As winter approaches and the days get shorter, it’s not always appealing to go riding in the evening in the dark. As an alternative, there’s always the option of sitting in the garage on a turbo trainer pedalling in a virtual world.
NRC on Zwift
To liven things up a bit, the club has created our own virtual racing team, to take part in the WTRL (World Tactical Racing Leagues) Team Time Trial Racing League.
This involves racing as a team in one of the virtual Zwift worlds. If you’ve never experienced it before, it’s incredibly realistic and simulates many of the aspects of real-world racing, including hills, drafting, sharing the lead, choice of bikes and wheels, etc.
Steve Dawes put out a note to see who would be interested in giving it a try, and had a number of responses.
Our first attempt, held last night, was over a 20 mile course in virtual 'London'. It was really an opportunity to practice riding as a group, taking turns at the front for a minute at a time and then rotating the leader.
When you're riding, you see what's happening on your laptop or iPad and you have lots of data available (see picture above). You can even hear and speak to your team mates using an app on your phone and a headset. So it gives you a full audio-visual experience which is very realistic.
We were 'racing' amongst other teams who had clearly done this before. Our team was still getting set up until the last minute, and for a first attempt we clearly weren't going to be very competitive. Even so, we completed the race as a team in around 53 minutes, and had a great time. It's amazing how you can get sucked into forgetting you are really sat in your garage, and it's a terrific workout.
The plan is to race every Thursday evening (at around 7pm), and if we get sufficient participants we can increase the number of teams involved, and match people with others of similar performance.
If you are keen to join us on a Thursday night, or just want to know more, please get in contact with Steve Dawes or Chris Matthews.