In January of 2020, a couple of my local cycling buddies and a decided we wanted to get into better shape during the winter months here in Ohio. We wanted to explore the virtual world of cycling. We ended up purchasing “Smart Trainers” and monthly Zwift memberships to see if Zwift was as engaging as we had heard. We all had older “dumb trainers” that we had been riding previous winters, but these older trainers don’t automatically adjust the difficulty of the flywheel like the newer “Smart Trainers” do when in conjunction with an online program such as Zwift. Anyway, after a few weeks of riding Zwift as a group and individually, we started to find the experience not horrific. Horrific, is pretty much how I felt in previous winters riding my dumb trainer while staring at my basement wall, listening to music or watching an old Netflix series. Zwift however has a competitive factor where you are not only constantly competing with yourself but also with other riders from around the globe. It is another form of social interaction almost like Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform.
After riding Zwift from January through the beginning of March, I was about ready to let my monthly membership run it’s course. Then in mid March, the Covid pandemic hit America and with it… lockdowns, so I ended up riding both indoors & outdoors through mid May. It was clear that my cycling fitness level was much better heading into spring then in previous years. My total virtual milage on Zwift from January until mid May was roughly 3,000 miles. The time in the saddle was up significantly from previous years.
Zwift has several “Worlds” you can ride, such as London and New York City, which are pretty much the same streets as in the real cities, but the main “World” is Wapopia. Watopia is a just a made up island that they continue to add to each year. Last year during the pandemic many people were locked in their homes and joining many virtual cycling platforms, Zwift and others grew exponentially which caused some sustainability issues from time to time. After 6 months of not being on Zwift, I recently returned to Zwift this January and found out they actually added two new “Worlds.” France & Paris are the two newest additions to Zwift and my guess is to help keep the thousands of Zwift riders, at any moment, spread out so they are less technical issues with too many users.
In summary, I am committed as a Zwift user and plan to continue to use the platform as long as I continue to see it’s benefits. Feel free to ask me any questions if you are in need of some clarification.