By Michael Bello
Published 11/20/2021; Updated 11/20/2021

Today was a ride of many firsts. It was our first ride as an official Zwift Club. It was also our first ride in the Neokyo routes on the Makuri Islands.

With the club organizing the ride as an entity and not me as an individual, there were slight differences. For one, we started together in a starting pen. When setting up the ride, we could select a leader and a sweeper. Tim D. was nice enough to lead with the yellow chevron over his head, while I served as the sweeper and had a red chevron. Since my legs were still tired from Jonathan’s race on Thursday, sweeping was ideal for me and I performed the task well, finishing about 15 minutes behind the group!

We had seven riders (Ari, Iggy, Justine, Melissa, Tim, Zinj, and me) this morning for the Neokyo All-NIghter route. The new roads are nice and certainly have a lot of neon lights and interesting items in the skyline or on the side of the road.

As is typical, Zinj joined the ride a bit late. With the game update and his acceptance of the club invite, he joined about two miles into the ride. If anyone wants an NCC Club invite, please let me know.

The Discord conversation was lively. Iggy decided not to eat prior to the ride. Melissa showed us all the waffle she made this morning. It almost looked burned. She accidentally switched baking powder with baking soda! If anyone has a scientific explanation for the resulting darker color, please let us know.

As we rode through Neokyo, Zinj filled us in on the Japanese parallels in the real Tokyo. Iggy also shared his experiences from traveling to Japan a few years back. Tokyo has more advanced technology in the big cities than we have around here.

For some reason, Zinj was using an ancient computer today to run Zwift and he was not happy about the frame rate. His frustration with Zwift and graphics continues. We chatted about the need for the “suspension of disbelief,” but he was not having it.

The conversation about graphics brought up the original Doom game, which had Ari looking at us like we were crazy. He did fill us in on Squid Game, which Iggy agrees is enjoyable. Tim mentioned that he does not like television shows that depict realistic violence, which prompted Melissa to bring up the show Vikings. She vented that the female protagonist, Lagertha, never ages during the show, but all the male characters do! My wife has also mentioned this over the years, which makes me believe Melissa is spying on me.

In total, we rode two laps for approximately 30.3 miles with 1,118 feet of climbing. Most of the group finished around the 1 hour and 27 minute mark, while I was a ways back.

Ari and Iggy unlocked the “You’re Popular” badge for receiving 10 ride ons. Iggy also earned the Marathoner badge for riding 40 km in one ride. Ari, Iggy, Justine, Tim, Zinj, and I earned the Neokyo All-Nighter route achievement, which doubled our XP points for the first lap. Melissa earned the route achievement last night while she was reading a book.

Here is the NCC Zwift schedule:

  • Tuesday 6:00 PM – Time Trial / Hill Climb (invite required)
  • Wednesday 8:00 PM – Social Ride (invite required)
  • Thursday Evenings – Road Race (times will vary between 5 PM and 7 PM EST)
  • Sat 9:00 AM – Social Ride (invite required)

Join the NCC Club on Zwift or select the link in the discussion board/calendar for invite-only rides.

Check the NCC calendar for full details on all events. To learn more about the NCC and Zwift rides, please visit our Zwift page.