickly to their 15 man roster. A couple of countries have take the Club approach which will not limit members.

Zwift Brazil
  • Zwift tag: BRA
  • Manager: Gabriel Matzenbacher
  • Open (Brazilian Only)
  • Current members: 4
  • Team page
GoZwift Portugal
  • Zwift tag: PT
  • Manager: Braulio Afonso
  • Open (Portuguese Only)
  • Current members: 5
  • Team page
Team Kiwi
  • Zwift tag: TeamKIWI
  • Manager: Craig Hoskin
  • Open (New Zealand)
  • Current members: 1
  • Team page
Cycling South Africa
Belgian Zwift Riders

Do you want to add your country to the mix? You can do so by using the Create a Team form. Give your team a name that easily identifies your country. Yes, there can be more than one country specific team, but they would need to have different names. Designate in your description what types of riders for which you are looking.

What about the USA? Well, I have to give a shout out to the Left Coast Cycling Team. Anybody out there want to start the Right Coast Cycling Team? 😉 There could be a couple in between!

Ride On! Race On!

We’ve got two open teams and three open clubs

It was an exciting weekend at LowCadence.com. After getting the Unofficial Zwift Team and Club  Listing up and going, it was time to start collecting submissions. We currently have six teams listed and three clubs. There are also over 35 Zwift riders signed up as “unattached.”

Dealing with the unattached riders is going to be the biggest challenge. That will be my next project. However, if you are looking to participate in organized riding/racing on Zwift, consider one of these before jumping into the draft.

Available Teams

Left Coast Cycling Team
  • Zwift tag: Team LC
  • Manager: Ron Sines
  • Open
  • Current members: 3
  • Team page
Wheeling Through Fitness
  • Zwift tag: RSA-Cycling
  • Manager: Wesley Briant
  • Open
  • Current members: 1
  • Team page

Available Clubs

I Do It For ___ Cycling Club

MZGR Cycling Club

Cycling South Africa

Check out the entire listing at LowCadence.com/Zwift.

Why the portal? An interview.

I spent the weekend building the Unofficial Zwift Team and Club Listing. I have no idea if it will work. I do know that since it is not automated, it does take work on my part to manage it. Who knows? If the concept works, I may rewrite it and that would create more options for the users.

The process started a discussion on the Zwift Riders Facebook group. Seems not everyone could see the reason for the project. I also learned that I wasn’t the only one with similar ideas. At times, I felt I was having to defend myself. So, in the format of an interview, I want to explain.

zwiftclubteamportal

Why did you decide to build the listing?

It started because I had a great time participating in the first-ever team race on Zwift. It brought back memories of my days team racing on real roads. It got me to wondering who else was on my Zwift team and how could I find out who they were. For that matter, I was curious who all was on the other teams as well. There was no centralized place to find out. I saw a need and tried to meet it.

Do you really think it was a need?

Maybe “need” is too strong of a word. Here we are riding expensive bikes on expensive trainers connected to expensive computers over high bandwidth connections. I’ll call it a “want.” I wanted to know this information and I figured others would as well. Could Zwift survive without it? Sure. However, the teams would form and they would find ways to connect with each other. Why not build a place where a system for this was already in place.

Are you trying to control the team space on Zwift?

Nope. Zwift is a huge community. I am beyond certain that the majority of Zwift users don’t even know the listing exists. It is most likely only known within my sphere of contacts on the Zwift Riders Facebook group. Also, this system doesn’t do anything other than list for common knowledge what others are doing. I’m not building the teams. I’m not telling them where or when they can race. That is all up to the teams and clubs.

Why are you doing this when there are other people building team sites?

First. When I started building it, I didn’t realize there were other initiatives started. When I saw Tam Burns’ Zwift Team Worlds Event project, I was like, “Ahhhh, I don’t have to do this! Someone else is doing the work.” However, when I took at look at what Tam was doing, I realized we’re doing something very different.

Tam’s site and another one by John Greig allow users to register and then the software groups them into teams for specific events. Actually, it is a pretty cool concept and I imagine it will work quite well. It isn’t what I was looking for. I wanted something that was 1) driven by the users, and 2) allowed for continuity for the teams.

So, do you think you have the better plan?

No. I have A plan. Also, from the very beginning I took this concept to the Zwift Riders Facebook group. Behind the scenes I communicated with team mates and other users who gave valuable feedback. I kept putting out iterations of the concept and made adjustments based on the questions users had interacting with the interface.

I think this site is just one of several that could serve the Zwift community. It isn’t in conflict with other sites. For now, it is the only site that does what it does. Frankly, if a better site does what I’m doing (I’d love for it to be integrated in the Zwift software!), I’m more than willing to hand over the data.

How does it work?

If no one uses it, it won’t! Even if there are multiple teams and clubs listed in the portal, but none of them race and ride as teams… it still won’t work. However, it is a good tool that gives Zwift riders opportunities to enjoy team racing.

The way I envision this is that a group of Zwift riders who regularly hangout together online decide to form a team. They choose a team manager and he or she signs onto the portal to create a team. I receive that submission and list the team on the team listing.

If the team is an Invitation Only team, I give the team manager a link to be sent to each member they wish to join. As those entries come in, I add them to the team roster that appears on the team page. That team page is then viewable by anyone.

So, if you are out riding in a race and you see a bunch of people riding with say… Team CCG out beside their names, you can go to the portal and find it stands for the Childwall Chain Gang, an elite group of Road Race specialists, est. 2008 and located in Liverpool, UK.

Unattached riders also can sign up. My plan with this is to create a listing of these riders and then allow team managers to approach those riders to join their groups. At some point, it might workout to form teams based on these lists… However, that doesn’t fit with my desire to have the teams driven entirely by the users. This will be something on which I’ll seek community feedback.

Where do you find this site?

Let me say, first, that I still want feedback. I can’t incorporate every idea, but I definitely consider  them and much of what I’m doing now came from user feedback. Thank you!

Last, this is all about you. If it falls flat and no one uses it, then that is a sign that it isn’t needed or that someone else has something better. I’m fine with both those outcomes! However, if you do sign up, don’t do it on a lark. Use it as a way to build your team — and then RIDE ON as a team. That part is all on you.

Now, go continue making Zwift the awesome online cycling community that it is!

Teams have landed on Watopia

All the news is about hurricane Joaquin landing (or maybe not landing) on the east of coast of the U.S. While most people’s attention was turned to that landing, there was another landing taking place in the Pacific. Team racing has landed on Zwift’s Watopia.

I was excited to have an opportunity to participate in the historic event. Looking back it was really cool… even if I did make a fool of myself in the process. It was fun enough that I’ll be looking to get back to it whenever I can.

It was Frank “vEveresting” Garcia that put the idea out there. He suggested that we turn the Thursday Zwift Training Race Early Bird into a race featuring teams. Team dZi was already making itself noticed. Frank put out a call for other racers to counter dZi’s growing number of riders.

I figured I would jump in and give it a go. So, Frank connected with the team to give us our race instructions before the start. Here is what I was handed, “How do you feel about going hard at the gun and having them have to chase you?” I figured I could do that since that would mean I could be helpful early in the race when I was fresher.

Pre-race went something like this…

“JP is going to try and establish a bit of break at the start and try to hold to make dZi chase. When they come back one of us (I am willing can put in an attack and make them chase again) then standard tactics from there.”

“JP – make them work – We will enjoy the draft. :)”

Photos by James Gill

Photos by James Gill

And so we began. Frank Garcia, Casey Schumn, Neil Law, and Jamie Jj Alldridge were guys I recognized. James Gill was supposed to be on our team as well, but he was not able to make it because of work (not to mention he is riding injured.)

We were mixing it up with the dZi guys as well as Francois Coppex as a pirate. There were several other racers with no team affiliation and various categories of racers within each team. You could tell the difference between the teams by the kits they wore as well as the letters signifying their teams out to right of their names. dZi had… well… dZi. Our team was X1.

I was determined to do my part. So, I tried to stay near the front of the group as we did the warmup. However, Christian Wiedmann had some issues with we lost him as our marshall. He said for us to wait. So, I slowed down and somehow got gapped off the back. I guess Chris logged back in because suddenly he was in front of me in the lead group.

Once again I found myself sprinting to get back to the front group before the start line. I made it, but was already a bit winded from trying to get back on. As we hit the bridge to mark the start, I attacked down the left side of the group. Right away I started building a several second gap.

However, that is where things started going downhill… or I should say… uphill! The start of this race took us immediately into the 3 to 4 minute climb. In order to create a gap, I was having to lay down around 500 watts. Then I had to hold over 325 watts to maintain the distance.

I’m afraid that the plan didn’t work. Yes, I got a gap and riders had to work a bit to come up to me. However, in no way was I hurting any of them. It really was an exercise in futility and I ended up knocking up against 180 bpm within the first 5 minutes of the race!

Suddenly, I wasn’t the one creating a gap. I was trying to hang on for dear life! I did get across the KOM line and descend with the lead of the pack. Then a group of about 15 riders rode on as a group with no real attacks. Each team was using tactics to keep the other under control.

I continued with the group to the next lap. It was about halfway up the climb that I realized that I was not going to be able to keep it up. So, I eased up and decided to finish my ride and then go set up some sandbags to help control some of the expected 12 to 25 inches of rain this weekend.

It gave me an opportunity to see how I compared with some of the other riders. The guys who always kick my butt on these rides are weighing in between 120 and 155 pounds. At 174 pounds, I have to work even harder on the climbs. So when I’m killing myself at 600 watts, they are heading up the incline without having to put out nearly the same effort.

Then when it comes to the end of the race and they are throwing down 500 watts, I’m having to put out that much more. I’m not complaining. On the flats I can use that weight and power to my advantage. It is just on this hilly course my weight does not work in my favor.

Still, it was great fun! I want to try it again, but next time I’ll be a little more judicious in my efforts! I think I would be of more use working to just stay in contact with the group on the climb and then use my power to create a draft for a teammate on the flats or the rolling section.

Of course, Richmond is a whole different ball game! It is a course that better suits me. The climbs there sting, but they are not as long. I can power over them and take advantage of the flats and downhill. It is more of a sprinter’s course than Watopia.

Did I mention that Team X1 won? Still waiting for the official finish report, but we had two guys in the finish sprint (which was pretty cool!) and the first finisher wasn’t really a valid racer — best I could tell. Neil Law took the win for us with Casey Schumn finishing close behind. UPDATE: Race report is not out. If you want to see a very good blow-by-blow account of the race, check out Nathan Guerra’s Twitch.

So, team racing has come to Zwift. It works. It is loads of fun! I can see a day when Zwift will incorporate this structure into the game.

Now that I’ve helped make history, I’m looking forward to that future!

Virtual Power Passport

Earlier this fall, I started thinking of how I could pull off an event for the I Do It For Foundation. I have conducted a Ride For Mike ride each year since 2007. Normally, I get hit with some epic type ride early in the year and carry it out around this time of year. This year, I wanted to incorporate Zwift.

Of course, each ride has a fund raising component. As I have been trying to move the foundation forward, I have been raising money for the operational expenses of the organization. Since we give the service to our Doers to raise funds for someone they love, we have no way of covering our expenses. This has held us back to a degree.

My thought was to stage a race. We would have people sign an entry fee and get a number. They would then append that number to their names on the Zwift leader board. We’d have a race and then a portion of the money raised would go as a payout to the various places.

I approached Zwift with my idea and as usual they were very quick in responding and gave me some great honest feedback. That feedback was basically that until there was a way to physically proctor a race you would be inviting cheating — 100% for certain. I did also get some insight into where Zwift would like to go in this regard.

It got me to thinking. “Okay, so maybe I can’t have a race with a payout. However, if I were to do such a thing, how would I go about doing it?” So, I created this form as a basis for discussion and possible implementation. After posting it in the Zwift Riders group on Facebook (closed group), I definitely got some feedback!

Over the next couple of days, I’d like to lay out what I was thinking. I want to point out right now that I’m not trying to set up some “virtual power passport clearinghouse” for all of Zwift. I was only wanting to conduct this experiment for this particular race series.

Also, let me point out that the feedback is good. While I will go forward to explain my original intent in each component, I’ve already determined that a couple of things will change. Some things will be taken away and some others added.

I still hope to have an I Do It For Foundation event on Zwift. Unfortunately, it won’t involve a payout.

The fun of the county line

I will admit that I am not much of a social rider. Most of my time on the bicycle is alone time. When I really enjoy riding in a group it is when there is a bit of a competitive vibe going on. It was this kind of ride that got me hooked on cycling over a decade ago.

That lead me into organized racing. However, to race — and race well — is all about commitment. There comes a moment when you realize the time it will take to make yourself competitive exceeds the time you can devote to it. It is a sad day.

There were those moments early in the season when I ventured out with a number on my back and found myself at the mercy of the riders around me. It was possible to hang for a portion of the race, but at those moments during the end of the race when training shows itself… I had nothing.

It was disheartening. I just couldn’t find pleasure in being field fodder. I’ve known what it is like to be at the front. I’ve known what it is like to win. Finishing 20th or so week after week just doesn’t cut it.

So I found myself lost. If I wasn’t training for something and what training I was doing would never be enough, what was I riding for? Yes, there is the sheer pleasure of being outdoors, but when you have a competitive urge… it is frustrating.

Last night I experienced the fun of those early days. It happened on Watopia. Once again… Zwift to the rescue!

I logged on feeling pretty tired. However, I wanted to get in an hour so I could meet my exercise goals for the day. By the top of the first hill I was pushing along at about 4.0 wkg. For me that would be in the upper 300 and low 400 watts. Once I got the motor running I could keep it up.

As I noticed the time for the upcoming sprint, I realized that it was within reach. So, I went for it and barely missed it by a fraction of a second. However, before I finished the lap, I inherited it as the faster rider logged off.

Turning around, I headed the other direction. I went for both the KOM and the sprint on this one and barely missed both. This was where my tired legs got me. I could hold wattage, but I had no snap to put down the 1000+ watts to assure a good finish.

orange

However, as I neared the finish, I realized that I was going to grab the orange jersey easily! It was a nice surprise after the earlier pain and failure. I was right proud of that orange jersey.

And then it was gone.

Hmmmm, who was this person who stole my jersey? Ah, it was the current holder of the green jersey. That would be my next marker along my circuit.

If he was going to take my orange jersey, then I’d just take his green one! I knew it wasn’t going to be easy because he had a pretty decent time. Still, tired legs or not, I wanted this one.

As I descended toward the wooden bridge that was the length of the sprint, I put my gearing in the 53×11. I knew I had to have the Kickr all wound up before I hit the start line or I’d have no chance. I stood and pushed forward not looking at the TV screen. I didn’t want to be tempted to let up as I neared the line.

Out of the periphery of my vision I saw the wooden slats of the road pass. Then I glimpsed the line. It was only then that I looked up at the time to find that just moments after loosing my orange jersey I had claimed the green.

green

That is the “fun of the county line.” Zwift gives you multiple opportunities for this impromptu competition. It is possible for me because it does not require long endurance. At my fastest these efforts last me anywhere from 11 seconds to just under 4 minutes. On a good day, I can keep the wheels turning to grab a 14 minute plus lap on Watopia.

Zwift helps scratch my competitive itch. When I feel up to it, I can do full length races. When I’m pressed for time and not on top of my game, I can still manage a little bicycle sparring on the shorter challenges.

Sprinting for that county line still brings the same feelings that it did years ago… even if now days the line is a virtual one.

Rediscovering Watopia and the fun of it all

It has been sometime since I’ve ridden on Zwift’s Watopia island. There was a period where I wasn’t on Zwift hardly at all. Then I got back into it when the new Richmond course opened up. Last night I signed on not knowing which course would be active. When I saw it was Watopia, I felt that odd feeling of something old being new again.

First thing I did was look through the list of riders to see if there was anyone that I would like to ride with. I noticed the entry, “C. Schumn 3.3 metric”. Casey I knew from him being a long time Zwift user. I was intrigued to see he was trying to do a metric century with an average of 3.3 watts.

I decided to log in near him to see if I could help him out a bit.

Immediately I was in trouble. Just because I entered the course near him didn’t mean that I would be able to ride with him! I came onto the course at 0.0 wkg while Casey was matching his average of over 3.0 wkg. So, he put seconds on me right away.

Not only that, I joined him on a climb. So, here I was trying to chase him down with cold legs. Now, for a 47-year old man, that can be a painful undertaking!

I did catch up with him and he waved. I rang my little cycling bell. We started to ride together. I let him pull me for a bit while I worked to loosen up my legs.

Before long I was feeling better and I came around him. He was already nearing halfway of his metric century mark. He was trying to average around a 15 minute to 15.5 minute lap. I tried to pick up the speed with him on my wheel. I could go harder because I wouldn’t be riding as long.

theeffort

This went on for two laps. However, on that second lap, I really uncorked it on the straight to the  finish. That meant I was riding for a sustained period at over 500 watts. I was pretty much blown after that one. It did mean that Casey was able to get two sub-15 minute laps, but I had to back off and recover.

I rode easily — very easily — and waited for Casey to come back around to me. This time I decided to ride with him at around 3.0 to 4.0 wkg. The only variation I did to this was I did go all out on the KOM climb to see if I could snag the polka-dot jersey.

I was pleased that I got it with a PR of 1:52 (I thought I had climbed that faster in the past… oh well.) Then I waited up for Casey who was now over a half minute behind me. By the time he caught up, I was recovered and we started to work together.

That was the most fun of the evening. We were able to pretty effectively stay together for the remainder of that lap. It was a challenge because I was having my Zwift session controlled by the Kickr while Casey’s session was being controlled by a power meter on this bicycle. This made his ride more smooth as we transitioned from flats to the climbs and while descending.

The Kickr tends to send you shooting up the first few meters of a climb and makes you work like a dog to get momentum going down a hill. That meant in those areas Casey and I would leap frog each other and it was harder to consistently stay together.

However, on the flats and once we got sorted out on the climbs and descents, we were riding well in each other’s drafts. Then we hit the final straight for my last time. I once again ramped it up to help him get speed with the least amount of effort. Casey held my wheel and we pulled off yet another sub-15 minute lap.

It made it even more rewarding when I found that Casey finished the metric century in the 15th fastest time — ever. He pulled it off in 2:45:03. That is impressive!

This is what 1.5 hours on an indoor trainer becomes not only doable, but actually fun! When was the last time you didn’t want to get off the trainer, but you had to because you had no more time? That is what Zwift does to you.

Well done, Casey. We’ll see you for your metric attempt on the Richmond course.

Richmond motivation

Looking back over the years of my blogging, I’ve noticed that around July I seem to disappear. I think it is because I start off the season all excited with lots to write about. Then I get into the the rhythm and things begin repeating. I start repeating myself and lose my imagination.

Enter Zwift and Richmond Worlds.

Zwift launched a new course. It was a major change because this virtual course was a drop dead ringer for the UCI World Championships course in Richmond, VA. As usual, Zwift threw out some “virtual swag” — and some real stuff as well. It was enough to get me back on a regular schedule.

A surprising 6th place finish in the riding with real power group.

A surprising 6th place finish in the riding with real power group.

It just so happened that one of my scheduled rides coincided with the Zwift Race with GCN. GCN stands for Global Cycling Network. It is kind of like Top Gear (BBC edition, of course) for bicycles. For this particular episode, Simon Richardson would be competing with racers on Zwift while Daniel Lloyd and Matt Stephens would call the live race being webcast on YouTube.

So, I decided to hang out with the group and give it a go. It would be only two laps. That would be twenty miles. That would be doable. I could give it all I had for the first lap and maybe get some camera time! Then I could just hang on for the finish.

We rolled off and I tried to stay up front. For the most part I was able to set in the top ten or so. I kept my eye on Nathan Guerra, Francois Coppex, Simon Richardson, and Scottie Weiss. My goal was to stay close to them for the first lap.

Nathan and Francois I have raced with multiple times on Zwift. I KNEW I could not beat them. Simon Richardson is a former pro and presenter on GCN. I obviously figured he would be hard to beat. Finally, Scottie is a recent podium finisher in masters world championships.

For the majority of the first lap I simply tried to stay in position up front while keeping my nose out of the wind as much as possible. What a difference the ability to stay in the draft made. It allowed me to ride at speeds that made the first lap a 21 minute effort.

As we neared Libby Hill, I moved closer to the front. I wanted to be one of the first into the climb so that I could fall back into the clutches of the lighter riders. I measured my effort and came through the climb in good shape.

It hurt though. I can’t imagine racing up that climb as many times as the women’s and men’s elite fields. For me it was clearly a “match” I burned. I was just wanting to find somewhere to hide to let the flames cool down.

Up the second cobble climb I was still feeling the earlier effort. It was at this point that I started paying more attention to keeping my effort up instead of the riders around me. I was able to catch glimpses of my marked riders. However, I knew that there were a number of riders in there I did not know.

I had spent the first lap at 3.5 to 4.5 wkg. That means I was at my functional threshold power for that 20 plus minutes. At the start of the second lap I just knew that wouldn’t continue. The other riders started putting out over 400 watts and I could not maintain that. So, I began to drop back.

I slipped into that “Well, I guess I’ll just turn this into a cookie ride” mode. I eased up and recovered a bit. That allowed me to take another look at the leader board. Yes, there was a sizable gap between the front riders and myself.

However, I noticed I had a real chance at getting a top ten finish. I also noticed that Scottie was surprisingly back with me. I hooked up with him and another rider and we worked together to bring down the gap between us and some of the riders dropping back from the leading group.

Then we hit the climbs at the end of the course. Unsurprisingly, Scottie dropped me. However, I was in a battle now for position with R. Sines. He was making it tough, but I determined I would get him over the last three climbs to the finish.

Scottie was leaving me in the dust with a lead over a couple dozen seconds. I was able to keep Sines at about a four seconds gap. While the gaps were growing between the riders, I was still right in line with the guys I had started out the race marking. Now I started to think if I could hold off Sines, I might even get a top five!

And so we finished our second and final lap.

It was somewhat confusing because we were not the only riders on the course. We were all supposed to have GCN out beside our names. Some of the racers didn’t. It was hard to know what your finish actually was.

Then there is the matter of “real power” versus “virtual power”. Some of us were being measured by power meters. Others were being measured by software generated power numbers. The virtual power numbers can often be a bit gracious.

So, I was excited to see the Official Leaderboard Top Ten. This was the real power list and I managed a top six. Granted, it was a big gap, but it was way better than I anticipated.

Most of all I was thankful for the motivation I received. As you can see, there is a post here on LowCadence.com. It also gave me some motivation not just to ride, but to start organizing my own race.

Stay tuned for an I Do It For Foundation race once “trainer season” starts in earnest here in the Northern Hemisphere. I’ll be sharing my ideas and asking for your feed back here on the blog. Zwift has let me know they aren’t excited about a payout race, but I’m sure I can think of something to hold onto for bragging rights!

On the fence

It started with a car wreck in my driveway. It continued with the sun crashing into my temperature gauge. I’m hoping it ended on the trainer in my basement last night.

I wrote about the car crash back on June 30th. That was the day after my daughter backed our 2009 Honda Pilot into the front grill of our 1990 BMW 325i. After seeing the estimate from body shop, I decided to do as much as I could myself.

11720884_10155839553035650_755094892_o

So began a quest over the next two weeks to fix the car myself. On any night I could, I was searching for parts and deconstructing the damaged area. The result was that over the period I rode my bike two times.

Finally, Monday of this week, I delivered the car to the body shop. I was pretty amazed that I was able to do all the body work myself only needing the shop to do the paint work. For at least the week, I had no car on which to work. My attention turned back to the bicycle.

It wasn’t that I hadn’t thought of riding. I was actually feeling guilty about not riding. Had I been disciplined enough to get up early or stay up later, I could have ridden. The desire and motivation just wasn’t there.

As with most things in life, when you get into these doldrums you just have to start. It doesn’t really matter how much you do. You just need to start.

So, with the temperatures in the 90s outside, I logged into Zwift and climbed on the trainer. I put a movie up on the TV for good measure. I started to spin.

Nothing miraculous happened. To be honest, I was happy when the hour was done. I didn’t spin a moment longer than the time I set as my goal.

Tuesday night I climbed aboard once again. This time I was feeling a bit more interested and set as my goal to spin for an hour averaging more than my typical cadence. It gave me something on which to concentrate.

Then the “Zwift Effect” kicked in. This happens to many people who ride Zwift. Because you are riding with other people and there are challenges to complete it is easy to get sucked into riding above the effort you initially intended.

And so it was that while I didn’t set any PR’s by any means, I did get sucked into trying for a Polka-Dot jersey. Then I inherited a Orange jersey. Well, I might as well make it a triple jersey, so I put out an effort to gain the Green jersey.

Then things got interesting. First my Polka Dot jersey got taken and then the Green. It was time to defend. This required an even harder effort than my previous one.

The most recent update from Zwift helped. As usual as I hit the beginning of the climb the read out showed me my time as I progressed as well as the fastest time I was trying to beat. However, now the readout also gives me an Estimated Time of Arrival.

This operates much as your GPS in your car. It takes the speed/power you are putting out and projects how long it would take you to complete the segment averaging that speed. This allowed me to measure my effort and not put out anymore energy than I needed.

Before I knew it my hour was up. However, with two minutes to go, the guy who took my Green jersey rode past me. I also knew that the sprint zone would be coming up soon. Hmmmm, it would be fun to get in his draft and have a mano-e-mano sprint.

Unfortunately, I had let him get too large of a gap and was unable to close it down before we reached the bridge marking the start of the sprint. He was already in the zone as I approached it. He hadn’t even attempted it at speed and I passed him in the middle of the effort.

What a difference a day made. I went from obligation to engagement. I’m not ready to say that I am over the hump, but last night’s ride was a good step in the right direction.

Friday Training Race on Zwift’s Watopia Island

Not much to the written blog today. All last night I was uploading a 10 GB file to YouTube. It is a video of the Friday Training Race on Zwift’s Watopia Island. This one is different from others because I did not do a voice over after the face. I did live in-race, real-time commentary. Not sure how well it worked, but you can be the judge.

The Friday races are going to be moving to Thursday which means I will not be able to participate in as many of them. However, I do hope to join the guys on occasion. Also, there are a growing number of other races springing up on Zwift’s virtual world. You can find a time to race — or create your own race. A good place to start is on the Zwift Riders Facebook group.

Ride On!