As the days become shorter and the weather begins to get colder, the Northampton Cycling Club is preparing to launch its Zwift calendar for Fall of 2021 and Winter of 2022.
Our calendar commences during the week of October 4th.
For those unfamiliar, Zwift is an online cycling and running program that makes training indoors more social, dynamic, and fun. Since the platform was launched in 2014, the Northampton Cycling Club has been active on Zwift.
Building on the momentum of the extended indoor season from Fall 2019 through Spring 2021, the club is planning four events per week:
- Tuesday Night Hill Climb/Time Trial Series (All Day and 6:00 PM): The goal of the HC/TT is for participants to test themselves against the clock. Each week, participants can ride the route on their own (until 10 PM) or join the group ride version at 6:00 PM. For the time trials, TT bikes are required. New for this season, we will allow any bike and power ups for hill climbs. Times are reported based on Strava segments. Each week, riders earn points based on their finish position, and an overall winner is crowned at the end of the series.
- Wednesday Night Social Ride (8:00 PM): This 60-minute social ride covers a different Zwift route each week.
- Thursday Night Race Series (start times vary between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM): Each week an official Zwift race is selected that has multiple divisions (A, B, C, and D). Riders race in their appropriate division. NCC scoring is based on how well NCC riders place relative to the other riders in their race.
- Saturday Morning Social Ride (9:00 AM): The Saturday morning social ride typically lasts 90 to 150 minutes. Each week, we mix up the routes. The Saturday rides will be held if the weather is poor in October. Unless there is a truly nice day in November, the Saturday ride will become a weekly event.
The Hill Climb/Time Trial Series and the Race Series will run Fall and Winter sessions. Members may participate in both sessions. Some members will participate in every competition, while other may choose to join only a handful of events. The goal is to have fun and stay motivated to ride throughout the winter. Besides bragging rights, past series winners have even won prizes.
For social rides, the advantage of Zwift is that you can join the ride for as long as you want. If the social ride is planning 30 miles, but you want to ride 15, you can join us for the first half of the ride. After all, you are in the comfort of your own home and with a virtual ride you do not have to return to the starting point.
One of the best parts of Zwift is getting to know your fellow NCC members. Many of us met each other for the first time virtually and have since become good friends. Zwift offers in-game text chat, yet to enhance the social aspect, NCC has a Discord server for audio/video chats during the rides. Discord is optional, but our members enjoy the conversations. Although we attempt to stay together on group rides, if we do get separated, we can still chat on Discord and have a social experience.