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It has taken a while to set up our virtual shop ride on zwift, there was quite bit of back and forth but eventually the guys behind the scene at Zwift organised a slot for us every Tuesday night at 7.30pm.  Last Tuesday was our first official shop ride event and we had seventy plus riders, with many of our regulars joining us.

It’s not easy riding indoors, the lack of wind means your body temperature will rise, your output wattage will decrease but it is the best fun one can have on a smart trainer because you’re riding with real people.

The wanting to keep up with others drives your efforts, you’ll feel the drafting effect, the competitive side comes out and more than likely you’ll find yourself chasing one of your friends up a climb, all of which means your head temporarily forgets the pain and time passes in the most efficient way.  The best spent time training for the next time you’re on the road again.

You can join Zwift rides on rollers or a non-smart trainer using a speed sensor and/or a powermeter but bare in mind the results are not accurate, how well you seem to be doing virtually won’t translate to the outside and the sensation a good smart trainer gives the rider is part of the ‘real’ feel during these sessions.

You can cheat by stating that you weigh less than you do but you’re only cheating yourself.  You can also inadvertently cheat by not calibrating your smart trainer.

To join us, once logged onto Zwift go to events you’ll find “Cycle Right Zwift Shop Ride” on Tuesday nights.  If you need to warm up, start earlier. 10mins before the ride you’ll be put into a starting pen and while waiting there you can be warming up. At 7.30pm the gate opens and ride begins.

 

Last night was a bit of fun at Cycle Right.  On demonstration we had the Wahoo smart trainers (the trainers Team Sky use), we had both the kickr and kickrsnap connected to zwift.  If you missed it it was an enjoyable evening, Wahoo guys supplied pizza and beer and a good presentation of why their responsive trainer is so much more than what we associate with the older passive indoor trainers.   An interesting part of the evening was of course the showdown between Coach D.C. and Laurent.  Laurent had challenged Coach D.C. on facebook when the event was first announced, and a few of us there last night were eager to see who would win the hill climb challenge?

Rowley from Wahoo setting up the kickr.

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Rowley and Neil connecting the kickr and kickrsnap to zwift.  Many of us (me included) tried to convince Neil to have a battle on the trainer last night but his list of excuses included:

1) I don’t have my cycling clothes.

2) I don’t have my cycling shoes with me.

Yep – let’s point out the obvious that we were in a cycling shop!

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Last night was a good opportunity for people to experience the difference between the kickr and kickrsnap.

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If you haven’t read Duncan’s blog post on his cycling trip from Geneva to Nice with Paul read it here, it is a very interesting read.  Duncan describes how his lack of training had an impact.

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Come on Duncan…next time you’ll beat Paul up those hills!

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The Titans, having a pre-battle starring contest.  The tension between them…phew!  No pizza or beer for us thanks, we’re taking this seriously.

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A young budding cyclist from the Hillingdon Slipstreamers.  I don’t think he would appreciate me saying how cute he looked but he did.

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Coach D.C. vs Laurent.  The game face is on.

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Was Coach D.C. taunting Laurent here?

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The warm up starts….heads down…concentration.

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If you’re not familiar with zwift, Coach D.C. graphic of himself will appear on the computer screen in front of him at the start of the course alongside Laurent’s graphic; imagine online gaming on playsation or xbox but for cycling.  When the race starts their online personas will also start cycling, in front of them on the screen they will have power in watts, heart rate, cadence, gradient of the hill, and as they cycle the course they will also pass (or be passed) by other cyclists logged on at the same time.

Here’s a video of the warm up, see how seriously they are taking it.

 

OK, the battle begins, it is about a 3minute hill climb.  To start with Coach D.C. online persona turns the opposite way to the start line for a few seconds but not even this mishap deters him.  Watch out for the ‘pain faces’, quite entertaining.