HBC members are on Zwift!
Do you want to maintain your cycling fitness even when the winter weather won’t cooperate? One of the available options is Zwift, an online training app that you pair with indoor cycling equipment to produce a realistic virtual ride. Zwift allows you to ride with others in real time, at a speed you determine, on roads and routes around the world.
HBC veteran Gavin Robertson has set up an HBC team on Zwift and is leading several virtual rides per week. The rides range in length from 20 to 40 miles, but you can drop off at any time or distance. Best of all, these rides can be done by any rider at any level! Using Zwift’s “rubber band” feature, the rides are set so that A, B, C, and D riders can all ride together without anyone being dropped. Gavin reports that riders of all skill levels are joining these rides and enjoying the fun of being in a riding community.
If you’re interested in joining HBC members on these rides and already have your indoor cycling gear set up, just search for “Gavin Robertson HBC” on Zwift. Tap the + (plus) button to ask to follow Gavin. He will confirm your request and you can then accept ride notices for virtual Zwift rides with his group.
What if I’m interested in virtual cycling but don’t know how to set it up?
Generally speaking, you will need 3 things:
- An indoor “smart” bicycle trainer.The “smart” designation means that the trainer can connect to an internet app and alter the cycling resistance based on elevation, speed, etc. Some smart trainers allow you to just attach your rear wheel to a flywheel on the trainer.Other smart trainers allow you to remove your back wheel and connect your bike’s chain to a set of gears on the trainer. Either will work!
- A device that connects to the internet. This can be a smart phone, a tablet, or a laptop. You don’t need a separate data line, and can just use Bluetooth to connect your device to your home internet.
- The Zwift app. You’ll download this to your device and use the Zwift app to set up your personal profile, connect to rides, ride with friends, or even try famous routes.Use of the Zwift app, including hundreds of route options and virtual riding with others is currently $14.99 per month.
If you’d like to read more about indoor cycling trainers, here are a few relevant links:
BICYCLING - TOP TRAINERS
CNET - TOP BIKE TRAINERS
ZWIFT ON A BUDGET
If all of this sounds a bit daunting, feel free to reach out to Ride Captain Chris Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org or Gavin Robertson at email@example.com. It’s easy to set up!
HBC members who do virtual rides indoors have found them to be a great supplement to outdoor riding, with the advantage of being done at your convenience in a controlled weather setting.