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Saturday, January 14, 2023 10:55 AM >>>

Zwift group ride

Saturday,  01/14/23  10:43 AM

So I did my first Zwift group ride, in Neokyo on the Makuri Islands.  (No, don't bother looking this up on Google Earth, these are made up islands and Neokyo is inspired by Tokyo but doesn't exit.)  It was pretty cool, with many of the same elements found in any group ride.

First, the pace was high, much higher than I would have maintained riding alone.  The ride was paced by an NPC, an electronic rider (shown as neon green in the picture) who maintained 3km/w the whole time.  Fortunately Zwift simulates drafting, so with a lower-than-that watt output I was able to stick with the group.  Anytime I got slightly ahead the group caught me - just like in a real group ride :) - and anytime I fell behind I had to work hard to catch it again - just like in a real group :/.  I love the way Zwift simulates the left/right up/down nature of the group, riders moving around, although in Zwift you can't hit anyone and crash, you just sort of glide through them.  As the group overtook single riders we parted slightly to let them through but mostly just rode right through them; no harm no foul.  The "ride ons" and other jabber in the group were also fun, and some people had even mastered commenting while riding, which I have not.

Zwift uses a cool architecture wherein you can have a computer hosting your ride, and use an app on your phone as a "companion" to guide the ride.  The phone can be on your handlebar or in your pocket, and let's you take quick actions like sending messages to riders around you.  I'm still figuring out how to do that while over 2w/kg but it's nicely done, a good use of all the tech.

With lots of rain outside already looking forward to my next ride inside later today.  Ride on!