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Swedish Days Ride June 28 2020
Fox Valley Bicycle &
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FVBSC Goes Virtual with ZWIFT

During this COVID-19 period when indoor training is canceled, FVBSC will offer group rides this winter using the Zwift online gaming program dedicated to indoor cycling. Think: Mario Kart on bikes, but with more sweat and fewer talking creatures. For interested members with the necessary equipment, Zwifting means you never have to ride inside alone again. 


The plan for using it for club rides (assuming enough people are interested in participating) is that we will post these Zwift rides in the Ride And Event Calendar and you will need to sign up for a ride in advance to be included in the ride. We will use the Meetup feature of Zwift to actually perform the rides and will use an application called Discord to communicate during each ride. This gives us something that fairly closely simulates one of our group rides.

Here are the basics in getting started:

  1. Get the Gear

  2. The gear you need for Zwift is similar to what you’d use in a standard indoor cycling setup.  You need a fan, a towel, a water bottle and some kind of 
    power meter or smart trainer that measures power.

     

    A smart trainer is the only way to replicate that true ‘road feel’ experience indoors, where resistance is adjusted automatically based on a virtual course’s elevation changes (you can train for hills indoors!). But Zwift also seamlessly interfaces with most standard power meters and can even calculate estimated power output via data from speed and cadence sensors.  Some great smart trainer options include Elite, Wahoo, Kinetic, Saris, and Bkool. 

     

    You can play through a laptop, tablet or phone, but hooking into your TV is a more immersive experience.

  3. Download the Zwift and Discord apps

  4. Zwift is an internet game that you can subscribe to ($14.99 per month) and then ride any of eight virtual worlds, many of which are simulation of real-world locations. It allows for riding in a rather realistic way if you have a “smart” trainer, although you don’t need that to use Zwift.


    Discord will allow for voice communication during each ride.

  5. Find Your Zones

  6. If you don’t already know your Functional Threshold Power (FTP), you can take the Zwift FTP test, which is used to identify the likely max power you can reasonably hold for an hour-long time trial, calculated while you put out your highest sustainable power for 20 minutes.  Use your result to set up your training zones.

  7. Choose Your Route

Once your set-up is dialed, it’s time to choose a course and get pedaling.

Jerry Shields, Ride Director, will post the first club ride and will be looking for people who would like to “lead” these group rides (meetups).  Be on the lookout for our new Zwift rides!  Please contact Jerry at rides@fvbsc.org for more information or to volunteer to lead a Zwift ride.

Here is a summary of our first ever FVBSC Zwift group ride (called a meetup).

Please check out the following links on how to get started on Zwift, and how to set up your equipment for using it, both with and without a smart trainer.

The following links give you information on picking a course to ride (outside of our meetups) and some other miscellaneous information.