Here is a great short travel mountain biking movie on Amazon Prime. Something to watch during our increased time at home. It’s called Return to Earth.
Double XP for all Watopia Tour rides or races! This marks the 8th day in a row that I have been on Zwift. I have done stage 3, 3 times: 1 race and 2 group rides. This was one of the easier ones, the ride. But there is a climb up the volcano. Saturday stage 4 starts. Not sure what I will do Saturday as I’ve been Zwifting a lot.
I loved doing this stage 3 times. This was the climbs and the volcano equals about 600 ft climbing each time you do it. So I got about 1,800 ft elevation climb towards the Tron bike challenge.
Yesterday was a Zwift day. I decided to do a good ride, but a bit of a recovery day, as I’m starting to feel it in my legs. It was the 8th day in a row on Zwift for me. I usually have a lot more breaks, where I’m at the gym.
I wanted to get the Absa Cape Epic Race kit for doing one of the events. I was able to unlock, but after completing the Absa Cape Epic Mission, I wasn’t super excited about getting back on the super slow mountain bike again. That mission was 9,350 ft of climbing. I finished it earlier this month. But for doing it I received 100k drop points, unlocked the Scott Spark RC mountain bike and was entered to win the bike in real life. Worth the pain for sure.
This was a ride and not a race. It has a very long lead-in and then two laps around the lake.
My next ride will need to be another recovery ride. 🙂
Today was a race day for me on Zwift. So, depending on who you listen to Zwift Power or Zwift, you get two different stories about how I finished. I either finished in 100th place out of 132 racers in my division (Zwift) or 20th out of 29 (Zwift Power).
The race was on Watopia and was the “Whole Lotta Lava” Route. Which as you can see is 7.63 miles and 503ft of elevation gain (there is a lead-in, where you get the extra distance. I stopped immediately after the finish and collapsed on the floor :-).
Above is a map of the route. As you can see you start in the city, in the upper right of the image above and race towards the volcano, when you get there you start to circle up at an average of about 3.5% incline. You get to the top and power down all the way.
I pushed hard on this race. My average watts were 157, which is a push for me. In places, I pushed very hard, hitting 535 watts.
How did I do, again depends…
Zwift’s got me in 100th out of 132 riders. But not all the riders are on Zwift Power, which you have to sign up for. That is used as the official standings.
On Zwift Power, I got 20th out of 29. Not great, but a good effort for me. I pushed hard all 36 minutes of the ride.
But wait, there’s more…
Yoga is a great way to wind down after a hard race on Zwift or anytime for that matter. Describing Yoga as advanced stretching is probably underselling it, but that’s how I think of it.
Yoga is great because it is so easy to set up and you hardly need any equipment at all. Read this older post to see what equipment I use.
I’ve wanted to write about Zwift for a long time now. I’ve been using it for just over a year.
A Brief Overview of Zwift:
For those of you that don’t know what Zwift is, it is a game, that you playing using a smart trainer.
The smart trainer (pictured above) sends information to a computer (desktop, phone, tablet or apple tv) that allows the Zwift program to know how fast you are spinning that back wheel and what kind of power (measured in watts) you are putting into it.
All this information from the smart trainer allows Zwift to simulate what a ride would be like in one of their virtual worlds. When you go up a hill the smart trainer makes it harder to pedal, when you go down descents, it gets easier to pedal.
You can add additional sensors to get more information and make the ride more real. There are also trainers that don’t touch the rear wheel, but instead connect straight to the chain and you need to remove the rear wheel, these are called direct-drive trainers and are more expensive.
In regards to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. Zwift is here at the right time with a great tool to keep people fit and active. This tool allows a bicyclist (and runners), to continue their training or just get on for a quick ride or workout.
Eric Schlange of Zwift Insider writes more about this in his article, “THE UNFOLDING STORY OF COVID-19 AND ZWIFT“. Eric mentions that those who are part of group rides in real life can now invite their group to a group ride online, so they can continue to ride together. No, this isn’t the same as the outdoor ride with your friends, but it is much better than nothing at all.
Also mentioned in Eric’s article is the fact that as we have seen many, if not all bicycling and running events canceled throughout the world, there is a place for these events to happen on Zwift. No, it’s not just like the real thing. Of course not, but it is a great alternative to nothing at all.
Zwift is a great alternative to an outdoor ride, the gamification of it makes it even more appealing to old gamers like me. If you are a cyclist a runner, or just someone that is now confined to your home, Zwift is an excellent solution to getting some exercise and having some fun. I hope you can get a trainer because like everything else, these are no in high demand. Ride on!
First a great article by Marc Peruzzi on why the dirt is getting so much more attention from cyclists lately.
Then some eye candy. A beautiful video:
In this article, Dan Kois tells his story of living in the Netherlands for 3 months with his children but without a car.
In the Netherlands, only tourists wear helmets.
a country with more bikes than people, and we were eager to slip into the two-wheeled flow.
Even in optimistic American municipalities that have demarcated bike lanes on the street or paved a few bike paths, cars come first, and drivers rarely look out for cyclists. Drivers park and then swing their front doors wide; they make right turns without looking behind them; they pull out of parking lots and cut across bike lanes at full speed. Who can blame them? The system was built to maximize drivers’ efficiency, and anything that might slow them down is a glitch. [underlining, mine]
For cyclists used to being second-class citizens, watching bikes navigate the Netherlands is revelatory.
Most important, drivers look out for cyclists, cede the right of way, and are rarely surprised by them. After all, nearly all those drivers are cyclists themselves. The eighteen million residents of the … more than twenty-two million bicycles. Dutch kids ride in child seats practically from birth, are on balance bikes by two, and are cycling unaided by four. Old people continue to cycle, too: when pedalling gets too difficult, they switch to battery-assisted e-bikes, which now outsell standard adult bikes in the Netherlands.Dan Kois, How I Learned to Cycle Like a Dutchman, The New Yorker, September 13, 2019