7th March report.
Today took us back to Mont Ventoux climbing 5,000 over 13miles and back down again. Today’s riders were Sean, Bob, Jonathan and Paul. Not the real thing but still a fantastic event. You can’t help but remember the 50th TS Anniversary ride that both Sean and Bob took part in along with HDCC and the Simpson family. We were discussing the possibility of a 55year anniversary ride for HDCC. Enroute to the top we thought that there didn’t seem to be as many trees as in real life. Maybe Zwift thought this would be a little monotonous and used artistic licence.
As usual we chatted from start to finish and agreed that this made for a great experience and made the climb easier. We kept the pace at a sensible level and arrived at the top relatively unstressed. Sean and Bob then freewheeled back to the start at speeds up to 50mph
Subject today covered:-
Choice of Smart Trainers
Tom Simpson 55year anniversary ride?
Laying tarmac on a 25% hill
Analysing contents of a prison sewer
David Attenborough 🤮
28th February report
Today’s Zwift ride saw us tackling the Watpia Mountian Route; 19.3 miles and 2251 ft climb. All agreed it was the best route to date, particularly the long decent at the end. Riders were Sean, Gareth, Johnathan and Bob.
Again it was non stop chat from beginning to end, using the discord app. Subjects included this week, disc vs calliper brakes following Chris Froome’s press statements, debate on wether to change to a midweek ride at the end of March when it is likely that the club can continue with Sunday rides. Following the ride Gareth is looking to put a team together for a TTT on Thursday evenings. Gareth, Johnathan, Sean and Bob have put their names down. Apparently there can be up to 8 riders in a team.
All riders agree that the HDCC Zwift ride is a good social event and should continue in that format.
New riders are welcome to join us. With the no drop function there is no pressure and you can ride as hard or easy as you wish and still be involved.
21st February Report
Today saw us on the Watopia Hilly route. Riders today were Gareth, Sean, Paul, Bob and this week we were joined by Jonathan. Apparently Sean and Johnathan both had their garage doors open and could hear each other breathing across the road Sean reckons that this was one of Zwift’s very first courses and is not as tough as the mountain routes.
Johnathan, although riding on Zwift was also following his training plan from TrainerRoad; how cleaver is that! It won’t be long before this all translates to the real world of cycling. Imagine cycling where our bikes are controlled so that we are all cycling together with no drop but at different watts, we can ride into each other without it hurting, we can choose to do a workout or a recovery ride and we can all talk over Discord.
Topics covered this week included, how well Emma was doing in her racing, how to cheat using feathers, vans and Aero helmets, effect on kids using laptops etc over lockdown, we even had a meaning discussion on medical examinations.
7th February Report
This weeks Zwift riders, Emma, Gareth, Paul & Bob. Emma has just joined a Zwift race team, so this week we used the New York Mighty Metropolitan route as this apparently is widely used on Zwift TT races. With 15% gradients and 2000ft of climbing over 20miles, this would present a challenge for the toughest of athletes; right up Emma’s street!
Talk this week was all about racing, cycling shoes, Mick’s birthday 🥂 & how Zwift translated into cycling outside. The general consensus was that you improved power and cadence but doesn’t help endurance or bike handling skill. So expect high speed crashes into brick walls🤕
Next week we are going to try turning off the ‘no drop’ option and practice riding in formation; should be fun.
Gareth managed, not only a cup of tea, but also a pee and still managed to keep up with us all Think he got off the bike but might have been practicing for a long TT race!
Well there you go! Fun was had by all.
31st January report.
This weeks ride took us to Innsbruck Austria, sene of the 2018 Worlds championship. A challenging uphill for the first half followed by +40mph second part. We all learnt that by adopting an aero position (stop peddling ) you could both save energy and go faster, again just like in the real world. This week there were 5 riders, Emma, Gareth, Sean, Andy K and Bob.
Chatting from start to finish, we covered Subjects from Zwift steering to child birth Apparently we will be able to steer with buttons on the bars soon. Looking forward to that translating to the real world; you can bet on Shimano being on the case already. The good news is that you cannot crash into another rider, so Dave and Phil will no doubt be early adopters
Next week we will look for something a little flatter with maybe taking up a couple of sprint challenges on the way.
24th January Report
Zwift took us to France this week. Riders were Emma, Gareth, Bob and this week joined by Paul and we also welcomed Andy Kerr who has joined us in the past on "real" rides. Paul has been trying out a basic trainer for the last week and is now thinking of upgrading to a smart trainer. Unfortunately the basic trainer didn’t seem to be up to the job and Paul heroically continued to the end undoubtedly putting in the most watts if not the speed.
Again we used the Discord app to great effect with focused chat throughout and beyond the ride.
Both Emma and Gareth were able to related what it was like to take part in virtual races. By all accounts you have to know the course, be alert and not under any circumstances drop of the back, it’s ‘virtually’ impossible to get back on. So nothing different there then to the real world.
Usually we would be riding on our own as we switch off other riders but somebody (Bob) forgot to use this setting. Nonetheless we were clearly able to see each other and were working together throughout. We even had a go chaining, but it was a bit like going back to scratch. Due to some lag in Zwift you would still have too much power when you hit the front. A bit like real life again lol
Next week we are heading for 2018 UCI Worlds course in Innsbruck, so expect a bit of climbing!
All will be most welcome. Why not give it a try.
Report 17th January 2021
Prompted by the Pandemic, a few club members agreed to set up a club ride on Zwift. The 2019 UCI Worlds Harrogate Circuit was chosen as it enabled us to “stay local” and we were familiar with it. Anyone who knows the course will know that the gradient is continual changing meaning a lot of gear changes. It was a lot dryer than the event in 2019. Who can forget the wet and freezing conditions then, certainly not Ben Swift! Emma, Sean, Gareth and Bob all joined the ride. To enable us to chat, we had all downloaded the "Discord App", and boy/girl did we chat, none stop all the way round. It was really great to have Sean join us, as he still suffers the effects of last years knee injury. The ride was set up as a "no drop" ride, meaning everyone can ride at their own pace or as in the case of Gareth, using it as a recovery ride from a hard ride on Saturday. I believe he was even brought in a cup of tea during the ride. Everyone was kept to together by Zwift which seemed seamless and didn’t interfere with our individual rides. Discord was a real winner and you wonder wether it would work on a "real" ride. I don’t think that Vitual riding will ever take the place of riding outside but as a training tool, a safe environment and for fitting cycling into a busy life style it is here to stay. There will surely be big developments to come as well.
A major advantage would be to allow injured and recovering members to continue to ride with the club.
Written by Robert C Clapperton